“When the river became frontier: comercial routes, social networks and globalisation in the Rio Plata area during the formation of national states”
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. José Antonio Ibarra Romero (UNAM)
The last decades of the eighteenth century meant for the Hispanic Empire in America the moment when its flame burned strongest before dying, being the Bourbon reforms the fuel that lit it. These restructured and disrupted the imperial socioeconomic arrangement that had already been shaken by the interference of the European powers throughout the eighteenth century. Political, economic and social conflict that would fragment the Empire and reconfigure regional spaces in a new political dispensation in the process of globalization nineteenth was thus opened.
The Rio de la Plata, by its remoteness from traditional Hispanic political and economic focus, enjoyed some insulation and also gained a geopolitical importance. Its relationship with the Portuguese Empire, and its eighteenth ally England is remarkable. Montevideo and Buenos Aires were part of the same port complex, and their relationship was more complementary than confrontational. However, the Rio de la Plata would turn into a political border with the passing of the first decades of the nineteenth century.
Regional fragmentation, product of the clash between empires and the formation of Ibero-American national states, was observed. In the Plata estuary the May Revolution in Buenos Aires in 1810 was the insurrectional focus. However, on the opposite bank of the River and social initial policy response was more reactionary. Montevideo was consecrated as the focus of loyalist resistance, and finally divorced from Buenos Aires. The game of loyalties would have a different political expression in the various episodes of the confrontational road forming an independent republic in the territory which is now Uruguay.
The lens of observation will be the unionized trade in the region, to thus show that in the period of Brazilian regime in the Eastern Band exists the real germ of a political and economic system clearly divorced from the other side of the river. During theCisplatin administration, the Brazilian Empire was able to establish in the small region of the Eastern Band a truly contrary to the policy of Buenos Aires. Thus forming, by omission, two different republics in the Plata.