Courtly Ceremonies and a Cultural Urban Geography of Power in the Habsburg Spanish Empire
This chapter traces colonial developments in concepts like “city-theater” and “theater-state” in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish baroque, examining how the highly theatrical displays produced representational equivalents for the monarch’s body in South American cities. Ceremonies for the king’s proclamation and his royal funeral were important political moments of truth for the renewal of loyalties and obedience to the distant monarch. Yet these kingly ceremonies did not always follow one script emanating from Madrid. This chapter examines the impact of local contingencies (weather and geography, but also size, social makeup, and distance of the court) in shaping local political cultures centered on the Spanish king’s body in various cities of this vast empire, and their role in the creation of an imperial urban geography of power.