Visions of Cadiz: The Constitution of 1812 in Historical and Constitutional Thought
Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 53, pp. 59-88, December 2010
30 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2011
Date Written: December 1, 2010
This chapter examines the ways the Spanish Constitution of 1812, also known as the Constitution of Cadiz, has been viewed in historical and constitutional thought. The document is a liberal constitution establishing constitutional rights, a representative government, and a parliamentary monarchy. It influenced ideas of American equality within the Spanish Empire, and its traces are observed in the the process of Latin American independence. To these accepted views, one must add that the Constitution was a lost moment in Latin American constitutional development. By the immediate politicization of constitutionalism after 1812, the document marks the beginning of constitutional difficulties in the region.
This chapter has sections addressing: national sovereignty and popular representation, historical justification in the Cadiz process, liberal constitutionalism and constitutional rights, American equality and independence, and the politicization of constitutional texts and processes.
Keywords: Constitution, Cadiz, 1812, Latin America, Spain, Liberalism, Sovereignty, Representation, Historicity, Citizenship, Race, Slavery
JEL Classification: K1, K18, K33, N48, N43, N46
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation