• Hi Guest!

    The costs of running this forum are covered by Sea Lion Press. If you'd like to help support the company and the forum, visit patreon.com/sealionpress

Latin American Monarchies

Uhura's Mazda

Gauchalist
Published by SLP
Location
Tamaki Makaurau
Just going to plonk all the proposals I'm aware of to establish monarchies based in post-colonial Latin America - not including the Empires of Brazil and Mexico, and the various Haitian escapades. Any additions are welcome!

Proposals to establish colonial monarchies emerged in the 18th century, with an idea put forward in 1736 to move the Portuguese court to Rio de Janeiro. A Spanish bureaucrat suggested to Carlos III at one point that he ought to send junior members of his family to rule as Kings in the Americas under the ultimate authority of the Spanish Empire (one in Mexico, one in Costa Rica and one in Peru), which is quite similar to the later proposal to put British princes in as Kings of the settler Dominions.

In terms of post-colonial ideas, the big one was the 'Inca Plan' associated with Manuel Belgrano of Buenos Aires, but it actually derives from Francisco de Miranda a few decades before. The Plan involved selecting a descendant of the old Inca rulers to rule an independent Empire covering most of South America, and marry a princess of the House of Braganza. Belgrano made firm proposals at the Congress of Tucuman in 1816, believing that the establishment of a mixed-race monarchy would win over the rebellious provinces of the interior of Argentina (plus Peru and Chile) into joining a centralised, unitarian state. However, the idea was rejected and ridiculed, with some of the criticism being based around the fact that the monarch would be of the 'chocolate caste'. I'm not quite clear on who exactly would have been crowned if this had gone ahead. Some sources say it would have been Dionisio Inca Yupanqui, who had been elected to the radical Cadiz Cortes in 1810 and gave a fiery speech on racial discrimination; others say that it would have been Juan Bautista Tupamaru, great-nephew of Tupac Amaru, who was then under arrest in Ceuta. Tupamaru arrived in Argentina a few years later and was given a house and a pension of one peso a month by the state until his death in 1827.

In the meantime, alternative options had sprung up around inviting a member of a European royal family to occupy an independent throne (similar to what happened in the Balkans later in the 19th century). In 1808, Carlos IV and Fernando VII of Spain had abdicated in favour of Napoleon and the Portuguese royal family had fled to Rio - which meant that there was an ambitious member of the Spanish royal family close by, looking to fill the power vacuum in the Americas. The Rio de la Plata and, to a lesser extent, Mexico, saw waves of 'Carlotismo', by which the Spanish possessions in America would be ruled by Fernando's sister and Joao of Portugal's wife, Carlota Joaquina, as Queen. The British Ambassador in Rio pushed this big-time, but nothing came of it because Carlota Joaquina's political views were massively at variance with those of the new leaders in Buenos Aires. Also, despite the fact that Joao and Carlota's marriage had failed by this point, it doesn't seem particularly convenient for her to go and rule in BA, and I'm not sure who was supposed to succeed her - presumably her second son, Miguel?

At the time of the Congress of Tucuman, one counterpoint to the Inca Plan was a constitutional monarchy under a Bourbon - the Bourbons, of course, had been restored in Spain and France at this point and republicanism seemed to have been discredited in Europe as a whole. Carlota was essentially out of the picture, with Belgrano and Rivadavia going so far as to ask the Spanish to let her brother Infante Francisco de Paula (future father-in-law of Isabel II) come and be their King. If this had come off, the Carlist Wars would be butterflied in their OTL form as Francisco and his wife were Don Carlos' main political opponents at court in the 1820s. However, after being rebuffed by Madrid, the Argentines went to Louis Philippe, Duc d'Orleans, and then the Duke of Lucca (the third or fourth round of 'Pin the Bourbon-Parma on the throne'). Back in Buenos Aires, Pueyrredon went for a variation on Carlotismo in 1818 and entered into negotiations with Rio de Janeiro for her seven-year-old grandson, Infante Sebastian of Portugal and Spain, to be sent to rule them as a constitutional monarch.

