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Defining NationsImmigrants and Citizens in Early Modern Spain and Spanish America$
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Tamar Herzog

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300092530

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300092530.001.0001

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Vecindad: Citizenship in Local Communities

Vecindad: Citizenship in Local Communities

(p.17) 2 Vecindad: Citizenship in Local Communities
Defining Nations

Tamar Herzog

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the origins of Castilian citizenship, which originated during the Middle Ages. During this period, the northern provinces of Castile gradually expanded southward, conquering territories previously under Muslim domination. This effort, though cast as a “reconquest” in an attempt to stress continuity between the pre-and postconquest periods and to claim legitimacy, was clearly the beginning of a new age in which Christian control was extended throughout Spain, and in which new forms of government and territorial management gradually emerged. From the eleventh century onward, people moved to the lands reclaimed from the Muslims and formed new communities or transformed existing ones. Royal decrees recognized most new or transformed communities as corporate entities, allocating specific rights to those who were willing to come and settle in them.

Keywords:   reconquest, Castilian citizenship, Castile, Muslim domination, Christian control, territorial management

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