Taking it to Court: Litigating Women in the City of Valencia, 1550-1600

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/195894
Title:
Taking it to Court: Litigating Women in the City of Valencia, 1550-1600
Author:
Gonzales, Cynthia Ann
Issue Date:
2008
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation explores the history of women and litigation in the Spanish-Mediterranean city of Valencia between 1550 and 1600 through the examination of 114 civil suits filed in the appellate court of the Real Audiencia (Royal Supreme Court of the kingdom of Valencia). During this time, one-third of all legal cases reviewed by the Royal Supreme Court involved a female litigant as either the primary supplicant or defendant, and in some cases, women were both. Widows, wives, and daughters of Valencian artisans and merchants, farmers, and the elite initiated litigation over various socio-economic issues including disputed inheritances, dowries, yearly incomes, and urban and agricultural property. As good Valencian citizens, female litigants utilized the judicial system, particularly civil law courts, in order to negotiate their financial welfare during a time of economic prosperity in the city. In so doing, they demonstrated an understanding of local legal customs as well as their socio-economic rights, which they confidently defended. Historians have characterized early modern Spain as a litigious society, but there are few studies of Spanish litigation that focus primarily on the legal pursuits of women in civil court. Instead, scholarship has addressed Spanish women's involvement in criminal trials, an emphasis which tends to portray women as marginal to Spanish society. Civil litigation, however, presents women as individuals actively making daily decisions that impacted others from throughout their community. Moreover, the subject of women and litigation in Valencia reveals the degree to which local courts and the urban community, including men, supported women's legal and economic interests during the sixteenth century. Such local support further illustrates that women were central as opposed to marginal in early modern Spanish society.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Litigation; Women; Valencia; Spain; Sixteenth Century
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
History; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Nader, Helen; Karant-Nunn, Susan C
Committee Chair:
Nader, Helen; Karant-Nunn, Susan C

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleTaking it to Court: Litigating Women in the City of Valencia, 1550-1600en_US
dc.creatorGonzales, Cynthia Annen_US
dc.contributor.authorGonzales, Cynthia Annen_US
dc.date.issued2008en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation explores the history of women and litigation in the Spanish-Mediterranean city of Valencia between 1550 and 1600 through the examination of 114 civil suits filed in the appellate court of the Real Audiencia (Royal Supreme Court of the kingdom of Valencia). During this time, one-third of all legal cases reviewed by the Royal Supreme Court involved a female litigant as either the primary supplicant or defendant, and in some cases, women were both. Widows, wives, and daughters of Valencian artisans and merchants, farmers, and the elite initiated litigation over various socio-economic issues including disputed inheritances, dowries, yearly incomes, and urban and agricultural property. As good Valencian citizens, female litigants utilized the judicial system, particularly civil law courts, in order to negotiate their financial welfare during a time of economic prosperity in the city. In so doing, they demonstrated an understanding of local legal customs as well as their socio-economic rights, which they confidently defended. Historians have characterized early modern Spain as a litigious society, but there are few studies of Spanish litigation that focus primarily on the legal pursuits of women in civil court. Instead, scholarship has addressed Spanish women's involvement in criminal trials, an emphasis which tends to portray women as marginal to Spanish society. Civil litigation, however, presents women as individuals actively making daily decisions that impacted others from throughout their community. Moreover, the subject of women and litigation in Valencia reveals the degree to which local courts and the urban community, including men, supported women's legal and economic interests during the sixteenth century. Such local support further illustrates that women were central as opposed to marginal in early modern Spanish society.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectLitigationen_US
dc.subjectWomenen_US
dc.subjectValenciaen_US
dc.subjectSpainen_US
dc.subjectSixteenth Centuryen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineHistoryen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorNader, Helenen_US
dc.contributor.advisorKarant-Nunn, Susan Cen_US
dc.contributor.chairNader, Helenen_US
dc.contributor.chairKarant-Nunn, Susan Cen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFutrell, Alisonen_US
dc.identifier.proquest2649en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659749651en_US
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