Rebellion and Reform

        I.            Patterns of Resistance

A.      Resistance was common, started early

1. Spain and Portugal both had to deal with armed resistance almost immediately

2. Some groups took a long time to conquer

a.        A rump Inca state existed at Vilcamba until 1572 (last emperor – Tupac Amru I)

b.       The city-state Tayasal of the Itza Maya remained independent in Guatemala until 1697

3.  Numerous remote villages and nomadic groups never really conquered in colonial period, such as the Auracanians of southern Chile

4. Resistance did not always have to be armed

a.        Escape, particularly for slaves and Amerindians, most successful in mountains or jungle terrains

b.       Cultural resistance – maintenance of language, religion, traditional family structures and community identity

c.       Resistance through deviance

                                                                                                         i.            Curanderos/curanderas provided healing while hechiceros/hechiceras cast harmful spells

                                                                                                       ii.            A threat to both religious hierarchy and gender hierarchy, as spells and charms often revolved around love and sexuality or used by women to punish abusers

5. Religious messianism  as tool of resistance

a.        Many small scale local examples

b.       Tzeltal Rebellion (Yucutan, 1712)

                                                                                                         i.            Maria Lopez claimed to receive visions of Virgin Mary

                                                                                                       ii.            Preached that the Spanish god was dead, and that an Amerindian redeemer was coming, sparking rebellion

c.        Apu-Inca Revolt (1742-56)

                                                                                                         i.            Led by Juan Santos Atahualpa

                                                                                                       ii.            Claimed messianic legitimacy, believed Spanish conquest had upset spiritual balance

6. Suicide, infanticide, and homicide can all be interpreted as forms of rebellion in some cases

B.      Rebellion usually rooted in local concerns

1.  Rural peasant rebellion

a.       Peasant villagers fought in defense of embattled communities

b.      Rarely did they challenge the colonial order, but sought to defend community rights

c.       However, some of these rights seen as pre-dating conquest, so not an automatic acceptance of colonial authority

d.      Land a frequent cause of rebellion, but also need to defend community autonomy and ethnic identity

2.  Urban revolts and riots generally erupted over taxation and  heavy-handed governance

      II.            General patterns of revolt

A.      Indian revolts most likely in times of strong colonial government, slaves revolts more common in times of weak government

B.      Women participated heavily in rural revolts, less so in urban revolts – as urban revolts were primarily about taxes, involved women less

C.      Rebellion becomes more common in 1700s

1.  Increasing population creates new land pressures

2.  Centralizing government sparks increasing protest

    III.            Spain and Portugal both forced to reform by growing challenges

A.       Series of Enlightenment reforms meant to meet challenges of 1700s

1.  Spain and Portugal both realize by 1700s that they are falling behind the English, Dutch, and French

2.  In both manufacturing and commerce, significant decline for Iberian powers

3.  Routinely defeated on the high seas, loss of many Caribbean islands, mainland colonies threatened

4.  Loss of control of high seas leave colonies isolated and more autonomous

B.      Spain further weakened by War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714)

1.  Charles II dies in 1700; end of the Hapsburg line in Spain

2.  Sparks a major European was and Spanish civil war

3.  Philip of Anjou (a Bourbon) become Felipe V of Spain

a.       French and Spanish Bourbons  split in to two houses

b.      Spain forced to grant Britain the slave trade and allow limited shipping in Panama, opening empire to British influence

    IV.            Bourbon and Pombaline Reforms

A.      Key themes – rationalize, centralize, nationalize

1.  Increased emphasis on expertise and loyalty to Crown in governing

2. Both monarchies move to enhance power of Crown, moved in the direction of French absolutism

3.  Sought to enhance commerce and trade within the empires, while closing them to outsiders

B.      Reforms take place mostly in late 1700s

1.  Began slowly with arrival of Bourbons in Spain, but mostly associated with Charles III (r. 1759-88)

2.  In Portugal, mostly the product of Marquis of Pombal (in power 1750-77)

C.      Increase the power of the monarchies

1. At home an assault on the power of the Church and the upper nobility

2.  Lesser nobles and middle class professionals appointed to key positions

3.  Jesuits expelled from Portuguese empire in 1759, Spanish Empire in 1769—viewed as too independent

D.      Colonial reorganization

1.  Spain creates new viceroyalties

a.       New Granada in 1730s and La Plata in 1770s

b.      Recognizes growing commercial importance and British threat

2. Brazil reorganized, capital moved to Rio de Janeiro in recognition of shift of economic center and English threat to the south

3.  Viceroys diminished in power

a.       Many local government raised to status of audiencia

b.      Audiencias ruled by intendants, who answered directly to King, bypassing viceroys

c.       In Brazil as well, more officials respond directly to Lisbon

4.  Creoles systematically pushed out of government jobs (less so in Brazil) in favor of peninsulares

E.       New commercial rules

1.  Flotilla system already almost dead

2.  Direct trade for many port authorized, but legally could only trade with mother country

3.  New technology increases mining output and improves finances for both empires, but also make colonies fat targets

4. Rules meant to enhance Crown wealth, more efficiently siphon off wealth from colonies

5.  Results in a significant increase in smuggling, in part because neither Spain or Portugal can manufacture the goods the colonies want

6. Nationalizing the economy largely fails, British influence grows

7. Efforts to bring Amerindians into the Atlantic economy also largely fail, breeding resentment at interference

      V.            Creole Discontent

A.      Spanish creoles traditionally identified with Crown

1. Had long sought advancement with the imperial system, not in its overthrow

2. Shared much of the religious and hierarchical values of the Spanish Crown

B.      Sources of Spanish creole discontent

1. Systematic discrimination under Bourbon reforms locked them out of main route to social advancement (except in the local militia)

2. Growing Atlantic economy encouraged them to seek greater economic liberty and autonomy, which Crown restricted

3.  While not seeking democratic participation (non-existent in Spanish system) they did want end to discrimination and acceptance as social equals of peninsulares

C.      Spanish system rocked by major rebellions

1.  Tupac Amaru II Rebellion (1780-81)

a.       Jose Gabriel Condorcanqui Nogeura claims descent from last emperor

b.      Tapped into “Inca” nationalism in Quechua region and hatred from new Spanish agents responsible for Amerindian affairs, the corregidores

c.       Initially called for reform, loyalty to Crown, but turns into a broad race war

d.      This and a revolt in Aymara region led by Tupac Catari (also ended in 1781) left elites shaken

2.  Comuneros Revolt (Columbia, primarily) 1781

a.       Essentially a tax revolt against expanding Bourbon power

b.      Sought to increase creole power

c.       In effect a conservative revolt that sought to return to system before Bourbon reforms

D.      Brazilian and Spanish creoles learn different lessons

1.  Less social distance between Brazilian elites and Portuguese elites

2. Most Brazilian elites went to Portugal for college; most Spanish creoles attended local institutions

3. Small size of the Brazilian elite made them feel vulnerable; rebellions made them think they needed Portugal to maintain control

4. Many Spanish creoles saw in the rebellions the limits of ability of Spain to protect them, and continued to feel discriminated against