Empire of Law and Indian Justice in Colonial Mexico

Author: Brian Philip Owensby
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804758635
Release Date: 2008
Genre: History

Brian P. Owensby is Associate Professor in the University of Virginia's Corcoran Department of History. He is the author of Intimate Ironies: Modernity and the Making of Middle-Class Lives in Brazil (Stanford, 1999).

Law and the Transformation of Aztec Culture 1500 1700

Author: Susan Kellogg
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806136855
Release Date: 2005-01
Genre: History

In this book, Susan Kellogg explains how Spanish law served as an instrument of cultural transformation and adaptation in the lives of Nahuatl-speaking peoples during the years 1500-1700 - the first two centuries of colonial rule. She shows that law had an impact on numerous aspects of daily life, especially gender relations, patterns of property ownership and transmission, and family and kinship organization. Based on a wide array of local-level Spanish and Nahuatl documentation and an intensive analysis of seventy-three lawsuits over property involving Indians residing in colonial Mexico City (Tenochtitlan), this work reveals how legal documentation offers important clues to attitudes and perceptions. Although Kellogg's analysis reflects contemporary and theoretical developments in social and literary theory, it also applies a unique ethnographic and textual approach to the subject.

Justice in a New World

Author: Brian P. Owensby
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9781479858910
Release Date: 2018-09-25
Genre: History

A historical and legal examination of the conflict and interplay between settler and indigenous laws in the New World As British and Iberian empires expanded across the New World, differing notions of justice and legality played out against one another as settlers and indigenous people sought to negotiate their relationship. In order for settlers and natives to learn from, maneuver, resist, or accommodate each other, they had to grasp something of each other's legal ideas and conceptions of justice. This ambitious volume advances our understanding of how natives and settlers in both the British and Iberian New World empires struggled to use the other’s ideas of law and justice as a political, strategic, and moral resource. In so doing, indigenous people and settlers alike changed their own practices of law and dialogue about justice. Europeans and natives appealed to imperfect understandings of their interlocutors’ notions of justice and advanced their own conceptions during workaday negotiations, disputes, and assertions of right. Settlers’ and indigenous peoples’ legal presuppositions shaped and sometimes misdirected their attempts to employ each other’s law. Natives and settlers construed and misconstrued each other's legal commitments while learning about them, never quite sure whether they were on solid ground. Chapters explore the problem of “legal intelligibility”: How and to what extent did settler law and its associated notions of justice became intelligible—tactically, technically and morally—to natives, and vice versa? To address this question, the volume offers a critical comparison between English and Iberian New World empires. Chapters probe such topics as treaty negotiations, land sales, and the corporate privileges of indigenous peoples. Ultimately, Justice in a New World offers both a deeper understanding of the transformation of notions of justice and law among settlers and indigenous people, and a dual comparative study of what it means for laws and moral codes to be legally intelligible.

Hybrid Constitutions

Author: Vicki Hsueh
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822391616
Release Date: 2010-01-06
Genre: Political Science

In Hybrid Constitutions, Vicki Hsueh contests the idea that early-modern colonial constitutions were part of a uniform process of modernization, conquest, and assimilation. Through detailed analyses of the founding of several seventeenth-century English proprietary colonies in North America, she reveals how diverse constitutional thought and practice were at the time, and how colonial ambitions were advanced through cruelty toward indigenous peoples as well as accommodation of them. Proprietary colonies were governed by individuals (or small groups of individuals) granted colonial charters by the Crown. These proprietors had quasi-sovereign status over their colonies; they were able to draw on and transform English legal and political instruments as they developed constitutions. Hsueh demonstrates that the proprietors cobbled together constitutions based on the terms of their charters and the needs of their settlements. The “hybrid constitutions” they created were often altered based on interactions among the English settlers, other European settlers, and indigenous peoples. Hsueh traces the historical development and theoretical implications of proprietary constitutionalism by examining the founding of the colonies of Maryland, Carolina, and Pennsylvania. She provides close readings of colonial proclamations, executive orders, and assembly statutes, as well as the charter granting Cecilius Calvert the colony of Maryland in 1632; the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina, adopted in 1669; and the treaties brokered by William Penn and various Lenni Lenape and Susquehannock tribes during the 1680s and 1690s. These founding documents were shaped by ambition, contingency, and limited resources; they reflected an ambiguous and unwieldy colonialism rather than a purposeful, uniform march to modernity. Hsueh concludes by reflecting on hybridity as a rubric for analyzing the historical origins of colonialism and reconsidering contemporary indigenous claims in former settler colonies such as Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

