“I called the New World into existence, to redress the balance of the Old”, had affirmed the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, George Canning, in order to justify his diplomatic recognition of the independence of the republics of Spanish America. Yet, over the decades that followed, UK public opinion was far from understanding the precise contours of those new Republican worlds. The article studies how overseas emancipations inspired the political elites of the United Kingdom to construct an expectation of informal hegemony that foresaw the rapid nationalization of republican territories. This was conceived as a guarantee for the correct penetration of British interests in the region. In turn, the work analyzes how this expectation was quickly problematized by a set of memoirs, travel stories, exploration diaries and essays written by British agents who have had direct experience of the processes of territorial articulation of the nascent States. In this context, a more complex vision of overseas territorialities triumphed. They continued imagining the new sovereign spaces as a field of expansion open to the capital, culture and geopolitical power of the British, but now based on a more conscious representation of the heterogeneity and precariousness of the territorialization processes that were taking place in the region. The article thus proposes a novel inspection of the relationship between the geopolitical imaginaries of informal British imperialism and the processes of nationalization of the republican territories in Spanish America.
|Translated title of the contribution||THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN. TERRITORIALITY, NATIONALIZATION AND EMPIRE IN THE BRITISH VISIONS OF THE SPANISH AMERICA (1824-1850)|
|Number of pages||40|
|State||Published - Jan 2021|