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Known references to medieval marriage litigation in the kingdom of Castile are very rare, and information about it seems most readily available in the Roman registers of the Apostolic Penitentiary. Based on this testimony, it is possible to conclude that the typology of cases handled in Castilian bishoprics did not depart from what was common experience in church tribunals of the Latin West. At the same time, ecclesiastical control over marriage formation in Castilian society was minimal, and belief in marital consent as the collective concern of families was paramount. In addition, legislation provided support for alternative forms of intimate partnership. Often introduced under the names of barragania and mancebía, they defied sacramental permanence and monogamy by legalizing relations that were temporary and non-exclusive. Local (and Aragonese) notaries also registered service contracts stipulating sexual favors for a period against payment of a dowry. They articulated obligations of cohabitation with clergy in the sacred orders and husbands to a different woman, or they recorded the consensual breakup of couples short of priestly approval. The notarial output is clearly reflective of arrangements that altogether ignored church claims to undiminished jurisdiction over the validity of spousal ties.
A superior bargaining capacity, especially of urban and commercial groups, is considered to be the foundation of representative institutions. However, in large polities like France and Castile, the pre-eminence of urban groups in representative institutions was causally related to the ultimate decline of those institutions and the devolution of the two regimes into "absolutism." The chapter first shows how the French Estates-General lapsed due to the greater weakness of the French crown; "divide et impera" is the preferred strategy of weak kings. "Absolutism" is the outcome, not the goal. French kings could not secure representatives armed with full powers, as local assemblies retained the right of tax approval. It is not that the demands of representation were weaker in France; urban groups often articulated even more radical claims. Absent the nobility, however, they failed to retain bargaining powers. Similar conditions operated in Castile. However, I show that greater early strength of the Castilian crown allowed some institutional layering and functional fusion to occur, which explains why the Castilian Cortes was more long-lasting and continuous than its French counterpart, a puzzle not hitherto explained.
In Reconquista Spain, a barely united state turned its anxieties inward with anti-Semitic laws on blood purity among converts from Judaism and Islam. The same insecure state turned outward to conquer Mexico, where Franciscans spent fifty years recording Aztec human sacrifice in codices and color drawings. Castilians and Aztecs alike marked their external bounds and internal bonds with blood. Ethnicizing ideas of blood purity crossed the Atlantic to ruddy Christian perceptions of Mesoamerican sacrifice. Two blood-obsessed cultures met to reveal disturbing resonances in Christian blood language. Uses Sircoff on limpieza de sangre and Timothy Radcliffe on cultic irony in Hebrews.
Chapter 3 focuses on the social property relations of each case building on the Political Marxist tradition and by engaging with international legal history. This chapter presents the major institutions, actors, and jurisdictional disputes that provide bases to understand, first, the local specificities of the Castilian kingdom and its American colonies, emphasising the broader Iberian fragmented assemblage and the role of theologians in the particular politico-religious form of empire linked to principles of morality and law. In France, the focus is on Louis XIV and his ministers trying to contain the various jurisdictional regimes and conceptions of space, as well as legal actors and orders. The role of England’s social property relations is discussed in relation to the common law and to enclosures in primitive accumulation and the transition to capitalism. Finally, the Dutch Republic highlights the problem of transition and the specific jurisdictional context of its confederation, as well as the role of merchants and magistrates in shaping its politics. The chapter describes practices that could be considered as extensions rather than transports or transplants of authority.
Although a battle zone from early in its history, the Roman province of Hispania began to undergo external military pressure in the fifth century ce with the invasions of the Visigoths, Suevi, and Vandals.1 Within a century, the Visigoths had come to dominate the Peninsula, establishing their capital at Toledo and exchanging their Arian brand of Christianity for Roman Catholicism.2 Like its Roman imperial predecessor, the Visigothic kingdom was structurally weak and revealed this instability each time a sovereign died. Rulers were seldom replaced without a civil war in which members of the royal family and their supporters fought for the throne. In the last of these struggles, Roderick (710–11) was opposed by the heirs of his predecessor, Watiza (701–10), led by Count Julian of Ceuta on the African litoral. Gathering a small army of Berber tribesmen, many of who had recently converted to Islam, Julian led an assault against Roderick in the late spring of 711. He was eventually disposed by Tarik ibn Zīyad, an agent of the Muslim governor of Tangier.3
The essential aims of this article are: (1) to measure the magnitude of the crisis of 1803-1805 in the two Castiles; (2) to analyse the causes and consequences of this crisis. Among the main conclusions of this essay we would like to underline: (a) the 1803-1805 crisis led to a fall in the population of Castile of about 15 per cent; (b) the severe rise in the price of grains in those years was due to the bad harvests and the sparse working capacity of the municipal grain stores, but more than anything else it was the collapse of the market for this produce as a result of the prohibition of removing grain; (c) government measures to deal with the crisis were numerous and relatively bold, but not very effective; (d) the strong mobilisation of the people disrupted the working of some of the basic institutions of the Ancien Régime.
