From Swords to Words: the Intersection of Geopolitics and Law, and the Subtle Expansion of International Law in the Consolidation of the Independence of the Latin American Republics

In: Journal of the History of International Law / Revue d'histoire du droit international

Abstract

Looking at successive chronological stages in the development from the de facto independence of former Spanish colonies towards their first timid recognition by the United Kingdom and their later full acceptance as states by the Spanish monarchy, this article examines several factors that indicate that pragmatism, motivated by political and economic reasons, was the defining element that persuaded different European powers to grant recognition to the nascent States in a historical era in which such recognition was essential for statehood. Those Latin American Republics likewise benefited from British recognition and the later definitive recognition of Spain and other European powers, bending the limits of the law then existing with dynamics based on the principle of effectiveness coupled with certain legitimacy considerations, which have been present throughout history, including the present.

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