Latin America and History

$55.00 hardcover

Add to Cart

The Politics of Giving in the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata: Donors, Lenders, Subjects, and Citizens

Viviana L. Grieco

During the eighteenth century, a time of almost constant international warfare, European states had to borrow money to finance their military operations. Servicing public debt demanded the collection of more taxes in a newly efficient manner, resulting in the emergence of what scholars call European “tax states.” This book examines a different kind of state finance, based on voluntary donations rather than taxes.

Relying on Spanish and Argentine archival research, the author analyzes the “gifts” ( donativos) that residents of the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata, or colonial Argentina, gave to the Spanish Crown and the city council of Buenos Aires. She examines the cultural, political, constitutional, and legal practices associated with loans and donativos in comparison with the practices of other Atlantic states, emphasizing the quid pro quo offered by the crown in the form of appointments to office and other favors. Examining donors, donations, and expectations, she argues that the Spanish system achieved at the imperial level what the British empire and the French monarchy failed to accomplish.


Viviana L. Grieco is an associate professor of history at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.


“( The Politics of Giving in the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata) constitutes an important contribution to the fields of Latin American history and the history of the Atlantic world and will certainly become mandatory reading for economic historians of the Age of Revolution as well as graduate students.”


Hispanic American Historical Review

“Viviana L. Grieco has written a unique and very significant work.”


Colonial Latin American Historical Review

6 x 9 in. 312 pages 1 map, 42 tables