Colonial and Neocolonial Latin America (1750-1900)

UCSB Hist 2c lecture outline by Prof. Sarah Cline, Apr. 24, 2003

Jump below to: Late 18th Century, Independence, "National Period", Liberal Regimes
Appendix 1: Tupac Amaru Revolt (Peru 1780-1)
Appendix 2: Document on Mexican Independence (1813)


Late Eighteenth Century (back to top)

Independence (back to top)


"National Period" – Post-independence Latin America (back to top)

Liberal Regimes – Order and Progress (back to top)

Appendix 1. Tupac Amaru Revolt (Peru 1780-1) (back to top)

The Túpac Amaru Rebellion in Peru, 1780-81 Don José Gabriel Condorcanqui, known as Túpac Amaru II, a descendant of the Inca ruling family, tried to create an alliance between the indigenous population (whom he calls "Indians") and Spaniards born in the colony, rebelling against Spanish rule. This edict is part of the documentation that a well-placed creole government official compiled on the rebellion in defiance of government censorship.

Don José Gabriel Túpac Amaru, Indian of the royal blood and the principal line:

I make know to creole compatriots, inhabitants of the province of Chichas and its environs, that in view of the oppressive yoke of taxation and the tyranny of our callous and merciless oppressors I have reached the end of my patience and have decided to throw off this intolerable burden and to curb the misgovernment we suffer from these officials. This is the reason why the corregidor of this province of Tinta died on a public scaffold; to his defense a group of chapetones came from Cuzco, dragging along also my dear creoles, who paid for this courage and boldness with their lives. I am only sorry for our creole compatriots, for it is my intention that they should not suffer any harm but that we should live together as brothers, united in one body, to destroy the Europeans. All this is my considered judgment with the aim not of opposing in the slightest our holy Catholic religion but only of suppressing this great disorder. The necessary measures have been taken here for the defense, protection, and safeguard of the Spanish creoles, mestizos, zambos and Indians, and for their tranquillity, because they are all fellow countrymen and compatriots, born as they are in our lands, and the same roots as the native inhabitants, and all equal suffers from the oppression and tyranny of the Europeans. The said creole compatriots, born as they are in our lands, with the same roots as the native inhabitants, and all equal sufferers from the oppression and tyranny of the Europeans. The said creole compatriots can rest assured that if they follow this advice they will not suffer any harm to their lives or property. But if they ignore my warning and do otherwise, they will accomplish their own ruin, turn my clemency into anger, and reduce their province to ashes. And let me say, I have forces, money, and all the neighboring provinces at my command, united in solidarity between creoles and natives, in addition to the other provinces that are also under my orders. So let them not under estimate my warnings, which derive from my love and mercy and are directed towards the common good of our kingdom, for it is intended to rescue all Spanish compatriots and native inhabitants from the unjust servitude which they have suffered. Remember too that my principal object is to bring an end to offenses against God Our Lord, whose ministers, the priests, will receive the respect due to their state; equally the religious orders and monasteries. By proceeding thus with pious and proper intentions I hope for the mercy of God, who is my guide and light in an enterprise for whose success I need all his assistance.

So that this edict may be known and understood, copies will be posted in suitable places throughout the province. I will know who follows this advice, and will reward the loyal and punish the rebels; then you will appreciate your best interests and not plead ignorance. That is all.

Lampa, 23 December 1780. Don José Gabriel Túpac Amaru, Inca.

Execution of Túpac Amaru II, 1781. This account by José Antonio de Areche, the Spanish magistrate in the case, shows the fascination of Europeans with Indian symbols, but also the power of the Spanish state to put down rebellion, and make a brutal and public example of rebel leaders.

