"Spanish Imperialism and the Political Imagination" by Anthony Pagden

Spanish Imperialism and the Political Imagination Studies in European and Spanish-American Social and Political Theory 1513-1830 Anthony Pagden

Publication date:
11 Oct 1998
Yale University Press
192 pages: 235 x 156mm

From the early sixteenth to the early nineteenth centuries, Spain was regarded as a unique social and political community—the most exalted, the most feared, the most despised, and the most discussed since the Roman Empire. In this important book, Anthony Pagden offers an incisive analysis of the lasting influence of the Spanish Empire in the history of early modern Europe and of its place in the European and SpanishAmerican political imagination.

Anthony Pagden is a university reader in modern intellectual history at Cambridge University and Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. He is also the author of European Encounters with the New World: From Renaissance to Romanticism and Lords of All the World: Ideologies of Empire in Spain, Britain, and France, 1492, published by Yale University Press.

"The world empire of Spain generated not only power and revenue but also ideas. As its fortunes surged and waned, so its subjects, not to mention its rivals, speculated on?or ?imagined??its nature and legitimacy, strengths and weaknesses, collapse and replacement. Many of the writers were prophets of doom, prematurely dismissing a political system which, in one form or another?sometimes benevolent, sometimes despotic?endured for three centuries. Anthony Pagden has identified some of the most significant theorists, and constructed from a series of papers a coherent discussion embracing two continents, three centuries and numerous themes. Spanish Imperialism and the Political Imagination is a valuable addition to the study of political ideas in the Hispanic world, a curiously neglected field to which the author brings his particular expertise in that area of scholarship where disciplines meet and theories interact with practice."?John Lynch, Times Literary Supplement

"Pagden has broken new ground in his latest work, which should be required reading for all professors of Latin American and early modern European history. . . . [He] has written one of the most informative works in this field."?Choice

"Clearly written, skillfully documented, and interesting."?Virginia Quarterly Review

"Fills an important gap in our understanding, and does so very successfully."?Eamonn Rodgers, The Times Higher Education Supplement

"The essays make stimulating reading and demonstrate Pagden?s special ability as a political theorist to seek out subtle nuances."?John Jay Tepaske, Hispanic American Historical Review

"Spanish Imperialism and the Political Imagination examines changing perceptions of the benefits and costs of Spanish imperialism to Naples and Spanish America and the transformation of attitudes toward Spain?s imperial experiences and legacy from the sixteenth to the early nineteenth centuries. This is an ambitious task for less than 150 pages of prose, but Anthony Pagden, a prize-winning intellectual historian, skillfully outlines and identifies the transformation. . . . Pagden has imaginatively traced the `political imagination? of European and American (Creole) authors and, in so doing, has provided a unique perspective toward Spanish imperialism."?Mark A. Burkholder, Sixteenth Century Journal

"A highly interesting book with an original approach, enlivened by attractive illustrations."?Victor Kiernan, European History Quarterly

"[Pagden] surveys in this monograph responses to the Spanish empire by those living within it, though not by those governing or possessing it. . . . a richly informative . . . contribution to the history of political consciousness."?J. G. A. Pocock, American Historical Review

"A thought-provoking set. . . . Pagden writes with great precision about complex matters. This is a carefully executed book drawing on deep familiarity with the authors and issues it discusses."?Sabine MacCormack, The Americas

"An intriguing work that deals with international politics and the heirs of Francisco de Vitoria, the father of international law. . . . Crucial to understanding the Hispanic political imagination in the colonial period."?John Frederick Schwaller, Latin American Research Review