Agriculture and society in Central Mexico : the Valley of Tulancingo in the late colonial period (1700-1825)
This study provides a first approach to the economic and social history of the Valley of Tulancingo in the late colonial period. In examining the development of this agricultural area of central Mexico, the author discusses the broader transformations that affected the country as a whole during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: population growth, migration, urbanization, and the commercialization of agriculture. On this score, the study participates in the current debate on the best way to characterize the Mexican agricultural sector at the end of the colonial rule. Most modern historiography tends to emphasize that demographic growth transformed the traditional balance between population and resources and was a major cause of economic and social disruption in the countryside. The author combines new evidence with recent findings from the specialist literature, to argue that Tulancingo fully participated in the roster of economic and social changes of the period. The work begins with a description of Tulancingo's population trends and an analysis of the spatial distribution of the population. It goes on with an analysis of the Valley's agricultural economy, describing the complementary rural elements of Indian communities and haciendas, and examining a series of related transformations in landholding, marketing, and social relations. This study will be of interest to anyone concerned with Mexican economic and social history, or the history of agriculture.