Drawing on no less than 15,086 remitidos (comunicados, alcances, suplementos, all of which were journalistic devices to allow individuals to publicize their thoughts, grievances, and defenses) to nine Peruvian and Limeño newspapers published between 1827 and 1862, Pablo Whipple portrays the thoughts and doings of Lima's elite (the “gente decente”), while at the same time illustrating the workings of the judicial and policing systems and their transformations in the early decades after political independence from Spain. Divided into seven chapters, the book takes its readers from the Bourbon Reforms, an attempt to improve labor morale, hygiene, education, and public order in the colony, to how Lima's elites went down the path of personal and family “decency” (socially, culturally, and racially) in order to assert their distance from the lower classes, especially artisans, who, following the new republican ideals,...

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