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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Event Archive

“Good versus bad institutions? Citizenship in colonial Latin and North America (16th-18th centuries)”

17th June 2015, 18:00, Palace Green Library Learning Centre, Professor Maarten Prak (Utrecht)

followed by a drinks reception at the Cafe, Palace Green Library.

This event is part of the "From Subjects to Citizens? 800 Years of Citizen Politics" Seminar Series in conjuntion with the Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt Exhibition. Please note that places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. To book click here.

Maarten Prak is Professor of Social and Economic History at Utrecht University and the author of many books and articles about early modern Europe, including The Dutch Republic in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2005).

Abstract: Nowadays, there are striking economic, social and political differences between North and South America. Those differences are often blamed on the institutional legacy of the colonial era. Such claims entail sweeping interpretations of Spanish versus British colonial rule, or even the institutions imported by the colonisers from Europe. In this lecture we will test this thesis through a bottom-up perspective of citizenship in the two regions. Was Latin America crippled from the start by poor citizenship institutions, while North America benefited from the benevolent citizenship regime transferred from Britain? As so often, the historical record provides a more complex picture.

Contact for more information about this event.