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Guadalajara City: A Brief History to 1821
by Dr. Rod Anderson, Project Director


Guadalajara is the capital of the modern Mexican state of Jalisco. Since the early days of the Republic, it has been the second most populous city in Mexico. It lies just under four hundred miles (640 kilometers) west of Mexico City, at an altitude of 5220 feet (1570 meters). Guadalajara anchors the southwestern end of the Mesa Central and is located near the middle of the valley of Guadalajara (in geographic terms, a basin or bolson), through which flows the Santiago river on its journey from nearly Lake Chapala to the Pacific. Due to the city’s altitude, it lies in the tierra templada (“temperate land”) with mild daytime temperatures of 75-85 degrees most of the year, except in the warmer months of April and May when the temperature can reach 90 degrees. Rainfall varies between 20 and 40 inches a year and comes mostly between May and October. While rainfall is just barely sufficient, the presence of the Santiago river and its tributaries alleviate the problem of water somewhat. Located just outside the earthquake zone, Guadalajara has avoided the great, disruptive earthquakes which have occasionally have devastated Mexico City, although in 1821 the Cathedral’s famous twin towers lay in ruins from a rare earthquake several years previous. The peaked twin towers for which the city is known today are a product of a mid-nineteenth century reconstruction of the earlier towers.

Pre-Colombian History

The history of Guadalajara is the history of a Spanish city. No pre-Colombian, indigenous village preceded it. Although Guadalajara itself is of European origins, the entire region of which the city lies at the center in pre-Colombian times was "a zone of ancient and reasonably dense settlement."1 At the time of the Spanish invasion of western Mexico, at least fifteen different indigenous language groups could be identified in the area comprising the modern state of Jalisco, with local dialetcs adding to this number. Culturally they ranged from semi-nomadic "Chichimec" subsistance farmers in the north to the densely populated, irrigated farms of the coastal plains. Several kingdoms (e.g. Tonallan and Pocintlan in the rich farm land to the south of Guadalajara) can be identified but the region contained no political union compared to the Tarascans to the south. Inter-tribal conflict was frequent, particularly between the lowlanders and the highland mountain tribes.2

Conquest and Colonization

A particularly bloody conquest and subsequent disease reduced the territory's Indian population from nearly one million to hardly more than 100,000 before the indigeneous population began again to grow in the mid-eighteenth century. Various forced and voluntary migrations complicated the cultural diversity of the survivors, adding Nahutl-speaking Mexjicanos and Tlaxcalans to the mix. By Independence, the regions Indian population had rebounded, as the data for Guadalajara in 1821 will indicate.

Yet most sources suggest that the demographic expansion was too late to save the indigenous western culture; save for small enclaves among the Indians of northwestern mountains, native languages had everywhere nearly died out. Various scholars describe an Hispanicized native population, whose "Indian" identity was maintained for specific land and legal rights, for community solidarity and political purposes, but without the cultural resources which indigenous villagers elsewhere in Mexico could claim.3

Named after a city in Spain, Guadalajara was founded on its present site in 1542 after several temporary locations during the dangerous times of the Mixton war. It lay with its northern limits protected by a series of formidable canyons while its southern walls fronted a dry gorge passable only with difficulty. To the east lay the seasonal Rio San Juan de Dios. Over the years, with its borders defined such, the city tended to expand westward. No Indian pueblos were to be found in the immediate vicinity, but Nahuatl-speaking "Mexicanos" from central Mexico accompanying Viceroy Mendoza's army sent to crush the rebellion established a pueblo south of the town called Mexicalcingo (also "Mejicaltzingo"). The village remained a separate "Republica de las Indias" until merging officially with Guadalajara in the late 1700s, although administratively it had been absorbed by the city in the seventeenth century. Its long years of independence created a strong sense of its own barrio identity. Few migrants wound up in Mejicalcingo.4

In 1546 Franciscan monks led a group of five hundred "Cocas" and "Tecuexes" from the nearby town of Tetlán to the east bank of the Río San Juan de Dios across from the new Spanish tow, where they founded the pueblo of Analco. Although they continued to serve as the Parish priests of the pueblo, the unhealthy, marshy nature of Analco led to them to transfer their convent across the river to the site where it was located in 1821. It, too, was incorporated into the city at the end of the eighteenth century, although with far more migrants in 1821 (25 percent). Residents west of the Rio often used the phrase al otro lado del agua referring to Analco but coming to mean the dividing line between Spanish and "Indian," and implying that Analco were uncultured, inferior country people. As with Mexicancingo, Analco came to absorb (or "produce") persons officially labeled "españoles" but retained a strong sense of its separateness from the city's other residents.5

