Friday, February 16, 2018

Saavedra on the Property on the Chilean Frontier, 1790-1830

Manuel Bastias Saavedra, University of Bremen, has posted The Lived Space: Possession, Ownership, and Land Sales on the Chilean Frontier (1790-1830), which appears (and may be cited) in Historia Crítica 67
By looking into sales of indigenous land in the territory of Valdivia between 1790 and 1830, this article discusses how legal interactions were tied to the local spaces of rural habitation. Since ownership was linked with possession and use in Spanish colonial law, local social relations and shared local knowledge were crucial for determining legal ownership and ensuring the validity of land transfers. This article provides insights into how law operated in newly integrated colonial spaces, and reveals that land transfers did not yet constitute purely contractual relations but were instead socially negotiated transactions involving different levels of authority and dependency.