One of the most significant themes to emerge in the works of Peruvian historians in the last decade is the insistence that the late colonial period witnessed not an intensification of the conservatism and lethargy traditionally associated with the Viceroyalty of Peru, but a growing tide of revolutionary activity, supported by Peruvians of all races, in pursuit of the goal of national independence. It was no coincidence that this argument, which reached a peak of popularity in 1971, the year of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the declaration of independence in Lima, received enthusiastic endorsement from the revolutionary government of General Juan Velasco Alvarado, in power since October 3, 1968. The new interpretation of social and political attitudes in post-1780 Peru neatly harmonized with the post-1968 insistence of the military upon the importance of nationalism, social justice, and racial harmony in the creation of a new Peru.

The purpose of this article is to examine the political history of Peru between 1808 and 1815 in the light of the attention paid by a considerable number of scholars to the twin themes of revolutionary fervor and racial cooperation in the struggle for emancipation from Spain. The analysis will continue only up to the suppression of the 1814-1815 Cuzco rebellion, since it is generally recognized that the restoration of royalist authority in the old Inca capital marked the end of serious attempts to challenge Spanish power in Peru before the arrival of San Martín in 1820. The discussion will concentrate upon two questions. It will seek first to determine whether the strength of revolutionary activity in Peru in the years after the collapse of the Spanish monarchy in 1808 has been underestimated by previous commentators, as the revisionists insist. It will go on to consider whether the customary emphasis upon the responsibility of racial and social disharmony for the failure of those revolutionary movements which did occur in the closing years of Spanish rule needs to be revised in favor of another explanation. Such a revision attaches due weight to the importance of southern Peruvian regionalism, a force which in 1814 united whites, Indians, and mestizos in Cuzco behind a bid for independence, but at the cost of alienating royalists and revolutionaries alike in Lima.

The Comisión Nacional del Sesquicentenario de la Independencia del Perú, the body established by the government in 1969 to organize the celebrations of the forthcoming one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of independence, was particularly active in the academic field where it commissioned historians with the collection of documents and the preparation of books and essays designed both to magnify the Peruvian contribution to the cause of Spanish American emancipation and to project the ideals of revolutionary militarism to all Peruvians. The choice of 1780, the year of the outbreak of the rebellion of Túpac Amaru, as the chronological starting point for the majority of all official compendiums, ranging in importance from the impressive Colección documental de la independencia del Perú at one extreme to simple anthologies designed for popular consumption at the other, conveniently served both purposes.1 This periodization provided, of course, a remedy for the national inferiority complex suffered by Peruvians for a century and a half because their country seemed to owe its independence to Argentines, Chileans and Colombians, by producing a great precursor who had died for the national cause forty years before San Martín and Simón Bolívar set foot there. It became possible, according to this interpretation of the rebellion of 1780-1783, to define the period between 1780 and 1826 as “casi medio siglo de incesante lucha por la libertad política.”2

But the identification of the Indian cacique as the first of the great forerunners of independence had a further significance, for it seemed to legitimize the argument that the emancipation of Peru represented not the mere transfer of political authority from one privileged minority, the peninsulares, to another, the creoles, as asserted by unsympathetic observers, but the culmination of a prolonged struggle against imperialism which united all classes and all ethnic groups.3 Independence, when finally secured in 1824, thanks to the efforts of “hombres de diversas profesiones, de diversas situaciones sociales y de diversas regiones del Perú,” thus embodied both “la madurez de la comunidad nacional” and “el perfeccionamiento de nuestro ser mestizo.”4 Those who realized that in practice the Indian and mestizo masses had not benefited from the inauguration of the republic, because the creole aristocracy had denied them the fruits of their nationalism, were able to take comfort in 1971 from their awareness that the current social and economic revolution, manifested in particular by an agrarian reform program was on the point of permitting the realization of the thwarted ideals of the era of independence.

The majority of the Peruvian contributions to the Quinto Congreso Internacional de Historia de América, inaugurated in Lima on July 31, 1971, took up the already semi-official themes of national struggle and racial harmony during the final decades of the colonial period.5 The mere titles of presentations such as “El heroísmo revolucionario de Micaela Bastidas” or “Túpac Amaru y la primera insurrección americana” suffice to indicate the general tenor of their arguments.6 The study of the intellectual precursors of Peruvian independence by María Luisa Rivara de Tuesta, published by the Comisión Nacional in 1972 as the winner of the prize in the competition organized for Peruvian historians, encountered some difficulty in projecting men like Joseph Baquíjano y Carrillo and Manuel Lorenzo Vidaurre as champions of social justice, but insisted, nevertheless, on their “afán de ilustrar al pueblo sobre su situación y sus derechos.”7 José Ignacio López-Soria expounds a similar theme, with his suggestion that the rebellion of Túpac Amaru and other disturbances persuaded creoles, smarting under more efficient government, and mestizos and castes, fearful of registration as tributarios, to combine with the Indians against the common enemy: “Los movimientos del XVIII favorecen, pues, la unificación de criollos, indios y mestizos de un lado, en clara oposición contra los peninsulares, de otro.”8

Some support for this view, albeit muted, has come from Leon Campbell, who considers that opposition to increased fiscal exactions in 1779-1780 united “creoles, mixed bloods, free persons of color, and Indians.”9 Although conceding that most creoles “stayed outside of” the Túpac Amaru rebellion, Campbell asserts: “By the first decades of the nineteenth century, however, creoles had perceived the advantages which might accrue to them by affiliating with this “indigenous” discontent and turning it in favor of independence.”10 Moreover, in a subsequent article he points to evidence of “strong creole support for Túpac Amaru at least in the early stages of the revolt” and clearly demonstrates that leading royalist officials in Peru were convinced that creoles were the “guiding force” behind “the revolts of 1780.”11 Viceroy Agustín de Jáuregui, for example, who seems to have been a more detached observer than the paranoid José Antonio de Areche or the fanatical Benito de la Mata Linares, with whom he shared the responsibility for repressing the Túpac Amaru rebellion, was convinced that the city of Cuzco was filled with “unfaithful subjects of high dignity and character.”12 Acting on information such as this, the crown demobilized the untrustworthy provincial militia in 1784, stationed regular infantry units in Cuzco and other interior cities, and “uniformly denied any honors” to creole members of the war council of Cuzco and the cabildo when dispensing rewards to its faithful supporters once peace had been restored.13

Not all observers accept that the rebellion of Túpac Amaru represented an early bid for Peruvian independence, but even some of these more cautious interpreters contrive to fit it into a non-Indian mold.14 Jean Piel dismisses the very definition “Indian” as “a concept created by the dominant classes in Peru to cover in one word the rural and partly autochthonous mass of the population,” and sees the rebellion as simply the “most famous” of “some terrible peasant revolts against the tax system.”15 Heraclio Bonilla, on the other hand, recognizes that the movement had a racial significance which was essentially to frighten and alienate the creoles. Thereafter, although the provincial creoles occasionally made common cause with the Indians of Peru, “toda coalición de los criollos … con los grupos más bajos de la sociedad colonial fue tentativa y efímera.”16 Like Piel, however, he recognizes the dangers of classifying Peruvians in the late colonial period in self-contained racial groups: such categorization is “insuficiente e incluso errónea,” since it tends to overlook the social and economic issues which divided ethnic groups.17 He stresses in particular the need to distinguish between the interests and attitudes of the peninsula-oriented creole elite of the viceregal capital and those of the provincial elites, centered in Cuzco and Arequipa, whose motivation even in the final decade of Spanish rule in Peru often seemed to be the securing of emancipation from Lima rather than Madrid.

