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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: October 2020

6 - Colonial Practices of Jurisdictional Accumulation


Colonial practices of jurisdictional accumulation consist, in the Iberian case, of the requerimiento, encomiendas, audiencias, and the various jurisdictional opportunities they provided leading to jurisdictional competition and subjectivities in colonial New Spain. Castile’s mercantilism is also discussed in relation to its governance and administrative structures and commercial–legal institutions. Relying on the jurisdictional incorporation of both settlers and Native American subjectivities, Castilian practices of imperial expansion transplanted Castilian authority and are primarily concerned with authority over people providing jurisdictional opportunities of contestation and subjugation. Different practices of jurisdictional accumulation are identified in the French, Dutch, and English/British empires. These mostly relate to trading and chartered companies and settlements primarily concerned with authority over land and resources, where inhabitants of the colonised land need to be excluded rather than jurisdictionally incorporated. The more commercial, indirect, and outsourced practices of these empires are discussed through the debates on mercantilism and the practices of corsairing, which produced conditions for jurisdictional accumulation as transports of authority (i.e. focused on the use of intermediaries and a jurisdictional distancing between the imperial centres and their colonies).