The role and nature of Guadalajara changed over the course of centuries from its original founding. In its sixteenth century beginnings, Guadalajara resembled the fortified towns of Castilla during the early reconquista or the seventeenth century "fortress cities" of the Russian southern and western marches, more military and ecclesiastical frontier post than a market or trading town.6 Guadalajara's military role effectively ended with the harsh repression of the Mixton War in 1542, although it remained the staging point for Spanish expeditions to the north. On the other hand, the city's political-administrative functions grew steadily during the nearly three centuries of colonial rule. As the advancing Spaniards followed the retreating Chichimec frontier northward, drawn by the lure of silver and of land, castas and Indian farmers followed, often drawing on the inhabitants of the capital city and its hinterland. (7) In this way, Guadalajara was more a "beachhead to settlement"8 serving the larger schemes of empire before commerce and trade. Domingo Lazaro de Arregui observed that those that stayed were more inclined to be gentlemen than work at a profession or craft. Proud and able horsemen, he noted, and courteous people, but not one to work with their hands. Consequently, the scarcity of workers was a common complaint, made even more so by the near century-long decline in the region's indigenous population.9

Guadalajara's administrative role substantially expanded in 1560, as the Crown awarded it the coveted Audiencia. The jurisdiction of the Audiencia of Guadalajara extended northward in 1572 to include Nueva Vizcaya and the northwestern provinces of Nueva España. Equally important, the diocese of Guadalajara controled secular clergy parishes beyond the province into the Californias, Coahuila, Texas, Nuevo Leon and most of Nuevo Santander. The regular orders and in particular the Franciscans had important houses in the city and tended to act as the seat of the custodia of Santiago de Xalisco's five houses, and sent missionaries into the northern frontier.10

Despite the political power it yielded over the Province of Nueva Galicia, and beyond, Guadalajara's permanent population grew only slowly, reaching five thousand by 1651 and eight thousand by the beginning of the eighteenth century. Thomas Calvo estimates that at the beginning of the seventeenth century Guadalajara's population contained approximately five hundred Spaniards, with an equal number of castas and perhaps twelve hundred Indians living in the barrios of Mejicalcingo and Analco. By 1621 he estimates that between three to four thousand Spaniards and castas can be found living in and around the city, although Francois Chevalier's estimate (using the same source) is somewhat less. For much of the rest of the seventeenth century, Guadalajara appears to stagnate, as did so much of the colony. Therefore, for more than a century after its founding, Guadalajara played the role of Richard Morse's "centrifugal" city, serving the political and administrative interests of the Spanish Crown over territories west and north of the Bajio, sending waves of migrants west and northward, while it itself grew only slowly.11

Eighteenth Century

Beginning in the middle of the eighteenth century, Guadalajara's population increased substantially, reflecting both the region's overall growth and increased in-migration. The city housed a constantly arriving and departing population, laborers drawn to the region's ranches and haciendas, or mines of the north, arriving to marry, arriving as slaves, or as orphans from the Chichimec frontier wars. Even a small party of Japanese arrived from Spanish orient. Guadalajara had become a "society of visitors (viandantes)," as Thomas Calvo calls it.12

With the economic revival of the west, Guadalajara's place as the economic, administrative and religious center ["Silla Episcopal"] of the region attracted significant migration. By 1745 José Antonio Villaseñor y Sánchez describes a city of eight plazas, fourteen churches, monasteries and convents, two colleges and a university, two hospitals and a dozen government buildings or public facilities, a fine, surprisingly spacious city by his light, one that a few years before held 1541 houses and 8018 "empadronados." 13 Fifteen years later, in 1760, a parish count carried out during an ecclesiastical visita showed only a modest gain, listing 11,294 residents.14 The next ecclesiastical census taken ten years later found an astonishing increase in population, indeed, nearly a doubling or a ten percent annual increase in population, or far above any "natural" increase through births over deaths.15 The first official population count taken in 1777 (the so-called "Imperial" census ordered for all Spanish colonies) confirmed that figure. In this Guadalajara is not alone, for the entire Spanish colonies saw similar growth, matched in intensity by north American colonies, and only slightly less figures in Europe.16 By the Revillagigedo census of 1793 Guadalajara had grown to be the third or fourth largest city outside of the capital, and save only for Zacatecas, the largest city of Mexico's western and northern lands.17 Indeed, even in newly independent United States only New York, Boston and Philadelphia were larger.