Those Peruvian scholars who, unlike Bonilla, are determined to interpret every violent protest in late colonial Peru as a step toward the goal of national independence, whatever its precise motivation, tend to overlook the subtleties which differentiate the Túpac Amaru rebellion from, for example, creole conspiracies in Lima in 1810, or the latter from the Cuzco rebellion of 1814. One fundamental point which they cannot overlook, however, is that, notwithstanding the persistence of widespread exploitation of the Indian in the late colonial period, the Indian elite was not consistently united behind the movement for national independence.

José Gabriel Condorcanqui might be projected as the first of the great precursors, but what is to be done with the enigmatic Mateo García Pumacahua, cacique of Chinchero, scourge of the tupamaros in the 1780s, ally of José Manuel de Goyeneche in the sacking of rebellious Upper Peru in 1811, but finally, in 1814 at the age of seventy-four, a late convert to the national cause? The fact that his emergence from retirement to join the Cuzco rebellion of August 1814 put the seal upon its failure by emphasizing its social dangers to the coastal elite is an added complication for the protagonists of the harmonious interpretation of Peruvian independence. Their solution to the problem of how to deal with Pumacahua has been, in fact, to ignore him, to dismiss him as a maverick of no real significance. The very name “la rebelión de Pumacahua,” hitherto used automatically by generations of historians to define the Cuzco movement of 1814-1815, has thus been discarded in favor of “la rebelión [or revolución] de José Angulo.”18 With the leaders of the rebellion clearly identified as José Angulo, a prominent cuzqueño, and his brothers Vicente, Mariano, and Juan, it becomes possible to interpret it as a crusade uniting all the citizens of the old Inca capital and the surrounding provinces, rich and poor, creole and Indian, behind the common goals of independence and social justice. The troublesome Pumacahua, “el más importante de los contrarrevolucionarios del siglo XVIII y comienzos del XIX,” can then be dismissed as a mere opportunist who, before his execution at Sicuani on March 17, 1815 by the royalist general Juan Ramírez, “se retractó en el juicio y espiritualmente retornó a su fidelidad de súbdito del ‘deseado’ Femando VII.”19

How should we interpret the political and social history of late colonial Peru? Is it possible to see the last half-century of Spanish rule in terms of an heroic struggle uniting all races and classes to create an independent, mestizo nation as the leaders of the Sesquicentenario school insist? Probably not. Notwithstanding the existence of limited creole support for the rebellion of Túpac Amaru, and a certain ambiguity about its leader’s political aims, the movement makes sense primarily as a violent social protest, designed basically to make the colonial system operate more fairly at a local level rather than to destroy it. One is tempted to see the recent glorification of Túpac Amaru in Peru principally in terms of the immediate post-1968 insistence of the military that the Indian had as much to give to the nation as the creole oligarch.

On the other hand, is it still legitimate for the student of Peru in this period to go to the other extreme, describing the viceroyalty in terms such as “the main bastion of Spanish power in the New World,” or as the “royalist stronghold,” and explaining the failure of Peruvians to secure their own independence almost entirely as a consequence of the existence of unbridgeable racial divisions?20 There is no denying, of course, that Peru did not reject Spanish rule in 1810, that a variety of plots and protests culminating in the Cuzco rebellion of 1814-1815 ended in failure, and that even in 1824 many influential Peruvians still sympathized with the royalist cause. But the failure of revolutionary activity does not justify the failure of historians even to recognize its existence.21 Although even patriotic Peruvian historians find it difficult to produce convincing evidence of insurgency between 1815 and 1820, the period up to 1815 at least was one of considerable political unrest, particularly in southern Peru, where the city of Cuzco provided the natural focus for opposition to both Lima and Madrid.22

The years between 1783, when the Túpac Amaru revolt was finally suppressed, and 1808 witnessed no major manifestation of Peruvian discontent with Spanish rule. The fidelity of Cuzco, however, continued to preoccupy officials. Benito de la Mata Linares, who remained in the city as first intendant until appointed regent of the Audiencia of Buenos Aires in 1787, considered it a hotbed of subversion, a situation for which he held the extensive ecclesiastical establishment responsible.23 He prided himself on having had the bishop of Cuzco, Juan Manuel Moscoso y Peralta, a native of Arequipa, suspended from office on a charge of aiding the recent rebellion, and also upon his vigilance in unearthing an alleged creole conspiracy in December 1784: “yo hize salir de aqui los Ugartes, Capetillo, y Palacios, coronando la obra con sacar al Obispo, suceso q. será memorable …,”24 But the appointment of the latter to the rich see of Granada in 1789, Mata’s own promotion, and the release of the suspected plotters suggests that the crown did not take the affair seriously and sought simply to remove from the city incompatible administrators.

The installation in 1788 of the new Audiencia of Cuzco, presided over by Josef de la Portilla, a conservative peninsular bureaucrat, seems to have eased tension further, although possibly because in the short term the cuzqueños interpreted the innovation not as a repressive measure but rather as a device to stimulate the city’s renaissance by endowing it with a degree of independence from Lima. Mata himself strongly supported the reform on the grounds that it was essential for the crown to win the confidence of the inhabitants of this city whose strategic importance was far greater than that of Lima and Buenos Aires put together.25 It would seem, however, that the long term result was to alienate creole inhabitants, who regarded the tribunal not as a champion of local interests but primarily as a representative of viceregal and peninsular authority.

In spite of the considerable degree of decentralization which the elevation of Cuzco to the status of a presidency had involved, at least in theory, some observers in the late colonial period sought an even more radical governmental reorganization in Peru. The famous intendant of Potosí, Juan del Pino Manrique de Lara, argued that Cuzco should replace Lima as capital of both Lower and Upper Peru, an idea resurrected briefly in 1825 by delegates to the assembly discussing the future of the emancipated Upper Peru.26 Francisco de Carrascón y Sola, the Spanish-born prebendary of the cathedral of Cuzco between 1798 and 1815, who, as we shall see, was to play a significant role in the 1814 rebellion, was convinced as early as 1801 that the capital of Peru should be transferred to the interior. In his “Nuevo Plan q’e estableze la perpetua tranquilidad del vasto Imperio del Peru,” he proposed the creation of a viceroyalty or captaincy-general in Puno or “en las inmediaciones del Collao,” primarily as a means of insuring security in a region inhabited by unfaithful Indians, but also to promote the economic development of the potentially rich interior.27

It seems clear, in fact, that the principal motive behind demands such as this for the emancipation of southern Peru from the inefficient, expensive bureaucratic machine of Lima was economic dissatisfaction. The creation of the intendancies in 1784 had given Cuzco, Arequipa, and other cities an enhanced status, but it failed to reverse their economic fortunes. The beneficiaries of the modest economic expansion which Peru did experience in the late colonial period were the officeholders, the merchants, and, to a lesser degree, the miners of Lima and its hinterland. The economic life of the southern provinces was bound up essentially with agriculture, which clearly did not expand after 1784, and trade with Upper Peru, which, it was believed, could be restored to its former importance only by the reunification of the two Perus. The relatively weak mining sector in the south was actively discriminated against by the Lima-based mining tribunal’s decision to concentrate its limited resources upon the development of Cerro de Pasco, a policy which provoked bitter protest from the mining deputies of Puno in 1804.28

It was against this background of deepening provincialism that José Gabriel Aguilar, a miner, and Manuel José de Ubalde, legal adviser to the president of Cuzco, plotted in 1805 to seize control of Cuzco and declare the former Inca emperor.29 With the premature discovery of the conspiracy both men were quickly tried and executed, and a number of their supporters, who included lawyers and priests, were imprisoned or exiled to Spain. José Agustín de la Puente defines the plot as “el primer movimiento expresamente separatista, en el tiempo precursor,” attributing to it a significance which was not recognized at the time by the president of Cuzco who informed the crown that “no infestó al Pueblo siempre fiel y a todos luces leal.”30 Notwithstanding the latter’s complacency, it was to Cuzco that royalist officials looked with most anxiety after 1808, as the structure of government in Peru began to suffer from the effects of the collapse of the monarchy in the mother country.

