Published online by Cambridge University Press: 31 July 2009
Control over place, power and social status was vital in the efforts made during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to fix the boundaries of the state. Within wider geopolitical manifestations of state-formation was the parallel, related, but different drive to stabilise nation, nationality and territorial boundaries. In this process, as in others, the victors constructed a narrative of their own. Accordingly, the growing consciousness of national identity and the corresponding evolution of the state were usually accompanied by the twin movements by which those cultural groups which were already dominant increased their control while, at the same time, manifesting a suspicion of those who lay on the margins of this process or who seemed to hamper its development. Trying to impose order on one's territories involved exploring the status and position of minority communities and intransigent peoples.
This chapter explores the identities imposed on the Irish and the Moriscos by the English and the Spanish during the first half of the seventeenth century. It uses the perception of delinquent behaviour, allied with the concept of place, in order to discuss the comparative marginalisation of peoples. Its method of procedure involves the detailed examination of a limited source base. It draws on part of the writing of Jaime de Bleda on the expulsion of the Moriscos between 1609 and 1614 and compares it with the exchanges between Vincent Gookin and Richard Lawrence over the proposed transplantation of much of the Gaelic Irish population in the mid-1650s, to suggest a way in which the cultural conquest of Ireland in the seventeenth century can be reconceptualised.