An Age of Atlantic Revolutions American Colonies The revolutionary era in America, 1776-1826. 1. British North America: The American Revolution,1776-83. 2. French St. Domingue: The Haitian Revolution, 1790-1804: the end of slavery and the first black republic. 3. Spanish America: Rebellions, War and Independence in Mexico and South America, 1810-1825. Meanings • Linkages and associations? The concepts of ‘Democratic’ and ‘Atlantic Revolution’: Palmer and Godechot. • Repercussions? Turning point in Americas’ history – Dissolution of empires from California to Cape Horn by separation from European rule: few remnants left. – Political independence and economic freedom – Americas as the new political and economic frontier International Contexts • Origins of Revolutions in Americas: crisis in colonial relations with European wars, related to international wars. • Decline of Spain and growth of French and British empires in America: trade and population expansion in the West. • Character of international wars in 18th century: coupled with competition for overseas empire, esp. France, Spain and Britain. • Atlantic expansion and tendency of European Wars to ‘globalise’. Americas became major theatre. • Impact of inter-imperialist competition in Americas: economic growth; more communication and exchange; increase in political tensions. The American Revolution – – – – – – – Origins of conflict: the Seven Years’ War and expulsion of France, ‘no taxation without representation’ and Parliamentary despotism Source of ideas: defence of traditional British ‘liberties’ + Tom Paine. Comitees of correspondence Nationalism? Provincial identities. Unity? from Continental Congress to United States of America. Democracy? From republican monarchy to monarchical republic. New rights for everybody? • • • • • The laboratory of republicanism Native Americans Women Slaves The federal constitution of 1787 The French Colony of Saint-Domingue France in America post-1763: the Caribbean minus Canada War of American Revolution and Crisis in Paris in 1789: onset of French Revolution Slave colony: Saint Domingue The wealthiest in the world The Haitian Revolution • • • • • • • • • • Repercussions of French Revolution: escalation of crisis from divisions in elite to slave insurgency French abolitionism 1789: the revolt of white elites 1790: the revolt of free people of colour 1791: the slave insurrection Foreign intervention exacerbates crisis Slave revolution? Toussaint’s compromise and Napoleon’s Response. From social rebellion to revolution for independence Political transformation and social revolution: the end of slavery Reception in the United States Spanish American Revolutions: Contexts • Spain’s revival under the Bourbons • Reform and rebellion: Quito (1765), Comuneros (1781), Túpac Amaru (1780-2) • American critiques of Spain: ‘Creole patriotism’ and the Enlightenment. • Impact of American French, and Haitian Revolutions: 1790s conspiracies and their significance • The French Revolution and Spain: ‘decapitation’ of the state 1808-1810 and political revolution in Spain: towards constitutional monarchy. Spanish America: revolutions and independence • • • • • • • Imitating Spain:1810 Restive elites and delegated sovereignty: the juntas, autonomy and independence. Cadiz Constitution and the defeat of insurgency Revolution from above, 1821. Defining the patria: Regional conflicts and confederations Revolution defeated: Spanish restoration and re-conquest 18141825 Militarization of the revolution: Wars of liberation under Bolívar and San Martin. • Simon Bolivar Comparisons • International Contexts: revolutions all related to international wars. • Ideological Contexts and Linkages: Democratic revolutions? Influence of Enlightenment attack on privilege, and growth of anti-monarchical and republican sentiments? • Ambiguities of pre-revolutionary Enlightenment; enlightened ideas for revolutionary legitimation. • Importance of distinctive political cultures: American Revolution ‘born democratic’ in British political culture; Haitian Revolution drew on French Revolution; Spanish American revolutions combine modern doctrines of rights of man from both, but also draw on Spanish traditions of political thought. Circulations and connections Circulation of ideas : sovereignty, republicanism, citizenship Circulations and connections Circulation of people: diplomats, refugees, merchants, privateers, runaway slaves Thomas Paine (1737-1809) Francisco de Miranda (1750-1816) Outcomes • Nationalist Revolutions? Expressions of nascent national identities? First nationalist revolutions or ‘imagined communities’? (role of print in North American and Spanish America). • Social revolutions driven by class and ethnic conflicts? – popular grievances drawn in and drove revolutions forward. • Revolutions share origins in erosion of political legitimacy of old regimes: in British America, driven by metropolitan aggression; in French and Spanish America based on collapse at the centre. • Outcomes: US Republic; Haitian ‘republic of bayonets’; Spanish American tendency towards oligarchies and limited participation in politics.