State and Society in Spanish America

Subject: History
Pages: 6
Words: 1507
Reading time:
6 min
Study level: College


In his book, State and Society in Spanish America during the Age of Revolution, Victor Uribe-Uran, considers the period between 1760 -1850 to be a period of deep-seated transformations. Other authors had different names for the same period. For instance, palmer referred to this period as the Age of Democratic Revolution.

On the other hand, Hobsbawm called this period the Age of Revolution. Many authors have carried out studies on events that took place within Latin America on different issues such as religion, politics, and even infrastructural development. Their activities relate to a period that they have referred to as the Age of Revolution (AG). Just like most authors who have adopted the theory of the Age of Revolution, Uribe-Uran uses this concept to bring out the history of Latin America in terms of political and colonial aspects (Uribe-Uran 89).

According to Uribe-Uran, Latin America’s activities cannot be separated from its colonial aspects. This is because the colonial system was of significance in various aspects that took place between 1750 to1850. Uribe-Uran makes use of the work done by others in his work. He analyzes the literature of others to get their views on activities within Latin America. In his work, Uribe-Uran considers the reasoning of others in their view about Latin America.

For instance, he incorporates the views of Van Young in his book. According to Young, it would be wise to consider the late and early national eras as separate periods when analyzing the Age of Revolution. Young claims that integrating the two periods would raise several new possibilities relating to the same research. He adds by saying that systems such as those relating to production, gender, family matters, and even social relationships were in existence even before this period (Uribe-Uran 59).

These systems were altered in the Age of Revolution. He continues to say that, looking at the late 18th century and early 19th century would provide pertinent information that would be used in determining the role of this period in Latin America. Another source of evidence that Uribe-Uran uses in his work is Salvucci’s essay. The essay looks at the economic situation in Latin America. His essay confirms that, during this period, Latin America suffered from a condition that was referred to as ‘Dutch Disease’.

This was as a result of export bloom and reduced traditional export. It led to inflation that affected many parts including Peru and Mexico. Salvucci demonstrates his findings by running a regression analysis that encompassed production, trading activities, and prices of various commodities such as gold and silver in New Spain. His research encompasses Brazil and the findings confirm the Dutch disease through high rates of inflation.

The author of State and Society in Spanish America during the Age of Revolution seeks to address the effect of the Age of Revolution on Latin America. He seeks to determine the impact of this period on political independence. Also, he seeks to establish how this period facilitated appreciation of economic, political, and social changes within Latin America between the 1700s to the end of the 20th century (Uribe-Uran 90).

The author argues that the works done by various authors invited people to consider various aspects during the specified period. Some of these aspects include political, economic, cultural, and social processes. These aspects were experienced in Latin America throughout the Age of Revolution. He argues out that though they may either provide an avenue for change or not, they reflect one crucial thing; as one leaves conventional aspects, new-fangled aspects of accepting modern Latin America come into play.

Analysis and Criticism

Although the author uses evidence of others, he still believes that the issue is still wanting. For instance, he says that although research has been done, comprehensive and systematic research on Latin America is needed. According to him, studies regarding Latin America require splitting of the entire period. This has been tackled by a few studies, and in-depth studies need to be done. This would be going against what other authors believe; that dividing this entire period into sections or periods would be futile. The other confirms that all the evidence that he has used in his book tend to confirm that splitting of this period would not be appropriate. According to them, these periods are uncertain and fluid at all times (Uribe-Uran 90). Therefore, they do not provide final answers.

He does not agree with the evidence that he has used in his work. He states that other research works done on the same aspects have succeeded in forming splitting the period of concern. He confirms this by saying that splitting this period would lead to the classification of various changes within the Age of Revolution. This would facilitate separate treatments that are necessary. He concludes by saying that all the essays he has used as evidence invite people to have different considerations on issues of social aspects, political issues, cultural processes, and economic issues.

However, he notes that the essential thing is to know that when one leaves the traditional system before colonization within Latin America, new perspectives of understanding the history of this place comes up. The others make strong arguments that are supported by evidence. He thoroughly examines what has been done by others and comes with a conclusion on the matter at hand. He makes use of the evidence prudently and this makes the evidence sufficient for the study. However, the weakness of this author is that he does not give a clear opinion on the issue. His comments are not inclined towards a given direction. He does not provide an answer to the question of the study.

Comparative analysis

The book Honorable lives: lawyers, family, and politics in Colombia, 1780-1850 is a book that discusses the social and the history of lawyers politically in Colombia (Victor 1). The book provides a presentation of the lives of lawyers almost at the end of colonization in Colombia. The book places focus on social status, quality of education, and the profession of the individuals who were authorized to practice law in the Audiencias, which were the highest courts in colonial Colombia.

The focus is after 1820, and during this time, the book responds to many questions on social group lawyers and other professionals, who were the elite group in Colombia then. The book responds to the life of the elite group, on their social origin, their association with the colonial state, their role in a political movement, the role they played in civil wars, a political process during the colonial times in Colombia as well as their level of education, and training. Using the lives of the lawyers, the book can focus on the history of political and social changes that occurred in Latin America from 1780 to 1850.

The book addresses three genealogical charts that detail the network of bureaucracy that had been set up by lawyers over the years. They had made law a family affair and only certain families could contribute to producing lawyers in Colombia. The book has several charts and tables and true biographical information on the number of lawyers across the region and more so in Colombia. The charts and tables indicate the number of lawyers from the various families in Colombia and how certain families dominate the profession. The book is important to historians who want to study the history of Latin America and law students in the region who will learn the history of the profession in the region.

The book addresses social and political history in the region, using the stories of lawyers. The book focuses on the history of Latin America and at the same time explores political and social changes that took place in the region as colonization ended in the region. This was the time between 1780 and 1850 when a huge transformation took place in the Latin world with the end of colonization.


Both books under review have been written by Uribe Uran, the first book analyzes the problem and attempts to develop a conclusion based on the essay. Uribe Uran examines challenges during the Age of Revolution in Latin America. The second book uses the description of the lives of lawyers during the revolution to educate on the challenges faced and how Latin America was being governed at the time. Both books discuss the history of Latin America based on the same time, in the late 18th century and mid 19th Century. The region experienced the same challenges as most nations were still under colonization and it was at this time that colonization ended in the region.

It was during this time that the local people were involved in business and other aspects of the society as colonization was ending. Although some of the sectors were open to all citizens, some like the law profession were a reserve of a few. The book educates the public more on the history of the region and how these nations came into being and developed from their time of pre-independence to independence from colonialism.

Works Cited

Uribe, Victor. Honorable lives : lawyers, family, and politics in Colombia, 1780-1850. Pittsburgh, Pa: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000. Print.

Uribe-Uribe-Uran, Victor. State and Society in Spanish America During the Age of Revolution. Wilmington, Del: SR Books, 2001. Print.