Francisco Muñoz y San Clemente, President of Cuzco in 1808, was fully aware of the potential harm that the arrival of confused and confusing information from Spain could cause in his capital, “pues en estos casos en Capitales populosos no faltan malevolo que induzcan à alterar la tranquilidad publica.”31 Although he swiftly arranged the public swearing of allegiance to Ferdinand VII, “y las demostraciones publicas de su vecindario llenaron mi corazon de un verdadero regocijo,” the vigorous Viceroy José Fernando de Abascal remained suspicious, and, when Muñoz died in June 1809, swiftly appointed as interim president of Cuzco brigadier José Manuel de Goyeneche who had reached Peru at the beginning of the year as commissioner of the Junta Central. The choice was governed, he explained by “la extension y localidad de la Prov’a, turbaciones anteriores, y mas que todo el actual estado de las cosas,” which demanded a president endowed with “los conocimientos propios de la profesion Militar para occurir a los acidentes que pueden sobrevenir.”32 Abascal’s nervousness was shared by the regent of the Audiencia of Cuzco, Manuel Pardo, who in July 1809 locked up in his own house an emissary who had arrived from Puno with news of the recent rising in La Paz, so as to prevent him from disturbing “la tranquilidad publica.”33 A few days later, when the news had inevitably spread through the city, he arrested one of the alcaldes of Cuzco, Antonio Paredes, whom he had heard “decir à muchos que con motivo de las ocurencias de la Paz, que era una felicidad que no se hallase en esta.”34

In fact, Abascal’s decision to order Goyeneche into Upper Peru to put down the mid-1809 risings in La Paz and Chuquisaca undermined his strategy for Cuzco, for it necessitated transferring authority there from the imaginative and popular creole soldier to a succession of temporary presidents. These were drawn from the peninsular-dominated audiencia and combined administrative inefficiency with an inability to cooperate with the city’s constitucionales, who were expecting and demanding the rapid implementation of reforms being promised by liberals in Spain. Pedro Antonio de Cernadas, a founder-member of the tribunal, who served as president in 1811, was typical of these men. He was a conscientious bureaucrat—in 1813 a colleague described him as “de probidad, de regular instruccion … y aplicado quando se lo permiten sus años y salud”—but he clearly lacked political tact and insight.35 In 1811, for example, he blissfully assured the Council of Regency that “esta Capital, y el distrito de su Prov’a, es la mas fiel, fina, y amorosa à S. M. y à la defensa de sus justos y R’s dros, q’e se conoce en la America del Sur,” a state of affairs which he attributed in large measure to the presence of Pumacahua, who would bring 40, 000 devoted Indian followers to the defense of the city, should the insurgents in Upper Peru defeat Goyeneche.36

Contrasting sharply with Cernadas’ complacency are the bitter complaints of maladministration, notably in rural areas, made in 1812 by Manuel de Vidaurre, the limeño who had recently arrived to serve on the audiencia after briefly representing Peru in the Cortes.37 “Si continua el abuso,” he warned in December 1812, “se veran con los mismos ojos las Leyes, y cuando V. M. emprende el gran trabajo de formarlas quedaran sin efecto, por no haver fuerza para que se executen.”38 Outspoken complaints such as this were responsible for the fact that between 1811 and 1814 Vidaurre, alone among the members of the audiencia, won the support of the cuzqueños. Indeed their admiration was such that whereas his colleagues were imprisoned by the rebels in August 1814, Vidaurre was offered command of the city, an honor which he wisely refused.39

The administrative and political instability in Cuzco between 1809 and 1814 was typical of a general crisis of government in Peru during the captivity of Ferdinand VII, characterized by uncertainty, economic dislocation, financial difficulties, and, above all, administrative confusion arising from the implementation of the reform programs of the Junta Central and the Council of Regency.40 As early as 1809, Peruvians were introduced to the idea of representation with the election by the cabildos of a deputy to join the junta and to not only the opportunity, indeed the duty, of voicing their grievances so that he might be provided with specific instructions. Thus the instructions which the cabildo of Lima presented to José de Silva y Olave, the rector of San Marcos, in October 1809, as he was about to embark for the peninsula, constitute a formidable indictment of Spanish rule in Peru. The city’s elite, which the cabildo represented, was far from desiring independence, but it now forcefully demanded drastic revision of the fiscal structure, abolition of the intendancies, genuine free trade, and equality of access to office for creoles and Europeans. The decision of the Council of Regency, heir to the Junta Central, early in 1810 to summon a Cortes in which each cabildo would be represented by a deputy led to the widening of this freedom of expression to an unprecedented degree, and the actual elections again gave the municipal corporations an enhanced prestige and authority.41

The greatest disruption was caused, however, by the second stage of the liberal program, following the promulgation by the Cortes on March 19, 1812, of the famous Constitución Política de la Monarquía Española. Although he heartily disapproved of the code, Abascal as a faithful bureaucrat had no alternative but to agree to its application in Peru. Outwardly, of course, he professed approval for it, referring in the Gaceta de Gobierno of September 30, 1812, to the “obra inmortal de la sabiduría y patriotismo de nuestras Cortes … Codigo que va a ser la desesperación de los tiranos, y el más seguro garante de la prosperidad y las futuras glorias de todas las Españas.”42 His real view, expressed in 1816 in his memoria, was that the separatist cause was greatly encouraged by the “opiniones y providencias peregrinas de los que ocuparon el Govierno en ausencia del Soberano,” an opinion shared by Baquíjano, who wrote in 1814 that “las proclamas y providencias de la Regencia, los debates y decisiones de las Cortes, y las escandalosas doctrinas que circulaban sin embarazo” had all weakened royalist authority in Peru.43

Two aspects in particular of the application of the constitution— the replacement of the old, oligarchic cabildos by elected corporations and the election of deputies to the ordinary Cortes—provoked serious disputes in several Peruvian cities between creoles and peninsulares, culminating in some cases in violence, and, even more seriously, raised creole expectations of reform which, it gradually became clear, could not be met within the context of continuing rule from Spain.44 In Cuzco, as is well-known, there was a direct relationship between the audiencia’s policy of obstructing the proper application of the constitution and the outbreak of rebellion in 1814.

In Lima, on the other hand, the uncertainty and unrest caused by the implementation of the liberal program was outweighed by the political advantage of giving the creole elite the illusion, at least until the restoration of Ferdinand VII, that meaningful reforms could be secured without resort to revolution. José de la Riva Agüero’s succinct observation that the population of the city “no quiso sublevarse, porque no la entusiasmaba la causa de los revolucionarios” still holds true despite his own attempt to identify a nascent separatist group led by his great-grandfather.45 Abascal was certainly suspicious of the young José de la Riva Agüero whom he believed to be the author of seditious statements published in the Lima press. Freedom of the press, declared by the Cortes in October 1810, was, in fact, a further disruptive factor with which the absolutist viceroy had to contend. At the end of 1811 he closed down the troublesome El Peruano, only to see it reappear with a succession of similar names. In March 1812, El Satélite del Peruano printed what could be interpreted as either a declaration of support for insurgency or simply approval of the work of the Cortes, observing:

Todos cuantos habitamos el nuevo mundo somos hermanos … De nuestro seno sólo debemos arrojar y no tener por hermanos a aquéllos que desean que continue el antiguo gobierno colonial y el cetro de hierro que ha regido en estos tres siglos pasados así a la España como a las Indias.

The viceroy chose to adopt the former interpretation, and Riva Agüero, who seems to have been primarily an opportunist rather than a patriot, hurriedly disclaimed authorship of this and similar statements, which he attributed, in fact, to Fernando López.46 “Es sabido,” added the man who was to become Peru’s first president in 1823, “que los que van á ganar en toda revolucion son las gentes perdidas, y no las acomodadas.”

