Latin American Studies Legal History of New Spain, 16th-17th Centuries
by
Margarita Bornemann Menegus
  • LAST REVIEWED: 05 May 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 30 July 2014
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199766581-0162

Introduction

The legal history of New Spain during the 16th and 17th centuries has been studied from three perspectives: that of the legal historians, from an institutional viewpoint, and finally with regard to the social history. The historians of Derecho indiano qualify the law of the 16th and 17th centuries as casuistic in nature. That is to say that orders are given for specific situations; there is no general legislation. On the one hand, during the first century under Spanish domination, the governmental institutions were undergoing their construction and thus throughout the 16th century were experiencing constant change. Víctor Tau Anzoátegui proposed that there were three types of norms applied in America: (1) those issued by the Council of the Indies, (2) those taken from the registration books (cedularios) and from what became the Recopilación de leyes de Indias in 1690, and (3) those from the set of rules emanating from the viceroy, the Audience, the governors, and other representatives of the king in those dominions. The name of Derecho indiano is given to this set of normatives. On the other hand, it must be understood that the colonial society was a society integrated by corporations and that each corporation was ruled by its own laws, by way of Ordenanzas or Estatutos. That said, the legal history of New Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries is, in reality, the history of a multiplicity of institutions that were transferred from Castile and underwent important modifications during their establishment on American soil. Furthermore, it is important to note that—given the Mesoamerican cultural diversity—the institutions, both transferred and created locally, behaved differently according to the local cultural and regional conditions. Therefore, the historiography of New Spain is characterized by case studies, and the works of a general character, in reality, cover the history of the most-important institutions, such as the Council of the Indies, the encomienda, and the tribute, or the history of the diverse tribunals. Moreover, we find works that reflect upon the actions of the Spanish monarchy in America. It is important to note that in this article the themes registered cover both the royal and ecclesiastical fields. Legal historians have concentrated their efforts on the study of Derecho indiano and on the major legal controversies during the first few years after the discovery of the Americas. Meanwhile, institutional historians have concentrated on the study of the incorporation of the Castilian institutions into the indigenous and Creole world, as well as on general institutional history. And, finally, social historians have focused on observing the application of the law by way of case studies, including their regional and temporal variants.

General Overviews

To understand the conquest of America it is necessary to comprehend the legal aspects of the incorporation of the Americas to the Spanish Crown. Manzano Manzano 1948 addresses this problem thoroughly. On the other hand, Manzano Manzano 1991, the author’s history of the Recopilación de leyes de Indias, provides the reader with a general account of the evolution of law in the 16th and 17th centuries. Góngora 1951 offers a general overview of the creation of the modern Spanish state. Lynch 2000 is an excellent summary of the Spanish Empire during the first two centuries.

  • Góngora, Mario. El estado en el derecho indiano: Época de fundación 1492–1570. Santiago: Universidad de Chile, 1951.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »

    This work covers the concept of the state in Castilian law and legal doctrine. It also discusses the creation of jurisdictional and governmental bodies for the Indies, including local legislation. The work has a broad perspective covering the whole of Latin America.

    Find this resource:

    • Lynch, John. Los Austrias (1516–1598). Serie Mayor. Barcelona: Editorial Crítica, 2000.

      Save Citation »Export Citation »

      A wonderful summary of the Spanish Empire during the 16th and 17th centuries. First published in 1992.

      Find this resource:

      • Manzano Manzano, Juan. La incorporación de las Indias a la Corona de Castilla. Madrid: Ediciones Cultura Hispánica, 1948.

        Save Citation »Export Citation »

        This publication addresses not only the discussion on the Justos títulos and the doctrinarian position of several jurists of the time but also covers fundamental themes such as the incorporation of America into the Spanish Crown and the accompanying legal implications.

        Find this resource:

        • Manzano Manzano, Juan. Historia de la recopilaciones de Indias. 2 vols. 3d ed. Madrid: Instituto de Cooperatión Iberoamericana, Ediciones de Cultura Hispánica, 1991.

          Save Citation »Export Citation »

          This publication is the only comprehensive study on this great work. First published in 1950 (Madrid: Ediciones Cultura Hispánica).

          Find this resource:

          Derecho indiano

          Derecho indiano has been studied primarily by law historians. In this field, the pioneering works of Rafael Altamira, Ricardo Levene, Alfonso García Gallo, and Juan Manzano Manzano, and, more recently, Víctor Tau Anzoátegui (Tau Anzoátegui 1982, Tau Anzoátegui 1992), stand out as exemplary. It should be stated here that it was often the case whereby law historians were the ones who translated important legal texts from Latin, in addition to the publication of the most-significant legal texts of the time. In this regard, it is necessary to highlight the works carried out by Luciano Pereña, who also promoted the publication of sources of law in the Hispanorum Pace Collection. Muro Orejón 1989 is a general introduction for beginners, and González 1995 provides the reader with a historiographical account on how the most-recent studies have revisited this theme. On the other hand, Sánchez Bella, et al. 1992 offers a broad perspective, including ecclesiastical law.

          • González, María del Refugio. El derecho indiano y el derecho provincial novohispano: Marco historiográfico y conceptual. Cuadernos Constitutionales México-Centroamérica 17. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1995.

            Save Citation »Export Citation »

            This publication makes a historiographical balance of the most-important authors who have written on the theme of Derecho indiano and how its conceptualization has evolved.

            Find this resource:

            • Muro Orejón, Antonio. Lecciones de historia del derecho hispano-indiano. Mexico City: Miguel Ángel Porrúa, 1989.

              Save Citation »Export Citation »

              A comprehensive introduction to the study of Derecho indiano.

              Find this resource:

              • Sánchez Bella, Ismael, Alberto de la Hera, and Carlos Díaz Rementería. Historia del derecho indiano. Colección Relaciones entre España y América 11. Madrid: Editorial MAPFRE, 1992.

                Save Citation »Export Citation »

                This book analyzes—from the perspective of the history of law—the concept of Derecho indiano in general and goes on to explain other laws; for example, the rights of individuals and families, ecclesiastical laws, and laws pertaining to property and contracts.

                Find this resource:

                • Tau Anzoátegui, Víctor. ¿Qué fue el derecho indiano? 2d ed. Monografías Jurídicas 148. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Editorial Abeledo-Perrot, 1982.

                  Save Citation »Export Citation »

                  Here, the author offers the reader a clear and concise explanation on this theme. Included are casuistry, Creole laws and customs, and the canonic norms.

                  Find this resource:

                  • Tau Anzoátegui, Víctor. Casuismo y sistema: Indagación histórica sobre el espíritu del derecho indiano. Bueno Aires, Argentina: Instituto de Investigaciones de Historia del Derecho, 1992.

                    Save Citation »Export Citation »

                    This book offers a deeper understanding of the nature of casuismo, case law in America.

                    Find this resource:

                    Historical Sources

                    The Burgos Laws are the most important legal framework given initially for the New World. Unfortunately, we have a complete version of these laws published only in Gomez 1996. During the 16th century the oidores of the Real Audiencia de Mexico compiled the existing legislation of their time; these works are in Encinas 1945–1946, Puga 1985, and Bernal 1985. The other laws that determined the evolution of the Spanish Empire in America in this period were the Leyes nuevas of 1542–1543 (Muro Orejón 1945) and the Recopilación de leyes de los reinos de las Indias of 1690, which is a unique work that encompasses most of the law given for America after the conquest. On the other hand, Solórzano Pereira 1996 and Solórzano Pereira 1999–2001 give us the ideological foundations of the Spanish monarchy, from a legal perspective.

                    • Bernal, Beatriz, ed. Leyes y ordenanzas reales de las Indias del mar océano por las cuales primeramente se han de librar todos los pleitos civiles y criminales de aquellas partes y lo que por ellas no estuviere determinado se han de librar por las leyes y ordenanzas de los reinos de Castilla por Alonso Zorita, 1574. 2d ed. Mexico City: Porrúa, 1985.

                      Save Citation »Export Citation »

                      Paleographical version and critical study by Bernal. Contains all the laws and royal orders up to the time of its publication.

                      Find this resource:

                      • Encinas, Diego de. Cedulario indiano. 4 vols. Edited by Alfonso García Gallo. Madrid: Ediciones Cultura Hispánica, 1945–1946.

                        Save Citation »Export Citation »

                        Study and indexes by Alfonso García Gallo. Diego de Encinas compiled the Reales cédulas and other legal dispositions proclaimed by the kings of Castile, from Fernando and Isabel, until the reign of Felipe II. It covers a large period, from Columbus’s voyage to America to the time of its publication in the year 1596. This cedulario served as the basis for the Recopilación de leyes de Indias.

                        Find this resource:

                        • Gomez, Thomas. Droit de conquête et droit des Indiens. Collection U 30. Paris: Masson & Armand Colin Éditeurs, 1996.

                          Save Citation »Export Citation »

                          A full version of the Burgos Laws is published in this work (pp. 127–141).

                          Find this resource:

                          • Muro Orejón, Antonio, ed. Las leyes nuevas de 1542–1543: Reproducción de los ejemplares existentes en la sección de Patronato del Archivo General de Indias. Seville, Spain: IGASA, 1945.

