Geopolitical & Socioeconomic

Francisco de Miranda: The First Global Revolutionary

  • SCI Belgrave Square, 14/15 Belgrave Square, London

Francisco de Miranda was one of the most global of the protagonists of the Independence of Spain's American colonies, and remains amongst the more celebrated today. This event will mark the bicentenary of his death, in prison in Cádiz, at a time when Spanish reconquest of South America looked possible if not likely. The final victories of independence were won without him. So, to what extent has the passage of time shaped the myth of this global revolutionary? Was he a visionary or a fantasist? Should we still discuss his relationship with Simón Bolívar?

Francisco de Miranda was one of the most global of the protagonists of the Independence of Spain's American colonies, and remains amongst the more celebrated today. This event will mark the bicentenary of his death, in prison in Cádiz, at a time when Spanish reconquest of South America looked possible if not likely. The final victories of independence were won without him. So, to what extent has the passage of time shaped the myth of this global revolutionary? Was he a visionary or a fantasist? Should we still discuss his relationship with Simón Bolívar? How significant were his experiences conversing with Catherine the Great of Russia, his marriage to Sarah Andrews, his travels in Russia, Asia and Europe, or his long-term residence in Grafton Street, London, at the heart of the Latin American exile community. Thanks to his service in the French army, Miranda's name is the only one of a Latin American to be inscribed on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. He was 'a remarkable man in an age of remarkable men', according to his biographer Karen Racine. The invited panel - Professor Anthony McFarlane, Dr Alejandro Gómez, Professor Catherine Davies and Dr Matthew Brown - will discuss just how remarkable he was, and what Miranda's story can tell us about the worlds in which he lived.

Anthony McFarlane (B.Sc.[Econ] LSE; Ph.D., University of London) is Professor Emeritus in the History Department of the University of Warwick. A specialist in the history of the Spanish world during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, his work includes studies of Colombia's economic history during and after the colonial period, the history of rebellions, slavery and crime in the late colonial period, and the movements for independence in Spanish America.

Alejandro E. Gómez holds a doctorate from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. His principal areas of research include socio-racial conflicts in the revolutionary Caribbean, the emotional impact of the Haitian Revolution, and the study of sensibilities in the age of abolitionism. He is currently maître de conférences of Latin American History at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3.

Catherine Davies is the Director of the Institute of Modern Languages Research at the University of London, and Professor of Hispanic and Latin American Studies at the University of Nottingham. Her research interests include gender and nationalism in Cuba and Spain, particularly the formation and transmission of liberal thought in 19th-century Spanish and Spanish American literature and cultural history.

Matthew Brown is Reader in Latin American Studies at the University of Bristol. He holds a doctorate from University College London, and an MA from the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of From Frontiers to Football: An Alternative History of Latin America since 1800 (Reaktion, 2014), The Struggle for Power in Post-Independence Colombia and Venezuela (Palgrave, 2012), Adventuring through Spanish Colonies: Simón Bolívar, Foreign Mercenaries and the Birth of New Nations (Liverpool University Press, 2006).

If you would like to attend please RSVP to [email protected].

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