The 1624 Tumult of Mexico in Perspective (c. 1620–1650)

Authority and Conflict Resolution in the Iberian Atlantic


In The 1624 Tumult of Mexico in Perspective Angela Ballone offers, for the first time, a comprehensive study of an understudied period of Mexican early modern history. By looking at the mandates of three viceroys who, to varying degrees, participated in the events surrounding the Tumult, the book discusses royal authority from a transatlantic perspective that encompasses both sides of the Iberian Atlantic. Considering the similarities and tensions that coexisted in the Iberian Atlantic, Ballone offers a thorough reassessment of current historiography on the Tumult proving that, despite the conflicts and arguments underlying the disturbances, there was never any intention to do away with the king’s authority in New Spain.
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Biographical Note

Angela Ballone, Ph.D. (2012), University of Liverpool, works as a Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History of Frankfurt am Main. Previously, she has been Fellow at the Deutsches Historisches Institut in Rome (2016) and the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa (2014–2015). She is currently working on the project ‘Translating Solórzano from Within’ on the jurist Juan de Solórzano Pereira (1575–1655).

Table of contents

General Editor’s Foreword Acknowledgements List of Illustrations Abbreviations Transcription System The Tumult in Brief IntroductionThe Scale of the Mexican DisturbancesRoyal Authority as a Tool of Integration in the Iberian AtlanticHistoriographical Approaches to the Tumult of 1624

Rethinking the Tumult in Perspective

1 Theatre of the DisturbancesWindows onto the Iberian Atlantic WorldMetropolis of the New WorldThe Composite Nature of Mexican Urban PopulationThe Broad Urban ScenarioRoyal Authority in Flesh and Blood 2 Pre-Dating the TumultThe Mexican Audiencia at the Time of GuadalcazarGuadalcazar: el Buen Rey or a Despotic Viceroy?Historiography on Guadalcazar’s MandatesFrom Mexico to LimaThe Logistics of Communication in the Iberian Atlantic 3 A Viceroy in an Age of DeclineRoyal Appointment by Philip IIIGelves’s First Entry in Mexico CityFirst Impressions in the New WorldPositive Feedback to the CouncilReforming Local Custom and Patronising Municipal InstitutionsSupervising the Administration of JusticeThe First Arrest of Oidor Vergara GaviriaOld World Casuistry and New Instructions from Spain 4 The Two Heads of the ViceroyaltyThe Administration of the Faith: A Sensitive TopicIdyll between Archbishop and ViceroyDeterioration of the Varaez CaseTwo Majesties in ConflictJuntas in Spanish AmericaAuthority from Theory to PracticeThe Cathedral of Mexico and the Scale of ConflictsNew Year and the Eve of the TumultThe Beginning of the EndReactions to the Exile 5 Storming the Viceregal PalaceRoyal Authority Performed in the Mexican ZócaloThe King Arrested and the Pope ExiledSacred Objects in the BattlefieldA Heretic Viceroy in Mexico City?‘Long Live to the King and Death to Heretics!’The Insurgents’ RequestsFrom Fire to FirearmsThe RegencyThe Viceroy is MissingThe Tumult is OverWho were These Insurgents Anyway?


The Long Road to Resolution

6 The Day AfterComuneros of New Spain?The Pillage of the Palace‘No God, nor King, nor Judges!’The Mexican DelegationThe Viceroy BesiegedJustice and Power Performed by the AudienciaSparkling the Transatlantic DebateA New Viceroy in an Age of CrisisRestoration of Viceregal AuthorityTwo Viceroys, Two Schools of PoliticsThe Archbishop of Mexico in Europe 7 Tools of Control from the Metropolitan CourtPreparations for the General InspectionThe Beginning of the InspectionGelves’s Judicial ExaminationViceroys’ Authority above Everything ElseThe Second Arrest of Oidor Vergara GaviriaMexico City under Pressure AgainThe End of Gelves’s Juicio de Residencia (in Mexico)Unsettling Metropolitan Considerations about the Inspection 8 From the Inspection to the General PardonAnother Extraordinary Junta at the Court of Philip IVThe Mexican Pardon in PerspectiveThe New Archbishop of MexicoRestoration of Religious AuthorityThe Edict of the PardonThe New InspectionDifferent Interpretations of the PardonMore Tensions in Mexico CityThe Resilience of the Gelvista Party 9 Metropolitan Déjà VuTwo Heads in Opposition, Again‘There is Only One Viceroy in New Spain!’Assessing the Junta del Tumulto de MéxicoThe Members of the JuntaThe Hidden ‘Life’ of the Junta del TumultoAn Ongoing Discussion outside the JuntaRethinking Metropolitan Perceptions of Mexican PoliticsThe Viceroys’ Sentences Conclusions Appendix: A Fructibus Eorum Cognoscentis Eos (México, 1629) Glossary Select Bibliography Index


All those interested in the history of the early modern Iberian Atlantic, the 1624 Tumult of Mexico, Viceregal and Court Studies, techniques of conflict resolution and Imperial Spain.