                            Save Citation »Export Citation »

                            Transcription and notes by Antonio Muro Orejón. These laws were the result of the efforts of Bartolomé de Las Casas, in the court, in defense of the Indians. They sought, fundamentally, to limit and abolish the institution of the encomienda.

                            Find this resource:

                            • Muro Orejón, Antonio, ed. Las ordenanzas de 1571 del real y supremo consejo de las Indias. Publicaciones de la Escuela de Estudios Hispanoamericanos de Sevilla 124. Seville, Spain: Escuela de Estudios Hispanoamericanos de Sevilla, 1957.

                              Save Citation »Export Citation »

                              A complete body of law that was given by the Consejo de Indias.

                              Find this resource:

                              • Puga, Vasco de. Cedulario de la Nueva España. Mexico City: Centro de Estudios de Historia de México Condumex, 1985.

                                Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                Vasco de Puga was the judge of the Audience of Mexico and was requested by Viceroy Don Luis de Velasco to compile this collection of laws in response to a royal decree. The work covers the period from 1525 to 1563.

                                Find this resource:

                                • Recopilación de leyes de los reinos de las Indias: Mandadas imprimir y publicar por la majestad católica del rey Don Carlos II, nuestro señor. Madrid: Ediciones de Cultura Hispánica, 1973.

                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                  As of its publication, it remained in effect throughout the whole of the colonial period.

                                  Find this resource:

                                  • Solórzano Pereira, Juan de. Política indiana. 3 vols. Biblioteca Castro. Madrid: CSIC, 1996.

                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                    This work is a theoretical explanation of the legal and political system that was introduced in the New World.

                                    Find this resource:

                                    • Solórzano Pereira, Juan de. De Indiarum iure: Libros I, II, y III. 3 vols. Corpus Hispanorum de Pace, 2d ser. 1, 5, 7. Madrid: CSIC, 1999–2001.

                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                      This is a highly extensive and scholarly work in which the author explains and justifies the incorporation of America to the Spanish Crown, from a royalist perspective.

                                      Find this resource:

                                      The Justos títulos and the Lawful Status of the Indian

                                      The theme of the Justos títulos is essential to the understanding of the behavior of the Spanish monarch in the first half of the 16th century. It was a topic long discussed and debated by the theologians and jurists of the time. The problem centers on the scope of the bulls issued by Pope Alexander VI. Zavala 1971 is one of the best works written on this theme, as is Alfonso García Gallos’s study (García Gallo 1992). Some of the theologians believed that the papal bull granted the Spanish monarch the sole right to preach and spread the Christian faith in the new lands. Castañeda Delgado 1996 reveals the importance of the controversy, from an ecclesiastical point of view. Others, on the contrary, sought to extend the monarch’s rights to cover other areas. The main question: What were the legal titles that granted legitimacy to the Crown of Castile and Leon to establish themselves in America? Participating in the debate were Bartolomé de Las Casas, Francisco de Vitoria, Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, and many other writers of the time. Assadourian 1998, Assadourian 1989, and Parish and Weidman 1996 reveal different aspects of Las Casas’s political ideas. Bataillon and Saint-Lu 1971 offers the reader a more European perspective while considering the political situation in Europe at that time. Muldoon 1980 is by one of the few historians who gives us a new interpretation of the Requerimiento. On the other hand, García Gallo 1992 and Castañeda Delgado 1996 focus on the church’s perspective in the New World controversies, and Zavala 1971 emphasizes the Spanish Crown perspective. Given the importance of this theme, the relevant literature is abundant.

                                      • Assadourian, Carlos Sempat. “Fray Alonso de Maldonado: La política indiana, el estado de damnación del Rey Católico y la Inquisición.” Historia Mexicana 38.152 (1989): 623–661.

                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                        The article discusses the writings of Maldonado from the decade of 1560 with regard to the rights of the monarchy over the property of the Indians, as well as Indian tributes. With this work the author contributes to the discussion on the Justos títulos, which remained in force throughout much of the 16th century. He also includes some previously unpublished Memoriales of the friar.

                                        Find this resource:

                                        • Assadourian, Carlos Sempat. “Hacia la “Sublimis Deus”: Las discordias entre los dominicos indianos y el enfrentamiento del franciscano padre Tastera con el padre Betanzos.” Historia Mexicana 47.3 (1998): 465–536.

                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                          The discussion regarding the rights of the monarchy in America provokes contrasting viewpoints between the members of an order such as the Dominicans. The author analyzes the history of the papal bull known as the Sublimis Deus, of great importance for the future of the Indians’ legal status.

                                          Find this resource:

                                          • Bataillon, Marcel, and André Saint-Lu. Las Casas et la défense des Indiens. Collection Archives 40. Paris, Julliard, 1971.

                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                            Bataillon dedicated several of his works to the study of Las Casas, and, as the great Spanish scholar that he was, he analyzes the thoughts and actions of Las Casas in defense of the Indians, taking into account the historical setting of the time.

                                            Find this resource:

                                            • Castañeda Delgado, Paulino. La teocracia pontifical en las controversias sobre el Nuevo Mundo. Serie C—Estudios Históricos 59. Mexico City: Universidad Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, 1996.

                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                              In this book, the author stresses the importance of this doctrine of papal theocracy with regard to a greater understanding of the relationship between the church and the state at the juncture of the conquest of America. This doctrine holds that the pope governed the whole world by divine right.

                                              Find this resource:

                                              • García Gallo, Alfonso, ed. Las bulas de Alejandro VI sobre el Nuevo Mundo descubierto por Colón. Tabula Americae 22. Madrid: Testimonio, 1992.

                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                A comprehensive study of the papal bulls.

                                                Find this resource:

                                                • Muldoon, James. “John Wyclif and the Rights of the Infidels: The Requerimiento Re-examined.” Americas 36.3 (1980): 301–316.

                                                  DOI: 10.2307/981289Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                  This article discusses the thesis of Lewis Hanke (Hanke 1949, cited under the Just War or Peaceful Preaching) regarding the meaning of the Requerimiento en la conquista de los Americanos. It suggests that the Requerimiento is based on the theories of Pope Innocent IV and that its purpose was to protect the Hispanic government from the accusation that the Spanish conquest was based on heretical principles.

                                                  Find this resource:

                                                  • Parish, Helen-Rand, and Harold E. Weidman. Las Casas en México: Historia y obra desconocidas. Sección de Obras de Historia. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1996.

                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                    The authors make a great contribution by revealing new details and documents about Las Casas. Includes the publication of a previously unknown text titled De exemptione sive damanatione (Of exemption or damnation), among others.

                                                    Find this resource:

                                                    • Zavala, Silvio A. Las instituciones jurídicas en la conquista de América. 2d ed. Biblioteca Porrúa 50. Mexico City: Editorial Porrúa, 1971.

                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                      This is considered an obligatory reference book since the author studies the conquest of America from a historical-legal viewpoint and their diverse implications. It covers topics such as the bulls of Alexander VI, the theory of war, evangelization, the expeditions, and, finally, the effects of what the author calls the penetration.

                                                      Find this resource:

                                                      The Just War or Peaceful Preaching

                                                      In the meeting known as the Junta de Valladolid, which was held between 1550 and 1551, a discussion took place between Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, a supporter of the Just War against the Indies, and Bartolomé de Las Casas, an advocate of peaceful preaching. Hanke 1949 and Carrillo Cázares, 2000 recreate this discussion. Powell, 1952 is a classic study of the war against the Chichimecas, and, more recently on the same theme, Carrillo Cázares, 2000 brings new information forward.

                                                      • Carrillo Cázares, Alberto. El debate sobre la guerra chichimeca, 1531–1585: Derecho y política en la Nueva España. 2 vols. Zamora, Mexico: El Colegio de Michoacán, 2000.

                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                        This is, without doubt, the most comprehensive work on the subject. It covers the war against the Chichimecas from a doctrinal and ethical perspective. Furthermore, the debates held in the ecclesiastical and theological meetings are discussed, as are the first proposals regarding the idea of peacemaking through settlement. The second volume is a compilation of sources on the theme.

                                                        Find this resource:

                                                        • Hanke, Lewis. The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1949.

                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                          This is a classic and pioneering work regarding the great controversies of the Spanish conquest. Hanke sought to focus his interpretation from the perspective of a Christian enterprise, rather than from the traditional perspective of the military conquest. The text covers several crucial themes, the Requerimiento, the Justos títulos, peaceful preaching, and, above all, the discussion between Las Casas and Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda on the Just War.

                                                          Find this resource:

                                                          • Powell, Philip Wayne. Soldiers, Indians, and Silver. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1952.

                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                            The text introduces the reader to the expansion process carried out by the Spanish, heading northward along the silver route. Furthermore, it covers the war, the fortresses, and the new defensive settlements, among other institutions near the northern border of the country. Republished most recently in 1975 as Soldiers, Indians & Silver: The Northward Advance of New Spain, 1550–1600 (Tempe: Center for Latin American Studies, Arizona State University).

