New World Civitas, Contested Jurisdictions and Intercultural Conversation in the Construction of the Spanish Monarchy

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Jurisdictional frontiers were created, contested, and negotiated among a wide range of actors, including native Americans and Europeans, with reference to the cities founded in Castilla del Oro (roughly present-day Panama). This research deals, first, with the reshaping of the concept of a city in the New World, based on its inhabitants' sense of civitas. It analyses, secondly, the creation and redefinition of jurisdiction during political conflicts and, third, the construction and maintenance of jurisdiction through local relations with indigenous populations described as "conversation". The analysis of the creation and preservation of local jurisdictions allows for an interpretation of the complexities involved in the configuration of political power and political space from below in the territories claimed by the Spanish Monarchy.
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Colonial Latin American Review, 27, 1, pp. 30-51
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