Imaging a Nation on the Ruins of a Monarchy: New Spain/Mexico
The article analyzes the process whereby the Mexican nation was built within the framework of the dissolution of the Bourbon imperial system and replacement of a State-Empire with nearly twenty new nation-states. This process was notable for how quickly it occurred: starting as a problem that was virtually nonexistent at the beginning of the imperial crisis, in ten short years it emerged as a series of declarations of political sovereignty unmistakably national in scope and covering the entire continent. In the case of Mexico, two alternate national projects were destined to clash and to influence the political life of the new nation-state until well into the second half of the nineteenth century. Special attention is given in describing the features of both projects – liberal and conservative – and also the historical accounts underlying them: in the case of the liberal project, a stage of birth (the pre-Hispanic era), death (the Conquest), and resurrection (Independence). And, for the conservative one, a metaphor alluding to a family, wherein the son who reaches adulthood abandons his parents’ home in order to take his place among the nations of the world.
Keywords: Mexico, nation, imperial collapse, new states