Journal of Latin American Studies


From Colony to Republic: a Case Study in Bureaucratic Change

William Lofstrom

It is axiomatic, but certainly deserving of periodic repetition, that the long-term configuration of political, social and economic institutions in Iberian America has been determined both by the apparatus, operation and rationale of the metropolitan state, as well as by the premises and patterns of colonization. Equally apparent is the premise that the politico-administrative crisis associated with the achievement of independence in early nineteenth-century Latin America must be studied in the light of this ‘set’ of New World institutions, and particularly in relation to what Richard Morse calls the Spanish patrimonial state.