Work in Progress Talk: Francisco Rodolfo González Galeotti

Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
The Latin American Library
LAL Seminar Room The Latin American Library 7001 Freret Street, 4th floor, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library

Blood of the Oligarchs:  Commerce and Inter-Colonial Power in Guatemala and New Spain (1740-1826)

My research centers on commercial flows between the Kingdom of Guatemala and the Viceroyalty of New Spain in the late Colonial period.  I address the fundamental question of identifying those who carried out this activity, centering on a distinct group of merchants, a key sector in the development and functioning of these flows.  My study includes situating this group within the historical processes of migration, displacement and movement of peoples, focusing on the cases of three specific merchants, Francisco de Yraeta, Juan Fermín de Aycinena, and Juan Bautista de Irisarri, all from the Basque Country and Navarre.   In addition to the construction of networks, family ties and economic power, this common origin allowed them to develop a considerable reach and establish widespread connections throughout the Spanish Empire.  

Within these pan-territorial networks, the ties between Guatemala and New Spain in the eighteenth century are key, offering a privileged scenario to study the flows of merchandise, ideas and people.  It was thanks to these networks that an entire generation accumulated sufficient capital to allow entry within the ranks of the oligarchy.  In subsequent generations, their successors were threatened with forced displacement due to the imperial crisis, civil wars and revolutions of the nineteenth century, which I also address in my work.

Francisco Rodolfo González Galeotti holds a Licenciatura en History from the Escuela de Historia at the Universidad de San Carlos (Guatemala) with a thesis on the territorial construction by the Maya-K’iche’ population  of Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán (2013).  In 2013 he headed the project Cosecha de Memorias:  La memoria cultural de la sociedad ixil. He has focused on the history of indigenous populations and everyday state building in independent Guatemala, as well as colonial history and historical global processes. He is currently a doctoral candidate in History at El Colegio de Michoacán working on a dissertation on merchant social networks in Guatemala and southern New Spain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.