Dr. Adrian Masters is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Historical Studies.
His research focuses on 16th century Spanish imperial bureaucracy, racial formations, and state knowledge. He is currently co-authoring a book with Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, entitled The Radical Spanish Empire (under contract with Harvard University Press). He is also working on his own book, tentatively entitled Empire of Petitioners: Creating the Law in the 1500s Spanish Empire, and he has a forthcoming article in the August edition of the Hispanic American Historical Review, called ‘A Thousand Invisible Architects: Vassals, the Petition and Response System, and the Creation of Spanish Imperial Caste Legislation.’
In episode 17 of History Hub’s podcast series – ‘Kingdom, Empire and Plus Ultra: conversations on the history of Portugal and Spain, 1415-1898‘ – Dr. Masters and series host Dr. Edward Collins discuss the petition and response system. The system has been central to Adrian’s work on Spanish imperial bureaucracy, part of what he calls a ‘responsive regime’ – that is, a largely passive state that relied almost entirely on reports and requests of a huge range of subjects.
This arrangement enabled the participation of almost anyone in the imperial system from the bottom up, and constructed the profoundly productive bureaucratic and social mechanics of the Spanish Empire, which incubated phenomena we associate with modernity today. The podcast is now available on iTunes and Soundcloud.
Listen to ‘Petition and Response: Spanish America and the Council of the Indies in the 16th Century’, with Dr. Adrian Masters (UT Austin).
Kingdom, Empire and Plus Ultra
This History Hub podcast series features interviews with experts in the areas of Portuguese and Spanish history, from the beginning of the Portuguese discoveries in 1415 to the end of Spanish dominion in America in 1898. The interviews, conducted by historian Dr. Edward Collins, cover a range of topics on the domestic and overseas histories of both nations, which include, among others: the Portuguese explorations of Africa and Asia, Spanish navigation and settlement in America, the church in Portugal and Spain, monarchy and intermarriage in the Iberian kingdoms, natural science and mapping in America, the role of nautical science, Irish historical relations with Portugal and Spain, and imperial competition in Europe and overseas. The interviewees comprise a number of established and renowned academics, as well as up-and-coming researchers from universities and institutions worldwide.
This History Hub series is funded by UCD Seed Funding and supported by UCD School of History. Series editor is Mike Liffey (Real Smart Media).
- Series introduction by Edward Collins
- Episode 1: Portugal and Spain in the 15th and early-16th centuries: a brief overview by Edward Collins
- Episode 2: Ellen Dooley on the Spanish Inquisition and the religious image in Spain & America, 1478–1700
- Episode 3: Ricardo Padrón on America, the Pacific, and Asia in the Imperial Imagination, 1513-1609
- Episode 4: Allison Bigelow on the Science of Colonial Silver: Rethinking the History of Mining and Metallurgy in the Early Americas
- Episode 5: Early Colonial Brazil, English Piracy, and the Adventures of Anthony Knivet (1591-1599) by Vivien Kogut Lessa de Sá
- Episode 6: Onésimo T. Almeida on Portugal and the Dawn of Modernity, 1419-1620
- Episode 7: Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra on Old Testament Culture in the Spanish Monarchy in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth centuries
- Episode 8: Zoltan Biedermann on ‘A Negotiating Empire: Portuguese diplomacy in Asia and the Global Renaissance’
- Episode 9: Flora Cassen on ‘Philip II and His Italian Jewish Spy’.
- Episode 10: Tamar Herzog on ‘Frontiers of Possession: Spain and Portugal in Europe and the Americas’.
- Episode 11: Pedro Cardim on ‘The Idea of Hispania: Portugal and the Spanish Monarchy in the 16th and 17th Centuries’
- Episode 12: Barbara E. Mundy on ‘Tenochtitlan: Transformation and Endurance after the Spanish Conquest’
- Episode 13: Aaron Alejandro Olivas on ‘The Iberian Atlantic and the War of the Spanish Succession, 1700-1715’
- Episode 14: Amelia Almorza Hidalgo on Spanish women on transatlantic voyages in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
- Episode 15: Carla Rahn Phillips on The Struggle for the South Atlantic: The Armada of the Strait of Magellan, 1581-1584
- Episode 16: Stephanie Cavanaugh on ‘Moriscos, Enslaved Children, and Litigating for Liberty in sixteenth-century Spain’.
- Episode 17: Adrian Masters on ‘Petition and Response: Spanish America and the Council of the Indies in the 16th Century’.
Image: detail from “The Spanish Council of the Indies and the 1500s Petition and Response System”. Bibliothèque nationale de la France (Mss. Espagnol 325, 316r. Public domain, via BnF.