Given this dramatic increase in urban population, what were its causes? Eric Van Young credits the major source of the city's eighteenth century growth to "immigration from overpopulated country districts."18 Van Young's comment points up the need to place the city's growth in the context of the changes occurring elsewhere in Mexico. Certainly the population of the countryside in what Van Young calls "the Guadalajara region," increased dramatically after 1700, as the indigenous population recovered from the devastations of micro-biotic invasions during the conquest and early colonial era. Just as clearly the city's growth represented far ranging economic changes and trends effecting the west of Mexico. The rich agricultural resources of the city's rural hinterland brought profits to the regional creole and peninsular oligarchy, who in turn funeled their funds through the merage of credit and commercial institutions and opportunities in the city. As the demand for wheat increased, the Indian corn growers came under pressure and inevitablely disinfranchised small landowners added to the flow of migration to Guadalajara.

Yet opportunity for jobs if not for great wealth played its role, for the city was a growing market for the coastal fruits and sugar, for the thousands of cattle, sheep, horses, mules which provided transportation, food, raw material for the city's growing textil trades, for the important leather industries (shoes, saddle and harness), and the hat trade, and to serve the local table demand for beans, chilies, chicken and pork.19 "Pull" as well as "push" operated in this equation. Indeed, as we shall see, the high portion of mulattoes in the city's population cannot be explained by the migration of Indian corn producers. Indeed, as Van Young notes, the Indians constituted a majority in the Guadalajara region, yet in the city, mulattoes outnumbered Indios until sometime into the first or second decade of the nineteenth century.

It is Richard Lindley's belief that the Bolaños silver mine (discovered in 1746) "had a great deal to do with the sudden expansion experienced by the city after about 1760."20 By 1802 it ranked fifth among the colony's silver producers. Also affecting the region's great burst of economic activity were the Bourton reforms of 1774, allowing inter-colony trade to come through the city's Pacific port of San Blas.21

Yet as the city grew in population and economic prosperity, great changes were underway which would ultimately undermine that prosperity, and eventually the control of the colony by the mother country.

On the Eve of Independence (1770s to 1821)

For decades prior to 1821 the lives of the Mexican people appear to be ruled by apocalyptic forces. Crop failure, epidemics and finally insurrection enveloped an already uncertain era, one plagued with pressure on the traditional ways by which individuals and families made their way in an increasingly contentious world.22 The harvest failures of 1785 (called by Charles Gibson "the most disastrous single event in the whole history of colonial maize agriculture,"23), the smallpox epidemics of 1779-80, 1798 and 1804, the "mysterious" epidemic which sweep Mexico in 1814 in the middle of a bloody insurgency, all with clear trauma to widespread sectors of the colony's population.24

As the seat of the Audiencia of Nueva Galicia, and, after 1786, the Intendency of Guadalajara, the capital city could hardly escape the affects of those dramatic events. The failed harvests of 1785-86 drove as many as twelve thousand fugitives from the countryside and the small towns into the city in desperate search for food. There the crowed conditions encouraging a peste, devastating a population already weakened by hunger. Eric Van Young estimates that from a fifth to a quarter of the city's normal population succumbed to death in that awful year.25 Two decades later the city's population had barely recovered from the disaster. Due in part to the high mortality rate no doubt, but more likely to the "flight migrants" returning home after the worse had past, the royal population census of 1792-93 recorded just under twenty-five thousand residents, or barely two thousand more than the earlier 1777 "imperial" count.26

Throughout Mexico banditry, vagrancy and crime appeared to contemporaries to be on the increase.27 In central Jalisco alone William Taylor counted seventy-eight armed groups operating in the thirty years prior to 1821--fed by a vagrant population of young, single men increasingly marginalized by an expanding rural indigenous population, commercialization of hacienda agriculture and unstable local economies.28 While comparatively rare over the long century of Bourbon rule, village tumultos showed a decided increase after mid-century and litigation over land in central Mexico had nearly tripled since the middle of the previous century.29 In the Guadalajara region bitter land conflicts between Indian Pueblos and haciendas (and occasionally between pueblo and pueblo) characterized the decades prior to Independence, as local land resources were increasingly unable to provide for a growing population in the face of hacienda expansion.30

