The Black Spaniards: The Color of Political Authority in Seventeenth- Century Lima
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CitationHayes, Marcella. 2021. The Black Spaniards: The Color of Political Authority in Seventeenth- Century Lima. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
AbstractScholars have long thought that two separate legal communities coexisted in colonial Spanish America: the república de indios (which allowed indigenous people their own laws and authorities) and the república de españoles (which applied to Spaniards). Free black people nominally belonged to the república de españoles. However, scholars have never conclusively explained how and why this state of affairs came to be or how black people navigated its intricacies. By examining legal disputes, status claims, and community papers involving free black people in the city of Lima (a city with a majority black population throughout the seventeenth century), I reconstruct both their theoretical status and its manifestations in practice. I argue that black limeños used corporate politics to build a república de negros that governed itself and negotiated with political authorities. The structure of the república both enabled and restricted the agency of its members and made it possible for them to make a case that they were Spaniards.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37368489
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