With the restoration of Ferdinand VII in 1814 and the realization that the promised liberal reforms would not now be granted, the Lima liberals found themselves in an extremely weak position. Some of their most prominent leaders in the 1810-1812 period had died—Vicente Morales Duárez, Diego Cisneros, Manuel Villalta, and Francisco Calatayud for example—and others, including Baquíjano and José Bernardo de Tagle, were absent in the peninsula. The majority of those who remained gradually became patriotas tibios, men ready in spirit to accept independence if it was offered to them on the right terms, but not willing, despite Rivara’s insistence to the contrary, to actually fight for the “linea separatista que vió claramente, desde el grito revolucionario de Túpac Amaru la necesidad de la violencia para conseguir la liberación de España.”47

There appears to have been no concrete conspiratorial activity among the Lima elite between 1815 and 1820 and, even after royalist forces abandoned the city to San Martín in July 1821, its support for the independence movement was lukewarm.48 Moreover, even in the period up to 1814, which is that to which the Sesquicentenario school has to look for evidence of limeño revolutionary activity, the majority of the conspiracies which have been identified were isolated, unrepresentative movements, owing their recognition primarily to the viceroy’s inability to distinguish between incautious speculation and genuine subversion. The Anchoris conspiracy of September 1810, for example, which led to the arrest of a number of porteños resident in Lima, including a son-in-law of Martín de Alzaga and two nephews of Deán Funes, on suspicion of communicating with insurgents in the Río de la Plata, was certainly exaggerated by Abascal.49 A year earlier, he had acted decisively against a group of minor officials and merchants, led by the lawyer Mateo Silva, who were apparently discussing the possibility of emulating the recent seizure of authority by dissidents in Quito.50 Again there was no actual violence, and, although those arrested were treated harshly—Silva remained in prison until his death in 1815 or 1816, and others were exiled to the Juan Fernández Islands or Cartagena for varying terms—the affair was not significant, except as a demonstration of viceregal firmness.51

Superficially more serious was the conspiracy of José Matías Vásquez de Acuña, sixth Conde de la Vega del Ren, which Abascal claimed to have uncovered in October 1814.52 Its potential gravity arose not solely from its alleged intention which was to suborn the Callao garrison, free insurgent prisoners, and attack Lima, but also from the timing—in October 1814 the Cuzco rebellion was seriously threatening royalist authority for the first time within Peru—and the fact that Vásquez was a recognized leader of the Lima aristocracy. His arrest on October 28, in fact, provoked genuine indignation among his large circle of influential friends who believed that Abascal’s real motive was to seek revenge for the problems that Vásquez had caused as a member of the city’s constitutional cabildo in 1813, and “mas de sesenta titulos de Castilla” signed a petition demanding his release.53

Faced with this demonstration of group solidarity and unable to produce any clear evidence to support his charges, the viceroy released Vásquez from detention in February 1815, although as a precaution he restricted him to the city, a penalty which persisted until 1819 when the crown completely exonerated him.54 A number of less influential suspects, including a carpenter, a shopkeeper, and common soldiers, were less fortunate, receiving prison sentences of between one and five years, despite the fact that the conspiracy, if that is an accurate description, involved no more than idle if incautious discussion and never reached the stage of violent activity. The viceroy’s vigilance, it might be argued, was partly responsible for the fact that this and other schemes were abortive, but the fundamental factor in their suppression was that the plotters formed a tiny minority of the population of Lima, and, in face of this general apathy, lacked a clear strategy and organization.

The unequivocal cooperation which he received from the majority of the population of Lima in 1814, as in 1809-1810 when the danger of revolution also seemed serious, enabled Abascal to retain control of Peru in the name of Ferdinand VII in spite of the damaging effects of the liberal hiatus. But it is crucial to a proper understanding of Peruvian independence to recognize that Lima, although sufficiently powerful to determine the future of Peru, was not representative of the viceroyalty as a whole between 1809 and 1814. Although, as we have seen, the capital remained quiescent, the interior and southern provinces produced several movements which went beyond mere speculation to seek expression as armed uprisings. The active support that the creoles of Lima extended to the peninsular authorities in the suppression of these premature bids for independence represented in part their realization that indigenous participation in them posed a threat to the hierarchical social structure of Peru, but also an awareness that they implied a regional challenge to the very identity of Lima as capital of all the territory that came to comprise the republic in 1824.

The first significant attempt at armed rebellion in southern Peru was that led in Tacna in June 1811 by Francisco Antonio de Zela, the assayer and weighmaster in the town’s assay office. The economic life of this distant but strategically located partido in the south of the province of Arequipa was intimately linked, like that of neighboring Moquegua and Arica, not with Lima but with Upper Peru which they supplied with wine, aguardiente, oil, fruits, and rice as well as some imported manufactures. The triumphal progress through Charcas in the first half of 1811 of the porteño army under Juan José Castelli and the circulation within Lower Peru of his propaganda persuaded dissidents within the viceroyalty, who had seen normal economic intercourse abruptly suspended, that it was only a matter of time before the Argentine general crossed the Desaguadero river which he had reached in March.

On the night of June 20, 1811, anticipating such a move on what was, in fact, the very date of Goyeneche’s crushing defeat of Castelli at Huaqui, Zela and other inhabitants of Tacna seized the local militia barracks and declared for the junta of Buenos Aires.55 Their success proved to be short-lived for, as news arrived of Goyeneche’s victory and Castelli’s retreat, support quickly waned, and by the end of the month the subdelegate of Arica, Antonio Rivero, had arrested the leaders. But, despite his failure, Zela’s movement was important. It clearly demonstrated the desire that existed in this region for reunion between southern Peru and Upper Peru, a goal which was to be briefly achieved, of course, by the Peru-Bolivia Confederation of 1835-1839. It also showed that rebellious creoles in the provinces, who were generally much closer to Indians, both physically and socially, than their refined fellow whites in Lima, were willing to combine with indigenous leaders in their attempts to throw off Spanish rule. One of Zela’s closest allies was the Indian cacique Toribio Ara whose son, José Rosa Ara, led the attack on the Tacna cavalry barracks on June 20, and Indian followers of the latter rubbed shoulders with whites and mestizos in the victory parade which was organized on June 23.

Far from persuading southern regionalists that their cause was hopeless, Zela’s efforts set an example which others in the intendancy of Arequipa attempted to follow while he languished in prison. Two years later, in almost identical circumstances, the French-born Enrique Paillardelle and the alcalde of Tacna, Manuel Calderón de la Barca, who had been in close contact with Manuel Belgrano, commander of the second porteño auxiliary army which had taken Potosí in May 1813, again seized Tacna with the aim of spreading the revolution into Lower Peru. As before, the strategy was sound but the timing proved disastrous for, unknown to the conspirators, Belgrano had been routed by Joaquín de la Pezuela at Vilcapugio two days before they arrested the subdelegate and persuaded the Tacna garrison to support their insurrection. Paillardelle succeeded in raising a force of 400 men in the town, but, with Belgrano incapable of sending aid, he was defeated at the end of the month by a smaller but disciplined force dispatched by the intendant of Arequipa. A similar fate befell the cuzqueño Julián Peñaranda who, in what was obviously a concerted move, had simultaneously seized control of Peru’s southernmost province, Tarapacá.