                                                            Find this resource:

                                                            Historical Sources

                                                            Las Casas 1988 is a complete collection of the author’s writings, and Volume 9 addresses the theme of peaceful preaching, a work that influenced many in its time. Baciero, et al. 1997 was one of the most influential texts of its time.

                                                            • Baciero, Carlos, L. Baciero, Francisco Maseda, and Luciano Pereña, eds. Alonso de Veracruz: De iusto bello contra Indios. Corpus Hispanorum de Pace, 2d ser. 4. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1997.

                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                              This publication, a critical bilingual edition, is crucial to an understanding of the judicial and theological points of view that the Indians, although neophytes, had the right to own property and to govern their own heritage.

                                                              Find this resource:

                                                              • Las Casas, Bartolomé de. Las obras completas. Vol. 9, Apología. Edited by Ángel Losada. Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1988.

                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                This is the most important work produced by Las Casas in defense of the process of peaceful preaching and evangelism.

                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                Indian Labor

                                                                The forced labor (repartimiento forzoso de mano de obra) undergone by the Indian population has been discussed at length due to the fact that it violated the freedom supposedly granted to them as free vassals by his majesty. Several authors discussed the problem both from moral and ethical standpoints; this is the case with Castañeda Delgado 1983. Moreover, there is a vast body of literature covering the theme of the Indian workers in several sectors of the colonial economy. Zavala 1985–1995 is a collection of documents that reveal the forced working conditions of New Spain throughout the colonial period. Miño 2009 is a comparative study directed toward the textile industry.

                                                                • Castañeda Delgado, Paulino. Los memoriales del padre Silva sobre la predicación pacífica y repartimientos. Colección Tierra Nueva e Cielo Nuevo 6. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1983.

                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                  In the second part of this work, Castañeda Delgado analyzes the problems of the Indian worker from the perspective of theological ethics, on the basis of the three memorials of the Franciscan monk Juan de Silva, written at the turn of the 17th century. The friar discusses the sharing and distribution of forced repartimientos and the personal services carried out by Indian workers.

                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                  • Miño Grijalva, Manuel. “Trabajo, Estado y normatividad: El marco legal de la producción textil en Nueva España y Perú.” In Condiciones de vida y de trabajo en la América colonial: Legislación, prácticas laborales y sistemas salariales. Edited by Enriqueta Quiroz and Diana Bonnett, 67–103. Estudios Interdisciplinarios sobre la Conquista y la Colonia de América 5. Bogotá, Colombia: Universidad de los Andes–CESO, 2009.

                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                    This article deals with the many provisions and regulations that were issued regarding the textile industry. In the case of New Spain, the author suggests that the formal organization was much stronger and consolidated than in Peru.

                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                    • Zavala, Silvio. El servicio personal de los indios en la Nueva España. 7 vols. Mexico City: El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Históricos, 1985–1995.

                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                      In these volumes, Zavala presents an exhaustive history of the Indian worker from the 16th to the 17th centuries. He discusses Indian labor in the fields of agriculture, livestock, mining, and urban services, along with what he calls special services. Within the latter category, he analyzes the work carried out on ecclesiastical constructions, along with other public works.

                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                      Historical Sources

                                                                      Zavala 1980 and Zavala and Castelo 1980 offer the most complete selection of documents with regard to the working conditions in New Spain during the colonial period. Barrio Lorenzot 1920 is a classic study that analyzes the different existing guilds in New Spain.

                                                                      • Barrio Lorenzot, Juan Francisco del. El trabajo en México durante la época colonial: Ordenanzas de gremios de la Nueva España; Compendio de los tres tomos de la compilación nueva de ordenanzas de la muy noble, insigne y muy leal e imperial ciudad de México. Mexico City: Secretaría de Industria de México, Secretaría de Gobernación y Dirección de Talleres Gráficos, 1920.

                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                        A valuable collection of norms that governed the various guilds in Mexico City.

                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                        • Zavala, Silvio. Ordenanzas del trabajo, siglos XVI y XVII. Colección de Obras Históricas Mexicanas. Mexico City: Centro de Estudios Históricos del Movimiento Obrero Mexicano, 1980.

                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                          A collection of ordinances covering several trades, mines, transport, and other areas of the colonial economy. First published in 1947 (Mexico City: Editorial Elede).

                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                          • Zavala, Silvio, and María Castelo. Fuentes para la historia del trabajo en Nueva España. 8 vols. Mexico City: Centro de Estudios Históricos del Movimiento Obrero Mexicano, 1980.

                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                            This collection of documents covers the 16th and 18th centuries and is, without doubt, the most important with regard to the study of Indian labor. Essentially, it covers the commandments pronounced by the viceroys dealing with the distribution of the Indian workers to the various Spanish companies and authorities, and even to the caciques. First published between 1939 and 1945 (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica).

                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                            The Administration of Justice

                                                                            Initially, land conflicts and tributes were attended directly by the Audiencia de México after its founding in 1528. Moreover, from the peninsula, it was the Council of the Indies (Consejo de Indias) that had the most extensive jurisdiction with regard to the resolving of conflicts resulting from the conquest. If justice was not agreed through the Audiencia, subjects had the right to appeal directly to the king by way of the Council of the Indies. The literature on this topic has undergone some important changes during the early 21st century. The classic works on the Audiencia, including Arregui Zamorano 1981 (cited under the Royal Audience of Mexico) for the Audiencia de Nueva Galicia, Parry 1948 for the Council of the Indies, and Schäfer 2003 (cited under the Other Courts) for El Consejo Real y Supremo de las Indias, have been complemented by the studies carried out on the manuscripts elaborated by the indigenous population during the colonial era. In this sense, the initial works of Perla Valle (Valle 1993) stand out with regard to the administration of justice between the Indians, through his research on the Tepetlaoxtoc manuscript.

                                                                            • Parry, John H. The Audiencia of New Galicia in the Sixteenth Century: A Study in Spanish Colonial Government. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1948.

                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                              It is a complete history of the founding of the Audiencia de Nueva Galicia in the 16th century.

                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                              • Valle, Perla. Memorial de los indios de Tepetlaóztoc ó códice Kingsborough. Colección Científica 263. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 1993.

                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                This study analyzes the tributes offered by the natives of the town of Tepetlaóztoc to their encomendero. The Indians elaborated a manuscript, or pictographic document, to denounce the abuses committed by their encomendero. The document was produced in 1554 and recounts the history of this encomienda since its creation in 1522.

                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                The Royal Audience of Mexico

                                                                                The first Audience was ineffective and was fully renovated in 1529, which is known in the historiography of New Spain as the second Audience; unlike the first Audience, whose members had no real studies either in the royal or the canonical law, the second Audience was made up of lawyers and judges. The second Audience was presided over by Ramírez de Fuenleal and devoted itself to the defense of the royal law, to the settling of disputes between the encomenderos, and to a variety of issues resulting from the actions of the conquerors. This was the highest court of New Spain. The literature on this theme is somewhat scarce. Arregui Zamorano 1981 is the only book that addresses the history of this institution; Vigil 1987 studies one of the most important oidores, Zorita; and Traslosheros 2004 puts forth the history of the ecclesiastical audience, which had not been studied. Rocha 2010 is a history of legal careers sought by the Crown’s representatives, from an innovative perspective.

                                                                                • Arregui Zamorano, Pilar. La Audiencia de México según los visitadores (siglos XVI y XVII). Serie C—Estudios Históricos 9. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, 1981.

                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                  This is the history of the institution from its creation until the 17th century. It covers the ordinances and its internal organization along with the jurisdiction that it represented.

                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                  • Rocha, Marcelo. Papéis selados: Carreira jurídica, estratégias de reputação e poder na Nova Espanha, 1580–1730. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Mauad X, 2010.

                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                    An important contribution covering the legal careers of the representatives of the Crown.

                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                    • Traslosheros, Jorge E. Iglesia, justicia y sociedad en la Nueva España: La Audiencia del arzobispado de México, 1528–1668. Mexico City: Editorial Porrúa, 2004.

                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                      This is the only study that addresses the history of the ecclesiastical audience, its jurisdiction, and its daily activities, along with the formation of the ordinary tribunals of the ecclesiastical province of Mexico. Among other themes, it covers the administration of justice to the Indians in matters concerning their customs and faith.

                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                      • Vigil, Ralph H. Alonso de Zorita: Royal Judge and Christian Humanist, 1512–1585. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987.

                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                        The author studies the life and works of one of the leading jurists of the 16th century, who worked in defense of the Indians, their rights, and their customs. Zorita arrived in New Spain as an elderly statesman and became a judge of the Audience.

                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                        Historical Sources

                                                                                        Some legal documents produced by the Audiencia have been published, such as Gerhard 1992 and Ventura Beleña 1991.

                                                                                        • Gerhard, Peter. Síntesis e índice de los mandamientos virreinales, 1548–1553. Serie Documental 21. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, 1992.

                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                          This is an important tool as regards the colonial commandments; as the title indicates, it provides a valuable synthesis on the subject.

                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                          • Ventura Beleña, Eusebio. Recopilación sumaria de todos los autos acordados de la Real Audiencia y Sala del Crimen de esta Nueva España. 2 vols. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, 1991.

