Fruit of his doctoral thesis, Arrigo Amadori's study examines the conflict between traditional organs of justice and government and the increasingly autonomous advance of the crown led by the Count-Duke of Olivares during the 1620s and 1630s. The first three chapters explore the degree to which Olivares succeeded in imposing on the Council of the Indies criteria and practices of authority, which the author judges based on notions of efficacy, obedience, and “capillarity.” Amadori also considers the concept of the monarch's “grace” or capacity for patronage, which lent consistency to relations at court in Madrid, Lima, and Mexico. In the last two chapters, Amadori examines two examples from the New World regarding the negotiating capacity of local power groups. Amadori based his research on sources at the Archivo General de Indias: mostly consultations to the Council of the Indies, which he subjects...

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