I must and do condemn José G. Túpac Amaru to be taken out to the main public square of [Cuzco], dragged out to the place of execution, where he shall witness the execution of the sentences imposed on his wife, Micaela Bastidas; his two sons, Hipólito and Fernando Túpac Amaru; his uncle, Francisco Túpac Amaru; and his brother-in-law, Antonio Bastidas, as well as some of the principal captains and aides in his iniquitous and perverse intent or project, all of whom must die on the same day.

And once these sentences have been carried out, the executioner will cut out his tongue, and he will then be tied or bound by strong cords on each one of his arms and feet in such a way that each rope can be easily tied or fastened to others hanging from t he saddle straps of four horses, so that, in this position, each one of these horses, facing opposite corners of the square, will pull toward his own direction; and let the horses be urged or jolted into motion at the same time so that his body be divided into as many parts and then, once it is done, the parts should be carried to the hill or high ground known as "Picchu," which is where he came to intimidate, lay siege to, and demand the surrender of this city; and let there be lit a fire which shall be prepared in advance and then let ashes be thrown into the air and a stone tablet placed there detailing his main crimes and manner of his death as the only record and statement of his loathsome action.

His head will be sent to the town of Tinta where, after being three days on the gallows, it shall be placed on a stake at the most public entrance to the town, one of his arms will go to the town of Tungasuca, where he was chief, where it will be treated in like manner, and the other in the capital of the province of Carabaya; one of the legs shall likewise be sent for the same kind of demonstration tot he town of Libitaca in the province of Chumbilcas, while the remaining one shall go to Santa Rosa in the province of Lampa along with the affidavit and order to the respective chief magistrates, or territorial judges that this sentence be proclaimed publicly with the greatest solemnity as soon as it arrives in their hands, and on the same day every year thereafter; and they will give notice in writing of this to their superiors in government who are familiar with the said territories.

Since this traitor managed to arm himself and form an army and forces against the royal arms by making use of or seducing and leading with his falsehood the chiefs who are the second in command in the villages, since these villages, being of Indians, are not governed by such chiefs but rather by mayors who are elected annually by the vote or nomination of the chiefs: let these same electoral communities and the chief magistrates that care to give preference to candidates who know Spanish, and who are of the best behavior, reputation, and customs so that they will treat their subjects well and lovingly, honoring only those who have demonstrated honestly their inclination and faithfulness, eagerness, respect, obedience, submission, and gratitude to the greater glory of our great Monarch through the sacrificed of their lives, properties, or ranches in deference of their country or religion, receiving with brave disdain the threats and offers of the aforesaid reel leader and his military chiefs, yet taking care that these elected leaders are the only ones with the right to the title of chief or governor of their ayllus [communities] or towns, and that they cannot transmit their position to their children or other family members.

To this same end, it is prohibited that the Indians wear heathen clothes, especially those who belong to the nobility, since it only serves to symbolize those worn by their Inca ancestors, reminding them of memories which serve no other end than to increase their hatred toward the dominant nation; not to mention that their appear is ridiculous and very little in accordance with the purity of our relics, since they place in different parts images of the sun, which was their primary deity; and this prohibition is to be extended to all the provinces of this southern America, in order to completely eliminate such clothing, especially those items which represent the bestialities of their heathen kings through emblems such and the unco, which is a kind of vest; yacollas, which are very rich blankets or shawls of black velvet or taffeta; the macapaycha, which is a circle in the shape of a crown from which they hand a certain emblem of ancient nobility signified by a tuft or tassel of red-colored alpaca wool, as well as many other things of this kind and symbolism. All of this shall be proclaimed in writing in each province, that they dispose of or surrender to the magistrates whatever clothing of this kind exists in the province, as well as all the paintings or likenesses of their Incas which are extremely abundant in the houses of the Indians who consider themselves to be nobles and who use them to prove their claim or boast of their lineage.

These latter shall be erased without fail since they do not merit the dignity of being painted in such places, and with the same end in mind there shall also be erased, so that no sign remains, any portraits that might be found on walls or other solid objects; in churches, monasteries, hospitals, holy places or private homes, such duties fall under the jurisdiction of the reverend archbishops or bishops of both viceroyalties in those areas pertaining to the churches; and in their place it would be best to replace such adornments with images of the King and our other Catholic sovereigns should that be necessary.

