The Fight for Status and Privilege in Late Medieval and Early Modern Castile, 1465-1598 by Michael J. CrawfordThe Fight for Status and Privilege in Late Medieval and Early Modern Castile, 1465-1598 by Michael J. Crawford

The Fight for Status and Privilege in Late Medieval and Early Modern Castile, 1465-1598

byMichael J. Crawford

Hardcover | March 27, 2014

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In The Fight for Status and Privilege in Late Medieval and Early Modern Castile, 1465–1598, Michael Crawford investigates conflicts about and resistance to the status of hidalgo, conventionally understood as the lowest, most heavily populated rank in the Castilian nobility. It is generally accepted that legal privileges were based on status and class in this premodern society. Crawford presents and explains the contentious realities and limitations of such legal privileges, particularly the conventional claim of hidalgo exemption from taxation. He focuses on efforts to claim these privileges as well as opposing efforts to limit and manage them. Although historians of Spain acknowledge such conflicts, especially lawsuits associated with this status, none have focused a study on this extraordinarily widespread phenomenon. This book analyzes the inevitable contradictions inherent in negotiation for and the implementation of privilege, scrutinizing the many jurisdictions that intervened in these struggles and debates, including the crown, judiciary, city council, and financial authorities. Ultimately, this analysis imparts important insights about the nature of sixteenth-century Castilian society with wide-ranging implications about the relationship between social status and legal privileges in the early modern period as a whole.

Michael J. Crawford is Associate Professor of History at McNeese State University.Michael J. Crawford is Associate Professor of History at McNeese State University.
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Title:The Fight for Status and Privilege in Late Medieval and Early Modern Castile, 1465-1598Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:March 27, 2014Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271062894

ISBN - 13:9780271062891

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Reviews

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

A Note on the Text

Introduction: The Status of Hidalgo as a Social Claim

1 The Constitution of Privilege: Royal Granting, Revoking, and Recognizing of Hidalguía

2 The Economic and Political Value of Status

3 Migration, Resettlement, and Status

4 Anatomy of a Lawsuit of Hidalguía

5 Social Networks and Privilege

6 Justice and Malfeasance at the Tribunal of the Hidalgos

Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Michael Crawford’s insightful monograph, The Fight for Status and Privilege in Late Medieval and Early Modern Castile, 1465–1598, offers the most engaging and carefully researched account of the widespread social pressure to reach noble status in late medieval and early modern Spain. Vividly describing the mechanisms to accomplish such aims, he uses the process of ennoblement, and resistance to it, as a lens through which to explore Spanish society. Focusing on Seville, Crawford provides his readers with a clear and compelling portrait of the manner in which conversos, foreigners, and others (most often newcomers to Seville) litigated with municipal authorities as they sought to confirm their status as hidalgos or petty noblemen. This was not an idle aspiration, since hidalgo status led to tax exemptions and privileges. This is an excellent book that clearly portrays the almost obsessive desire to achieve noble rank in early modern Spain, as well as the municipalities’ often failed efforts to protect their tax base. This is an important and first-rate contribution to our knowledge of the social and legal aspects of this conflict and, thus, to our understanding of one of the most critical issues in the history of early modern Spain.”—Teofilo F. Ruiz, UCLA