By John Kendrick
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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.
After losing a political battle in 1773, he was made ambassador to France and sent to Paris, where he became an admirer of Voltaire, an enthusiast for the Enlightenment, and a clandestine adviser to the future Charles IV, who was on poor terms with his father. Aranda recommended the appointment of a confidential minister, with himself in mind to the exclusion of Floridablanca, for whom he had little respect. After Charles IV succeeded to the throne, Aranda returned to Madrid, and achieved part of his ambition in 1792.
The first president was Jose de Gálvez, then minister of the Indies, with Cabarrús as a director. After Gálvez died in 1787 Antonio Valdés was appointed to succeed him. The Philippine Company was given a monopoly on the trade between Manila and Spain, but its mission was to foster agriculture in the Philippines, particularly the growth of sugar and spices, and to halt the drain of silver by developing Manila as a contributor 26 Alejandro Malaspina to the Spanish treasury. The company was expected to earn a profit from its broad powers to trade elsewhere, although without the protection of a monopoly.
Alejandro Malaspina: Portrait of a Visionary by John Kendrick