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Title: The tumult of Mexico in 1624 : perceptions of authority in the Iberian Atlantic, circa 1620-1650
Author: Ballone, Angela Vincenza
ISNI:       0000 0004 2733 6161
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2011
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My research revolves around the concept of authority in the Iberian Atlantic during the early modern era. Through the examination of official documentation generated during the period 1620- 1650, I seek to engage with notions of authority as they were perceived in the metropolitan court in Madrid before being transported to the Spanish-American metropolis of Mexico City, where they were discussed in situ and put into practice following the lengthy process of assessment of the Great Tumult of Mexico of 1624 and its aftermath. Ultimately, these same notions became part of a transatlantic system of power negotiation the outcome of which impacted on the Empire at several levels. Developing my analysis chronologically, I am interested in the extent to which this view of the Tumult enhances our understanding of the wider relationship between Spain and New Spain during the period. Analysing the reign of Philip IV in terms of the debate surrounding authority, loyalty, obedience, and reason of state, I focus upon the mandates of three viceroys who, to varying degrees, participated in the events surrounding the Tumult: the Marquis of Guadalcazar (1612-1620); the Marquis of Gelves (1621-1624); and the Marquis of Cerralbo (1624-1635). Three main lines of research have been followed: an examination of the extent to which a Spanish legal framework was shared across the Atlantic; an appraisal of the imposition of acts of power involving a controversial perception of authority; and an evaluation of trans-Atlantic mechanisms of communication and how they influenced Crown decisions concerning the Tumult. A re-assessment of the Tumult in the light of contrasting perceptions of authority, competing political agendas, and the language of early modern Spanish political culture formed the subject of my doctoral dissertation, the conclusions of which indicate that previous readings of the event may well rest on precarious foundations, particularly those which have tended to emphasise the opposition between Peninsulars and Creoles (e.g. J.I. Israel, 1975), or those which highlight the divisions between "incorruptible" and corrupt officers (e.g. M.E. Martinez Vega, 1990). Corollary points which have emerged include the strong impression that the concept of royal authority was an important part in negotiating power in both Spain and New Spain; that this concept was frequently adapted to different cases and political agendas; and that long term tension between secular and religious authorities was one of the principal issues before, during, and after the Tumult. Gauging common elements, as well as differences, between the administrative structures of the Iberian Peninsula and the viceroyalty of New Spain, the dissertation extends to embrace the activities of the two metropolitan bodies involved in the final assessment of the Tumult: the Council of the Indies and the junta del tumulto (1627-1637), which have been overlooked in previous scholarship.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available