Geschichte der Frühen Neuzeit
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Promotionsprojekt

Men of Letters, War and Trade in the Philippines. Right, Reward and Conflict (1568-1598)

Betreuer: Prof. Dr. Arndt Brendecke

One of the peculiarities of the early colonial situation on the Philippines was that Spaniards fought against different groups of people (natives, Portuguese, Dutch, Japanese and Chinese) and resisted a wide range of difficulties such as animal attacks, storms or fires in order to safeguard themselves. In addition to warfare, other skills were needed for the preservation of the islands: for example, the ability of writing.

The aim of this project is threefold. Firstly, I want to understand how the Spaniards conceptualized the safeguarding of the Philippines. In this context, the arguments used by people applying for reward on the basis of their safeguarding services are especially significant. In particular I am interested in the role of the notaries and scribes who as men of letters and war offered specific services to the Crown. Secondly, I investigate the point of view of the Crown and thirdly the interaction between the Crown and the notaries and scribes through the royal sale of these offices. This will contribute towards a better understandig of the imperialistic politics of Spain in Asia.

In order to develop this project I work mainly with the Informaciones de méritos y servicios (IMS), reports sent to the Spanish king by conquerors and settlers in order to get a royal reward or confirmation of a sold office, and the complementary Cédulas y Provisiones regias, the King’s answers to the petitioners.

The project is part of 'Die Conquista. Neue Forschungen zur politischen Ökonomie der spanischen Expansion', funded by 'Gerda Henkel Stiftung'.