New book explores the monarchic projects of the River Plate, 1808–1825

A book recently published in Buenos Aires sheds new light on the difficult transition period between the Spanish Empire on the River Plate and the foundation of the Argentine Republic. The launch party for Bernado Lozier Almazán’s Proyectos monárquicos en el Río de la Plata 1808-1825. Los reyes que no fueron (“Monarchic projects in the River Plate 1808–1825: The kings who weren’t”) was held recently in the Quinta ‘Los Ombúes’, home of the municipal library, museum, and archives of San Isidro, the city in the Provincia de Buenos Aires known as Argentina’s ‘Rugby Capital’.
Proyectos monárquicos highlights the forgotten truth that most of the Argentine ‘patriots’ — San Martín, Belgrano, and Alvear among them — were monarchist, not republican. Proposals involving the courts of Spain, Portugal, France, and even England were proffered, and there was even an interesting proposal to marry a European prince to an Incan princess and offer him the throne of the Río de la Plata.

The author was introduced by Ignacio Bracht, the historian and fellow of the Argentine Institute of Genealogical Sciences, who pointed out the book illuminated Argentines’ roots in a way outside the ‘official’ historiography. “In the early nineteenth century,” Bracht said, “monarchs enjoyed the veneration of their subjects, who saw the king as one who granted them freedom, order, and the unity of peoples — ideals which were seriously violated in the United Provinces.” For this reason, Bracht suggests, monarchists considered the traditional system of government as more appropriate for guiding the “fledgling and hesitant nation” than republicanism. In the author’s own remarks, Lozier Almazán ruminated on what Argentina would be like had any of the projects researched in the book actually succeeded.

Among those present at the book launch were Abp. Edgardo Lisen, president of the Argentine-Urguayan Cultural Institute, Fr. Edgardo Albamonte SSPX, chaplain to the Charles VII Traditionalist Brotherhood (Argentina’s Carlist institute)