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Between post-colonial and global studies: mobility, government and coexistence in the territories of the Spanish Monarchy in the modern age


After overcoming a predominantly Eurocentric vision, historiography of the late 20th century ventured further into considering the development of dynamics on a planetary scale, embracing the innovative instances and methodological suggestions of Post-Colonial studies, as well as those of World and Global Studies. Whether one accepts the paradigm of “globalisation” or rejects it, like for example, among others, Frederick Cooper – who considers it an empty conceptual shell, devoid of uniformity – it is a matter of fact that social sciences, and history among them, were influenced by it in their heuristic approach at understanding phenomena. In this perspective, and within a dialectic approach to the historiographical paradigms that have been prevalent in the last few decades, this contribution would like to suggest a reflection on some phenomena which are specific to the Spanish Monarchy in the early Modern Age. In particular, the objective is that to bring out elements of non-conformity of the several spaces in which the Monarchy was articulated, in order to show the importance and the peculiarity of those that for long have been considered as “outlying areas”. Through the analysis of some tangible paradigms, connected with the concept of frontier, conquest and movement of men, we will demonstrate the central position taken by a political discourse that, from time to time, is shaped to safeguard identities and prerogatives, and we will highlight the contracting and negotiation power demonstrated by the élites that were taking possession of the newly acquired areas, carrying along extremely different cultural, religious and political traditions.