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Additional resources for Alejandro Malaspina: Portrait of a Visionary
Malaspina made it clear that he was not proposing a voyage of exploration. His first objective was to chart the most remote regions of America and to prepare sailing directions for reaching them, for the benefit of commercial navigation. 3 In the end he discarded the idea of a circumnavigation in favour of extensive mapping of the coast of South America south of Montevideo, and the west coast from Cape Horn to Acapulco. His second objective was to prove his undoing. He proposed to study the commerce of each province, its natural and fabricated products, and its capability for resisting an attack.
His American Letters, an attack on Spanish colonialism, was published in 1780. Carli saw the traditional Inca rulers as monarchs presiding over a social Utopia and sided with them in the war then underway between Tupuc Amaru and the Spanish forces. 11 While Malaspina did not share Carli's opinion of the philosophes, he apparently did remember Carli's description of aboriginal society in his own Axiomas Políticos, as we will see in a later chapter. A book by Miguel Batllori on the expelled Jesuits12 suggests several possibilities for the history of Chile which Malaspina requested.
They enjoyed royal protection from Charles III, their proceedings were published, and their influence on public policy was significant. In 1766, following riotous protests, Charles discharged the Italian advisers he had installed on his accession, replacing 18 Alejandro Malaspina some of them with men who were supporters of the Amigos del País. They were either in office or coming into it when Malaspina came to Spain, and many of Malaspina's political ideas can be traced back to these men. There was no prime minister or cabinet as now understood, but the president of the Council of Castilla was recognized as the chief minister of the crown.