Revista de Indias (2019-09-01)

The foundation of the Juzgado Privativo de Tierras y Aguas of the Real Audiencia de México, 1692-1735

  • Sergio Eduardo Carrera Quezada

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 79, no. 276
pp. 369 – 398


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This article analyses the legal provisions promulgated by Spanish kings that led to the founding of government agencies commissioned for the regularization of land ownership in colonial America between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The decrees and edicts of the ministers of the Juzgado Privativo de Tierras de la Real Audiencia de México are published to analyse the operation of this government unit and the activities of its commissioners in the New Spain jurisdictions. Likewise, the importance for Mexico’s rural history of the “composiciones” and sales of vacant land is underlined, as these were procedures that helped consolidate the right to absolute property and affected the communal property of the “pueblos de indios” and their territorial configuration.