Max DeardorffJan 2, 2024
A Tale of Two Granadas
Custom, Community, and Citizenship in the Spanish Empire, 1568–1668
Cambridge University Press 2023
In 1570's New Kingdom of Granada (modern Colombia), a new generation of mestizo (half-Spanish, half-indigenous) men sought positions of increasing power in the colony's two largest cities. In response, Spanish nativist factions zealously attacked them as unequal and unqualified, unleashing an intense political battle that lasted almost two decades. At stake was whether membership in the small colonial community and thus access to its most lucrative professions should depend on limpieza de sangre (blood purity) or values-based integration (Christian citizenship).
Max Deardoff's A Tale of Two Granadas: Custom, Community, and Citizenship in the Spanish Empire, 1568–1668 (Cambridge University Press, 2023) examines the vast, trans-Atlantic transformation of political ideas about subjecthood that ultimately allowed some colonial mestizos and indios ladinos (acculturated natives) to establish urban citizenship alongside Spaniards in colonial Santafé de Bogotá and Tunja. In a spirit of comparison, it illustrates how some of the descendants of Spain's last Muslims appealed to the same new conceptions of citizenship to avoid disenfranchisement in the face of growing prejudice.
Ethan Besser Fredrick is a graduate student in Modern Latin American history seeking his PhD at the University of Minnesota. His work focuses on the Transatlantic Catholic movements in Mexico and Spain during the early 20th century.