By Tamar Herzog
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Extra info for Defining Nations: Immigrants and Citizens in Early Modern Spain and Spanish America
These changes did not modify the conditions for citizenship. Instead, they effected only the method by which petitioners’ intention to become citizens could be proved. Before 1743, petitioners were required to prove their intention by submitting an afﬁdavit, attesting that they had resided in Seville for more than ten years and intended to remain in the city permanently. After 1743, petitioners had to supply the council with the testimony of the local priest, afﬁrming their residence in Seville, and with rental receipts.
This enormous growth was sustained mainly by immigration. In its function as a court and seat of the Spanish central administration, Madrid attracted large numbers of nobles, bureaucrats, candidates for jobs, and a great variety of service providers. ∫∂ The functioning of Madrid as a capital city obscured the existence of a local community, with local needs and local jurisdiction. People coming to the city were too obsessed with the court, too dependent on the king, too powerful, or 36 Vecindad: Local Communities simply too disrespectful of the local community.
It was based on the idea that residence was a presumption and that, as with all other presumptions, it could be replaced by other factors that indicated the existence of the intention to be a citizen. In Antonio Joseph’s case, intention could be deduced from the close relationship between the candidate’s family and the community, as well as through the payment of taxes. Yet the use of presumptions also sheds light on the changes introduced in Seville’s citizenship policies. These changes did not modify the conditions for citizenship.