Tripartie disputes between and among rural pueblos (and their officials), parish priests and district governors added tension to those decades, particularly toward the end of the eighteenth century. Coincidental or not those disputes often seem to occur in areas of intensive land conflicts.31 The expulsion of the Jesuits provoked other regional uprisings, including the messionic "El Indio Mariano" rebellion among the indigeneous villages of the Tepic coast, demanding the restoration of village land and abolition of tribute payments.32

Buried within the larger colonial history of conflict and disaster are more common origins of late colonial social crisis--Bourbon economic reforms, the pressure on existing agricultural resources from rural population growth, changes in agricultural land use by the landed elites, an increasingly stagnant mining sector--characterized by a worsening national distribution of income and wealth after 1800, and perhaps even a decline in per capita income, hitting hardest on an already hard-pressed populous, poor Spaniards as well as Indians and castas. If one follows the price of corn as a surrogate for the well being of the nation's poor, clearly a majority of the population, its rise is a matter of public record. Before 1780 the price of corn rarely rose over fifteen reales per fanega, on an average for any one year. After 1780, it rarely fell below fifteen. From 1798 through 1810, the year the insurgency broke out, prices only once fell below fifteen, and averaged close to twenty. In the three years prior to the outbreak of the Hidalgo rebellion, the average annual cost of a fanega of corn were $24.00, 25.75 and 34.50 respectively.33 Nor did this raise in corn prices benefit indigenous farmers, because it is precisely at this time that Guadalajara region's native corn farmers found themselves at a disadvantage in their losing competition with the expanding commercially oriented haciendas. At every turn the social crisis is exacerbated by royal policies designed to maximize revenue to pay for the Spanish state's greater--and more expensive--role in European affairs.

Yet the history of Guadalajara in those years leading up to the Mexican Insurgency is complicated by divergent, even paradoxical trends. The city, for one thing, was growing into one of the great cities of Mexico, "La segunda de Mexico" tapatios liked to say, meaning only Mexico compared to their city. "Guadalajara...is truly a beautiful city," recalled the Italian naturalist Giacomo Costantino Beltrami. "Its streets are spacious and straight; its plazas numerous, large and simetrical; its fountains blessed with pure, crystalline water."34

It was a time when many of the magnificent public and religious buildings which still dot the city were erected, employing thousands of artisans and laborers from the city and attracting migrant workers from other pueblos all over the region. A population explosion in both the city and the vast western countryside led to expanding markets for Guadalajara craftsmen, merchant capitalists and petty traders. Ironically even the agricultural crisis of the 1780s brought some economic advantage to the city's economy for it undermined Puebla and to a lesser extent Tlaxcala's cotton textile markets in the agricultural and mining villages of the west and north. When the crisis passed, Guadalajara's newly founded cotton textile industry had evicted Puebla merchants from those traditional tierradentro markets. By 1804 one estimate is that the industry employed fifteen thousand people, or forty percent of the population. While clearly exaggerated the number employed, there is no doubt that the cotton textile industry was a key to the local economy. Signifying the rising economic status of the city, in 1795 a royal charter was granted to establish a Real Consulado, a merchant guild, one of the few granted by the Crown to the colonies. Using their influences and financial aresources a small group of Guadalajara merchants dominated the long-distance trade, especially through the growing importance of the commercial la feria de San Juan de los Lagos, and their access to credit.35

Under the consulado's influence and consistent with the Bourbon policy, roads and bridges were improved to carry their commerce through the province and beyond. In Guadalajara City streets were paved in the late 1790s, with raised pathways on each side, sufficiently impressive to draw admiring comments from an English visitor in 1826. Also during the late Bourbon era, public access to water was improved, street lamps built throughout the city, public health measure introduced including the collection and disposal of garbage, and stringent measures taken to prevent and to fight that old menace of urban life--fire.37

