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Gamboa's World

Justice, Silver Mining, and Imperial Reform in New Spain
By Christopher Albi

Details

Overview

Gamboa’s World examines the changing legal landscape of eighteenth-century Mexico through the lens of the jurist Francisco Xavier de Gamboa (1717–1794). Gamboa was both a representative of legal professionals in the Spanish world and a central protagonist in major legal controversies in Mexico. Of Basque descent, Gamboa rose from an impoverished childhood in Guadalajara to the top of the judicial hierarchy in New Spain. He practiced law in Mexico City in the 1740s, represented Mexican merchants in Madrid in the late 1750s, published an authoritative commentary on mining law in 1761, and served for three decades as an Audiencia magistrate. In 1788 he became the first locally born regent, or chief justice, of the High Court of New Spain. In this important work, Christopher Albi shows how Gamboa’s forgotten career path illuminates the evolution of colonial legal culture and how his arguments about law and justice remain relevant today as Mexico debates how to strengthen the rule of law.

Contributor Bios
Christopher Albi is an associate professor of history at SUNY New Paltz.