                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                            This work, compiled by Ventura Beleña in 1787, contains all the norms laid down by the Audience from the 16th century to the mid-18th century. Includes an introductory study by María del Refugio González.

                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                            The Other Courts

                                                                                            There were many courts in New Spain. Therefore, the selected citations reflect those that have been studied by the most-well-known authors, such as in Schäfer 2003 (originally published in 1935), on the Consejo de Indias, which is a classic; Borah 1985, which is still the only book that gives a general overview of the Juzgado General de Indios; and Dusenberry 1963, which is the history of the Mesta as introduced in New Spain. Greenleaf 1969 is still one of the most important books on the history of the Inquisition in New Spain, and Alberro 1988 offers more of a social perspective of the same institution. On the other hand, a more recent approach is presented in Owensby 2008 and Pardo 2006, which offer an explanation on how the lawmaking process took place through the analyses of case studies. Soberanes Fernández 1980 offers a selection and summary of the history of several different courts; this work is a good introductory book on the subject.

                                                                                            • Alberro, Solange. Inquisición y sociedad en México, 1571–1700. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1988.

                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                              This publication offers a new interpretation on the history of this institution, penetrating the knowledge of the people who were part of the institution itself. Moreover, it aims to explain the impact it had on the Creole population. It describes how social tensions led to the use of the complaint before the Inquisition, as a form of vengeance.

                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                              • Borah, Woodrow. El Juzgado General de Indios en la Nueva España. Translated by Juan José Utrilla. Sección de Obras de Historia. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1985.

                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                This is a classic work that studies the theme of the administration of justice for the Indians. The book covers the history of the administration of justice from the founding of the court in 1585. Through a selection of case studies, it analyzes the jurisdiction of the tribunal and the nature of the highly varied issues over which it presided.

                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                • Dusenberry, William H. The Mexican Mesta: The Administration of Ranching in Colonial Mexico. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1963.

                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                  This is a general history on the Mesta institution from its Spanish origins and how it was transferred and modified on arrival in New Spain so as to adapt itself to the new circumstances.

                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                  • Greenleaf, Richard E. The Mexican Inquisition of the Sixteenth Century. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1969.

                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                    There are many works by this author on the introduction of the Inquisition and the founding of the Holy Tribunal (Tribunal del Santo Oficio) in New Spain. The author studies the unorthodox religious practices and the applied punishments. He also analyzes the impact of the counterreformation, along with the judicial disputes between the regular and secular clergy.

                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                    • Owensby, Brian P. Empire of Law and Indian Justice in Colonial Mexico. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008.

                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                      This publication offers a new perspective on how the Indians used the Spanish legal system.

                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                      • Pardo, Oswaldo F. “How to Punish Indians: Law and Cultural Change in Early Colonial Mexico.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 48.1 (2006): 79–109.

                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                        This article deals with the important theme of how the friars administered justice in their own right. One of the major complaints made by Jerónimo Valderrama to the king was precisely on the theme of the friars usurping royal justice and the fact that they even had their own prisons.

                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                        • Schäfer, Ernesto. El Consejo Real y Supremo de las Indias: Su historia, organización y labor administrativa hasta la terminación de la Casa de Austria. 2 vols. Marcial Pons Historia. Valladolid, Spain: Junta de Castilla y Léon, 2003.

                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                          This is the only study that systematically addresses this institution from its founding. The first half of the work is dedicated to the analysis of its powers, its members, and its officials. The second half offers a complete view of the work of the council regarding the administration of the viceroys and the American Audiencias. First published in 1935 (Seville, Spain: Escuela de Estudios Hispanoamericanos).

                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                          • Soberanes Fernández, José Luis. Los tribunales de la Nueva España: Antología. Serie J—Enseñanza del Derecho y Material Didáctico 4. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1980.

                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                            This book provides a general overview covering several tribunals from the perspective of legal history. It is basically an anthology including several authors who specialized in the history of the ordinary tribunals, including the tribunals of the Inquisition, the Mesta, the Protomedicato, the treasury, the Consulado de Comerciantes, the ecclesiastic, the military, and the Tribunal de la Acordada.

                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                            • Zaballa Beascoechea, Ana de. “Del viejo al Nuevo Mundo: Novedades jurisdiccionales en los tribunales eclesiásticos ordinarios en Nueva España.” In Los indios ante los foros de justicia religiosa en Hispanoamérica virreinal. Edited by Jorge E. Traslosheros and Ana de Zaballa Beascoechea, 17–46. Serie de Historia General 25. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, 2010.

                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                              This paper studies the Episcopal Court and demonstrates the importance of the institution in America, and of how it served to incorporate the religion, the rights, and the Spanish culture into the new territories. It deals with discipline within the church, along with the civil and criminal justice of the clergy. The author’s profound knowledge on canonical law is exemplified by her use of local archival sources.

                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                              The Government

                                                                                                              The viceroy was the head of the local government, and only three have been studied, all with regard to the 16th century. He presided over the Audiencia and had ample powers in all fields of government as the representative of the king. On a lower level, the society was governed by cabildos. Between the cabildos and the viceroy, the king began to appoint corregidores and alcaldes mayors in the 1530s. The existing studies survey each institution on its own; there are no general studies of the local government except for those, such as Haring 1985 (first published in 1947), that approach the Spanish Empire as a whole.

                                                                                                              • Haring, C. H. The Spanish Empire in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.

                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                As a history of institutions, the author provides the reader with a general survey of the royal government in America. There is information on the viceroyalty of New Spain, the Audiencia, and the provincial and territorial administration, among other themes such as the church, the commercial system, and education. First published in 1947.

                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                The Viceroy

                                                                                                                The viceroy of New Spain was founded in 1535, and its first viceroy was Don Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco, who served in the position until 1550. The viceroy was the representative of the king in the New World and was president of the Audiencia, among many other functions; therefore, he had ample powers. Nevertheless, there are only three existing biographies: Aiton 1927, a classic study of Viceroy Mendoza; Sarabia Viejo 1978, a book on Velasco; and García-Abásolo 1983, on Viceroy Martín Enríquez.

                                                                                                                • Aiton, Arthur S. Antonio de Mendoza, First Viceroy of New Spain. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1927.

                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                  A classic book covering the conduct and management work of Viceroy Mendoza. Reprinted as recently as 1967.

                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                  • García-Abásolo, Antonio F. Martín Enríquez y la reforma de 1568 en Nueva España. Seville, Spain: Diputación Provincial de Sevilla, 1983.

                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                    The book is based primarily on the sources available in the General Archive of the Indies and offers the reader a history on the management of this viceroy, covering all aspects of his government.

                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                    • Sarabia Viejo, Justina María. Don Luis de Velasco, virrey de Nueva España, 1550–1564. Seville, Spain: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, 1978.

                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                      A comprehensive study on the government of Luis de Velasco.

                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                      The Visitas and the Visitadores

                                                                                                                      The institution of the Visita was of prime importance to the government of New Spain. The visitadores informed the king on the functioning of the various institutions, and, on the basis of this information, the king and the Council of the Indies issued laws and norms to correct any abuses or deviations. The church also relied on the Visit to monitor whether or not the Council of Trent norms were being respected. The bishops were also required to carry out pastoral visits throughout their dioceses. The existing literature rightly covers the nature of the institution, and this is the case with Sánchez Bella 1991; however, there is a lack of information regarding specific Visits. Vilar 1970 represents an exception. The same could be said about Vilar 1970.

                                                                                                                      • Sánchez Bella, Ismael. Derecho indiano: Estudios. Vol. 1, Las visitas generales en la América española (siglos XVI–XVII). Colección Jurídica 107. Pamplona, Spain: Universidad de Navarra, 1991.

                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                        This publication updates research on this important institution, from the point of view of the history of law regarding the Visitas, which served to regulate criteria for Government policies.

                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                        • Vilar, Sylvia. “La trajectoire des curiosités espagnoles sur les Indes: Trois siècles ‘d’interrogatorios’ et ‘relaciones.’” Mélanges de la Casa de Velázquez 6 (1970): 247–308.

                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.3406/casa.1970.1020Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                          This work is a general analysis of the Visitas to the land that gave rise to the Relaciones geográficas.

                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                          Historical Sources

                                                                                                                          Several Visitas have been published, most of them are related to the tributes (Carrasco and Monjarás-Ruiz 1976), and the single most important Visita general of the period that influenced the Crown’s policy in many aspects was Jerónimo Valderrama’s—Scholes and Adams 1961 is a complete recollection of the letters written by this visitador to the king. While many historians refer to this Visit, there is no other work that has carried out a systematic study on it, despite its enormous importance with regard to the restructuring of the Indian government.

                                                                                                                          • Carrasco, Pedro, and Jesús Monjarás-Ruiz. Colección de documentos sobre Coyoacán. Vol. 1, Visita del oidor Gómez de Santillán al pueblo de Coyoacán y su sujeto Tacubaya en el año de 1553. Colección Científica 39. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 1976.

                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                            An important collection of documents that show for the first time how the Native Lords were subjected to a regulation of the tributes they were entitled to.

