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Subjects and SovereignBonds of Belonging in the Eighteenth-Century British Empire$
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Hannah Weiss Muller

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190465810

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190465810.001.0001

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Real and Pretended Subjects

Real and Pretended Subjects

Mediating Subjecthood in the Mediterranean

(p.80) 3 Real and Pretended Subjects
Subjects and Sovereign

Hannah Weiss Muller

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 focuses on the geopolitically strategic Mediterranean colonies of Gibraltar and Minorca. After its capture by France seven years earlier, Minorca reverted to being a British colony in 1763. Both Minorca and Gibraltar continually raised crucial issues about which of its diverse inhabitants could be counted as British subjects. A need for labor meant that most administrators wished to extend the protections of subjecthood to numerous individuals. In turn, a range of inhabitants began to employ the language of subjecthood to assert claims to various protections. Protective passes and redemption from captivity gradually became the assumed and particular privileges of those who could prove themselves to be British subjects. As economic protections were gradually associated with British subject status in the Mediterranean territories, administrators played a crucial role in shaping the boundaries of subjecthood.

Keywords:   Minorca, Gibraltar, Mediterranean, Mediterranean Pass, Barbary States, Consuls, Captivity/slavery, redemption

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