Although the capital of the intendancy remained outwardly loyal during these disturbances, there are suggestions that influential residents of Arequipa offered tacit support to them. Manuel Rivero, father of Mariano Rivero, who had gone to Cádiz to represent the city in the Cortes, was arrested on Abascal’s instructions in November 1813 on a charge of plotting rebellion, and another son, Antonio Rivero, was dismissed from his post of subdelegate on charges of communicating with the rebels in Upper Peru and allowing their propaganda to circulate.56 Earlier in the year the intendant of Arequipa, reporting on disturbances in Caravelí, had complained generally of “los movimientos de insubordinacion que se van excitando en algunos Pueblos, funestas resultas del escandolo y mal egemplo que han recibido de esta capital.”57

Of even greater significance, in view of the suggestion that this southern discontent represented a regional desire to break away from Lima, is the fact that in the Cortes of 1812 one of Mariano Rivero’s principal demands was that the whole province of Arequipa should be removed from the jurisdiction of the Audiencia of Lima and be placed under that of the Cuzco tribunal.58 The arguments which he advanced to support the proposal were supremely practical: Lima was 260 leagues distant from Arequipa, whereas the distance to Cuzco was a mere 80 leagues; Lima was too expensive for poor provincial litigants who had to reside in the “ciudad de mucho luxo” while their suits were being heard; and the Audiencia of Cuzco had insufficient business because it had been denied cases arising in Arequipa, “una de las provincias mas pobladas, mas agricultoras y comerciantes del Peru.” But behind the simple reasoning there lay a semi-emotional desire to see southern Peru escape from automatic subjection to the stifling and peninsula-oriented bureaucracy of Lima and be elevated into a powerful region in its own right. It was unjust, Rivero concluded, for the arequipeños to be denied the opportunity “verse libres de lo que sufren.” If decentralization were to be achieved, the obvious focus for it in southern Peru, as Rivero realized, was not Arequipa but Cuzco, “antiguo capital del vastísimo Perú,” which, because of the existing centralization of judicial administration in Lima, was suffering from “la mayor decadencia en toda clase de ilustracion, de agricultura y de comercio.” It is doubtful, in fact, if Rivero’s remedy for the decline of Cuzco would have proved effective, but what matters is that he and fellow liberals in southern Peru identified subjection to Lima as a major grievance.

In 1813, to take another example, Francisco Sotomayor y Galdos, syndic of the constitutional cabildo of Cuzco, used similar language and proposed even more radical political changes in his “Proyecto politico sobre el Cuzco,” which was designed, he explained, “reparar la decadencia” of the city.59 This common insistence upon the significance of restoring Cuzco, the symbol of resistance to Lima since the civil wars between Almagrists and Pizarrists, helps explain the attraction which the 1814 rebellion was to have for romantic arequipeños like the poet Mariano Melgar.60

The presence and propaganda of Castelli in 1811 is traditionally advanced for the unrest which manifested itself in the provinces of Huamanga and Tarma in 1812, despite the fact that he had been driven out of Upper Peru some months before the distribution of broadsides in these areas gave way to armed insurrection.61 The Huamanga conspiracy, uncovered by the intendant in May 1812, like those in Lima did not go beyond the posting of anti-European lampoons, but the rebellion of Huánuco, Panatahuas, and Huamalíes, which preceded it by three months was more serious, because, like the Tacna movement, it witnessed an eruption of antipeninsular violence which united creole and Indian dissidents.62

The ancient city of León de Huánuco, founded at the very beginning of Spanish rule in Peru, had been relegated to the status of a mere partido capital in 1784, but it remained the fourth largest urban center in Peru—after Lima, Arequipa and Cuzco—with a white population, according to the 1795 census, of over 6, 000.63 The neighboring partidos of Panatahuas and Huamalies had only 611 whites between them, according to the same count, and the dominant racial group in the area as a whole, as throughout provincial Peru, was Indian, which accounted for fifty-four percent of the population. Mestizos accounted for a further twenty-five percent. There is no doubt that the rebellion of 1812, which centered upon Huánuco, began as a protest against corrupt local government by subdelegates who had continued in this area to operate the illegal repartimiento system, a policy which offended both the Indians who were forced to purchase goods and the mestizo merchants who resented unfair competition.64 The timing of the protest was probably influenced by Indian frustration with the fact that the same officials continued to exact tribute, despite the abolition of the tax by the regency in March 1811, and by the circulation of rumors, emanating from Castelli, that a descendant of the Incas was about to arrive to liberate his people from oppression.65

Following the posting of lampoons in Huánuco, apparently provoked in part by unexplained creole fears of attempts to restrict the cultivation of tobacco, Indians from surrounding villages marched on the city, the symbol of Spanish authority, on February 22, 1812. An improvised defense by a handful of troops enabled European residents and officials to flee to Cerro de Pasco in the night, but, significantly, the majority of creole inhabitants stayed in their homes and were unharmed when an Indian mob was allowed through the gates without further resistance on the following day. Some creole homes were sacked by the invaders, but according to Pedro Angel Jadó, a priest who witnessed the ensuing pillage, the principal targets were European-owned properties: “todas las casas de los europeos fueron saqueadas, aprovechando los indios solo los caldos y algunos retazos de las tiendas, y los huanuqueños de todo lo del valor.”66

From the outset prominent creole residents were ready to cooperate with the Indians, led by their alcaldes, and were, in fact, installed as leaders by them. The most prominent collaborator was Juan José Crespo y Castillo, regidor of the city cabildo, who had adopted the self-styled title of subdelegate by the time that the intendant of Tarma entered Huánuco on March 20, after inflicting a heavy defeat three days earlier on a 1, 500-strong rebel force.67 Crespo and other insurgents, both creole and Indian, and including several ecclesiastics, were hurriedly tried and sentenced in Lima. Three of them, Crespo, Norberto Haro, and José Rodríguez, an Indian alcalde, suffered execution by garotte and by the end of the year their heads were on display in Huánuco. It is not absolutely clear who was exploiting whom in this movement. Crespo’s unsuccessful defense was that he had acted as a responsible citizen in an attempt to stem Indian violence, but there is considerable evidence that his motives were not entirely negative.

On the other hand, there is no clear evidence to support the view advanced by Bonilla that the rebellion was provoked by creoles, hoping to take advantage of the political vacuum in the peninsula, who cleverly used Indian discontent for their own selfish purposes.68 The truth probably lies somewhere between the two explanations. The significance of the movement is, however, quite clear: it served as a timely reminder to dissidents in Lima where racial attitudes were more rigid of the potential threat of any form of revolutionary activity to their privileged socioeconomic position. This consideration alone would probably have sufficed to turn the coastal elite against the Cuzco rebellion of 1814. But of equal importance in determining its suppression was the realization in Lima that, if it succeeded, Cuzco would emerge as the capital of independent Peru.

The background to the rebellion which began in Cuzco on August 3, 1814, is well-known and does not, therefore, require detailed exposition.69 The movement developed basically as the result of a long struggle for supremacy, going back over almost two years, between citizens demanding the strict observance of the constitution and the application of other promised reforms, and the audiencia, representing officeholders and Europeans, which seemed determined to frustrate their wishes. An added factor creating unrest was the severe economic crisis in which the whole province found itself in 1814, partly as a consequence of the drain of resources and manpower to support the royalist effort in Upper Peru, and partly because of the loss of trade which the war itself had caused. Writing to the Archbishop of Lima in October 1814, for example, José Angulo pleaded with him to use his influence with Abascal to secure an end to “la guerra devastadora que hace cinco años aflige estos desgraciados países,” a demand which he had first made without effect directly to the viceroy some two months earlier.70 What Angulo did not realize until it was too late, however, was that the thousands of cuzqueños actually fighting with Pezuela in Upper Peru were benefiting psychologically, materially, and socially from the opportunity to go on active campaign in the service of the king. These troops were, of course, the very men who were to march out of Upper Peru under the command of General Juan Ramírez in November 1814 to subdue their fellow citizens and restore royalist authority in Lower Peru, a task which was symbolically completed with their entry into Cuzco on March 25, 1815.71