Law and Identity in Colonial South Asia

Author: Mitra Sharafi
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139868068
Release Date: 2014-04-21
Genre: History

This book explores the legal culture of the Parsis, or Zoroastrians, an ethnoreligious community unusually invested in the colonial legal system of British India and Burma. Rather than trying to maintain collective autonomy and integrity by avoiding interaction with the state, the Parsis sank deep into the colonial legal system itself. From the late eighteenth century until India's independence in 1947, they became heavy users of colonial law, acting as lawyers, judges, litigants, lobbyists, and legislators. They de-Anglicized the law that governed them and enshrined in law their own distinctive models of the family and community by two routes: frequent intra-group litigation often managed by Parsi legal professionals in the areas of marriage, inheritance, religious trusts, and libel, and the creation of legislation that would become Parsi personal law. Other South Asian communities also turned to law, but none seems to have done so earlier or in more pronounced ways than the Parsis.

The Invisible War

Author: David Tavarez
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 080477739X
Release Date: 2011-02-14
Genre: History

After the conquest of Mexico, colonial authorities attempted to enforce Christian beliefs among indigenous peoples—a project they envisioned as spiritual warfare. The Invisible War assesses this immense but dislocated project by examining all known efforts in Central Mexico to obliterate native devotions of Mesoamerican origin between the 1530s and the late eighteenth century. The author's innovative interpretation of these efforts is punctuated by three events: the creation of an Inquisition tribunal in Mexico in 1571; the native rebellion of Tehuantepec in 1660; and the emergence of eerily modern strategies for isolating idolaters, teaching Spanish to natives, and obtaining medical proof of sorcery from the 1720s onwards. Rather than depicting native devotions solely from the viewpoint of their colonial codifiers, this book rescues indigenous perspectives on their own beliefs. This is achieved by an analysis of previously unknown or rare ritual texts that circulated in secrecy in Nahua and Zapotec communities through an astute appropriation of European literacy. Tavárez contends that native responses gave rise to a colonial archipelago of faith in which local cosmologies merged insights from Mesoamerican and European beliefs. In the end, idolatry eradication inspired distinct reactions: while Nahua responses focused on epistemological dissent against Christianity, Zapotec strategies privileged confrontations in defense of native cosmologies.

Legal Histories of the British Empire

Author: Shaunnagh Dorsett
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317915744
Release Date: 2014-04-24
Genre: History

This book is a major contribution to our understanding of the role played by law(s) in the British Empire. Using a variety of interdisciplinary approaches, the authors provide in-depth analyses which shine new light on the role of law in creating the people and places of the British Empire. Ranging from the United States, through Calcutta, across Australasia to the Gold Coast, these essays seek to investigate law’s central place in the British Empire, and the role of its agents in embedding British rule and culture in colonial territories. One of the first collections to provide a sustained engagement with the legal histories of the British Empire, in particular beyond the settler colonies, this work aims to encourage further scholarship and new approaches to the writing of the histories of that Empire. Legal Histories of the British Empire: Laws, Engagements and Legacies will be of value not only to legal scholars and graduate students, but of interest to all of those who want to know more about the laws in and of the British Empire.

