Agrarian capitalism in central Mexico : from hacienda to rancho in the state of Queretaro, 1845-1980
This thesis takes issue with two commonly held assumptions of Mexican historiography. One, that the cereal-producing hacienda (or 'great estate') of nineteenth-century Central Mexico was backward and serai-feudal. And two, commensurate with the first, that the emergence of an agrarian bourgeoisie in Mexico was delayed until these archaic edifices had been swept away by the Revolution of 1910 and the subsequent agrarian reform of the 1920s and 1930s.Tlie study focuses oh the state of Queretaro and draws on detailed archival material for five haciendas in the area for the period from the 1840s: San Juanico, Juriquilla, San Jose el Alto, Chichimequillas, and Agua Azul. Close analysis is made of the economic structure and profitability of these estates by way of an examination of each of their major products - maize, wheat, chili, and milk. Particular attention is paid to the popular accusation of hacienda inefficiency, and production costs are assessed in the light of comparative material from Europe and U.S.A. In this way the study documents a general trend during the latter half of the nineteenth century towards the establishment of bourgeois production and economic success on the hacienda. These beginnings of agrarian capitalism in Queretaro were then cut short by the outbreak of the Revolution and the subsequent period of uncertainty, and agrarian reform in the 1920s. and 1930s. The second part of the thesis examines the -impact of these events and goes on to chart the revival of the agrarian bourgeoisie in the area over the years from the i9%0s.