The first quarter of the nineteenth century was a time of great political change in both Spain and its American empire. The French invasion of the Iberian Peninsula in 1808 led to a long war for independence, as the Spanish people and government sought to oust Napoleon's troops and form a constitutional monarchy. During the war deputies from throughout the empirr formed the Cortes Generales, or National Assembly, in Cadiz and proclaimed the first Spanish constitution in 1812. The change of government in Spain had consequences for the American colonies, and scholars have pointed out the role played by the Cortes de Cadiz and the Constitution of 1812 as crucial to understanding the dissolution of the Spanish Empire. Very little has been written, however, about the reception of the constitution in Florida.2 Political historians, when dealing with this period have essentially focused on the Patriots War and the diplomatic relationship between ths United States and Spain overlooking the new legal and political system that was etablished in the territory between 1812 and 1814.3
Fernandez de Soto, Alejandro Quiroga
"Military Liberalism on the East Florida "Frontier": Implementation of the 1812 Constitution,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 79:
4, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol79/iss4/3