Latin America and Caribbean Workshop | Santiago Conti, Princeton University

Mar 8, 2024, 4:30 pm6:00 pm
Rutgers University (301 Van Dyck Hall) & Zoom



Event Description

This workshop will be held at Rutgers University (301 Van Dyck Hall)  in hybrid (in-person and Zoom).


The pre-circulated paper will be available one-week prior to the workshop. The paper will be available to the Princeton University community via SharePoint

All others should request a copy of the paper by emailing Alan Henriquez at [email protected]


During the seventeenth century, Jesuits and Guarani established an alliance based on tributary privileges and indigenous military service that allowed for the establishment and development of the most important missional project in the Americas. The Guarani Jesuit missions became a dynamic economic space, with a high population density, and with a key military function as the main structure for the defense of the Spanish frontier against Portuguese claims. However, by the 1730s the relationship between Jesuits and Guarani started to suffer important tensions due to the economic and demographic pressure that the missions experienced in a context of constant mobilization of people and resources for warfare. This tension reached its peak in the 1750s when the seven missions at the east of the Uruguay river rebelled against the cession of its territory to Portugal, signed by the Spanish crown in the Treaty of Madrid in 1750. Shortly after, in 1767, the Jesuits were expelled from all Spanish domains, and the Guarani missions passed to secular colonial administration. This paper focuses on analyzing how the Guarani responded to the fundamental changes that took place in the second half of the eighteenth century. I argue that, after 1750, the Guarani acquired a more prominent role in the government of their towns, while their importance in the military defense of the frontier was reduced. The documents used are mainly correspondence, reports, and reform projects from Spanish bureaucrats.

Princeton University’s Center for Collaborative History and the Program in Latin American Studies, and by Rutgers University’s Center for Latin American Studies and Department of History.