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Title: 'Another Jerusalem' : political legitimacy and courtly government in the Kingdom of New Spain (1535-1568)
Author: López-Portillo García-López, José-Juan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 504X
Awarding Body: Queen Mary University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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My research focused on understanding how viceregal authority was accepted in Mesoamerica. Rather than approaching the problems from the perspective of institutional history, I drew on prosopographical techniques and the court-studies tradition to focus on the practice of government and the affinities that bound indigenous and non-indigenous political communities. In Chapters two and three I investigate how particular notions of nobility informed the ‘ideals of life’ of the Spanish and indigenous elites in New Spain and how these evolved up to 1535. The chapters also serve to establish a general context to the political situation that Mendoza faced on his arrival. Chapters four to seven explore how the viceroys sought to increase their authority in New Spain by appropriating means of direct distribution of patronage and how this allowed them personally to satisfy many of the demands of the Spanish and indigenous elites. This helped them impose their supremacy over New Spain’s magnates and serve the crown by ruling more effectively. Viceregal supremacy was justified in a ‘language of legitimacy’ that became increasingly peculiar to New Spain as a community of interests developed between the local elites and the viceroys who guaranteed the local political arrangements on which their status and wealth increasingly depended. I conclude by suggesting that New Spain was governed on the basis of internal arrangements guaranteed by the viceroys. This led to the development of what I define as a ‘parasitic civic-nobility’ which benefitted from the perpetuation of the viceregal system along with the crown. The internal political logic of most decision making and a defined local identity accompanied by increasingly ‘sui generis’ ‘ideals of life’ qualify New Spain to be considered not as a ‘colony’ run by an alien bureaucracy that perpetuated Spanish ‘domination’ but as Mexico City’s sub-empire within the Habsburg ‘composite monarchy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; Central America ; Mexico ; Spain ; Colonies