In his book, Crawford investigates conflicts about and resistance to the status of "hidalgo," conventionally understood as the lowest, most heavily populated rank in the Spanish nobility.
"It is generally accepted that legal privileges were based on status and class in this pre-modern society," said Crawford.
He explains the contentious realities and limitations of such legal privileges, particularly the conventional claim of hidalgo exemption from taxation, and focuses on efforts to claim these privileges as well as opposing efforts to limit and manage them.
"Michael Crawford's insightful monograph offers the most engaging and carefully researched account of the widespread social pressure to reach noble status in late medieval and early modern Spain," says Dr. Teofilo F. Ruiz, a professor of medieval and early European history at the University of California, Los Angeles. "Vividly describing the mechanisms to accomplish such aims, Crawford uses the process of ennoblement, and resistance to it, as a lens through which to explore Spanish society."
Crawford, who has taught at McNeese since 2006, received his bachelor's degree in international studies at the University of Washington and his master's degree and doctorate in history at the University of Arizona. He teaches a wide range of courses in European and world history, particularly in medieval Europe, the Renaissance and Reformation, Spain and Colonial Latin America.