José Joaquín de Mora in Chile: from Neo-Europe to the 'Beocia Americana'
Graciela Iglesias Rogers
(University of Oxford)
Paper short abstract:
A transnational study of the activities of the Spaniard José Joaquín de Mora in Chile, a republic that he contributed to place on the world map while in London exile, and where he was hired to draft the liberal constitution of 1828, establish the Liceo de Chile and the newspaper El Mercurio chileno.
Paper long abstract:
The life and career of José Joaquín de Mora challenge many assumptions about the period that immediately followed the Latin American wars of independence. Being a Spaniard, this jurist, poet and journalist was the first foreign consultant to be hired by several South American governments. This paper takes a transnational approach to focus on his activities concerning Chile, a republic that he contributed to place on the world map while living in exile in London, and where he later was given the chance to test the greatest number of his polymathic projects as co-author of the liberal constitution of 1828, confidant of President Pinto, founder of the Liceo de Chile and of the newspaper El Mercurio chileno. It will be argued that Mora fitted the requirements of various regional elites who aspired to have the New World drenched with the best European cultural values to make it a beacon of 'rational liberty' and progress, particularly for an Old World subjected to the autocratic constraints of the Holy Alliance. A closer look at the difficulties encountered in the implementation of this optimistic agenda serves to throw new light on a wide variety of issues regarding the organization of a newly created State, press freedom, demilitarization, secularisation, gender relations, factionalism and caudillismo.
New perspectives on political ideas and practices in post-independent Chile (1818-1830)