India in the Shadows of Empire

Author: Mithi Mukherjee
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199088119
Release Date: 2009-11-25
Genre: History

This book explains the postcolonial Indian polity by presenting an alternative historical narrative of the British Empire in India and India's struggle for independence. It pursues this narrative along two major trajectories. On the one hand, it focuses on the role of imperial judicial institutions and practices in the making of both the British Empire and the anti-colonial movement under the Congress, with the lawyer as political leader. On the other hand, it offers a novel interpretation of Gandhi's non-violent resistance movement as being different from the Congress. It shows that the Gandhian movement, as the most powerful force largely responsible for India's independence, was anchored not in western discourses of political and legislative freedom but rather in Indic traditions of renunciative freedom, with the renouncer as leader. This volume offers a comprehensive and new reinterpretation of the Indian Constitution in the light of this historical narrative. The book contends that the British colonial idea of justice and the Gandhian ethos of resistance have been the two competing and conflicting driving forces that have determined the nature and evolution of the Indian polity after independence.

The Slave Trade and the Origins of International Human Rights Law

Author: Jenny S. Martinez
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 9780195391626
Release Date: 2012-01-04
Genre: History

As Jenny Martinez shows in this groundbreaking new book, the international human rights law that we know today is not solely a post-World War II development, as most scholars claim, but rather has roots in one of the nineteenth century's central moral causes: the movement to ban the international slave trade. Martinez focuses in particular on international courts for the suppression of the slave trade. The courts, which were created by treaties and based in the Caribbean, West Africa,Cape Town, and Brazil, helped free more than 80,000 Africans from captured slave ships between 1807 and 1871. Here then, buried in the dusty archives of admiralty courts, ships' logs, and the British foreign office, Martinez uncovers the foundations of contemporary human rights law: international courts exercising jurisdiction over crimes against humanity" long before the Nuremberg trials. Fueled by a powerful thesis and drawing on novel evidence, Martinez's work will reshape the fields of human rights history and international human rights law."

Asian Slaves in Colonial Mexico

Author: Tatiana Seijas
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139952859
Release Date: 2014-06-23
Genre: History

During the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, countless slaves from culturally diverse communities in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia journeyed to Mexico on the ships of the Manila Galleon. Upon arrival in Mexico, they were grouped together and categorized as chinos. Their experience illustrates the interconnectedness of Spain's colonies and the reach of the crown, which brought people together from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe in a historically unprecedented way. In time, chinos in Mexico came to be treated under the law as Indians, becoming indigenous vassals of the Spanish crown after 1672. The implications of this legal change were enormous: as Indians, rather than chinos, they could no longer be held as slaves. Tatiana Seijas tracks chinos' complex journey from the slave market in Manila to the streets of Mexico City, and from bondage to liberty. In doing so, she challenges commonly held assumptions about the uniformity of the slave experience in the Americas.

The Old Regime and the Haitian Revolution

Author: Malick W. Ghachem
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521836807
Release Date: 2012-03-05
Genre: History

"The Haitian Revolution (1789-1804) was an epochal event that galvanized slaves and terrified planters throughout the Atlantic world. Rather than view this tumultuous period solely as a radical rupture with slavery, Malick W. Ghachem's innovative study shows that emancipation in Haiti was also a long-term product of its colonial legal history. Ghachem takes us deep into this volatile colonial past, digging beyond the letter of the law and vividly re-enacting such episodes as the extraordinary prosecutionof a master for torturing and killing his slaves. This book brings us face-to-face with the revolutionary invocation of Old Regime law by administrators seeking stability, but also by free people of color and slaves demanding citizenship and an end to brutality. The result is a subtle yet dramatic portrait of the strategic stakes of colonial governance in the land that would become Haiti"--Provided by publisher.

