In many ways this is the most sophisticated and useful book to date on the Cortes, or parliament, that met in the port city of Cádiz from 1810 to 1814 and produced the first written constitution of the Spanish monarchy in 1812, and the impact of the revolutionary change in political thought that swept the Hispanic world. The volume is a collection of 20 essays first delivered at a 2012 conference in Mexico City marking the 200th anniversary of the Constitution of 1812, and, notably for such a collection, all the essays adhere to the subject closely. Roughly a third of the offerings relate to peninsular Spain—the origins, meaning, and legacy of the Cádiz experience—while two-thirds relate to Spanish America—the reception, implementation, and impact of the constitution.

The volume's editor, Roberto Breña, introduces the collection with an essay on historiographical changes since...

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