History Department
History Department

Nicolás González Quintero publishes editorial on his research in "El Tiempo"

Sat, September 7, 2019
Nicolás González Quintero publishes editorial on his research in

History Doctoral Candidate Nicolás Alejandro González Quintero has just published an editorial in Colombia's largest newspaper, El Tiempo. The editorial, which draws from his own research, examines the suffering of thousands of loyalists of all classes and colors who in the 1810s and 20s left their homes in Nueva Granada to live the rest of their lives as exiles in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Curazao, New Orleans, among many other places, as the Spanish monarchy collapsed. Colombia is four times the size of Germany and is the fourth largest economy in the continent, after the US, Brazil, and Mexico.

Nicolás is currently at work finishing his dissertation on the loyalist side of the wars of independence in Spanish America, particularly on the communities of tens of thousands of exiles who used the Caribbean as a platform to wage war and articulate theories thuof Empire. The fact that Cuba witnessed the growth of second slavery has made it difficult to see the drama of these exiles and the nature of their theories. Many of these theorists were true believers in the liberal cause who had been exiled several times as they moved to Colombia to Mexico to New Orleans, in itinerant lives of commitment to the construction of new polities. They understood empire to be more inclusive than the emerging nation-states that had begun to define citizenship and "lo Español" in their constitutions from the optics of "race," ceding the traditions of petitioning and mediation to a few strongmen, representatives of fragmented city-states. Nicolás shows that at the same time that Cuba emerges as a plantation regime, there are hundreds of black exile petitioners demanding full political participation in the island. These theorists drew differences between slavery in the old Spanish empire and slavery in the US. According to these theorists the former should draw on Iberian traditions and offer paths of integration via manumission, slaves-for-hire, and self-purchase and thus foster the creation of "orderly" pardo urban and rural communities; blacks were more than just slaves. This political origins of Spain's second empire allows Nicolas to explain why even the Cuban slaving elites at the height of second slavery never accepted that Cuba was simply an extension of Mississippi. They took up arms to fight political projects of annexation.

Read more of Nicolás’ work on his Academia.edu page.

Special thanks to Dr. Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, Alice Drysdale Sheffield Professor of History at UT Austin, for contributing this story.

See also:

The Monarchical Caribbean: Tomas Wood, Exiles, and Royalist Strongholds during the Spanish American Independence Wars, by Nicolás Alejandro González Quintero, in World History Connected.

New Work in Progress Spotlight: Nicolás González Quintero, with Ernesto Mercado-Montero:

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