From the Gaceta de Buenos Aires and other contemporary published sources Narciso Binayán has selected a useful collection of documents relating to the revolution in Buenos Aires from 1810 to 1816. They deal with the outbreak and course of the Revolución de Mayo, its political principles, constitutional experiments, and its conflicts with the provinces. Materials are also included bearing on the educational ideals of the revolution, its attitude toward Indians and Negroes, and policies of revolutionary governments toward immigration, regulation of trade, and taxation. The broad scope of the collection is noteworthy. In most cases entire documents are printed rather than fragments and citations are always provided to the sources from which they were taken. Many of the items included are articles written by Mariano Moreno, Gregorio Funes, Bernardo Monteagudo, and Camilo Henríquez.

The editor’s introductory essay attempts to relate the Revolución de Mayo to a secular struggle in Europe between “germanismo” (liberty) and “romanismo” (authority). This section might well have been omitted, but Binayán proceeds to discuss interestingly such controversial aspects of the revolution as the influence of Francisco Suárez (it is minimized), the “máscara de Fernando VII” (pretense is denied), democracy in the revolution (it was carried out by a minority). The desire to avoid Napoleonic domination at a moment when the absence of the monarch brought to the fore long-latent notions like those of the comuneros in sixteenth-century Spain and their predecessors in the tradition of medieval Castilian constitutionalism, is given as the principal reason for revolt in 1810. On the whole the essay defends a moderate liberal interpretation of the revolution against recent revisionism.