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Dr Francisco A. Eissa-Barroso

Contact details

Room N3.10 Samuel Alexander Building
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
The University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL
  francisco.eissabarroso [at]
f.a.eissa-barroso [at]


My research and teaching interests focus on the political, social and military history of Spanish America and the wider Spanish world, especially during the early modern period. I am particularly interested in the first half of the eighteenth century and the reforms introduced during the reigns of Philip V, first Bourbon king of Spain. More broadly, my research deals with issues related to policy making, court politics and political culture, local governance, social, familial and patron-client networks, and the various roles played by military officers in administering, defending and binding together the Spanish Empire. I am also interested in the history of political though in the Spanish world, primarily between the sixteenth and the mid nineteenth centuries, and in the study of lives and careers which spanned the Spanish Atlantic.

Academic profile 

  • Lecturer in Latin American History, Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, 2013-
  • CONACyT Postdoctoral Fellow, Centro de Estudios Históricos, El Colegio de Michoacán, Zamora, Michoacán, Mexico, 2012-13
  • Teaching Fellow in Latin American History, Department of History and School of Comparative American Studies, University of Warwick, 2011-12
  • IAS-Santander Early Career Fellow, Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick, 2010-11
  • PhD in History, University of Warwick, 2011
  • MA (by Research) in History, University of Warwick, 2007
  • Licenciatura [BA] in Political Science and International Relations, CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas), 2004

Selected Publications

Edited Volumes

Peer-reviewed Articles, Research Notes and Book Chapters

  • '"Having Served in the Troops": The Appointment of Military Officers as Provincial Governors in Early Eighteenth-Century Spanish America, 1700-1746'. Colonial Latin American Historical Review. Second Series I:4 (Fall 2013): 329-360.
  • '"The honor of the spanish nation": Military officers, Mediterranean campaigns and American government". In F. A. Eissa-Barroso and A. Vázquez Varela (eds.), Early Bourbon Spanish America. Politics and Society in a Forgotten Era. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2013. Pp. 39-60.
  • '"Of experience, zeal and selflessness". The appointment of military officers as Spanish American viceroys in the early eighteenth century'. The Americas. XLVII.3 (January, 2012): 317-345.
  • 'The illusion of disloyalty: rumours, distrust and antagonism and the charges brought against the viceroy of New Spain in the autumn of 1808'. Hispanic Research Journal. XI.1 (February, 2010): 25-36.
  • 'Mirando hacia Filadelfia desde Anahuac: la Constitución estadounidense en el congreso constituyente mexicano de 1823-24' ['Looking towards Philadelphia from Anahuac: the Constitution of the United States of America and Mexico's 1823-24 Constituent Congress]. Politica y Gobierno. XVII.1 (1st semester, 2010): 97-125. (PDF Document)

Other Academic Publications

  • ‘El Abate, el Consejo y el Virreinato: la política cortesana y la primera creación del virreinato de Nueva Granada (1717-1723)’, in Francisco Fernández Beltrán and Lucía Casajús (eds.), España y América en el Bicentenario de las Independencias. I Foro Editorial de estudios Hispánicos y Americanistas: 21-23 de abril de 2010, Paraninfo de la Universitat Jaume I de Catellón, España (Castelló de la Plana: Publicaciones de la Universitat Jaume I / Universidad de Cádiz / Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca / Universidad de Deusto / Universidad de las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 2012), pp. 293-314.
  • Annino, Antonio and Rafael Rojas with collaboration from Francisco A. Eissa-Barroso. La Independencia. Los libros de la patria [Independence. The books of the fatherland]. Mexico City: CIDE / Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2008. (Colección Herramientas para la Historia).

Book Reviews

  • ‘Hensel, Silke (ed.) (2011) Constitución, poder y representación. Dimensiones simbólicas del cambio político en la época de la independencia mexicana. Iberoamericana – Vervuert (Madrid) 462 pp. $44.00 pbk’. Bulletin of Latin American Research. XXXII.4 (October 2013): 493-494.
  • 'Rosenmüller, Christoph (2008) Patrons, Partisans, and Palace Intrigues. The Court Society of Colonial Mexico, 1702-1710 University of Calgary Press (Calgary, Alberta) x + 278 pp. £20.99 pbk', Bulletin of Latin American Research. XXIX.3 (July 2010): 403-405.
  • 'El Supremo Poder Conservador: ¿poder moderador o tribunal constitucional? Reseña de "El Supremo Poder Conservador" de David Pantoja Morán', istor, num. 23, winter 2005. pp. 160-163. (PDF Document)
  • 'Felipe Garrido, "Compartir el poder. La lucha por la democracia en México. Una breve historia contada a los jóvenes". México, Océano, 2006, 104 p.', Política y Gobierno, vol. XIV, num. 2, 2nd semester 2007. pp. 565-568. (PDF Document)

Public Interest and Research Dissemination

  • ‘Expert’ appearance in Mystery Files: Zorro. Dir. Marc Tiley. Parthenon Entertainment, 2011. [Broadcasted internationally on the National Geographic Channel]
  • Florescano, Enrique and Francisco Eissa. Atlas histórico de México [Historical Atlas of Mexico]. Mexico City: Aguilar, 2008.


