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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

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Patrons, Partisans, and Palace Intrigues: The Court Society of Colonial Mexico 1702-1710 (Latin American and Caribbean)


Patrons, Partisans, and Palace Intrigues: The Court Society of Colonial Mexico 1702-1710 (Latin American and Caribbean) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Palace intrigues and clientelism drove politics at the viceregal court of colonial Mexico. By carefully reconstructing social networks in the court of Viceroy Duke of Alburquerque (1702-1710), Christoph Rosenmüller reveals that the Duke presided over one of the most corrupt viceregal terms in Mexican history.Alburquerque was appointed by Spains King Philip V at a time when expanding state power was beginning to meet with opposition in colonial Mexico. The Duke and his retainers, though seemingly working for the crown, actually built close alliances with locals to thwart the reform efforts emanating from Spain. Alburquerque collaborated with contraband traders and opposed the secularization of Indian parishes. He persecuted several local craftsmen and merchants, some of whom died after languishing in jail, accusing them of treason to bolster his own credentials as a loyal official. In the end, however, the dominant clique at the royal court in Madrid sought revenge. Alburquerque was forced to pay an unheard-of indemnity of 700,000 silver pesos to regain the kings favour.Dealing with a topic and period largely ignored by historiography, Rosenmüller exposes the vast patronage power of the viceroy at the historical watershed between the expiring Habsburg dynasty and the incoming Bourbon rulers. His analysis reveals that precursors of the Bourbon reforms and the struggle for Mexican independence were already at play in the early eighteenth century.

Book News Annotation:

The viceregal court of colonial Mexico was a massive web of social and familial contacts, false conflicts, shady and shaky alliances and corruption. Rosenmüller (history, Middle Tennessee State U.) carefully follows each thread of that web, finding beneath the complexity some relatively simple truths: the Duke of Alburquerque, appointed by Philip V of Spain, would do virtually anything to appear to be loyal to his king, those around him openly peddled influence according to Alburquerque's lead, and not everyone was completely aware the Hapsburgs were sliding to oblivion, the Bourbons and their reforms were rising, and parts of the Mexican Revolution were slowly assembling themselves. Distributed by Michigan State U. Press. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

After completing research in Mexico and Spain, Christoph Rosenmüller earned his PhD in Latin American history from Tulane University in 2003. He is currently an assistant professor in the Department of History at Middle Tennessee State University.

Product Details

Rosenmuller, Christoph
University of Calgary Press
Rosenm�ller, Christoph
Latin America - Mexico
Spain Colonies America Administration.
Mexico Politics and government 1540-1810.
World History-Mexico
Edition Description:
Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
11 x 8.5 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Mexico

Patrons, Partisans, and Palace Intrigues: The Court Society of Colonial Mexico 1702-1710 (Latin American and Caribbean) New Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages Michigan State University Press - English 9781552382349 Reviews:
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