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The Bourbon monarchs who ascended the Spanish throne in 1700 attempted to reform the colonial system they had inherited, and, in particular, to make administration more efficient and cost-effective. This book analyses one aspect of the Bourbon reforms, which was the efforts to transform frontier missions, to make the missions more cost-effective, and to accelerate the integration of indigenous peoples in northern Mexico to European cultural norms. In some instances, the Crown had funded missions for more than a century, but with minimal results. The book attempts to show how the mission programs changed, and what the consequences – especially demographic – were for the indigenous peoples brought to live on the missions.
Images of Miraculous Healing in the Early Modern Netherlands explores the ways in which paintings and prints of biblical miracles shaped viewers’ approaches to physical and sensory impairments and bolstered their belief in supernatural healing and charitable behavior. Drawing upon a vast range of sources, Barbara Kaminska demonstrates that visual imagery held a central place in premodern disability discourses, and that the exegesis of New Testament miracle stories determined key attitudes toward the sick and the poor. Addressed to middle-class collectors, many of the images analyzed in this study have hitherto been neglected by art historians. Link to book presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79jHEmTOKnU
When smallpox inoculation entered western medical practice in 1721 it aroused considerable controversy. A broad-based cohort of enlightened Germans such as publishers, poets, pastors and elite women attempted to dispel the doubts and encourage the innovative procedure. Yet many parents remained fearful, and the contagiousness of inoculation also necessitated a new approach. National pride in the past defeat of bubonic plague aroused optimism that smallpox could be banished using a similar strategy. The arrival in 1800 of Jenner’s vaccine ended the debates by offering yet another promising new approach.
Battling Smallpox before Vaccination explores the social and medical impacts of inoculation. It offers belated recognition for the valiant attempts of the many protagonists battling against the so-called ‘murdering angel’ before Edward Jenner’s discovery of vaccination. It provides a comprehensive description and penetrating analysis of the understanding and perception of smallpox, the propagation of pro-inoculation information, varied reactions to inoculation, and debates over the idealistic goal of eradicating smallpox.
Legal historians have analysed the characteristics of merchant guilds and nationes (i.e., associations of foreign merchants), as well as the political clout of merchants, including foreign ones. However, how the legal status of citizens related to the merchant class and how its contents were influenced by trade remains largely unclear. Did governments have a policy of citizenship that was tailored to commercial interests? Were foreign merchants belonging to a separate legal category of resident? If so, what defined this category? To what extent could different types of legal status and membership of communities or guilds overlap? And how did all this affect merchants’ identities, their self-images of belonging? This collection of essays provides anwers to these questions.

Contributors are: Sonja Breustedt, Pieter De Reu, Gijs Dreijer, Maurits den Hollander, Marco In’t Veld, Marta Lupi, Manon Moerman, Remko Mooi, Patrick Naaktgeboren, and Joost Possemiers.
There is nothing more international than the formation of national identities. From barbarian epics to ethnographic museums, from national languages to emblematic landscapes or typical costumes, this book retraces the cultural fabrication of the European nations, documenting how national identities are not facts of nature but constructions.

The list of basic elements of a national identity is well known: ancestral founders, a history, heroes, a language, monuments, landscapes, and folklore. Compiling this list was the great enterprise carried out throughout Europe during the last two centuries. Patriotic militancy and the transnational exchanges of ideas and know-how created identities that are very specific, but similar precisely in their difference.