If the causes of the rebellion are generally understood, what is perhaps not so readily appreciated because of its short duration, is that in its early stages the movement spread very rapidly throughout southern Peru. By the end of September, the expeditionary force of Ildefonso de las Muñecas had captured Puno and La Paz, and that of José Gabriel Bejar and Mariano Angulo had entered Huamanga. Although the latter capital was recaptured early in October by regular troops hurriedly dispatched from Lima, the much more important city of Arequipa fell to the rebels in mid-November.72 The arrival there in the following month of Ramírez’ force prevented Pumacahua from pursuing his plan of carrying the revolution to Lima, in fact, but for a brief period the rebel forces were in control of nearly half the area of the viceroyalty. Ramírez’ own description of the situation that confronted him when he left Suipacha with 1, 200 men and four pieces of artillery in mid-September to restore royalist authority is exaggerated only insofar as it overstates the immediate danger to the viceregal capital:

Levantada ésta [Cuzco] abiertamente en 3 de agosto de 1814; incorporado en el instante Puno; invadida, saqueada y destrozada La Paz; sorprendida Arequipa; revelada Huamanga; en conmoción Huancavelica; difundido por todas partes el espíritu de sedición; amenazada y exhausta Lima; poco quedaba ya que perder, y parecía que abandonado a sí mismo el desventurado Perú, iba ciego a precipitarse en la temblorosa y desolada anarquía que, arrebatados de un loco furor, le preparan sus mismos alucinantes hijos.73

Pezuela, who was in overall command of all royalist forces in Upper Peru, referred to the rebellion simply but graphically as “esta formidable explocion q. presentaba el mas horroroso estado contra los fieles y verdaderos Españoles.”74 Both men, of course, had a vested interest in emphasizing the scope of the movement, and, thereby, their own achievement in containing it, but their testimony nevertheless supports the view of Peruvian scholars that the strength of the independence movement before the arrival of San Martín should not be assessed solely on the basis of developments in Lima.

José Angulo, military commander of Cuzco from August 3, 1814, informed the intendant of Puno on August 11 that the deposition of the audiencia had involved merely “variacion de gobernantes que abusaban la autoridad.”75 Two days later he assured Abascal that he was anxious to avoid hostilities and told him that he had informed all the intendants of his limited aims, “a efecto de que no crean al Cuzco en sublevacion.”76 There is little doubt, however, that this pacific stance was designed simply to give the rebels time to organize, for before the receipt of the viceroy’s reply of September 2, which abruptly demanded that Angulo’s supporters lay down their arms or be treated as enemies, the three expeditionary forces which left in September for Upper Peru, Huamanga, and Arequipa were already being assembled.77 In a manifesto to the cuzqueños of August 16, in fact, Angulo described his movement as a “sublevación,” although insisting that it was not a “sedición.”78 “Los infidentes,” he recognized, might not recognize the distinction, but, should they take up arms against him, “haré el uso conveniente de toda la fuerza armada que me ha encomendado la divina providencia y del valor de los cuzqueños que tantas veces se ha coronado de gloria en los campos de batalla.”

On the very same date, Francisco Carrascón, who had emerged as one of the most prominent of Angulo’s many ecclesiastical supporters, informed his “amados compatriotas del Bajo y Alto Perú” that troops were preparing to march out of the city bearing “las nuevas y benditas banderas de nuestra Patria Peruana.”79 Their purpose, however, would be not simply the creation of an independent Peru but the establishment of an independent empire spanning the continent, with its capital not in Lima but in Cuzco, “centro de todo este vasto Imperio Peruano.” He explained that “todas las Provincias peruanas desde Buenos Aires a Lima” would be invited to send deputies to Cuzco, for the purpose of establishing a governing junta:

en la que se exija y funde una legislación Santa la que uniéndonos de sol a sol y de mar a mar en este su natural punto, nos forme una Nación fuerte y respetable entre todas las del mundo … y el que esta soberana y Serenísima Junta declarando a Buenos Aires, Lima, Montevideo y el Cusco en ciudades de primer orden con el decoroso título de excelencia y plaza de armas, con igual fuerza por sus respetos internos y externos, sea la del Cusco, por su localidad y antigüedad el Punto del Angulo de su reunión con la divisa de los dos soles, el del Oriente por la costa de Buenos Aires, y el del Occidente por el de la de Lima encadenados con una A, que signifique De sol a sol es nuestro Imperio Peruano, asi como Montevideo tenga un solo sol con el membrete: Aquí nace nuestro Imperio Peruano; y la de Lima, Aquí nace el ocaso de nuestro Imperio Peruano.

There is no doubt that this open commitment to the idea of emancipation from Madrid and Lima represented the official policy of the leaders of the Cuzco movement, for it was Carrascón who was chosen to preach the sermon in the city’s cathedral of September 5, on the occasion of the formal blessing of the standards of the troops who were about to carry the revolution throughout the two Perus. Once again he fully exploited the punworthiness of Angulo’s name:

tirad una línea desde la Capital de Buenos Aires a Lima, y en el punto de su centro elevadla a vuestra vista y veréis que forma un Angulo (permitidme el término patrio) un Angulo peruano, hijo de la dominación española … A vosotros os toca el manifestar que este nuestro General José, es nuestro Macaveo peruano que sabrá defender hasta morir con nosotros, los derechos de nuestra humillada patria .…80

Angulo himself was now ready to declare openly for independence. On September 17, in his reply to Abascal’s initial message of August 20, he praised the “justo” Aguilar and the “inocente” Ubalde, the executed leaders of the 1805 conspiracy, and told him that the Americas were about to enter “los siglos de oro, que la Europa no ha conocido jamás, ni conocera.”81 “El usurpador de Lima,” he protested, had turned Peru into a haven for “los expatriados europeos españoles,” and had allowed Peruvians to suffer many evils which had been unknown “en el estado natural de los Incas.” The romanticization of the Inca past was common to most Cuzco-based rebellions in the colonial period, but Angulo went beyond mere admiration to warn the viceroy that attempts to use force against him would be resisted by “trescientos mil Incas, señores de este suelo.”

Indian troops were used, of course, by both rebels and royalists in Lower and Upper Peru throughout the independence period, but Angulo and his followers, it is clear, made a virtue out of this necessity and took pride in the fact that the restoration of the former Inca capital would appeal to Indians and creoles alike. The incorporation of Pumacahua into the triumvirate with which he shared the government of the city after August 3 had probably been dictated more by the prestige that he enjoyed as a former president of the audiencia than by the fact that he was cacique of Chinchero, but from the outset there was an emphasis on incanismo, manifested by, for example, the adoption of the mascaypacha, or Inca royal headdress, as one of the symbols of the revolution.82 As the revolution progressed its leaders emphasized its multiracial appeal. Manuel Hurtado de Mendoza appealed in December 1814, for example, to the inhabitants of Yauyos and Castro-virreina, “asi Indios como criollos,” to combine to throw off the “pesado juago, y govierno tiránico de los chapeton’s, pucacuncas, chupasapas” and expel them from “nuestros Patriosuelos.”83

By March 1815 as Ramírez advanced on Cuzco, the war had taken on more of the character of a racial struggle, as most whites rapidly changed sides, leaving only a committed minority to fight with Pumacahua’s Indian followers, To dismiss the entire rebellion as a rising of the indigenous masses, as some royalists attempted to do, is, however, mistaken.84 The parallel suggestion, advanced by the Cabildo of Cuzco after the event, that few of the city’s inhabitants had supported it is similarly unconvincing, although Vidaurre’s observation that “ninguna familia ilustre” participated in it is more accurate.85 The lawyers and priests who led the movement, and who featured prominently in the list of those executed by Ramírez, were not from the very top layer of cuzqueño society, but they represented a numerous creole middle class, educated, articulate, influential, and ambitious for power.86 The nature and extent of the reprisals exacted by the royalist general— they included the reorganization of both secular and regular clergy, a visitation of the University of San Antonio Abad, and the publication of a list of lawyers forbidden to practice, as well as the confiscation of Indian land for distribution to his troops—indicates that he was certainly aware that he was dealing with much more than an Indian rising.87

The Cuzco rebellion of 1814-1815 was a revolution for independence which enjoyed widespread support from both whites and Indians in southern Peru. Had the inhabitants of Lima and the coast supported it, it would almost certainly have succeeded. Their failure to do so is to be explained partly by their ingrained conservatism and their fear of the Indian, but also by their realization that the movement represented the culmination of a campaign which had been gathering strength throughout the late colonial period to assert the primacy of the interior and the south, represented by Cuzco, over Lima.

