Lords Of The Seven Parishes: Neighbourhood, Guild, And Revolt In Early Modern Seville, 1520-1652

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Popular politics
European History
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My dissertation links two popular revolts in Seville, in 1520-1 and 1652, both of which had as their focus the artisan parish of Omnium Sanctorum, in the Feria district of the city. The first was a local echo of the great Comunero Revolt, while the second was arguably the most serious political uprising in the Crown of Castile after 1520. The symmetry between these events, alongside the fact that La Feria—as it was popularly known—was the most likely source of urban unrest throughout this period, demands a study of the specific local conditions that enabled, structured or defused popular protest in early modern Spain’s greatest metropolis. The two central chapters of this dissertation examine, firstly, the meaning and nature of neighbourhood community—including its importance in the articulation of collective action—and, secondly, the silk guild’s (Arte de la Seda) petitioning and ideological framework in the seventeenth century (as most of the rebels in 1652 were silk workers). I also discuss the production of memory—the ways in which sixteenth- and seventeenth-century urban historians dealt with the subject of popular uprisings—as well as the role of the asistentes (royal governors) of Seville, above with regard to food provisioning, its relation to concepts of justice and politics. This dissertation thus brings together several lines of inquiry, each with its own particular trajectory and set of concerns, yet bearing direct relation to the questions posed here—the literature on revolt and rebellion in early modern Europe, on Spanish and Mediterranean cities, on the nature and uses of written memory, on urban neighbourhoods and popular politics, on guilds and artisans (above all silk workers), and finally the seventeenth-century ‘crisis.’ At the confluence of these kindred streams is a more complete understanding of the nature and mechanisms of urban revolt, the popular role in the governance of the city and the kingdom, but also of self-perceptions and alternative visions of the civic Republic nurtured by those who were not meant to have an opinion on such matters.

Antonio Feros
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