                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                            • Scholes, France V., and Eleanor B. Adams, eds. Cartas del licenciado Jerónimo de Valderrama, y otros documentos sobre su visita al gobierno de Nueva España, 1563–1565. Documentos para la Historia del México Colonial 7. Mexico City: Porrúa, 1961.

                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                              This Visit produced several changes regarding life in New Spain. Valderrama denounced the abuses perpetrated by the doctrinaire monks who, in his opinion, claimed ownership of the tributes offered to the king and, furthermore, usurped royal jurisdiction by administering justice as they pleased.

                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                              Spanish Cabildos

                                                                                                                              The cabildo was the Spanish form of local government that was transferred to America. Porras Muñoz 1982 is the only history that exists of the Cabildo of Mexico City. Most of the available literature on Spanish cabildos focuses on the 18th century.

                                                                                                                              • Porras Muñoz, Guillermo. El gobierno de la Ciudad de México en el siglo XVI. Serie de Historia Novohispana 31. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, 1982.

                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                This is an in-depth and pioneering study on government, its attributions, and the jurisdiction of Mexico City throughout its first one hundred years. It places special emphasis on the characters that made up the cabildo.

                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                The Junta magna of 1568

                                                                                                                                Two years after the death of Father Las Casas, Felipe II convened, in July 1568, the so-called Junta magna to carry out the definitive reorganization of the Indies. On the one hand, the Crown tended to increase its royal income; on the other, it recognized that the encomenderos were still a problem due to the partial failure of the New Laws of 1542, and the American church was somewhat adrift. Some of the results of this meeting are as follows: La recopilación de leyes de Indias was initiated by Juan de Ovando, the Ordenanzas de población were created on 13 June 1573, and there was a redefining of the Royal Council. There are several diverse studies and viewpoints on the effects of the Junta magna of 1568 in New Spain (e.g., Ramos Pérez 1986 and Merluzzi 2007); however, there is no other book that covers everything that happened at the meeting.

                                                                                                                                • Merluzzi, Manfredi. “Religion and State Policies in the Age of Philip II: The 1568 Junta Magna of the Indies and the New Political Guidelines for the Spanish American Colonies.” In Religion and Power in Europe: Conflict and Convergence. Edited by Joaquim Carvalho, 183–201. Pisa, Italy: Plus-Pisa University Press, 2007.

                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                  The article discusses the reasons behind the governmental crisis in America during the 1560s. The author argues that the crisis was not solely due to the economic problems resulting from the wars of the monarchy in Europe but was also due to the attempts by the papacy to intervene in America by retracting the privileges granted in the papal bulls Universalis ecclesiae regimini, of 1508, and Eximiae devotionis, of 1510.

                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                  • Ramos Pérez, Demetrio. “La crisis indiana y la Junta Magna de 1568.” Jahrbuch für Geschichte von Staat, Wirtschjft und Gesellschaft Lateinamerikas 23 (1986): 1–61.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.7767/jbla.1986.23.1.1Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                    This is a very complete study on the Junta magna, on who took part, and on the discussions related to religion, the treasury, and on the mining industry.

                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                    The Population Ordinances of 1573

                                                                                                                                    Attributed to the efforts of Juan de Ovando, who collected the earlier legislation and the colonizing experience, together with the new policies of Felipe II in relation to the establishing of norms and procedures regarding the establishment of future discovery and settlement companies. Only Vas Mingo 1985 addresses the theme in a general sense, and Morales Padrón 1979 deals with it from a legal perspective.

                                                                                                                                    • Morales Padrón, Francisco. Teoría y leyes de la conquista. Madrid: Ediciones Cultura Hispánica del Centro Iberoamericano de Cooperación, 1979.

                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                      The author publishes these ordinances and includes an in-depth introduction.

                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                      • Vas Mingo, Marta Milagros del. “Las Ordenanzas de 1573, sus antecedentes y consecuencias.” Quinto Centenario 8 (1985): 83–102.

                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                        This paper summarizes the content and elaboration of these ordinances. It describes the subjects covered within the 148 chapters that make up these ordinances.

                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                        The Church

                                                                                                                                        It would be appropriate to point out that the church in the New World was a missionary church—its main objective was the evangelization of the native people. This process was carried out by Franciscan, Dominican, and Augustinian friars, as studied in Ricard 1986. Toward the end of the 16th century, Felipe II was more inclined to promote a secular church. This church underwent many changes, which are well analyzed in Schwaller 1985.

                                                                                                                                        • Ricard, Robert. La conquista espiritual de México: Ensayo sobre el apostolado y los métodos misioneros de las órdenes mendicantes en la Nueva España de 1523–1524 a 1572. Sección de Obras de Historia. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1986.

                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                          A classic study that provides the reader with an overview of the task that the friars undertook in the 16th century to spread the Catholic religion in New Spain among the Indians. Published in English in 1966 as The Spiritual Conquest of Mexico: Essays on the Apostolate and the Evangelizing Methods of the Mendicant Orders in New Spain, 1523–1572 (Berkeley: University of California Press; reprinted as recently as 1982).

                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                          • Schwaller, John Frederick. Origins of Church Wealth in Mexico: Ecclesiastical Revenues and Church Finances, 1523–1600. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1985.

                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                            This book is the most complete study of the early secular church in New Spain, describing in depth its administrative structure.

                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                            The Mexican Councils of 1555, 1565, and 1585

                                                                                                                                            Without doubt, Felipe II was the main architect of the Spanish Empire, while at the same time being the main promoter of the Christian faith. Felipe II proposed the construction and consolidation of his empire through the Christian doctrine, which is why he promoted, among many other things, the Third Council of Lima and the Third Mexican Council, which served as instruments for the realization of his political aspirations. Through Catholicism and its universal defense, Felipe II sought to extend and consolidate his empire. Given its importance, along with the permanence of its decrees throughout the colonial period, the Third Council, studied early on in Llaguno 1983, is the one with the most literary coverage. The most important archbishop of New Spain during this period, who promoted the ideals of the Council of Trent, was Moya de Contreras, magnificently portrayed in Poole 2011.

                                                                                                                                            • Llaguno, José Antonio. La personalidad jurídica del indio y el III Concilio Provincial Mexicano (1585): Ensayo histórico-jurídico de los documentos originales. 2d ed. Biblioteca Porrúa 27. Mexico City: Editorial Porrúa, 1983.

                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                              This book provides a succinct review of the discussions held at the ecclesiastical meetings of 1532, 1539, 1544, and 1546, which formed the basis for the provincial councils, the first held in 1555 and the second in 1565. The author focuses on the discussions regarding the repartimiento forzoso, the Chichimeca War, and the conditions of the neophytes. First published in 1963.

                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                              • Poole, Stafford. Pedro Moya de Contreras: Catholic Reform and Royal Power in New Spain, 1571–1591. 2d ed. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2011.

                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                This Mexican archbishop was of crucial importance for the construction of the secular church in New Spain. Poole highlights the influence of this man in several spheres. First published in 1987 (Berkeley: University of California Press).

                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                Historical Sources

                                                                                                                                                The most-important historical sources of the first and second councils were published early on, in the 18th century. In the early 21st century, Alberto Carrillo Cázares published several volumes of documents that he translated from Latin to Spanish pertaining to the Third Mexican Council (Carrillo Cázares 2006–2011, Martínez Ferrer 2009).

                                                                                                                                                • Carrillo Cázares, Alberto, ed. Manuscritos del Concilio Tercero Provincial Mexicano (1585). 4 vols. Colección Fuentes. Zamora, Mexico: El Colegio de Michoacán, 2006–2011.

                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  The original manuscripts of the Third Mexican Council are housed in the Bancroft Library of the University of California. Thanks to the titanic work of Alberto Carrillo Cázares, studies on the history of the church, and particularly on this council, can be done through the use of this five-volume edition.

                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                  • Concilios provinciales primero y segundo, celebrados en la muy noble, y muy leal Ciudad de México, presidiendo el III. mo. y Rmo. señor D. Fr. Alfonso de Montúfar, en los años de 1555 y 1565: Dalos a luz el III. mo. Sr. D. Francisco Antonio Lorenzana, arzobispo de esta santa metropolitana iglesia. Mexico City: Imprenta del Superior Gobierno de el Br. D. José Antonio de Hogal, 1769.

                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    This is the edition of the first two Mexican Councils, not very well studied except as antecedents of the Third Council, the latter being considered the most important by historians.

                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                    • Martínez Ferrer, Luis, ed. Decretos del Concilio Tercero Provincial Mexicano (1585). 2 vols. Colección Investigaciones. Zamora, Mexico: El Colegio de Michoacán, 2009.

                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      A collection of the decrees of the Third Mexican Council. Includes a critical historical edition with a preliminary study by Martínez Ferrer, and a prologue by Carrillo Cázares.

                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                      Real Patronato 1574

                                                                                                                                                      Pope Julius II granted the kings of Castile and Leon and their successors, through the papal bull Universalis eclesiae of 28 July 1508, ample faculties to intervene in the American church, with the condition that they deal with the evangelization of the natives. One of the most important faculties was the right to name beneficiaries. Leturia 1959 and Leturia 1927 address the history of this institution and its legal implications. On the other hand, Hera 2007 offers the reader a study of the origins of the institution of the Vicariato in the New World.

