Independence in Iberian America

Authored by: Anthony McFarlane , João Paulo Pimenta

The Iberian World

Print publication date:  September  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138921016
eBook ISBN: 9780429283697
Adobe ISBN:


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The dissolution of the Iberian empires originated in the external shocks that emanated from the Napoleonic wars in Europe. The first occurred in 1807–1808, when Napoleon dispatched armies into the Iberian peninsula to take control of Portugal. The resulting upheavals hit hardest in the European centres of the Portuguese and Spanish monarchies, where French invasions and occupations led to devastating wars and considerable political upheaval. But dislocation at the centre also spread to the Iberian empires overseas, as the repercussions of Napoleon’s coups reverberated across the Atlantic and, sooner or later, upset the equilibrium of the Portuguese and Spanish empires (Adelman 2006).

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