That pretty much concludes the monarchist story in Argentina, apart from that time when a random French guy went and convinced the indigenous Mapuche to elect him King of Araucania and Patagonia.

Later on, in 1865, the Uruguayans were despairing of their country after several decades of intermittent civil wars and foreign interventions, and some citizens believed that their best bet was to become a protectorate of another country, perhaps with said country sending a spare prince to be a constitutional monarch in Uruguay. This was pushed hard by the Italian Ambassador in Montevideo (the only plausible candidate for the throne would be Amadeo, later King of Spain), and other factions in Uruguay favoured the Empire of Brazil or the UK.

Rounding out the proposals that I'm aware of at this stage, there are some interesting notions surrounding Napoleon III. Before getting involved in Mexico as Emperor, he had long been fascinated by Latin America. During the rebellion of Pernambuco in northern Brazil in 1817, there was a plot to liberate Napoleon I from captivity in St Helena and put him at the head of an 'Empire of the Equator' on his way back to France. Louis-Napoleon enters the picture in 1844, when he was supposedly offered the throne of Ecuador - the only evidence of this is a letter from President Garcia Moreno dating from 1859, at a time when he was engaged in offering Napoleon III a protectorate over Ecuador. This later offer was ultimately rejected because the French were already stuck in the Mexican quagmire. But there was certainly some thought put into an Ecuadorian monarchy in the 1840s, as Juan Jose Flores offered the throne to Agustin Munoz, Duke of Taracon, a step-brother of Isabel II.

Louis-Napoleon's other option in the 1840s was a nebulous scheme in which he would be the face of a group of investors seeking to dig a canal between the Atlantic and the Pacific - at its most grandiose, this involved Louis-Napoleon using the canal project as a basis of establishing an Empire in Central America. Indeed, while he was imprisoned at Ham in 1846, he pleaded with the British to negotiate his release on condition that he promise to stop bothering the French and go filibustering in Panama instead. I feel like he'd have been less likely to fall foul of Bismarck and von Moltke in this scenario.

So yeah, just a shallow traversal of the concept, hopefully it's been mildly interesting.
 

Aznavour

Well-known member
Published by SLP
While serving as Protector of Perú, General San Martín sent a mission to Europe in search of a king (or maybe an Emperor), the two main candidates being Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, future king of Belgium, and the Duke of Sussex, the one son of George III to not serve in the armed forces or have been a reactionary fuck-up.
 

Simon

Oblivious
… and other factions in Uruguay favoured the Empire of Brazil or the UK.
British Uruguay has been something I've wondered about in the past for what kind of local culture it would potentially develop. Assuming that it remained mostly free and democratic then in modern times it would find itself in the odd position of being directly surrounded by military dictatorships from the mid-1960s onwards, and by them in the general region from the early 1970s.
 

Uhura's Mazda

Gauchalist
Published by SLP
Location
Tamaki Makaurau
British Uruguay has been something I've wondered about in the past for what kind of local culture it would potentially develop. Assuming that it remained mostly free and democratic then in modern times it would find itself in the odd position of being directly surrounded by military dictatorships from the mid-1960s onwards, and by them in the general region from the early 1970s.
Yeah, the thing that I always come to in that thought experiment is Ottawa - before the Great Depression, both Uruguay and Argentina were essentially economic colonies of Britain, but they suffered at Ottawa because the UK decided to 'save' only the meat and dairy markets of its political colonies, Australia and New Zealand. Denmark was in exactly the same position. So if Uruguay had been a more formal part of the British Empire, then the economic and political impacts of the Depression would have been lessened, which has a number of knock-ons. The UK disengagement with the Platine economies in the 1930s, for instance, allowed the Argentine and Uruguayan governments to nationalise their railway networks after the Second World War.