Also, the ministers and chief magistrates should ensure that in no town of their respective provinces be performed plays or other public functions of the kind that the Indians are accustomed to put on to commemorate their former Incas; and having carried out the order, these ministers shall give a certified account to the secretaries of the respective governments. In like manner shall be prohibited and confiscated the trumpets or bugles that the Indians use for their ceremonies and which they call pututos, being seashells with a strange and mournful sound that celebrate the mourning and pitiful memorial they make for their antiquity ; and there shall also be prohibited the custom of using or wearing black clothing as a sign of mourning, a custom that drags on in some provinces in memory of their deceased monarchs and also of the day or time of the conquest which they consider disastrous and we consider fortunate since it brought them into the company of the Catholic Church and the very loving and gentle domination of our Kings.

With the same goal it is absolutely forbidden that the Indians sign themselves as "Incas," since it is a title that anyone can assume but which makes a lasting impression on those of their class; and it is ordered, as is required of all those who have genealogical trees or documents that prove in some way their descent, that they produce them or send them certified and without cost by mail to the respective secretaries of both viceroyalties so that the formalities may be observed by those persons responsible to their excellencies the viceroys, consulting His Majesty where necessary according to each case; and the chief magistrates are charged to oversee the fulfillment of such requirements, to seek out and discover anyone who does not observe them correctly, in order to have it done to collect the documents with the aim of sending them to the proper authorities after giving their owners a receipt.

And so that these Indians renounce the hatred that they have conceived against the Spaniards, and that they adhere to the dress which the laws indicate, adopting our Spanish customs and speaking Castilian [Spanish], we shall introduce more vigorously than we have done up to now the use of schools, imposing the most rigorous and fair penalties on those who do not attend once enough time has passed for them to have learned the language; the duties and responsibilities involved in this plan going to the very reverend ecclesiastical prelates so that, in the opposition between parishes and doctrinas, they take care that those candidates bring affidavits from the provincial judges as o the numbers of people who speak the Said Castilian in those provinces…it being left up to the sovereign discretion of His Majesty to reward and honor those towns whose inhabitants have rendered, under the present circumstances, their due loyalty and faithfulness.

Finally, the manufacture of cannons of all kinds shall be prohibited under the penalty that any noble found manufacturing such items will be sentenced to ten years of prison in one of the presidios in Africa and any commoner will receive two hundred lashes as well as the same penalty for the same time period; reserving for a future time a similar resolution with regards to the manufacture of powder. And since there cannons of almost every caliber in the many ore-crushing mills and timber yards in these provinces, they will be gathered up by the magistrates once of the pacification of this uprising has been completely terminated in order to give account of them to the respective captaincy general so that he may determine whatever use he deems proper for them. Thus have I visualized, ordered, and signed: this is my final judgment.

José Antonio de Areche.

[Translation published in The Peru Reader, Duke University Press, 1995 pp.157-61.]

Appendix 2. Document on Mexican Independence: (back to top)

Ideology of José María Morelos (1813) José María Morelos was one of many secular priests who led Mexican independence movement from Spain. Questions about the new form of government; the special privileges (fueros) and revenues of particular corporate groups, such as the Roman Catholic Church; the equality of all men [but not women] before the law, and the abolition of (black) slavery are departures from colonial precedent. Morelos’s radical ideology, however, maintained the exclusive place of Roman Catholicism in the religious sphere. Most elites in Mexico, both Spanish-born peninsulares and American-born creoles were alarmed by the social upheaval and racial character of the Hidalgo Revolt of 1810, where non-white insurgents targeted whites and their property for attack. Rather than risk social and economic upheaval, Mexican whites opted to remain a Spanish colony until events in Spain prompted a conservative coup in Mexico against colonial government and independence was achieved in 1821.

