Governance and Society in Colonial Mexico: Chihuahua in the Eighteenth Century

This book is a richly detailed examination of the social history of the city of Chihuahua, a major silver mining centre in colonial Mexico. The author shows how abstract relationships of class, political subordination, ethnicity, and gender took concrete form in the daily life of the diverse people of Chihuahua. The author examines both the motivations of those who wielded power as local officials, employers, and heads of households and how their subordinates responded to them. She argues that a complex process of give-and-take developed that shaped local society and politics, a process in which working-class people challenged existing power relations both directly and indirectly. The social history of colonial Mexico was everywhere marked by the constant renegotiation of social boundaries, but especially so in Chihuahua, where everyone at first was a newcomer, and 'Mexican' and 'Spaniard' confronted together the task of creating a new community.