In search of Honour and a Catholic Monarch: The assimilation and integration of an Irish minority in early modern Castile, 1601-1638
Title: In search of Honour and a Catholic Monarch: The assimilation and integration of an Irish minority in early modern Castile, 1601-1638
Author: O'SCEA, Ciaran
Citation: Florence, European University Institute, 2007
Series/Report no.: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
As a consequence of the Castilian monarch’s intervention in Ireland in 1601-02, Irish communities under Spanish royal patronage were consolidated in various parts of its dominions. One of the most important of these was that of La Coruña in north-west Spain, whose Irish population was greatly augmented through royal policy to concentrate the Irish there as a means of diverting Irish migrants away from the court in Valladolid or Madrid. The nature of this emigration from Ireland to Spain involved the transfer of a broad cross-section of the native population, whose oral culture and agnatic kinship structures contrasted with the more written culture and the cognatic family structures of the host society. The long-term presence of this Irish community, dependant on the Castilian crown for economic survival, led to its engagement with the host society and its political and religious structures. This gives us a rare opportunity to view the mechanisms and the processes of assimilation in an early-modern state, which is the subject of this thesis. The results of this investigation can be categorised in terms of the effects and influences of royal institutions, based principally at the court, on both the mental world of the migrants as well as on the socio-cultural structures that they brought with them from Ireland, spread over three phases. The first phase, which lasted until 1609, was characterised by resistance to the host society and avoidance of its institutions. The second phase, from 1610 to 1624, represented a period of transition and transformation, marked by the first signs of engagement with the institutions of the host society at both the local level and at the court, and the beginnings of the breakdown of the community’s kinship structure. The final period witnessed the consolidation of these tendencies as well as the assimilation of Castilian ideas and concepts related to legal status, racial purity, and nobility.
LC Subject Heading: Castile (Spain) -- History -- 17th century
Defence date: 14 September 2007; Examining board: Prof. Olwen Hufton, University of Oxford (Supervisor) ; Prof. Bartolomé Yun-Casalilla, European University Institute ; Prof. Nicholas Canny, University College, Galway (External Supervisor) ; Dr. Glyn Redworth, University of Manchester
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