Colonial Urbanism in the Age of the Enlightenment

The Spanish Bourbon Reforms in the River Plate

Claudia Murray

ca. 31,23
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This book tells the story of how the monarchy aimed at creating a new capital city in a remote and forgotten area of the empire. It also shows how the local Creole bourgeoisie rapidly assumed the role of urban developers, and enhanced their economic status by investing in and controlling the Buenos Aires' property market. In a short period, from 1776 to 1810, the urban transformation of Buenos Aires helped increase the Crown's revenues and considerably reduced contraband trade. Nevertheless, urban changes generated an internal struggle for power for the control of the city between the Spanish loyalist and the local wealthier Creoles. As this book concludes, for an empire such as the Spanish, which was built upon a network of cities, the Crown's loss of the control of Buenos Aires' urban space was a serious threat to its power that foreshadowed Argentina's wars of independence.

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