Municipal Republics and its imprint on Independence processes. Rio de la Plata, first half of the Nineteenth Century. (Las repúblicas municipales y su proyección en los procesos de independencia. Río de la Plata, primera mitad del siglo XIX)
Studies on republicanism in Latin American history have undergone a remarkable development in recent years. Not only have analyses from Anglo-Saxon historiography been applied to the region, but new approaches have also been generated seeking to identify the common and distinctive characteristics of a long series of "republican experiments" that took place after the crisis of the Spanish colonial order. Although with exceptions, most of these studies are mainly focused on a disruptive sense of republic, according to which this term designates a form of government opposed to the Monarchy. This paper seeks, on the contrary, to recover the imprint of a traditional sense that, in the Hispanic tradition, linked the concept of republic with the municipal government. Without denying the relevance of profound changes at the level of political rhetoric, our paper seeks to show how the traditional concept of republic, in whose semantic core lies the notion of "government of many families", contributed to sustain in the Rio de la Plata provinces a type of legitimization based more on the colonial privileges of the cities than on the modern notion of popular sovereignty. Thus, republicanism in the first half of the nineteenth century, at least in this region, seems to represent a moment of transition from tradition rather than a deep break with the colonial past.