It is perhaps ironic, that Pezuela, whose swift action in organizing the Ramírez expedition in 1814 had checked the rebellion, was overthrown as Viceroy of Peru in 1821 by the leaders of his royalist army— in Peru militarism like regionalism preceded independence—precisely because he refused to abandon Lima and move his forces to the interior.88 The fact that José de la Serna, Viceroy of Peru by virtue of this golpe until the battle of Ayacucho, went on to give up his capital without a struggle to San Martín ensured that the formal declaration of the independence of Peru on July 28, 1821, for what it was worth, was made not to the creoles, mestizos, and Indians of the south who had actually fought for it, but instead to the limeños whose fear of Cuzco and its Indians had turned them into supporters of continuing Spanish rule.


Colección documental de la independencia del Perú [issued by] Comisión Nacional del Sesquicentenario de la Independencia del Perú, 30 vols. (Lima, 1971-1974).


Félix Denegrí Luna, Armando Nieto Vélez, S. J., and Alberto Tauro, Antología de la independencia del Perú [issued by] Comisión Nacional del Sesquicentenario de la Independencia del Perú (Lima, 1972), p. vii.


For the traditional view, see Carlos Daniel Valcárcel, “Perú borbónico y emancipación,” Revista de Historia de América, nos. 37-38, (1960), 431, and Heraclio Bonilla et al., La independencia en el Perú (Lima, 1972), p. 11.


La independencia nacional: Conferencias dictadas por encargo de la Comision Nacional del Sesquicentenario de la Independencia del Perú. Primer ciclo [issued by] Comisión Nacional del Sesquicentenario de la Independencia del Perú (Lima, 1970), p. 5.


Quinto Congreso Internacional de Historia de América [issued by] Comisión Nacional del Sesquicentenario de la Independencia del Perú, 5 vols. (Lima, 1972).


César A. Angeles Caballero, “El heroísmo revolucionario de Micaela Bastidas,” ibid., II, 30-38, and Abel Carrera Naranjo, “Túpac Amaru y la primera insurrección americana,” ibid., II, 68-92.


María Luisa Rivara de Tuesta, Ideólogos de la emancipación peruana (Lima, 1972), p. 115.


José Ignacio López-Soria, Descomposición de la dominación hispánica en el Perú (Lima, n. d.), p. 94.


Leon G. Campbell, “Black Power in Colonial Peru: The 1779 Tax Rebellion of Lambayeque,” Phylon, 33 (Summer 1972), 152.




Campbell, “The Army of Peru and the Túpac Amaru Revolt, 1780-1783,” HAHR, 56 (Feb. 1976), 43, 51.


Ibid., p. 52.


Ibid., pp. 55-57.


See John Fisher, “La rebelión de Túpac Amaru y el programa de la reforma imperial de Carlos III” in Quinto Congreso Internacional de Historia de América, II, 411-412.


Jean Piel, “The Place of the Peasantry in the National Life of Peru in the Nineteenth Century,” Past and Present, no. 46 (Feb. 1970), 108, 114.


Bonilla, La independencia, p. 46.


Ibid., p. 36.


See, for example, Manuel Jesús Aparicio Vega, “José Angulo, según los documentos de la revolución de 1814,” Quinto Congreso Internacional de Historia de América, II, 172-174. For the traditional terminology see, for example, Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna, La independencia en el Perú, 6th ed. (Lima, 1971), p. 256; Luís Antonio Eguiguren, La revolución de 1814 (Lima, 1914), p. 7; and Jorge Cornejo Bouroncle, Pumacahua: La revolución del Cuzco de 1814 (Cuzco, 1956), passim.


Carlos Daniel Valcárcel, “José Angulo, líder de la rebelión cusqueña de 1814,” Quinto Congreso Internacional de Historia de América, II, 169.


Quoted in [Sir] Robert Marett, Peru (London, 1969), p. 72, and Luis Martín, The Kingdom of the Sun: A Short History of Peru (New York, 1974), p. 170.


Martín, The Kingdom of the Sun, for example, takes up the story of Peruvian independence only in 1820. Fredrick B. Pike, The Modern History of Peru (London, 1967), pp. 44-47, discusses the Cuzco rising without explaining the reasons for its failure. John Lynch, The Spanish American Revolutions, 1808-1826 (London, 1973), pp. 168-170, stresses the social threat that it constituted for creoles, as does John Fisher, Government and Society in Colonial Peru (London, 1970), p. 230.


On guerrilla activity, see Raúl Rivera Serna, Los guerrilleros del centro en la emancipación peruana (Lima, 1958).


Fisher, Government and Society, pp. 43-47.


Benito de la Mata Linares to José de Gálvez, Cuzco, Oct. 15, 1785, Archivo General de Indias, Seville, Audiencia de Cuzco (hereafter cited as AGI, Cuzco), leg. 35.


Mata to Gálvez, Cuzco, Feb. 21, 1786, AGI, Cuzco, leg. 35.


Charles W. Arnade, The Emergence of the Republic of Bolivia (New York, 1970), p. 197.


Francisco de Carrascón y Sola, Nuevo Plan q’e estableze la perpetua tranquilidad del vasto Imperio del Peru, Archivo General de la Nación, Lima (hereafter cited as AGN), Superior Gobierno, leg. 28, cuaderno 877.


Representation of Puno deputies (undated but endorsed by Intendant on Sept. 1, 1804), AGN, Minería, leg. 62. On Cerro de Pasco, see John Fisher, “Silver Production in the Viceroyalty of Peru,” HAHR, 55 (Feb. 1975), 32-39.


For details, see Virgilio Roel, Los libertadores (Lima, 1971), pp. 26, 45, and José Agustín de la Puente, “La conspiración de Aguilar y Ubalde,” in La causa de la emancipación del Perú [issued by] Instituto Riva Agüero (Lima, 1960), pp. 497-525.


De la Puente, “La conspiración,” p. 499; Manuel Ruiz Urries de Castilla to Crown, Cuzco, Dec. 10, 1805, AGI, Cuzco, leg. 7.


Francisco Muñoz y San Clemente to Silvestre Collar, Cuzco, Feb. 18 1809, AGI, Cuzco, leg. 7.


Viceregal decree, June 23, 1809, enclosed with Manuel Pardo to Benito Ramón de Hermida, Cuzco, July 10, 1809, AGI, Cuzco, leg. 7.


Pardo to Viceroy, Cuzco, Aug. 3, 1809, Biblioteca Nacional, Lima, (hereafter cited as BN), ms. D5893.


Pardo to Viceroy, Cuzco, Aug. 16, 1809, BN, ms. D5893.


Pardo to Consejo de Estado, Cuzco, Mar. 25, 1813, AGI, Cuzco, leg. 4.


Pedro Antonio de Cernadas to Council of Regency, Cuzco, Apr. 26, 1811, AGI, Cuzco, leg. 8.


For an outline of Vidaurre’s career, see Rivara, Ideólogos, pp. 94-97, and Pike, Modern History, pp. 41-42.


Informe of Manuel de Vidaurre, Cuzco, Dec. 10, 1812, AGI, Cuzco, leg. 7.


Fisher, Government and Society, p. 226.


Ibid., pp. 201-229.


The activities of the Peruvian deputies in Cádiz are discussed in Luís Alayza y Paz Soldán, La constitución de Cádiz: El egregio limeño Morales y Duárez (Lima, 1946), and Rubén Vargas Ugarte, S. J., Por el rey y contra el rey (Lima, 1966).


