Thesis Title

Conflict And Conformity: The Holy Office Of The Inquisition In Colonial Cuba, 1511-1821

Date of Graduation

Summer 2006

Degree

Master of Arts in History

Department

History

Committee Chair

John Chuchiak

Keywords

Cuba, Inquisition, jurisdiction, heresy, Creole

Subject Categories

History

Abstract

For more than three centuries after the initial occupation of Cuba, the Holy Office of the Inquisition was a constant presence in the colony. During these years, jurisdiction over matters of faith on the island was serially transferred from Episcopal authorities (1513-1570), to formal Inquisitorial authorities in Mexico (1571-1609), and then Cartegena de Indias (1610-1819), and finally, back to autonomous officials in Cuba. Though some of these entities became more effective than others, the Inquisition was never fully able to achieve its authoritarian potential, primarily because its various officials were constantly involved in disputes with rival authorities on the island. This lack of competent, formal supervision of the religious orthodoxy within Cuban society permitted the colony's gradual economic expansion within an uninhibited international market. The economic recovery and demographic diversification which this indifference fostered, has had far-reaching consequences for Cuba and its status within the Spanish colonial empire.

Copyright

© Brendan V. Fletcher

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