Latin America and the Enlightenment

Latin America and the Enlightenment

Latin America and the Enlightenment

Latin America and the Enlightenment

Excerpt

The excellent essays which make up this volume have in common not only the subject matter but the spirit which informs them. There is in all of them a generous, affirmative intention which may be considered typically American. The method they use is to seek the truth in the broadest, most just and comprehensive interpretation of the facts, leaving aside all accepted prejudices.

The eighteenth century in Europe showed a lack of understanding and impartiality in judging Spain and her history, and these essays correct the errors of that interpretation while, at the same time, affirming the positive values and the universal influence of the ideas created by that century. Without prejudice or partiality toward any European nationality, they make manifest the part played by France, Germany, and England in the total process of European Enlightenment and its influence in Spanish and Portuguese America. This latter is given the same attention as the former, and is evaluated in its individual and typical characteristics, not merely included, as so often happens, in an exclusive or predominantly Spanish American conception, where it is either lost sight of or treated as an . . .

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