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Registration and RecognitionDocumenting the Person in World History$
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Keith Breckenridge and Simon Szreter

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265314

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265314.001.0001

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Naming, Identifying and Authorizing Movement in Early Modern Spain and Spanish America

Naming, Identifying and Authorizing Movement in Early Modern Spain and Spanish America

Chapter:
(p.191) 7 Naming, Identifying and Authorizing Movement in Early Modern Spain and Spanish America
Source:
Registration and Recognition
Author(s):

Tamar Herzog

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265314.003.0008

This chapter surveys how individuals were identified and whether their movement was controlled in early modern Spain and Spanish America. It argues that because Spanish (and Spanish American) structures assumed the existence of a freedom to immigrate, most processes aimed at registering identities were concerned not with immigration but with distinguishing ‘good’ from ‘bad’ movement, fraudulent changes in identity from honest reshaping of who individuals were. Although similar rules were applied in both the Old and the New World, nevertheless new regulations did emerge in the Americas, requiring identifying individuals as ‘Spaniards’ on the one hand, and limiting movement by natives as long as their civic and religious conversion was not guaranteed, on the other. As a result, in the New World, processes of identification were more acute and more frequent than in Spain.

Keywords:   freedom of immigration, name, surname, movement, Spanish America, Spain, Indians, Spaniards, merchants

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