Una nueva cristalización social: Las élites urbanas y el Estado en Valladolid y Magdeburgo (ca. 1770-1870)
Title: Una nueva cristalización social: Las élites urbanas y el Estado en Valladolid y Magdeburgo (ca. 1770-1870)
Author: LUENGO SÁNCHEZ, Jorge
Series/Report no.: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
This thesis aims to examine the process of elite formation in a provincial European town in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Spanish town of Valladolid is the case study chosen for this purpose, and it has been compared asymmetrically with the Prussian city of Magdeburg. The core question of this thesis is how different groups – in terms of profession and origin – employed diverse social and cultural mechanisms in order to obtain and reproduce privileged positions within urban structures of power. An introduction and the presentation of the urban framework open the study (chapters 1-2). Next, family-building and kin strategies over a long-term period are analyzed (chapter 3). Starting with a sample of 317 individuals and their spouses in Valladolid – and a similar sample for Magdeburg extracted from secondary literature – I used a prosopographical method and Social Network Analysis models to analyze and reconstruct the familial network of this sample. In subsequent chapters, I consider the institutional role of these elite members of the municipality (chapter 4), especially from the 1830s onwards when administrative changes opened the way for average citizens to take over municipal positions. Aspects linked to this change, such as local politics, festivities and sociability have also been analyzed (chapters 5-6). Finally (in chapter 7), I reconsider kin networks in order to address the issue of the development of new types of elite formation in the town. An analysis of the data reveals the construction of a new type of elite formation from the last third of the 18th century onwards through an extensive kin strategy. The large familial network which linked the families of the most prominent figures in local society – in political and economic terms – was consolidated and extended through new marriages in the middle decades of the 19th century. In both case studies, social power underwent a process of restructuring, although the different consequences of the Napoleonic Wars led to rather dissimilar relationships between elites and local institutions, the State, and liberalism. This had a significant impact on the development of the processes of legitimisation of their positions and their political, social, and cultural actions. I further argue that administrative reforms in the 1830s led to the confluence of new and old fortunes, which were already linked by complex kin ties. From the 1830s onwards, urban elites reinforced relationships and enhanced a network formation process which had begun decades before. In this way, a new social crystallization in the local sphere was forged.
Defence date: 6 May 2011; Examining Board: Prof. Dr. Bartolomé Yun Casalilla (EUI), Supervisor Prof. Dr. Heinz-Gerhard Haupt (EUI), Co-Supervisor Prof. Dr. Pedro Carasa Soto (Universidad de Valladolid) Prof. Dr. Christian Windler (Universität Bern)
Final published version: http://hdl.handle.net/1814/32631
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