Although you could still end up with a dictatorship in the 60s or 70s - Britain's African ex-colonies were hardly immune from this.
 

rfmcdonald

Well-known member
Location
Toronto
Pronouns
he/him
Yeah, the thing that I always come to in that thought experiment is Ottawa - before the Great Depression, both Uruguay and Argentina were essentially economic colonies of Britain, but they suffered at Ottawa because the UK decided to 'save' only the meat and dairy markets of its political colonies, Australia and New Zealand. Denmark was in exactly the same position. So if Uruguay had been a more formal part of the British Empire, then the economic and political impacts of the Depression would have been lessened, which has a number of knock-ons. The UK disengagement with the Platine economies in the 1930s, for instance, allowed the Argentine and Uruguayan governments to nationalise their railway networks after the Second World War.

Although you could still end up with a dictatorship in the 60s or 70s - Britain's African ex-colonies were hardly immune from this.
Eh. The problem with the idea of extending British rule to the Platine basin, in whole or in part, is that it would change a lot of things at once radically (would immigration still be dominated by southern Europeans?) and not enough (the colonial-era social and political structures would presumably still survive).

On top of this, British rule would also introduce a new destabilizing issue, that of ethnic conflict. Both Canada and South Africa experienced this, after all. When coupled with other problems, this might as easily make things fail differently.
 

Uhura's Mazda

Gauchalist
Published by SLP
Location
Tamaki Makaurau
Eh. The problem with the idea of extending British rule to the Platine basin, in whole or in part, is that it would change a lot of things at once radically (would immigration still be dominated by southern Europeans?) and not enough (the colonial-era social and political structures would presumably still survive).

On top of this, British rule would also introduce a new destabilizing issue, that of ethnic conflict. Both Canada and South Africa experienced this, after all. When coupled with other problems, this might as easily make things fail differently.
The indigenous population of Uruguay was fairly small by the period we're talking about and was in fact 'exterminated' by the creoles in 1831. The black population was also not very large. If large-scale British settler colonialism happened, of course, there would probably be conflict between them and the Spanish and Italian-descended populations along similar lines to what happened in Canada.

And if you have British settler colonialism, that brings with it a measure of land reform which changes the Uruguayan economy (and therefore its political setup) quite radically. You're looking at individualisation of land tenure, a clearing-up of the legal/tax issues around ex-crown lands, and a promotion of agriculture in ways which the Uruguayans weren't really interested in during the 19th century. The big-ticket item may well be wheat up until the dawn of refrigerated shipping, and the introduction of more profitable breeds of cattle and sheep would probably happen faster.

But on the other hand, as I say, the conflict between the British settlers and the Southern Europeans would probably not be very fun. And colonialism is Bad, even if it produces a monetary profit.
 

rfmcdonald

Well-known member
Location
Toronto
Pronouns
he/him
The indigenous population of Uruguay was fairly small by the period we're talking about and was in fact 'exterminated' by the creoles in 1831. The black population was also not very large.
I was thinking of the Uruguayan population of ~78 thousand. This is a not inconsiderable number, not much smaller than the 110 thousand recorded a decade previously in the Cape Colony, comparable to the populations of contemporary Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and larger than the entire colonist population of Australia. This is large enough.

If large-scale British settler colonialism happened, of course, there would probably be conflict between them and the Spanish and Italian-descended populations along similar lines to what happened in Canada.

And if you have British settler colonialism, that brings with it a measure of land reform which changes the Uruguayan economy (and therefore its political setup) quite radically. You're looking at individualisation of land tenure, a clearing-up of the legal/tax issues around ex-crown lands
The British had the good sense not to engage in the wholesale disenfranchisement of the established social order in Lower Canada, allowing the seigneurial system to continue to exist (for instance) and also allowing many elements of the old order to survive into the British era. The only place in French Canada where you did see such a radical transformation of the norms of a French-settled community was in Acadia, and there that occurred as a direct consequence of the systematic ethnic cleansing of the Acadians by the British in the Seven Years War.

Unless Britain is for some reason interested in doing something so costly, to its colonial enterprise and to its relations with Hispanic America and to its reputation, this is not going to happen. Britain strikes me as a bit too pragmatic for that. The old order surviving under British rule, however modified by British influence, is more likely.