  1. That America [sic; i.e., Mexico] is free and independent of Spain and of all Nations, Governments, and Monarchies, and it is thus sanctioned, giving the world the reasons.
  2. That the Catholic religion is the only one, without tolerating any other.
  3. That all [the Church’s] ministers be sustained by all, however only by tithes and first-fruits; the people do not have to pay further obventions except of their own devotion and offering.
  4. That the [Catholic] dogma is to be sustained by Church hierarchy, which is the Pope, Bishops, and priests, because they are able to root out all plants which God did not plant: omnis plantatis quam nom plantabir pater meus Celestis Cradicabitur (Matthew 15:13 )
  5. That sovereignty originates from the People and it will be entrusted in their representatives, dividing the powers into the Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary, with the Provinces electing their members, and those, like the rest, will be wise subjects and [men of] probity.
  6. That elected members will serve for four years, in turns, with the longest serving members leaving in order that their places be taken by newly elected members.
  7. The salary of the members will be one payment sufficient but not superfluous and will not for now exceed 8,000 pesos.
  8. That the employees [that the government] hires will be [native-born] Americans.
  9. That no foreigners be admitted if they are not artisans capable of instruction and free of all suspicion.
  10. That the country will not be free and ours while the government is not reformed, smashing tyranny, putting in its place the liberal, and throwing out from our territory the Enemy Spaniard, who has declared against this Nation.
  11. That as the good law is superior to all men [sic], those who serve in our Congress ought to be those who are obligated to constancy and patriotism, moderating opulence and indigence, and of the lot of the poor will increase in their daily wage, that the poor improve their customs and alleviate their ignorance, rapine, and theft.
  12. That the general law applies to all without exception of privileged bodies [fueros and special courts], and that those [bodies] are to be only for the use of their ministry.
  13. That in order to promulgate a law it is to be discussed in Congress and decided by a plurality of votes.
  14. That slavery is proscribed forever and the same for the distinctions of racial castes, leaving all equal, and they will only be distinguished as one American to another, the vice and the virtue.
  15. That our ports are open to friendly foreign nations, but they are not to move inland in this realm, and there are designated ports for this purpose, prohibiting disembarkation, without paying 10% [tax] or other duty on their goods.
  16. That each one keeps the properties and respect of his home as a sacred asylum signaling penalties to those infringing on them.
  17. That the new legislation not allow torture.
  18. That in the same [legislation] it be established by constitutional law the celebration of the day of 12 December in all towns, dedicated to the patron of our liberty, Mary, Most holy of Guadalupe, encharging all towns to monthly devotion.
  19. That foreign troops or those of another kingdom not set foot on our soil, and if they came to aid us, they will not be the Supreme Council.
  20. That they not make expeditions outside the limits of the kingdom, especially overseas, but if they are not of that type, to propagate the [Catholic] faith to our brothers [sic] inside the country.
  21. That the infinity of tributes be ended, taxes and impositions which are most oppressive and that to each person is fixed [a tax] of five percent of his earnings or other light charge that does not oppress one, such as the sales tax, state monopoly, tribute, and others, but with a small contribution and good administration of the properties confiscated from the enemy, it will be possible to lift the weight of the [cost of wars] and fees of employees.
  22. That equally, the day of 16 September [day of the Grito de Dolores of Hidalgo] be solemnized all years as the anniversary of the raising of the voice of independence and our holy liberty began, then on that day was when the lips of our Nation were opened to reclaim its rights and grasped the sword in order to be heard, recalling always the merit of the great hero, Sr. Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and his comrade, Don Ignacio de Allende.

Chilpancingo, September 14, 1813, José María Morelos

Introduction and translation by Sarah Cline

Monroe Doctrine (1823) link:

prepared for web on April 21, 2003 by H. Marcuse
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