erschienen in HiN XIV, 28 (2014)
In this paper we discuss how Alexander von Humboldt conceived a past to New Spain in his Political Essay on New Spain (1811) and how this text was, in turn, appropriated by the Mexican historiography during the 19th century.
In order to do so, we analyze how the Prussian drew from American sources, particularly from the text of the Jesuit Francisco Javier Clavijero, written shortly before. We also study Humboldt’s conceptions of text and of history, highlighting the place of the indigenous in the composition of his reasoning. Finally, we give examples of how the Mexican nationalist historiography read and reinterpreted the Political Essay.