War and the Military

In this page we are providing a short selection of evidence-based information that may be of interest to researchers exploring the theme of War and the Military in the context of the Hispanic-Anglosphere, mainly in relation to the activities of individuals, networks and communities.

Iglesias-Rogers, Graciela, British Liberators in the Age of Napoleon: Volunteering under the Spanish Flag in the Peninsular War (Bloomsbury: London and New York, 2014)

This book unveils the role of a hitherto unrecognized group of men who, long before the International Brigades made its name in the Spanish Civil War, also found reasons to fight under the Spanish flag. Their enemy was not fascism, but what could be at times an equally overbearing ideology: Napoleon’s imperialism. Although small in number, British volunteers played a surprisingly influential role in the conduct of war operations, in politics, gender and social equality, in cultural life both in Britain and Spain and even in relation to emancipation movements in Latin America. Some became prisoners of war while a few served with guerrilla forces. Many of the works published about the Peninsular War in the last two decades have adopted an Anglocentric narrative, writing the Spanish forces out of victories, or have tended to present the war, not as much won by the allies, but lost by the French. This book takes a radically different approach by drawing on previously untapped archival sources to argue that victory was the outcome of a truly transnational effort.

G. Iglesias-Rogers, ‘From Philos Hispaniae to Karl Marx: The First English Translation of a Liberal Codex’, in D. Hook and G. Iglesias-Rogers (eds.), Translations in times of Disruption – A interdisciplinary study in transnational contexts (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2017), 45-73.

This is a study of the authorship, text and impact of the first full English translation of the Constitución Política de la Monarquía Española, known as the Constitution of Cadiz, also the first – in this case, last as well – constitution of the global Hispanic world.  It was the result of the work of the Hispanic Cortes gathered in Cadiz (hence, its common name) during some of the most dramatic years of the Napoleonic wars. Promulgated there on 19 March 1812, contrary to expectations, it was recognised by Tsarist Russia and Prussia in a matter of months. More than a year passed before it was published fully in English, the language of the nation that was the most important Spanish ally at the time. The unveiling of the identity of Philos Hispaniae, the man behind its dissemination in London makes possible the exploration of the political, economic and cultural disruptions which, it is argued, explain the translator´s editorial approach. A historical analysis reveals significant mismatches in the translation of Spanish terms into English notions of imperial governance, notably relating to the concepts of ‘empire’ and ‘colonies’. The chapter ends with an appraisal of the influence this edition had on future generations of readers, including theorists such as Karl Marx.

All the open-access articles listed above offer new documentary data (in Spanish) about the life of the Naples-born leading guitar theorist, composer, performer and military man Federico Moretti (1769-1839) who played an important role as an intelligent officer and go-between among the Allies in the Spanish War of Independence, also known as the Peninsular War (1808-1814).

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