                                                                                                                                                      • Hera, Alberto de la. “La doctrina del vicariato regio en Indias.” In Orbis incognitus: Avisos y legajos del Nuevo Mundo. Vol. 1, Homenaje al profesor Luis Navarro García. Edited by Fernando Navarro Antolín, 89–99. Collectanea 100. Huelva, Spain: Universidad de Huelva, 2007.

                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        Analyzes the birth of the institution of the Vicariato in America, and theory behind it that was attributed to the Franciscan friar Juan Focher.

                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                        • Leturia, Pedro de. “El origen histórico del Patronato de Indias: Un problema de actualidad hispano-americano.” Razón y Fe 78 (1927): 20–36.

                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          A comprehensive study of the Real Patronato de Indias. The concession of the right of patronage was given early on to the kings of Spain, whereby they had the authority to administrate all religious benefice in Spanish America. The author demonstrates that it was the most influential institution that shaped the church in Latin America.

                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                          • Leturia, Pedro de. Relaciones entre la Santa Sede e Hispanoamérica, 1493–1835. 3 vols. Analecta Gregoriana 101–103. Caracas, Venezuela: Sociedad Bolivariana de Venezuela, 1959.

                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            This is a classic work by one of the most important scholars on this theme, and one of the most complete studies on this theme.

                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                            The Encomienda

                                                                                                                                                            The encomienda was the first institution to be introduced into New Spain after the fall of Tenochtitlan. The king entrusted the conquistadors to provide the necessary elements for the evangelization of the natives. For this service, the king granted the encomenderos the royal tribute. As such, the encomienda and the tribute are two related institutions. Throughout the 16th century, these two institutions underwent constant change. The classic works covering these two institutions, even to this day, are essential for any research work related to these themes. Silvio Zavala (Zavala 1992) headed this institution over several regions of New Spain, from its origins in the West Indies to its implantation in New Spain and its evolution throughout the centuries. José Miranda (Miranda 1965), for his part, produced an institutional history of the indigenous tribute from the pre-Hispanic period, covering its transformation during the 16th century and highlighting all the changes that occurred. At the same time, he distinguished between the tribute and other levies charged to the indigenous communities. The most-recent works are of a monographic character and have focused on the history of the encomienda and of the tribute in a given region. In general, they analyze the amount of the tribute and its composición, along with details concerning who their encomenderos were.

                                                                                                                                                            • Miranda, José. La función económica del encomendero en los orígenes del régimen colonial (Nueva España, 1525–1531). 2d ed. Serie Histórica 12. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, 1965.

                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              This work, despite the elapsed time since its initial publication in 1941, opened up the branch of analysis of the encomienda and its importance in the construction of the colonial economy. Miranda used, for the first time, the notarial archives to gain an understanding on how the first Spanish companies were formed through the use of the indigenous tribute and personal services, with regard to the exploitation of the mining sector.

                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                              • Zavala, Silvio A. La encomienda indiana. 3d ed. Biblioteca Porrúa 53. Mexico City: Editorial Porrúa, 1992.

                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                The work by Zavala on the encomienda and its evolution over time, and in different regions, remains as the pillar on which the Mexican historiography of the study of this institution is based. This is an institutional history that also has the virtue of including the theoretical-judicial discussion held by the writers of the time.

                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                The Tribute

                                                                                                                                                                The topic of indigenous tribute in the 16th century is a complicated theme, given that it was evolving from its origins until almost the end of the 16th century, when, on the one hand, it was monetized, and on the other, the value was fixed on a specific weight and half a bushel of corn. Miranda 2005 covers the whole period. Initially, the pre-Hispanic tribute system was adopted, which consisted both of personal service and of goods in kind. Slowly, the tribute evolved to satisfy the necessities of the Spanish population. That said, it is important to mention that, under the policies of Spain’s Carlos I, the tribute was revised downward, the argument being that once the Indians had been converted to the Christian faith they should then face lower levels of tribute than when they were nonbelievers. However, on the occasion of Jerónimo Valderrama’s visit, there was an upward reappraisal of the tribute. Valderrama communicated to Felipe II that in New Spain an important part of the population was exempt from the tributes to the king, due to their condition as principals or people who worked the land for the indigenous lords. As of this visit, there was a general restructuring of the tributary system. Pérez-Rocha 2008, a case study of Coyoacán, highlights this process.

                                                                                                                                                                • Miranda, José. El tributo indígena en la Nueva España durante el siglo XVI. 2d ed. Mexico City: El Colegio de México, 2005.

                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  This work has never been bettered by any other historiography, given that it is the only study that contemplates the institution in its totality, with a detailed emphasis on the changes it underwent throughout the 16th century.

                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                  • Pérez-Rocha, Emma. El tributo en Coyoacán en el siglo XVI. Colección Científica 539. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 2008.

                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    This case study has the virtue of tracking the evolution of the tribute of Coyoacán from the pre-Hispanic period until the end of the 16th century. It analyzes the tribute awarded to the Marques del Valle, along with other charges levied on the community and how they were distributed.

                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                    Historical Sources

                                                                                                                                                                    Many sources have been published; nevertheless, Berdan and Durand-Forest 1980 (on the Matrícula de tributos) and Paso y Troncoso 1980 (on the Codice Mendocino) are considered two of the most important sources on this theme because they register the pre-Hispanic tribute system of the mexicas. Both these sources have many editions. Zorita 1993 contains the response to the Crown’s decree of 1553, which wanted information on the pre-Hispanic tribute system, Rojas 1997 studies this information, and González de Cossío 1952 includes descriptions of the early tributes imposed on the Indians.

                                                                                                                                                                    • Berdan, Frances F., and Jacqueline de Durand-Forest. Matrícula de tributos: Códice de Moctezuma; Museo Nacional de Antropología, México (cod. 35–52). Codices Selecti Phototypice Impressi 68. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1980.

                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      This document registers the tribute system established by the mexicas when they conquered many different areas of Meso-America.

                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                      • González de Cossío, Francisco, ed. El libro de las tasaciones de pueblos de la Nueva España, siglo XVI. Mexico City: Archivo General de la Nación, 1952.

                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        This is a valuable collection of the early tribute appraisals and reappraisals that the communities were constantly subjected to. It permits analysis with regard to what goods were given to the encomendero and how it changed over time.

                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                        • Paso y Troncoso, Don Francisco del, ed. Colección de Mendoza, o Códice Mendocino. Mexico City: Editorial Innovación, 1980.

                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          Mexican documents from the 16th century that are preserved in the Bodeiana Library of Oxford, England. There are numerous editions of this codex, which was commissioned by Viceroy Don Antonio de Mendoza to find out what tributes were received by the old emperors of Mexico. The pictographic document includes glosses in Spanish for easier understanding.

                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                          • Rojas, José Luis, ed. Información de 1554 sobre los tributos que los indios pagaban a Moctezuma. Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, 1997.

                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            These documents respond to a royal decree of 1553 that wanted information on the pre-Hispanic tribute system.

                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                            • Zorita, Alonso de. Los señores de la Nueva España. 3d ed. Biblioteca del Estudiante Universitario. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1993.

                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              The judge elaborated this important work in response to the royal decree of 20 December 1553, which requests an investigation into the tributary practices of the ancient Mexicans. In addition to the theme of the tributes, this work is also important with regard to the topic of indigenous government and the functions thereof, as well as indigenous property.

                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                              Congregación

                                                                                                                                                                              The currently available literature on the Indian congregación can be split into two bodies of work: one covering the period from 1550 to 1564, defined in Gerhard 1977; the other, focused on the administration of Viceroy Conde de Monterrey, which began toward the end of the 16th century. In its initial stage, the congregación process was carried out by the mendicant orders, who claimed they could not adequately evangelize the Indians while they were living in dispersed settlements; they sought to gather the population in more-compact urban areas. This first period (Pérez Zevallos 2009) depended on the criteria of the clergy themselves, who, in general, carried out the first congregation at the locations of the religious ceremonial centers of the ancient, indigenous altepetl people. The second congregación was carried out from the end of the 16th century and continued into the beginning of the 17th century; Torre Villar 1995 studies this period. The colonial authorities were responsible for carrying out this process. To do this, they created their own norms and named a number of assembly judges to execute the process. The literature is divided into those who covered the colonial policies and those who elaborated their work on the basis of the use of case studies (Jalpa Flores 2009).

                                                                                                                                                                              • Gerhard, Peter. “Congregaciones de indios en la Nueva España antes de 1570.” Historia Mexicana 26.3 (1977): 347–395.

                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                Peter Gerhard was the first to call attention to this first period of congregaciones. He studied 163 congregational processes, dividing the cases through a regionalization process and signaling the differences with regard to the periodization thereof. His study is the only available work that provides an overall view of the process.

