Patrons, Partisans, and Palace Intrigues: The Court Society of Colonial Mexico 1702-1710
Published by: University of Calgary Press
Imprint: University of Calgary Press
Sales Date: 2008-04-23
Published: April 2008
288 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 18.00 mm, 3 illustrations, 10 tables, 1 map, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Temporarily Out Of StockAdd to Wishlist
Palace intrigues and clientelism drove politics at the viceregal court of colonial Mexico. By carefully reconstructing social networks in the court of Viceroy Duke of Alburquerque (1702-1710), Christoph Rosenmüller reveals that the Duke presided over one of the most corrupt viceregal terms in Mexican history.
Alburquerque was appointed by Spain's King Philip V at a time when expanding state power was beginning to meet with opposition in colonial Mexico. The Duke and his retainers, though seemingly working for the crown, actually built close alliances with locals to thwart the reform efforts emanating from Spain. Alburquerque collaborated with contraband traders and opposed the secularization of Indian parishes. He persecuted several local craftsmen and merchants, some of whom died after languishing in jail, accusing them of treason to bolster his own credentials as a loyal official. In the end, however, the dominant clique at the royal court in Madrid sought revenge. Alburquerque was forced to pay an unheard-of indemnity of 700,000 silver pesos to regain the king's favour.
Dealing with a topic and period largely ignored by historiography, Rosenmüller exposes the vast patronage power of the viceroy at the historical watershed between the expiring Habsburg dynasty and the incoming Bourbon rulers. His analysis reveals that precursors of the Bourbon reforms and the struggle for Mexican independence were already at play in the early eighteenth century.
Figures and Tables
Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: The Political and Economic Culture of Spain's Early-Eighteenth-Century Empire
Chapter 3: Court and Corruption of Colonial Mexico
Chapter 4: Clients and Creatures: Albuquerque's Pervasive Patronage
Chapter 5: The Clash over Contraband Commerce and the Consulado
Chapter 6: Fighting the Faux Habsburg Conspiracy, 1706-1708
Chapter 7: Albuquerque Resists Royal Reform
Chapter 8: Reform and Revenge: The Fall of Albuquerque, 1711-1715
Appendix 1: Glossary
Appendix 2: Biographical Information
Appendix 3: Propography of Mexican Audiencia Ministers in Relation to the Viceroy
Appendix 4: The Mexican Consulado and the Alcaldes Ordinarios of Mexico City's Cabildo Civil
Appendix 5: Index of Albuquerque's Appointments of Alcaldes Mayores, Corregidores, and Governors
Appendix 6: Albuquerque's Appointments in the Military
Christoph Rosenmüller's work is a good example of what this type of study can be.
-Jacques A. Barbier, The American Historical Review
This fascinating book offers a detailed view of viceregal politics, power, and corruption in early eighteenth-century Mexico. Rosenmüller has successfully combined prosopography, analysis, and narrative in an excellent monograph that provides both new information and a benchmark against which subsequent efforts at reform in New Spain can be measured. All colonialists should read it.
-Mark A. Burkholder, The Americas