An important keystone to the city's wealth was its position as the eclesiastic center (Diases) for the West and the North of Mexico. In all, besides the Cathedral, Guadalajara was home to three neighborhood churches (Nuestra Senora de Soledad, Nuestra Senora del Pilar and Aranzasu), five parish churches (Sagrario, Jesús, Mexicalcingo, San Sebastian de Analco, as well as Santuario de Guadalupe), seven monasteries (Santo Domingo, La Merced (1721), el Carmen, Oratorio de San Felipe Neri (1752-1802), San Juan de Dios, San Agustín and San Francisco), seven nunneries (conventos de religiosas) (Santa María de Gracia, Jesús María Dominicas, Santa Monica, Capuchinas (1761), Agustinas, Santa Teresa, and the Carmelitas). In addition, the Church ran two educational institutions for girls and young women (San Diego and Santa Clara) and three for boys/young men (Semnario de San Juan Bautista, Colegio Seminario Tridentino de Senor San Jose, and Clerical, the latter for ordained priests), and the enormous royal public hospital of San Miguel, although usually called Belen, ordered built by Bishop Alcalde in 1786 to house the many victims of the epidemic of that year. The Jesuits, of course, had been represented in the city by the college of St. Thomas Aquinas, but were expelled from the country in 1767, upon which the building became the secular Real University, although not without clerical influence.38

Yet in the end the economic prosperity could not last. Great poverty still limited the market demand for locally manufactured goods. Despite spurts of production, the weakness of the mining sector overall, exacerbated by the traditional reluctance of the Church to loan to miners (and merchants), hurt Guadalajara's financial resources, especially after the abandonment of the Bolaños mine in 1798. Guadalajara's merchant borrowing, which had so fueled the prosperity of the 1790s, virtually dried up after 1800, and for all investors, the Consolidacion de Vales Realesof 1805 drastically limited the availability of credit, because it virtually eliminated the Church as a lender, hence forcing nearly all credit needs onto private lending of merchants and landowners. Although Linda Greenow found that in Guadalajara credit had begun to return to pre 1780 levels by 1808-1810 period, it was far too late to revitalize a deeply troubled economy.39

The coming of the wars for Independence brought further instability to the region, although not without some economic advantage to Guadalajara. The background to the Insurgency, or war for independence, is too well known to require detailed explanation. The reforms of the Bourbons had alleviated some of the complaints of the creoles but had exacerbated others. Certainly recent research suggests that the conflict of interests between creole and gachupine was far less than used to be thought, and this certainly is true for the Guadalajara region. In the west, landed interests and merchant capital were divided by family rivalry, of course, and inevitable competition for limited credit, but sentiment for independence was not a common currency.

If revolutionary sentiment lay dormant, certainly political grievances there were aplenty--between rural pueblos, ranchos vs haciendas, between these same pueblos and state "authorities," the latter often caught in the middle of the triad of pueblo--Church--and state. With the French invasion of Spain occupying the mother country's total attention, violence broke out in 1810. Padre Hidalgo's "grito de Dolores" galvanized central Mexican villages and ranchos (both indigenous and casta) with grievances against both creole and gachupín interests, but understandably far fewer creoles supported the rebels than might have been the case if the outbreak had taken a different turn.

As early as the fall of 1810 several bloody clashes took place in the Chapala region to the south of Guadalajara, an area long known for Indian-hacienda disputes, and which continued to be a focus of endemic clashes for the next seven years. Hidalgo's insurgents briefly occupied the city, but time enough for both an infamous massacre of Spanish prisoners and for the padre's famous proclamation ending slavery. And not many months later, Hidalgo's forces met their defeat at Calderón bridge, not far east of the city.

Meanwhile, Spanish liberal Cortes wrote a constitution which alarmed the powerful tapatio Church, and land owners, for its anti-clericism and promises to redress indigenous grievances. Nothing is so conducive to revolt than a government trying to reform itself. With small bands of rebels still at large encouraging a popular sense of the government's weakness, and harsh measures taken by the government to isolate the remaining rebels, the rebellion continued, particularly among the traditionally independent-minded lake towns bordering Lake Chapala. Rebels held out fortified on the Isla Mezcala from 1812 through 1816, as royal frustration at being unable to reduce the stronghold led to brutal reprisals. Royal troops razed the towns of Mezcala, Jocotepec and Tizapán in their effort to contain the rebellion.40

To add to the chaos banditry increased during the decade-long civil war, augmented by and confused with insurgent elements.41 And in the midst of the violence, the devastating epidemic of 1813-14 infected countryside and city alike. In August 1814 the city council (Cabildo) took the unusual step of closing its gates to persons fleeing from Mexico City to escape the disease, but too late. The contageon sweep through the city killing especially the very young and the old.42

The liberal Cortes de Cadiz was accepted with a noted lack of enthusiasm by the city's elite, among them bishop Cabañas, understandable given the anti-clerical tone of the Constitution, including suppression of fuertos. The constitution envisioned a united "Spanish" nation, with equal citizenship for creoles and gachupines, local elected officials governing, freedom of the press and trade. In Guadalajara the new ayuntamieanto was installed on 13 June 1813, provincial deputies elected and a new intendente,Royalist Gen. Jose de la Cruz designated on 20 September of that year. De la Cruz quickly reduced the power of the elected body, aided by the defeat of the French and the coming to the throne of Spain of Fernando VII, who had no intention of implementing the constitution.