But on the other hand, as I say, the conflict between the British settlers and the Southern Europeans would probably not be very fun. And colonialism is Bad, even if it produces a monetary profit.
Still more to the point, there is no reason to think that a British Uruguay must prosper. British rule can easily add new negative factors that OTL Uruguay did not have.
 
Last edited:

Uhura's Mazda

Gauchalist
Published by SLP
Location
Tamaki Makaurau
I was thinking of the Uruguayan population of ~78 thousand. This is a not inconsiderable number, not much smaller than the 110 thousand recorded a decade previously in the Cape Colony, comparable to the populations of contemporary Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and larger than the entire colonist population of Australia. This is large enough.
If you're not going to read a full paragraph before responding, I don't think we're going to have a very fun conversation.
The British had the good sense not to engage in the wholesale disenfranchisement of the established social order in Lower Canada, allowing the seigneurial system to continue to exist (for instance) and also allowing many elements of the old order to survive into the British era. The only place in French Canada where you did see such a radical transformation of the norms of a French-settled community was in Acadia, and there that occurred as a direct consequence of the systematic ethnic cleansing of the Acadians by the British in the Seven Years War.

Unless Britain is for some reason interested in doing something so costly, to its colonial enteprise nd to its relations with Hispanic America and to its reputation, this is not going to happen. Britain strikes me as a bit too pragmatic for that. The old order surviving under British rule, however modified by British influence, is more likely.
Britain was driven by the profit motive, so it would be bizarre for them to tolerate such an unproductive system as existed in Uruguay - for comparison, their commercial colonists in Argentina pushed hard (and broadly successfully) for the same policies in the Province of Buenos Aires in the same period. It is much easier to achieve this in Uruguay because there was no real competition for land, the rural population was really very low, and most importantly, because the existing system of land tenure only dated from the tail end of the 18th century and had had barely any time to bed in. Comparisons with French Canada, with organised European settlement going back hundreds of years, are in this respect irrelevant.
 

rfmcdonald

Well-known member
Location
Toronto
Pronouns
he/him
If you're not going to read a full paragraph before responding, I don't think we're going to have a very fun conversation.
I actually had. Your interjection about the marginalized indigenous and black populations seemed a bit irrelevant to my point, that there was in the Uruguay of the early 1830s already a substantial and well-established Hispanic population that could not be ignored. Early 1830's Uruguay was not a tabula rasa.

Britain was driven by the profit motive, so it would be bizarre for them to tolerate such an unproductive system as existed in Uruguay - for comparison, their commercial colonists in Argentina pushed hard (and broadly successfully) for the same policies in the Province of Buenos Aires in the same period. It is much easier to achieve this in Uruguay because there was no real competition for land, the rural population was really very low, and most importantly, because the existing system of land tenure only dated from the tail end of the 18th century and had had barely any time to bed in. Comparisons with French Canada, with organised European settlement going back hundreds of years, are in this respect irrelevant.
I think you overestimate the extent to which French Canada, even its heartland on the St. Lawrence, was heavily settled. If you compare the Platine basin to the Laurentian basin, the former consistently was the more heavily populated. If Québec was not a tabula rasa, why would Uruguay be one?

Beyond that, if Britain is enacting a radical transformation of Uruguayan society in ways hostile to the norms of Uruguayan society with the goal of ultimately making a New Britain, or something, of course it is going to get a hostile reaction. People are always happier with enacting popular reforms on their own rather than having them forced on them by a conqueror, especially if said conqueror has a goal of ultimately ending their collectivity. You could well see, as you did to some (if different) extents in French Canada and South Africa Afrikanerdom, a shift towards cultural conservatism and anti-market norms in defense against a British imperialism that was seen as existentially threatening. Among other things, this will surely limit the potential of Uruguay.

This will not happen if Britain does not engage in radical reform against the will of local populations, granted. A Uruguayan protectorate might indeed thrive. This specific positive outcome is a far cry from an assessment that Britain is good Ng to be able to pull off whatever it might wish without negative consequences. Britain will have to be at least as careful as it aspired to be in French Canada and South Africa.
 

