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Grant number like: FT-51227-03

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Brian Owensby
University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA 22903-4833)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2003 – 7/31/2003

Justice against Powerful Hands: Law and Colonial Lives in 17th-Century Mexico

Colonial Mexico was saturated in law. I want to discern how people differently situated in 17th-century Mexican society understood their relationship to law. I will explore procedural nuances as well as how litigants, judges, lawyers, and witnesses related to the central tenets of Spanish law--liberty, rights, royal protection, obedience, authority, possession, power. For summer 2003, I propose to examine a collection of appellate cases at the national archive in Mexico City that have not previously been available to researchers. These documents, which will be available in June 2003, will allow a much finer-grained analysis of the relationship between courts of the first instance and the appeals process than has been possible in the past.