Although the war years had affected the countryside and the pueblos, Guadalajara again profited economically. It became a haven for a number of "panamaños" fleeing the insurgency in central America, who brought with them considerable capital. Then, with the Insurgency under Morelos occupying Alcapulco, Mexico City abolished all restrictions on trade through Guadalajara's port San Blas. Added to the establishment of the Casa da Moneda, and Guadalajara underwent an era of "unparalleled prosperity" through 1817.43 By 1821 events in Spain had created a more favorable environment for the Insurgent cause, and former royal officer, Col. Augustín de Iturbide's "Army of the Three Guarantees" rather easily brought to an end the three hundred year rule of Spain. For the story of the origins of the censuses of 1821 and 1822, see Section 6.2.


1. Aelene Riviere d'Arc, Guadalajara y su regíon. Influencias y dificultades de una metropoli Mexicana (Mexico: Sep/Setentas, 1973), p. 16. See also Robert C. West and John P. Augelli, Middle America. Its Lands and Peoples (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1989, 3rd ed.), pp. 23-59.

2. Unlike central Mexico, the pre-conquest era of western Mexico and particularly the Jalisco regions suffers from a dearth of sources. On indigenous languages see Jose Ramírez Flores, Lenguas Indigígenas en Jalisco (Guadalajara: Unidad Editorial, 1980, 1st pub. 1959). For general details on population, settlement and cartiographic data see Peter Gerhard’s The North Frontier of New Spain, rev. ed. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993). For a general history, José María Muria, Sumario Historico de Jalisco (Guadalajara: Editorial Gráfica Nueva de Occidente, 1996), rev. ed.

3. The issue of cultural survival is still controversial. See William B. Taylor, particularly “Banditry and Insurrection: Rural Unrest in Central Jalisco, 1790-1816" in Riot, Rebellion, and Revolution. Rural Social Conflict in Mexico (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988), ed. Friedrich Katz, 205-246. For a general history of the Conquest of the region, see José María Muriá. For specialized articles see José María Muriá, Jaime Olveda, Alma Dorantes, Virginia González Claverán, eds. Lecturas Historicas de Jalisco. Antes de la Independencia (Guadalajara: Unidad Editorial, 1982). This “Hispanization” of western Indians was noted as early as 1621, by the famous sacerdote and scholar Domingo Lázaro de Arregui. See Descripción de la Nueva Galicia. Estudio preliminar de François Chevalier Presentación a la Edición Mexicana por Carmen Castañeda (Guadalajara: Unidad Editorial, 1980), p. 50.

4. Muria, Sumario Historico de Jalisco, 68. Officially the pueblo was called San Juan Bautista de Mexicalzingo.

5. Laris, Guadalajara de las Indias, p. 242. On the history of Analco, see Jose Cornejo Franco, Obras Completas (Guadalajara: Banco Refaccionario de Jalisco); Luis Pérez Verdia, Historia particular del estado de Jalisco desde los primeros tiempos de que hay noticia, hasta nuestros días (Guadalajara: Editorial de la Universidad de Guadalajara, 1952 ed.). Pérez’s book is a reliable, standard history of the city and is available in newer editions. See also María Gracia Castillo, “Analco, Un barrio de Guadalajara. Algunos aspectos de la epoca colonial,” unpublished paper presented at the Reunion de las Mexicanists, 1994, Mexico City.

6. On the reconquista Spanish cities, see Richard M. Morse, “Trends and Issues in Latin American Urban Research, 1965-1970,” Latin American Research Review, vol. 6:1 (Spring 1971), 3-17. David H. Miller,”State and City in Seventeenth-Century Muscovy,” in Michael F. Hamm, ed., The City in Russian History (Lexington, Kentucky: Univeristy Press of Kentucky, 1976), 53-68.