Uhura's Mazda

Gauchalist
Published by SLP
Location
Tamaki Makaurau
I actually had. Your interjection about the marginalized indigenous and black populations seemed a bit irrelevant to my point, that there was in the Uruguay of the early 1830s already a substantial and well-established Hispanic population that could not be ignored. Early 1830's Uruguay was not a tabula rasa.



I think you overestimate the extent to which French Canada, even its heartland on the St. Lawrence, was heavily settled. If you compare the Platine basin to the Laurentian basin, the former consistently was the more heavily populated. If Québec was not a tabula rasa, why would Uruguay be one?

Beyond that, if Britain is enacting a radical transformation of Uruguayan society in ways hostile to the norms of Uruguayan society with the goal of ultimately making a New Britain, or something, of course it is going to get a hostile reaction. People are always happier with enacting popular reforms on their own rather than having them forced on them by a conqueror, especially if said conqueror has a goal of ultimately ending their collectivity. You could well see, as you did to some (if different) extents in French Canada and South Africa Afrikanerdom, a shift towards cultural conservatism and anti-market norms in defense against a British imperialism that was seen as existentially threatening. Among other things, this will surely limit the potential of Uruguay.

This will not happen if Britain does not engage in radical reform against the will of local populations, granted. A Uruguayan protectorate might indeed thrive. This specific positive outcome is a far cry from an assessment that Britain is good Ng to be able to pull off whatever it might wish without negative consequences. Britain will have to be at least as careful as it aspired to be in French Canada and South Africa.
Okay, I'm bored of listening to you pretend I didn't acknowledge that there would be ethno-religious tensions between British and Uruguayan populations, so bye.
 

Rooin Mahmood

person of c u i s i n e
Location
india
Pronouns
he/him or they/them if you're feeling fancy
Just going to plonk all the proposals I'm aware of to establish monarchies based in post-colonial Latin America - not including the Empires of Brazil and Mexico, and the various Haitian escapades. Any additions are welcome!

Proposals to establish colonial monarchies emerged in the 18th century, with an idea put forward in 1736 to move the Portuguese court to Rio de Janeiro. A Spanish bureaucrat suggested to Carlos III at one point that he ought to send junior members of his family to rule as Kings in the Americas under the ultimate authority of the Spanish Empire (one in Mexico, one in Costa Rica and one in Peru), which is quite similar to the later proposal to put British princes in as Kings of the settler Dominions.

In terms of post-colonial ideas, the big one was the 'Inca Plan' associated with Manuel Belgrano of Buenos Aires, but it actually derives from Francisco de Miranda a few decades before. The Plan involved selecting a descendant of the old Inca rulers to rule an independent Empire covering most of South America, and marry a princess of the House of Braganza. Belgrano made firm proposals at the Congress of Tucuman in 1816, believing that the establishment of a mixed-race monarchy would win over the rebellious provinces of the interior of Argentina (plus Peru and Chile) into joining a centralised, unitarian state. However, the idea was rejected and ridiculed, with some of the criticism being based around the fact that the monarch would be of the 'chocolate caste'. I'm not quite clear on who exactly would have been crowned if this had gone ahead. Some sources say it would have been Dionisio Inca Yupanqui, who had been elected to the radical Cadiz Cortes in 1810 and gave a fiery speech on racial discrimination; others say that it would have been Juan Bautista Tupamaru, great-nephew of Tupac Amaru, who was then under arrest in Ceuta. Tupamaru arrived in Argentina a few years later and was given a house and a pension of one peso a month by the state until his death in 1827.

In the meantime, alternative options had sprung up around inviting a member of a European royal family to occupy an independent throne (similar to what happened in the Balkans later in the 19th century). In 1808, Carlos IV and Fernando VII of Spain had abdicated in favour of Napoleon and the Portuguese royal family had fled to Rio - which meant that there was an ambitious member of the Spanish royal family close by, looking to fill the power vacuum in the Americas. The Rio de la Plata and, to a lesser extent, Mexico, saw waves of 'Carlotismo', by which the Spanish possessions in America would be ruled by Fernando's sister and Joao of Portugal's wife, Carlota Joaquina, as Queen. The British Ambassador in Rio pushed this big-time, but nothing came of it because Carlota Joaquina's political views were massively at variance with those of the new leaders in Buenos Aires. Also, despite the fact that Joao and Carlota's marriage had failed by this point, it doesn't seem particularly convenient for her to go and rule in BA, and I'm not sure who was supposed to succeed her - presumably her second son, Miguel?