The fiscal reform of 1683 originated a documentation of great demographic value that has not yet been published. This paper presents and evaluates the new source in order to know the evolution of Castilian population in a period without credible data until now. The Vecindario of 1683 is verified twice in the study, firstly by the birth rate and secondly by comparing the population growth with that of baptisms. The result demonstrated that the decline of 1591'1631 had not yet been recovered in 1683 and that the subsequent growth was faster in 1683'1752 than in 1752'1787.
This article deals with the consumption and marketing of textiles in some Castilian areas during the first decades of the 17th century. The study uses a new documentary source: the 1618 inquiry. Part one describes the main characteristics of this documentary source. The second part analyzes textiles sales according to the fibre the different fabrics were made of. The third part presents some notes on the typology of the textiles sold in the country. This allows us to describe the marketing areas of two highly representative products of the Castilian woollen industry: the Segovian and Andalusian cloth. Finally, in the fourth and last part we have estimated the consumption of textile fabrics by household. This analysis has also been completed with a study of the terms of trade between grain and some textile fabrics between 1614 and 1616. The results support the hypothesis of a higher consumption of textile products in Andalusia than in Old Castile at the beginning of the 17th century.
Alfonso VIII of Castile's victory in July 1212 reversed the thrust of half a century of peninsular history. Castile had by far the most extensive frontiers to defend, and the cost of doing so and of advancing the Christian reconquest of the peninsula was to cripple its kings throughout the thirteenth century and beyond. It then imposes strains on their realm with which their Navarrese and Portuguese neighbours were largely unfamiliar. In 1214, after hunger had emerged the victor at the siege of Baeza, mutual exhaustion had driven Alfonso VIII and the Almohad caliph in Marrakesh to agree to a truce. While Castile, having absorbed Leon, was striking south, and in the north Navarre was being drawn even further into the French orbit, the young kingdom of Portugal had been experiencing almost uninterrupted political crisis. At the beginning of the reign Sancho had to repel the Marinids whom his father had brought into Castile.
The history of fifteenth-century Castile seemed to be one of cosmic chaos, a period of almost constant anarchy until Isabel 'the Catholic' and her husband, Ferdinand of Aragon, restored law and order in the 1480s. Castile was overwhelmingly of greater significance, emerging as the dominant partner of the uneasily 'united' Spain established towards the end of the century, while the small realm of Navarre, retaining a precarious independence. The 'Catholic Monarchs', credited with introducing new notions about enhanced royal authority, even 'absolutism', were simply building on the work of their predecessors, particularly Isabel's father, Juan II. For administrative purposes, above all as far as taxation was concerned, Navarre was organised into regions known as merindades, the royal financial administration betraying French rather than Castilian influences. In 1449, therefore, the two principal disruptive elements in Castilian political life, noble intrigue and hostility towards the conversos, fused together to produce a serious rebellion in the city of Toledo.
The death of King Martí led to a crisis within the states of the crown of Aragon. Martí's death brought to an end the dynasty founded with the marriage of the infanta Petronilla of Aragon to Ramon Berenguer, count of Barcelona, which had reigned uninterruptedly since 1137. The Compromise of Caspe cannot be reduced to a mere matter of the rights of succession limited, to the kingdom of Aragon. The kingdom is perhaps better described as the 'crown of Aragon', a term already in current use long before Jerónimo Zurita first introduced it into historiography. The victor of Caspe, Fernando de Antequera, made clear his intention of continuing the Mediterranean policy of his Catalan predecessors. The war had strengthened Joan II in his conviction that the future of Aragon lay in Castile, potentially much stronger than Aragon-Catalonia. Castile, however, was exhausted by decades of internecine fighting between opposing noble factions, a festering sore in the side of the Trastámaran dynasty.
The diversity of European experience at the end of the Middle Ages could also be seen in the changing role played by nobilities, now increasingly national, in a rapidly altering world. The economic history of Europe was affected by famine and even more by war, although it is claimed that war did not have as ruinous an effect on international trade as might be expected. The rise of the state, which historians of recent years have traced back to the thirteenth century, took on different forms and emerged at different tempi in different parts of Europe. Royal intervention in England against the subversive activities of the Lollard heretics in the century's early years, and the establishment, by royal request in 1478, of the Inquisition in Castile, originally to deal with converted Jews who renounced their Christianity. The development of taxation, already advanced in many territories by 1400, was now becoming a marked feature of life over the whole of Europe.
Spain's conquest of America created the possibility of the first genuinely world-wide empire in human history. The New Laws of 1542 institutionalized the new vice regal system of government: the kingdoms of Peru and New Spain are to be ruled and governed by viceroys who represent the royal person. Viceroys, governors and audiencias formed the upper level of secular administration in the Indies. The emphasis of local government on the town was characteristic of life in the Indies as a whole. A cabildo, however, was not only an institution of local self government and a corporation in which the rivalries of the principal local families were played out. The sense of disillusionment about the value of the Indies stood in sharp contrast to the sixteenth-century assumption that the conquest of America was a special signal of God's favour for Castile. In 1624 an expedition organized by the newly founded Dutch West India Company seized Bahia in Brazil.
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