My research has focused on three main areas of the political history of the Spanish world: the presence of foreign influences in early independent Latin American constitutional design; the interaction between global and local tensions during the Spanish imperial crisis of 1808; and imperial governance in the early modern Spanish world, with particular emphasis on the dynamics and institutions of viceregal rule and the role of military officers as viceroys and provincial governors.

Work carried out in the final stages of my undergraduate studies and immediately afterwards addressed constitutional design in early nineteenth-century Latin America. My undergraduate dissertation ‘El poder moderador en América Latina: el fracaso de una alternativa de diseño constitucional [The idea of a moderating power in Latin America: the failure of an alternative constitutional design]’,(PDF Document) which focused on the use of the theory of the moderating power in the Mexican and Brazilian constitutions of 1836 and 1824, the review of David Pantoja Moran’s El Supremo Poder Conservador and ‘Mirando hacia Filadelfia desde Anahuac’, which studies the knowledge of the US constitution possessed by Mexican congressmen in 1823-24, represent the main outputs in this area.

Research undertaken for my MA focused on the Spanish imperial crisis of 1808. My MA thesis ‘Political culture in the Spanish Crisis of 1808: Mexico City’s experience’ revisits the way in which Spain’s political and dynastic crisis was received and dealt with in Mexico City. It highlights the centrality of New Spain in the Spanish Caribbean and the wider Spanish empire, the politics and relations of the city’s elites, and the crisis management mechanisms implemented by colonial authorities, while arguing that the coup of 15-16 September, often identified as the starting point in New Spain’s search for independence was brought about by the unjustified fears of certain colonial officials and the specific interests of the Junta of Seville. ‘The illusion of disloyalty’, is a further outcome of this project.

My doctoral thesis, ‘Politics, political culture and policy making: the reform of viceregal rule in the Spanish world under Philip V (1700-1746)’, explores the evolution of Spanish viceregal rule, both in Europe and the Americas, focusing on institutional reforms, changing personnel and political culture as manifestations of the transition from a judicial to an administrative monarchy. It emphasises the role of court politics, changing ideas about the role of the monarch, and the challenges and opportunities presented by civil and international conflict. The article ‘“Of Experience, zeal and selflessness”’, the book chapter '"The Honor of the Spanish Nation"', and the edited volume Early Bourbon Spanish America are the first outputs of this project which I expect to continue with a monograph titled The Spanish Monarchy and the creation of the viceroyalty of New Granada (1717-1739): Politics and Reform in the Early Bourbon Spanish World.

My current research project 'Military officers and provincial governance in early eighteenth-century Spanish America', studies the profiles and careers of men appointed to 27 Spanish American captaincies-general and governorships between 1700 and 1746. It follows on from my research into the viceroys appointed during this period and engages with recent historiography on the 'militarisation' of high government offices in early Bourbon Spain. The first stages of the project, funded by a research grant from the Joint Initiative for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean (JISLAC) and a CONACyT posdoctoral fellowship, show that a significant transformation occurred ca. 1717 in the profile and careers of men appointed as governors to strategic Spanish American provinces. The following stages of the project will explore the changing ways in which provincial governors invested their social capital, both localy and in Spain, the networks in which they operated and the impact which the incrisingly militarised and profesionalised character of these officials had on the societies they governed.

Entrada del Arzobispo-Virrey Morcillo en Potosí

Melchor Pérez Holguín, 'Official entry of Archbishop-Viceroy Morcillo in Potosi', 1716. Museo de América, Madrid

F A Eissa Barroso

New publication:

Francisco A. Eissa-Barroso, "'Having Served in the Troops': The Appointment of Military Officers as Provincial Governors in Early Eighteenth-Century Spanish America, 1700-1746", Colonial Latin American Historical Review, Second Series, I:4 (Fall 2013), pp. 329-360.


Recent appointment:

On 1st November 2013 I took up an appointment as Lecturer in Latin American History at the University of Manchester. I am based in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, within the School of Arts Languages and Cultures.



Mexico City in a French engraving from the 17th Century
Mexico City in a French engraving from the 17th Century.