At the time of the Congress of Tucuman, one counterpoint to the Inca Plan was a constitutional monarchy under a Bourbon - the Bourbons, of course, had been restored in Spain and France at this point and republicanism seemed to have been discredited in Europe as a whole. Carlota was essentially out of the picture, with Belgrano and Rivadavia going so far as to ask the Spanish to let her brother Infante Francisco de Paula (future father-in-law of Isabel II) come and be their King. If this had come off, the Carlist Wars would be butterflied in their OTL form as Francisco and his wife were Don Carlos' main political opponents at court in the 1820s. However, after being rebuffed by Madrid, the Argentines went to Louis Philippe, Duc d'Orleans, and then the Duke of Lucca (the third or fourth round of 'Pin the Bourbon-Parma on the throne'). Back in Buenos Aires, Pueyrredon went for a variation on Carlotismo in 1818 and entered into negotiations with Rio de Janeiro for her seven-year-old grandson, Infante Sebastian of Portugal and Spain, to be sent to rule them as a constitutional monarch.

That pretty much concludes the monarchist story in Argentina, apart from that time when a random French guy went and convinced the indigenous Mapuche to elect him King of Araucania and Patagonia.

Later on, in 1865, the Uruguayans were despairing of their country after several decades of intermittent civil wars and foreign interventions, and some citizens believed that their best bet was to become a protectorate of another country, perhaps with said country sending a spare prince to be a constitutional monarch in Uruguay. This was pushed hard by the Italian Ambassador in Montevideo (the only plausible candidate for the throne would be Amadeo, later King of Spain), and other factions in Uruguay favoured the Empire of Brazil or the UK.

Rounding out the proposals that I'm aware of at this stage, there are some interesting notions surrounding Napoleon III. Before getting involved in Mexico as Emperor, he had long been fascinated by Latin America. During the rebellion of Pernambuco in northern Brazil in 1817, there was a plot to liberate Napoleon I from captivity in St Helena and put him at the head of an 'Empire of the Equator' on his way back to France. Louis-Napoleon enters the picture in 1844, when he was supposedly offered the throne of Ecuador - the only evidence of this is a letter from President Garcia Moreno dating from 1859, at a time when he was engaged in offering Napoleon III a protectorate over Ecuador. This later offer was ultimately rejected because the French were already stuck in the Mexican quagmire. But there was certainly some thought put into an Ecuadorian monarchy in the 1840s, as Juan Jose Flores offered the throne to Agustin Munoz, Duke of Taracon, a step-brother of Isabel II.

Louis-Napoleon's other option in the 1840s was a nebulous scheme in which he would be the face of a group of investors seeking to dig a canal between the Atlantic and the Pacific - at its most grandiose, this involved Louis-Napoleon using the canal project as a basis of establishing an Empire in Central America. Indeed, while he was imprisoned at Ham in 1846, he pleaded with the British to negotiate his release on condition that he promise to stop bothering the French and go filibustering in Panama instead. I feel like he'd have been less likely to fall foul of Bismarck and von Moltke in this scenario.

So yeah, just a shallow traversal of the concept, hopefully it's been mildly interesting.
This is a very good effortpost tbh, one detail is that Flores wanted Agustin also to be King of Peru and Bolivia. There's also some informaton that suggest that Louis-Philippe of France wanted his children Antonio and Luisa on a South American throne, specifically in the Andes region. Supposedly Bolivar suggested a monarchy but I doubt it was really serious.

As for Argentina Pueyrredon's proposal is again quite interesting, talking to an Argentine friend he seems to suggest that if the Bourbons weren't available he might have even chosen a Saxon prince, though I've no information on this.
 
Top