Christian Citizenship in the Empire of the Spanish Habsburgs

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Manage episode 281410201 series 2091241
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King Philip II of Spain (r. 1556-1598) inherited the first truly global empire. But what kept a set of kingdoms that included Castile, Aragón, vast swaths of North and South America, Portugal, the Low Countries, Italian territories, and the Philippines from falling apart? Prof. Max Deardorff explores the legal underpinnings of this complicated system, including the early modern conception of the “republic,” the relationship between early modern vassals and the Crown, and the question of whether native subjects could ever hope to achieve enfranchisement in colonial cities founded by Spaniards. Deardorff highlights the importance of the Council of Trent, which conditioned a generation of Spanish Catholic reform and played a crucial role in defining early modern citizenship, and points out how royal strategies for integrating Moriscos (Andalusi converts from Islam and their descendants) into Christian society in recently-conquered Granada provided a blueprint for assimilating native subjects in the Americas.

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