                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                • Jalpa Flores, Tomás. La sociedad indígena en la región de Chalco durante los siglos XVI y XVII. Colección Divulgación. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 2009.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  The chapter titled “Los pueblos coloniales” discusses the people of Chalco from the pre-Hispanic era, as well as the changes introduced by the friars in the first half of the 16th century, and goes on to study the effects of the second congregación. This work has the virtue of analyzing the changes over a long period and also stresses the importance of the caciques in the second congregación.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Pérez Zevallos, Juan Manuel. “Las reubicaciones tempranas en México: La reubicación de la población indígena en la Nueva España (Siglos XVI y XVII).” In Investigación evaluativa de reubicaciones humanas por desastres en México. Edited by Jesús Manuel Macías Medrano, 19–48. Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, 2009.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                    This article is a summary of the policies regarding the congregación, from its beginnings in the West Indies to its implantation in New Spain. It analyzes the various projects of the congregación and offers a new vision with regard to the opposition put forward by the friars prior to the second congregation, toward the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Torre Villar, Ernesto de la. Las congregaciones de los pueblos de indios: Fase terminal; Aprobaciones y rectificaciones. Serie de Historia Novohispana 54. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1995.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      As the title suggests, this book concentrates on the latter congregations, which are the least studied; that is to say, the congregations carried out after the dispositions issued by Viceroy Conde de Monterrey. The author discusses the work carried out by other viceroys until the mid-17th century. Furthermore, the book provides an appendix on the important documentation of the period.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                      Historical Sources

                                                                                                                                                                                      Very few sources regarding the congregación have been published in full; nevertheless, Lemoine Villicaña 1961 and Ruvalcaba Mercado 1994 are excellent examples of this process.

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lemoine Villicaña, Ernesto. “Visita, congregación y mapa de Amecameca de 1599.” Boletín del Archivo General de la Nación, 2d ser. 3.1 (1961): 5–46.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                        This work publishes the documentation corresponding to the congregación of Amecameca in 1599.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ruvalcaba Mercado, Jesús. Congregaciones civiles de Tulancingo. Colección Miguel Othón de Mendizábal. Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, 1994.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          This book is one of the few published examples we have with regard to a whole congregación, corresponding to the second period.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                          The Indian Cabildo and Government

                                                                                                                                                                                          The Indian cabildo was introduced into New Spain steadily as of the second half of the 16th century. In general, the first step was to name indigenous governors and judges. The first appointments of the indigenous governors were in relation to the Tlatoani, who existed at the time of the first contact between the two cultures. In this sense, Charles Gibson, in his work The Aztecs under Spanish Rule (Gibson 1964), coined the phrase gobernadoryotl to mark precisely the first phase of the transition of a traditional pre-Hispanic indigenous government to the Castilian model. From this point on, the majority of the existing literature is based on case studies. For example, Pérez Zevallos 1984 addresses the complex organization of Xochimilco and its ruling class, and Jalpa Flores 2009 re-creates the government of Chalco. On the other hand, Haskett 1991 emphasizes the persistence of the local Indian elite and how they adapted to the changing conditions after the conquest. The contribution of Horn 1997 lies in the author’s analyses of the different lineages of Coyoacán who before the conquest had access to govern Coyoacán, and how during the colonial period the local authorities decided that only the Guzmán family would govern. One similarity between all these works is the questioning of the rapid dissolution of the traditional indigenous lineages within local government. Martínez 1984 introduces a different explanation, arguing that the traditional Indian government subsisted. There is a vast collection of monographs dealing with the study of this institution in several villages.

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Gibson, Charles. The Aztecs under Spanish Rule: A History of the Indians of the Valley of Mexico, 1519–1810. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1964.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            In this book, Gibson studies how the native ruling class in the Valley of Mexico was separated from its role in local government. Reprinted as recently as 1991.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Gibson, Charles. Tlaxcala in the Sixteenth Century. 2d ed. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1977.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                              This is a pioneering work, first published in 1952 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press), on the indigenous cabildos. It is, however, worth noting that the case of Tlaxcala is unique, considering the privileges granted to this indigenous city by the Crown.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                              • González Hermosillo, Francisco. “Indios en cabildo: Historia de una historiografía sobre la Nueva España.” Historias 26 (1991): 25–63.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                This is a critical historiographical balance of the existing literature, covering the theme up until its publication date. It is a highly valuable work to introduce oneself to the theme and to ponder the differences between authors and between peoples.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Haskett, Robert. Indigenous Rulers: An Ethnohistory of Town Government in Colonial Cuernavaca. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1991.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The author studies the indigenous government of Cuernavaca and highlights the permanence of the traditional lineages. The book offers a good description of the electoral process and of the members of the Indian cabildo and their duties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Horn, Rebecca. Post-conquest Coyoacan: Nahua-Spanish Relations in Central Mexico, 1519–1650. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                    See chapter 2 in particular. The author highlights the changes introduced in the traditional indigenous government of Coyoacán after the Spanish conquest. The changes were not due exclusively to the presence of the cabildo, but also to the fact that the Crown limited the number of Native Lords who had access to government to one sole lineage in this altepetl, or political entity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Jalpa Flores, Tomás. La sociedad indígena en la región de Chalco durante los siglos XVI y XVII. Colección Divulgación. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 2009.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The chapter titled “Indigenous Government” provides a new perspective on the Indian cabildo. It analyzes all the officials of the republic, along with their responsibilities, the elections, and the important post of governing judge, which Charles Gibson mistakenly believed to be the same post as governor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Martínez, Hildeberto. Tepeaca en el siglo XVI: Tenencia de la tierra y organización de un señorío. Ediciones de la Casa Chata 21. Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, 1984.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                        In this book, Martínez demonstrates how, despite the introduction of the indigenous cabildo, the Native Lords, also referred to as principals, were present in all the positions of the republic. The author proposes that the structure of the traditional indigenous government from the pre-Hispanic period underlies the facade of the Castilian model of government.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Pérez Zevallos, Juan Manuel. “El gobierno indígena colonial en Xochimilco (siglo XVI).” Historia Mexicana 33.4 (1984): 445–462.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                          The article is based on extensive information; however, it is important to note that the author had access to the ordinances of Suchimilco, elaborated at the beginning of the 1553 by its governor, Don Esteban de Guzmán, which were later approved by Viceroy Velasco. The article provides a careful analysis of the lineages who were allowed the right to govern.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Historical Sources

                                                                                                                                                                                                          These ordenanzas are the statutes by which the indigenous cabildo governed itself. The ordenanzas of Cuauhtinchan are the best example of this type of early colonial documentation; they were published in Reyes García 1972. Relatively few of the governmental ordinances of the Indian towns have survived; those of Cuauhtinchan are the most extensive with regard to the number of statutes they include. They show how the government of the Indian republic covered both spiritual and civic matters. Celestino Solís, et al. 1985 contains a very rare source: the actas de cabildo. The actas are norms issued individually by every Indian cabildo, and few have survived.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Celestino Solís, Eustaquio, Armando Valencia R., and Constantino Medina Lima, eds. Actas de Cabildo de Tlaxcala, 1547–1567. Códices y Manuscritos de Tlaxcala 3. Mexico City: Archivo General de la Nación, 1985.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                            This publication contains the minutes of 184 meetings celebrated over a 20-year period. They were written in Nahuatl and were translated by their authors under the supervision of Luis Reyes. The following year, James Lockhart, Frances F. Berdan, and Arthur J. O. Anderson published the minutes translated into English.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Reyes García, Luis. “Ordenanzas para el gobierno de Cuauhtinchan, año de 1559.” Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl 10 (1972): 245–313.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                              A pioneer with regard to this subject matter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Formation of New Pueblos in the 17th Century

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Particularly from the latter third of the 17th century and thereafter, some of the pueblos sujetos sought their political independence from their cabeceras. The separation process, as analyzed in Dehouve 1984, led both to the territorial and political reorganization of the indigenous communities. The main reasons they requested their independence were the abuses committed by the cabeceras, who demanded higher taxes and increased personal services, or the distance between the two entities. This process also contributed to the loss of former pre-Hispanic señoríos, as studied in Hermann 2008. Once again, the available literature refers solely to case studies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Dehouve, Danièle. “Las separaciones de pueblos en la región de Tlapa (siglo XVIII).” Historia Mexicana 33.4 (1984): 379–404.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                This article was one of the pioneering works on this theme for the Guerrero region.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hermann, Manuel A. “Nuevas cabeceras contra viejos señoríos: La separación de Tecomatlan del señorío de Yanhuitlan.” Anuario de Estudios Americanos 65.1 (2008): 87–100.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.3989/aeamer.2008.v65.i1.97Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The author offers a new perspective on the theme, by analyzing it from the perspective of how the former pre-Hispanic chiefdoms were broken up; in this case, in the Upper Mixtec region of Oaxaca.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Property and the Rights of the King

