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Spanish America in the Early Eighteenth Century: New Perspectives on a Forgotten Era

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Location: H3.03

A day and a half workshop, to be held at Warwick on 15 and 16 April 2011, which will bring together a group of scholars working on Spanish America during the first half of the eighteenth century from different disciplines and perspectives. Until recently, the years between the accession of the house of Bourbon to the Spanish throne in 1700 and the coronation of Charles III in 1759 had failed to attract the interest of scholars of the Spanish world in the way that the latter part of the century had. Over the past few years, however, a growing number of scholars have begun to explore the early Bourbon period from innovative perspectives challenging the traditional view of the period as a largely inconsequential sequel to the later years of Habsburg rule.

            The aim of the conference is to offer an opportunity for this new generation of scholars, and for those well established academics that spearheaded these new developments, to talk about the directions in which research is moving and to discuss what the period looks like from our different perspectives. We are particularly interested in discussing the different ways in which the Bourbon succession, international competition over access to Spanish American resources, and war affected the region in the short and medium term. We are convinced that only through deeper study of the period could we truly come to understand that broader social, economic, cultural and demographic transformations which affected Spanish American societies throughout the eighteenth century allowing for the development of those regional identities and politico-economic dynamics which were later affected by Caroline reformism and which characterised the region at the time of Independence.

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