Napoleon Series Archive 2015

New-Spain and New Spain, 1808-1810

Crisis in an Atlantic Empire: Spain and New Spain, 1808-1810
Barbara H. Stein & Stanley J. Stein
Series: The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science (Book 131)
Hardcover: 808 pages
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press (November 19, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1421414249

With a compelling narrative that weaves together story and thesis and brings to life immense archival research and empirical data, Crisis in an Atlantic Empire is a finely grained historical tour of the period covering 1808 to 1810, which is often called "the age of revolutions."

The study examines an accumulation of countervailing elements in a spasm of imperial crisis, as Spain and its major colony New Spain struggled to preserve traditional structures of exchange—Spain's transatlantic trade system—with Caribbean ports at Veracruz and Havana in wartime after 1804. Rooted in the struggle between businessmen seeking to expand their economic reach and the ruling class seeking to maintain its hegemonic control, the crisis sheds light on the contest between free trade and monopoly trade and the politics of preservation among an enduring and influential interest group: merchants.

Reflecting the authors’ masterful use of archival sources and their magisterial knowledge of the era’s complex metropolitan and colonial institutions, this volume is the capstone of a research endeavor spanning nearly sixty years.

Previous Books:
Edge of Crisis: War and Trade in the Spanish Atlantic, 1789–1808 Hardcover edition published in 2009, 978-0-8018-9046-8 Apogee of Empire: Spain and New Spain in the Age of Charles III, 1759–1789 Hardcover edition published in 2003, 978-0-8018-7339-3 Silver, Trade, and War: Spain and America in the Making of Early Modern Europe Hardcover edition published in 2000, 978-0-8018-6135-2 Paperback edition published in 2003, 978-0-8018-7755-1

Review

"Taken together, the four works are a vital reference point for the study of the Hispanic Atlantic in its period of resurgence and crisis in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Crisis in an Atlantic Empire is a fine culmination, a gripping, learned, and revelatory work that makes the reader look anew at the Hispanic world in the age of revolution." (Christopher Schmidt-Nowara, Prince of Asturias Chair in Spanish Culture and Civilization, Tufts University)

About the Authors

Barbara H. Stein (1916-2005) was an independent historian and former bibliographer for Latin America, Spain, and Portugal at Princeton University's Firestone Library. Stanley J. Stein is the Walter S. Carpenter Professor in Spanish Civilization and Culture, Emeritus, at Princeton University.