Political Status and Identity: Debating the Status of American Territories across the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Iberian World

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Abstract

This article focuses on the debates that took place across the Iberian world on the political status of the American territories throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. I begin by tracing the constitutional place allotted to the American territories in each of the two Iberian polities. Subsequently, I demonstrate that the political status initially ascribed to the so-called Indies soon became a matter of discussion. At the center of the analysis are the exchanges between institutions in Madrid and Lisbon, on the one hand, and Creole groups in Spanish and Portuguese America, on the other. I focus on the debates generated by the two following topics: first, the rank of the representative assemblies formed in the Asian and American territories under the rule of the two Iberian polities, and second, the participation of American and Asian representatives in the parliaments of Castile and Portugal. This article explores the constitutional implications of these debates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-116
Number of pages15
JournalRechtsgeschichte. Journal of the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History
Volume24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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