Quoted in Rivara, Los ideólogos, p. 50.


Vicente Rodríguez Casado and J. A. Calderón Quijano, eds., Memoria de gobierno del virrey Abascal, 2 vols. (Seville, 1944), II, 553-554, and Roel, Los libertadores, p. 58.


For details of elections, see Colección documental, tomo IV, vol. 2.


José de la Riva-Agüero, “Don José Baquíjano y Carrillo” in Manuel Mujica Gallo, ed., Precursores de la emancipación (Lima, 1957), pp. 47, 52.


Carta reservada of José de la Riva Agüero, Lima, Mar. 12, 1812, AGI, Audiencia de Lima (hereafter referred to as Lima), leg. 1125. See also Alayza, La constitución, pp. 76-77.


Rivara, Los ideólogos, p. 27.


Timothy E. Anna, “The Peruvian Declaration of Independence: Freedom by Coercion,” Journal of Latin American Studies, 7 (Nov. 1975), 229-232.


Nieto Vélez, “Contribución a la historia del fidelismo en el Perú, 1808-1810,” Boletín del Instituto Riva-Agüero, 4 (1958-1960), 139-140.


See Eguiguren, Guerra separatista: La tentativa de rebelión que concibió el doctor José Mateo Silva en Lima, 2 vols. (Buenos Aires, 1957).


Ibid., I, 121.


For a detailed account, see César Pacheco Vélez, “Las conspiraciones del conde de la Vega del Ren,” Revista Histórica, 21 (1954), 355-425.


Ibid., p. 377.


Real cédula, Nov. 26, 1819, Archivo Histórico Municipal, Lima, Libro de Cédulas 31, fols. 2-3.


The account of the 1811 and 1813 risings is based upon Vargas Ugarte, Historia del Perú: Emancipación, 1809-1825 (Buenos Aires, 1958), pp. 21-31, and R. Cúneo Vidal, Historia de las insurrecciones de Tacna por la independencia del Perú (Lima, 1921).


José Fernando de Abascal to Cortes, Lima, Nov. 30, 1813, AGI, Lima, leg. 745.


Josef Gabriel Moscoso to Viceroy, Arequipa, Apr. 11, 1813, AGN, Superior Gobierno, leg. 35, cuaderno 35.


Representation of Mariano Rivero, Cádiz, Oct. 10, 1812, AGI, Lima, leg. 802; “Intervención de Ribero,” Dec. 10, 1812, Colección documental, tomo IV, vol. 1, 570-572.


“Ideas políticas capaces de reparar la decadencia en que se ve sumergida la fidelísima Cuzco …,” Jan. 11, 1813, Colección documental, tomo III, vol. 7, 10-24.


On Melgar, see Guillermo Zegarra Meneses, Arequipa, en el paso de la colonia a la república (Arequipa, 1973), pp. 148-158.


Colección documental, tomo III, vol. 1, xxiv-xxv.


On the Huamanga conspiracy, see Gustavo Vergara Arias, El prócer Juan de Alarcón: El primer patriota que se descubrió en Huamanga (Lima, 1973), Eguiguren, La sedición de Huamanga en 1812 (Lima, 1935), and Informe of Francisco de Paula Prima, Aug. 25, 1812, AGI, Lima, leg. 649. There is no rehable secondary account of the Huánuco rising, but an exhaustive documentary coverage is provided by Colección documental, tomo III, vols. 1-5.


Estado enclosed with Joaquín Bonet to Francisco Gil, Lima, Dec. 29, 1795, AGI, Indiferente General, leg. 1525.


A detailed account of the abuses of the subdelegates is provided by the Intendant of Tarma, who personally put down the rising; José González de Prada to Ignacio de la Pezuela, Sept. 24, 1812, AGI, Lima, leg. 649.


Vargas Ugarte, Historia del Perú, pp. 32-33. Indian tribute was formally abolished on Mar. 13, 1811, and observance of the abolition was ordered in Lima on Sept. 2; George Kubler, The Indian Caste of Peru, 1795-1940 (Washington, 1952), pp. 3-4. The decision to revoke abolition was taken by the viceregal authorities on Nov. 14, 1812; Colección documental, tomo III, vol. 7, 5-6.


Colección documental, tomo III, vol. 4, 199.


Informe of González, May 30, 1814, AGI, Lima, leg. 1120.


Bonilla, La independencia, p. 49.


Fisher, Government and Society, pp. 225-229. For an exhaustive documentary survey, see Colección documental, tomo III, vols. 6-7.


José Angulo to Dr. D. Francisco Bartolomé María de las Heras, Cuzco, Oct. 28, 1814, Colección documental, tomo III, vol. 7, 354-355; Angulo to Abascal, Cuzco, Aug. 13, 1814, Manuel de Odriozola, Documentos históricos del Perú, 10 vols. (Lima, 1863-1879), III, 246-252. The cabildo of Cuzco claimed in 1817 that 18, 542 men had been raised in the province of Cuzco for the royalist army in Upper Peru between 1809 and 1814; British Library, Reference Division, Department of Manuscripts, Egerton ms. 1813, fols. 577-584.


“Diario de la expedición del Mariscal del Campo D. Juan Ramírez sobre las provincias interiores de La Paz, Puno, Arequipa y Cuzco,” Colección documental, tomo III, vol. 6, 221-225.


Manuel Jesús Aparicio Vega, El clero patriota en la revolución de 1814 (Cuzco, 1974), pp. 159-171.


“Diario de la expedición …,” Colección documental, tomo III, vol. 6, 221.


“Memoria militar del general Pezuela,” Revista Histórica, 21 (1955), 258.


Angulo to Manuel Quimper, Cuzco, Aug. 11, 1814, Odriozola, Documentos, III, 245.


Angulo to Abascal, Cuzco, Aug. 13, 1814, ibid., III, 252.


Abascal to Angulo, Lima, Sept. 2, 1814, ibid., III, 253-254.


Manifesto of Angulo, Cuzco, Aug. 16, 1814, Colección documental, tomo III, vol. 6, 211-215.


Proclamation of Francisco Carrascón, Cuzco, Aug. 16, 1814, ibid., tomo III, vol. 6, 547-557. See also Aparicio, El clero patriota, p. 128.


Quoted in Aparicio, “José Angulo,” pp. 175-176.


Angulo to Abascal, Cuzco, Sept. 17, 1814, Colección documental, tomo III, vol. 6, 216-220.


Aparicio, El clero patriota, pp. 314-315.


Manifesto of Manuel Hurtado de Mendoza, Dec. 30, 1814, Archivo Histórico del Ministerio de Hacienda y Comercio, Lima, Colección Santamaría, ms. 00237.


See, for example, proclamation of Pio Tristán y Moscoso, Intendant of Arequipa, Apr. 21, 1815, Odriozola, Documentos, II, 137-139, asserting that “Pumacahua desenvolvió el horroroso cuadro de sus proyectos, delineado sobre el exterminio de toda clara blanca.”


Vidaurre to Minister of Grace and Justice, Dec. 7, 1814, AGI, Cuzco, leg. 8; report of Council of the Indies, Aug. 31, 1818, AGI, Lima, leg. 603.


For a list of “reos ejecutados,” see Colección documental, tomo III, vol. 7, 603-604.


Decree of Abascal, Apr. 13, 1815, and proclamation of Ramírez, ibid., 588-589 and 591-592.


Vicente Rodríguez Casado and Guillermo Lohmann Villena, eds., Memoria de gobierno del virrey Pezuela (Seville, 1947), pp. 841-842; Anna, “Economic Causes of San Martín’s Failure in Lima,” HAHR, 54 (Nov. 1974), 658.

Author notes


The author is Senior Lecturer in Latin American History of the University of Liverpool.