This book grapples with the important contemporary question of the boundaries of citizenship and access to naturalization by analyzing a body of relevant juridical sources, dating from the end of the eighteenth century to the first half of the nineteenth century, concerning the free people of color in late colonial and early independent Spanish America. Their precarious status makes this group a privileged subject to examine the negotiation and formation of racial identity as well as the definition of citizenship requirements in colonial and post-colonial contexts. Based on archival material collected in Spain (Seville and Madrid) and Latin America (Mexico City, Bogotá, Quito, Lima and Buenos Aires), the book demonstrates that the access of free people of color to citizenship both in the late colonial and early independent period was not established by state authorities, but resulted from complex dynamics between the state and the local society.
Table of Contents
1. Seeking Spaces for Mobility
2. The Revolutions of the Hispanic World: New Citizenship Rights?
3. Between Grace and Rights
4. Race and Equality
Federica Morelli is associate professor of History of the Americas at the University of Turin.