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Fueros, local laws and privileges extended to towns, provinces, or particular groups such as the clergy or military. In Spain, the term fueros is commonly associated with the constitutional liberties of non-Castilian provinces and towns that each new king promised to maintain before he could be formally recognized as monarch. These local and provincial privileges limited the authority of the king in matters of taxation and military recruitment and protected the authority of local elites. In Aragon, for example, fueros ensured the perpetuation of aristocratic privilege in the guise of territorial autonomy. Not until the reign of Philip V were the fueros of Aragon and Valencia (1707) and Catalonia (1714) abolished.

Ecclesiastical and military fueros constituted corporate privileges that provided the protection of these two areas of law. In the New World, militia members granted the fuero militar were exempt, together with their families, from trial in civil courts and certain forms of taxation.

See alsoJudicial Systems: Spanish Americaxml .


John H. Elliott, Imperial Spain, 1469–1716 (1963).

Henry Kamen, Spain, 1469–1714 (1983).

Additional Bibliography

Méndez Sereno, Herminia Cristina. La iglesia católica en tiempos de Guzmán Blanco. Caracas: Academia Nacional de la Historia, 1995.

Zimmermann, Eduardo A. Judicial Institutions in Nineteenth-century Latin America. London: University of London, Institute of Latin American Studies, 1999.

                            Suzanne Hiles Burkholder