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In Spain, as in America, from the 16th to the 18th centuries, we see a privatization process of the land considered to be royal lands. The royal lands are lands that fall under the jurisdiction of the king; they are vacant (meaning they do not belong to anyone), and the king, on exercising his sovereignty over the lands, may grant the lands to whomever he desires. Or, as was the case with Felipe II in Spain, the lands were put up for sale; later, in the 17th and 18th centuries, other monarchs did the same in America. Given that agrarian history is one of the most privileged themes throughout Mexican history, there is a curious lack of literature regarding the evolution of land ownership throughout the centuries. Peset and Menegus 1994 addresses the meaning of the king’s rights in America with regard to property. The vast majority of literature is based on case studies, whether it be from the perspective of one village or another or with regard to the formation of the haciendas (estates), or the struggle for land ownership between villages or haciendas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Peset, Mariano, and Margarita Menegus. “Rey propietario o rey soberano.” Historia Mexicana 43.4 (1994): 563–599.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The article discusses the historians who erroneously believed that the king owned all the American lands. The authors propose that the king, in the exercise of his sovereignty, issued land grants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Composiciones of 1687

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A royal decree of 4 June 1687, issued in Madrid, introduced a new concept with regard to indigenous community property. Until this time, communal lands were given to the republic as a whole and were administered by an indigenous cabildo. This 1687 decree stipulates that the pueblos sujetos be given the 500 yards determined by the Marqués de Falces in the 16th century, plus an additional 100 yards stretching outward along the four cardinal points. In 1692, a new institution was created, the Superintendencia del Beneficio y Composición de Tierras (Superintendence of the Benefit and Organization of Land), studied in Solano 1984, which was dependent on the Cámara y Junta de Guerra del Real Consejo de Indias. Each Audiencia established a Juzgado Privativo de Composiciones de Tierras y Aguas. The application of these new norms is analyzed in Torales Pacheco 2005.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Menegus Bornemann, Margarita. Del señorío indígena a la república de indios: El caso de Toluca, 1500–1600. Regiones. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1994.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      See in particular chapter 7, “Baldíos y compósiciones de tierra.” The author studies the composition of the lands in 1635—along with its significance for the indigenous peoples of the Valley of Toluca.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Solano, Francisco de. Cedulario de tierras: Compilación de legislación agraria colonial, 1497–1820. Serie A—Fuentes. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, 1984.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This book brings together an important collection of documents on the history of property in America during the colonial era. Furthermore, it provides an introductory study that clearly explains the changes that occurred in the field of property legislation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Torales Pacheco, María Cristina. Tierras de indios, tierras de españoles: Confirmación y composición de tierras y aguas en la jurisdicción de Cholula (siglos XVI y XVIII). Mexico City: Universidad Iberoamericana, 2005.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This work studies the application of the different types of seals granted with regard to the composición of the lands in the Puebla region. This is a pioneering study on this theme, on which there are very few existing works.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mayorazgo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bartolomé Clavero (Clavero 1989), a renowned scholar on mayorazgo, defines this institution as a form of linked property. It establishes a predetermined order of succession, the most important being that of birthright. The link (vínculo) served to maintain the family patrimony, thus avoiding the subdivision of property through inheritance or sale. In the case of mayorazgo, we have documents establishing the link, whereby the property to be linked is registered, as are the established inheritance system and the royal license required for its creation. This institution was transferred to America, and Fernández de Recas 1965 studies several of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Clavero, Bartolomé. Mayorazgo: Propiedad feudal en Castilla, 1369–1836. 2d ed. Madrid: Siglo XXI de España, 1989.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is the most complete study on mayorazgo. At the end of the work there is a brief look at a few considerations regarding the presence of this institution in America. First published in 1974 (Madrid: Siglo Veintiuno Editores).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Fernández de Recas, Guillermo S. Mayorazgos de la Nueva España. Biblioteca Nacional de México, Instituto Bibliográfico Mexicano 10. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1965.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fernández de Recas was the first author to show an interest on mayorazgo in New Spain, and he published a series of documents from the National General Archive of Mexico. More than just an analytical study on the institution, this is an excellent guide to the field.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Communal Property

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Most of the existing literature consists of case studies. Miranda 1966 points out the importance of communal property as a form of social unity. Prem 1988, on the other hand, offers a long-term perspective of the changes introduced by the Spaniards among the Indians.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Miranda, José. “La propiedad comunal de la tierra y la cohesión social de los pueblos indígenas mexicanos.” Cuadernos Americanos 25.149 (1966): 168–181.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The author analyzes the importance of communal property for Mexican villages, from a theoretical perspective.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Prem, Hanns J. Milpa y hacienda: Tenencia de la tierra indígena y española en la cuenca del Alto Atoyac, Puebla, México, 1520–1650. Colección Puebla. Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, 1988.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Although this is a case study on the region of Puebla, it is one of the few studies covering the theme of land tenure over a long period, thus allowing an analysis of the changes introduced as a result of the Spanish conquest. First published in 1978 (Wiesbaden, Germany: Steiner).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cacicazgos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The advances achieved since the early 1970s have allowed us to clarify some of the existing problems regarding the study of cacicazgos, while at the same time emphasizing the complexity the theme implies with regard to the regional differences thereof. Most scholars believe that cacicazgo is the Indian version of mayorazgo (e.g., Taylor 1970, Chance 1998); however, none have so far done a systematic comparison of the two institutions. Menegus Bornemann 2005 compares the two institutions through analyzing several inherent elements: the origin of the property, the inheritance scheme, and the legal implications and limitations of the vínculo (“link”). The existing literature on this theme shows that there are significant differences between cacicazgos, depending on the region and the indigenous culture of the area. On the one hand, there is the Valley of Mexico (Munch 1976), where caciques and cacicazgos have become mixed race and ownership is more along the lines of the Spanish tradition; on the other hand, we have the Mixtec cacicazgos (Spores 1967, Taylor 1970, Pastor 1987, Menegus Bornemann 2005), which have maintained, over three centuries of Spanish domination, characteristics more faithful to their own pre-Hispanic lineage traditions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Chance, John K. “La hacienda de los Santiago de Tecali, Puebla: Un cacicazgo nahua colonial, 1520–1750.” Historia Mexicana 47.4 (1998): 689–734.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A case study that shows how and when the cacicazgo of the Santiago family was established.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Cline, S. L. “A Cacicazgo in the Seventeenth Century: The Case of Xochimilco.” Paper presented at the 45th International Congress of Americanists, held in Bogotá, Colombia, in July 1985. In Land and Politics in the Valley of Mexico: A Two Thousand-Year Perspective. Edited by H. R. Harvey, 265–274. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1991.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A case study of the caciques in Xochimilco and how they adapted to the Spanish colonial culture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • López Sarrelangue, Delfina E. La nobleza indígena de Pátzcuaro en la época virreinal. Serie de Historia Novohispana 20. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, 1965.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The author believes that the traditional Tarascan lineages were lost as a result of the conquest. In the case of Michoacán, the author has observed the rise of an indigenous governmental group that she qualifies as noble “upstarts” (advenedizos).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Menegus Bornemann, Margarita. “El cacicazgo en Nueva España.” In El cacicazgo en Nueva España y Filipinas. Edited by Margarita Menegus Bornemann and Rodolfo Aguirre Salvador, 13–70. Historia. Mexico City: Plaza y Valdés, 2005.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The article analyzes the legal structure of the institution of the cacicazgo. It aims to establish similitudes and differences with regard to the hacienda.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Munch, Guido. El cacicazgo de San Juan Teotihuacán durante la colonia, 1521–1821. Colección Científica 32. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 1976.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This work shows that not all the cacicazgos in the Valley of Mexico succumbed in the 16th century.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Pastor, Rodolfo. Campesinos y reformas: La Mixteca, 1700–1856. Mexico City: El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Históricos, 1987.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Despite the title of the book, the author discusses the traditional indigenous structure of the Mixtec culture and considers that the cacicazgos entered into their decline in the late 17th century.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Spores, Ronald. The Mixtec Kings and Their People. Civilization of the American Indian 85. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1967.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This book deals with the culture of the Mixtec people of Oaxaca. The second part of this volume addresses the native rulers in the 16th century. The composition of the cacicazgo, royal succession, and lineage are based on a case study of Yanhuitlan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Taylor, William B. “Cacicazgos coloniales en el Valle de Oaxaca.” Historia Mexicana 20.1 (1970): 1–41.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The author argues that the colonial cacicazgos were in fact transmissible heritage molded in the likeness of mayorazgo. It is his belief that the chiefdoms of the Valley of Oaxaca entered into crisis in the 17th century.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Historical Sources

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not very many historical sources have been published regarding the Native American nobility. Fernández de Recas 1961 is a good example of the cacicazgos that were established in New Spain; the volume contains useful information of their family lineage and wealth. On the other hand, Pérez-Rocha and Tena 2000 includes several letters written by the nobility denouncing the abuses committed by the Spaniards against them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Fernández de Recas, Guillermo S. Cacicazgos y nobiliario indígena de la Nueva España. Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas 5. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1961.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This classic work includes a documentary selection of the cacicazgo from the National General Archive of Mexico on the institution of the cacicazgo in several regions of New Spain. Furthermore, it contains photographs of the coats of arms of certain families.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Pérez-Rocha, Emma, and Rafael Tena. La nobleza indígena del centro de México después de la conquista. Colección Obra Diversa. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 2000.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Provides a brief introduction to the topic, though its main value is the translated letters and paleographic writings of the indigenous noblemen claiming their rights from the Spanish. Furthermore, it contains a reconstruction of several genealogies of these Native Lords.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      back to top

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Article

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Up

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Down