The science of empire: Bishop Martinez Compañón and the Enlightenment in Peru
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The Science of Empire is a cultural history of ideas that examines the science of empire in the eighteenth-century Hispanic World through studying the political economy reforms and natural history investigations of Bishop Martínez Compañón of Trujillo, Peru. Martínez Compañón was a model enlightened prelate who imagined reform initiatives in mining, city life, and education that would improve the lives of his diocesans and increase the profits they brought to the Spanish crown. My work shows how these reforms reflected the political economy theories of leading Enlightenment intellectuals from Spain and throughout Europe, especially in how they viewed commerce as an agent of civilization and sociability. At the same time, Martínez Compañón also created a large collection of natural and man-made specimens and artifacts, and created nine volumes of watercolor illustrations of the people, plants, and animals of Trujillo. These material and visual sources in order to show how his natural history reflected the same pragmatic ideologies as his political economy. When viewed as an organic whole, his efforts in Trujillo constitute a complete program of governance -- or a science of empire -- that was distinctly Hispanic, yet highly attuned to other imperial programs throughout the Atlantic world.