Íñigo Abbad y Lasierras Historia geográfica, civil y natural, completed in 1782 and published in 1788, is widely seen as the founding colonial history of Puerto Ricos national history. This essay examines this imperial and comparative account, which cannot be dissociated from Abbad y Lasierras first important writing, his Diario del viaje a América completed in 1781. I argue that his observations and reflections on the condition and prospects of Puerto Rico are deeply influenced by his travel in the Caribbeans southeastern circuit and, in addition, his readings of Spains foreign polemical detractors, in particular Guillaume-Thomas Ábbe Raynal and his Histoire philosophique et politique. This essay also sheds light on Bourbon dynamics in Puerto Rico and Abbad y Lasierras appeal to Romantic liberal creoles seeking abolition of slavery and sovereignty from Spain in the nineteenth century. Thus, the basis of Puerto Rican patriotic identity is found in Abbad y Lasierras intellectual appropriations sustaining his ideas on rational development and progress for the island.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)