The Enlightenment on Trial by Bianca Premo
Publication Date: 2017-02-16
Despite growing evidence of the Hispanic world's contributions to Enlightenment science, the writing of history, and statecraft, it is conventionally believed to have taken an alternate route to modernity. This book grapples with the contradiction between this legacy and eighteenth-century Spanish Americans' active production of concepts fundamental to modern law. Its principal protagonists, rather than members of a cosmopolitan Republic of Letters, are non-literate, poor, and enslaved litigants who sued their superiors in the royal courts of Spain's American colonies. The Enlightenment on Trial offers readers new insight into how legal documents were made, fresh interpretations of the intellectual transformations and legal reform policies of the period, and comparative analysis of the volume of civil suits from six regions in Mexico, Peru and Spain.