Urban Indians in a Silver City

Author: Dana Velasco Murillo
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804799645
Release Date: 2016-06-22
Genre: History

In the sixteenth century, silver mined by native peoples became New Spain's most important export. Silver production served as a catalyst for northern expansion, creating mining towns that led to the development of new industries, markets, population clusters, and frontier institutions. Within these towns, the need for labor, raw materials, resources, and foodstuffs brought together an array of different ethnic and social groups—Spaniards, Indians, Africans, and ethnically mixed individuals or castas. On the northern edge of the empire, 350 miles from Mexico City, sprung up Zacatecas, a silver-mining town that would grow in prominence to become the "Second City of New Spain." Urban Indians in a Silver City illuminates the social footprint of colonial Mexico's silver mining district. It reveals the men, women, children, and families that shaped indigenous society and shifts the view of indigenous peoples from mere laborers to settlers and vecinos (municipal residents). Dana Velasco Murillo shows how native peoples exploited the urban milieu to create multiple statuses and identities that allowed them to live in Zacatecas as both Indians and vecinos. In reconsidering traditional paradigms about ethnicity and identity among the urban Indian population, she raises larger questions about the nature and rate of cultural change in the Mexican north.

The Enlightenment on Trial

Author: Associate Professor of History Bianca Premo
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190638733
Release Date: 2017-02-16
Genre:

This is a history not of an Enlightenment but rather the Enlightenment - the rights-oriented, formalist, secularizing, freedom-inspired eighteenth-century movement that defined modern Western law. Its principal protagonists, rather than members of a cosmopolitan Republic of Letters, arenon-literate, poor, and enslaved litigants who sued their superiors in the royal courts of Spain's American colonies. Despite growing evidence of the Hispanic world's contributions to Enlightenment science, the writing of history, and statecraft, it is conventionally believed to have taken an alternate route to modernity. This book grapples with the contradiction between this legacy and eighteenth-century SpanishAmericans' active production of concepts fundamental to modern law. The book is intensely empirical even as it is sly situated within current theoretical debates about imperial geographies of history. The Enlightenment on Trial offers readers new insight into how legal documents were made, freshinterpretations of the intellectual transformations and legal reform policies of the period, and comparative analysis of the volume of civil suits from six regions in Mexico, Peru and Spain. Ordinary litigants in the colonies-far more often than peninsular Spaniards-sued superiors at an accelerating pace in the second half of the eighteenth century. Three types of cases increased even faster than a stunning general rise of civil suits in the colonies: those that slaves, native peasantsand women initiated against masters, native leaders and husbands. As they entered court, these litigants advanced a new law-centered culture distinct from the casuistic, justice-oriented legal culture of the early modern period. And they did so at precisely the same time that a few bright minds ofEurope enshrined them in print. The conclusion considers why, if this is so, the Spanish empire has remained marginal to the story of the advent of the modern West.

Subjects Citizens and Law

Author: Gunnel Cederlöf
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 9781315392493
Release Date: 2016-10-26
Genre: HISTORY

This volume investigates how, where and when subjects and citizens come into being, assert themselves and exercise subjecthood or citizenship in the formation of modern India. It argues for the importance of understanding legal practice – how rights are performed in dispute and negotiation – from the parliament and courts to street corners and field sites. The essays in the book explore themes such as land law and rights, court procedure, freedom of speech, sex workers’ mobilisation, refugee status, adivasi people and non-state actors, and bring together studies from across north India, spanning from early colonial to contemporary times. Representing scholarship in history, anthropology and political science that draws on wide-ranging field and archival research, the volume will immensely benefit scholars, students and researchers of development, history, political science, sociology, anthropology, law and public policy.

Asian Slaves in Colonial Mexico

Author: Tatiana Seijas
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107063129
Release Date: 2014-06-23
Genre: History

"During the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, countless slaves from culturally diverse communities in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia journeyed to Mexico on the ships of the Manila Galleon. Upon arrival in Mexico, they were grouped together and categorized as chinos. In time, chinos came to be treated under the law as Indians (the term for all native people of Spain's colonies) and became indigenous vassals of the Spanish crown after 1672. The implications of this legal change were enormous: as Indians, rather than chinos, they could no longer be held as slaves. By tracking these individuals' complex journey from the bondage of the Manila slave market to the freedom of Mexico City streets, Tatiana Seijas challenges commonly held assumptions about the uniformity of the slave experience in the Americas and shows that the history of coerced labor is necessarily connected to colonial expansion and forced global migration"--