State and Empire

        I.            The importance of hierarchy

A.      Centralized monarchies emerge in mid and late medieval period

1.  Portuguese kingdom recognized by Pope in 1179; controls modern territory by 1245

a.       First formed by House of Burgandy

b.      After civil war, House of Avis emerges as rulers in 1385

c.       Due to political problems and dynastic issues, Portugal would be ruled by the Spanish kings from 1580-1640

d.      House of Braganza reasserts Portuguese independence in 1640

2. “Spain” originates with marriage of Isabel of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon in 1469

a.       Castile and Aragon emerge as most powerful  Iberian kingdoms by mid 1300s

b.      Isabel becomes queen of Castile in 1474; Ferdinand becomes king of Aragon in 1479

c.       Rule as a dual monarchy (Los Reyes Catolicos)

                                                                                                         i.            Conquest will be seen as a Castilian project

                                                                                                       ii.            Castilians will be favored in New World, particularly in early years

d.      Their grandson Charles would inherit from both, unifying the kingdoms in 1517 under the Hapsburg dynasty

e.      War of Spanish Succession would bring a branch of the Bourbon family to Spanish throne in 1700

B.      While medieval Iberian monarchies were relatively weak, their claims to authority were absolute

1.  Prior to conquests had small armies, small bureaucracies, and had to contend with powerful nobles

2. Relative strength of monarchies would grow in early modern period (post-1500)

3. Claims to power based on divine right of kings, Roman traditions of centralized authority

4. No real influence of Reformation or Scientific Revolution

a.       In Northern and Western Europe, these movements struck at traditional supports to authority

b.      Relatively weak influence in Iberia meant little challenge to monarchical authority

C.      Empires (and society as a whole) organized through corporatism

1. Corporatism organizes society and government on the basis of function

2. Entire empire thought of as a body, with each part having a function

3. King as head has no competitors (officially) for power, unlike the emergence of Parliament in England

4. On a smaller scale, society broken up into various corporate bodies

a.       Fraternities (lay and religious), guilds, noble orders, etc.

b.      Individuals generally interacted with government through their “corporation”

c.       Corporate bodies governed in same hierarchical fashion as overall government

d.      Each had its own fuero (privileges, laws, and courts), particularly for the clergy, nobles, and soldiers

D.      Patronage the key currency of power in the empires

1.  Monarchies ruled through parallel systems of power in the Church, bureaucracy, and nobility, which overlapped at the top

2.  Maintained control over these systems through patronage, handing out favors in exchange for loyalty

3. Jobs in the bureaucracy and church handed out on the basis of social position and patronage, with highest positions often reserved for nobility

4. Both monarchies begin to run into financial trouble and will begin to sell offices in 1600s

5.  Office holders used positions to enhance own position and to dole out patronage of their own

E.       Secular state handled primarily diplomacy, trade, property and justice, while Church dealt with social services and personal morality

      II.            The colonial state

A.      Establishing authority

1. Defeat of Tenochtitlan and the Inca emperors was not enough; the rest of the population would need to be subdued

2.  Settlers were also a threat to royal authority and would have to be controlled

3.  Royal governments would use multiple resources to assert and maintain control

a.       Patronage

b.      City building

c.       Divided and competing authority

d.      Church and religion

B.      Iberian bureaucracy

1.  Both Spain and Portugal would establish bureaucracies specifically for governing empires

a.       Portugal – Conselho Ultramarino (Overseas Council)

b.      Spain

                                                                                                         i.            Casa de Contratacion (Board of Trade) – handled trade

                                                                                                       ii.            Consejo de las Indias (Council of the Indes) – handled most other government matters

2. Bureaucrats and other officials often given overlapping authorities, insuring conflict between them

C.      Dividing the empires

1.  Spain creates viceroyalties

a.       New Spain (capital in Mexico City) in 1535

b.      Peru (capital in Lima) in 1540

c.       Would be divided into four vice-royalties in late 1700s

d.      Viceroys usually came from minor noble families or younger sons of leading families

2.  Brazil

a.       Begins as 15 privately funded captaincies, not unlike the early efforts at British colonization

b.      Unified under a governor-general in 1549 (governors-general become Viceroys in 1640)

c.       Divided in two in 1621, with other divisions later

d.      Re-unified as one government in 1775

D.      Spanish empire ruled as a system of cities

1.  Cities established to gain control over a territory

2. Main capitals held the viceroys

3.  Provincial capitals ruled by committees, the Audiencias

a.       Spanish empire had ten audiencias by late colonial period

b.      Oidores and fiscales sat on audiencias, headed by a presidente or governor-general

c.       Served as legislative and judicial body

d.      Audiencias in the capital cities also served as a vice-regal cabinet

4. Local capitals, cabeceras, in turn ruled over smaller villas and lugares

a.       Governed by cabildos or ayuntamientos

b.      Members of cabildos known as regidores

c.       Headed by alcaldes mayores and/or corregidores

d.      The farther away from Spain and the vice-regal capitals, the more independence cabildos had

5.  Cities laid out in standard grid plan inherited from the Romans

a.       Grid structure reminiscent of a military camp

b.      Central plaza held the major powers

                                                                                                         i.            Church

                                                                                                       ii.            Cabildo

                                                                                                      iii.            Wealthy merchants and landowners