7. Gerhard contends that by the middle of the colonial period, caste on the frontier was very flexible, that many “Spaniards” and “Indians” were in fact mixed bloods. Ibid., 27.

8. Bryan Roberts, Cities of Peasants. The Political Economy of Urbanization in the Third World (London: Edward Arnold Publishers, 1978), 41.

9. Domingo Lazaro de Arregui, Descripción de la Nueva Galicia, prominary study by Francois Chevalier (Guadalajara: Unidad Editorial, 1980), pp. 59-61.

10. The city received its bishopric in 1550, an audiencia in 1560 and its first governor in 1574. Redrawn in 1789 as the intendancy of Guadalajara, it lost territory to the new intendancies of Zacateacas and San Luis Potosi, although it acquired the heavily populated lands of Nueva Espana to the southwest. The diocese had lost its northern parishes (the Californias, etc.) in the previous decade and most regular orders relinquished their parishes by mid-eighteenth century. Peter Gerhard, The Northern Frontier of New Espana (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, rev. ed., 1993), 44-48.

11. Thomas Calvo, Guadalajara y su region en el siglo XVII. Populación y economia (Guadalajara: Ayuntamiento de Guadalajara, 1992), 52 and his La Nueva Galicia en los siglos XVI Y XVII (Guadaljara, 1989), p. 20. Calvo’s estimate of population tends to be slightly higher than Van Young’s in the latter’s Hacienda and Market in Eighteenth-Century Mexico. The Rural Economy of the Guadalajara Region, 1675-1820 (Berkeley: University of California Press, p. 30, Table 1 and figure 1, p. 33. Chevalier cites Arregui’s estimate of 200 “vecinos,” and some 500 Spaniards within the city’s environs. The problem lies in estimating the number of household members for each vecino (“citizen” loosely translated as head of household). Chevalier used the ratio provided by Mota y Escobar in 1602--173 vecinos and 1500 “personas españoles,” to estimated the population of Nueva Galicia. This same ratio (8.6) obtains a Spanish population of 1720. However, I am a little hesitant to accept such a high household average, especially given the vague definition of vecinos in the first place. Eric Van Young accepts the rather conservative figure of 500 castas within the city and its environs, and cites 762 Indian tributaries representing “approximately equal number of [Indian] families.” Van Young, Hacienda and Market, p. 30, table 1.

12. Tomas Calvo, Guadalajara y su region en el siglo xvii. Poblacion y economia (Guadalajara: Ayuntamiento de Guadalajara, 1992), 137-173, quote p. 168. By the end of the seventeenth century, one third of the marriages performed in Guadalajara involved at least one partner from elsewhere; by 1724 that figure was one half. Tables VII (p. 156), IX (p. 164). See also Jose Luis Lezama, “Mexico,” in Gerald Michael Greenfield, ed., Latin American Urbanization. Historical Profiles of Major Cities (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994), 362-63.

13. Iguiniz, Guadalajara a traves de los tiempos, p. 85. Villaseñor estimated a population of eight to nine thousand Spaniards, mestizos and mulatoes “familias,” not counting the Indians which populated the barrios on the city’s margins. This is clearly incorrect, unless he meant the surrounding area as well. Even a low estimate of residents per family would give the city an unlikely high population. The population figures given here come from Mota Padilla’s work, la Historia del Reino de la Nueva Galicia, chapters XCIII and XCIV, based on the census ordered in 1742 by the Spanish Viceroy, the Count of Fuenclara. See J.C. Franco, “Guadalajara Breve Reseña desde su fundación hasta completetar un millión de habitantes,” Gaceta Municipal, TXXXII, num. 6 (Junio 1964), pp. 1-3.

14. Sherburne F. Cook and Woodrow Borah, Essays in Population History: Mexico and the Caribbean, vol. 1 (Berkeley, Calif.: U. of California Press, 1971), p. 181.

15. See table 1, p. 30, Van Young, Hacienda and Market.

16. Richard M. Morse, “Cities as People,” in Rethinking the Latin American City (Washington, DC: John Hopkins University Press, 1992), 6-7. Eric Van Young, Hacienda and Market, 31-34.

17. The census with attendant economic and geographic data arrived in Spain in September of 1793, unfortunately minus the figures for the city of Guadalajara which was not completed until November of that year. Whether the manuscript or its aggregate numbers were forwarded to Seville, we do not know, although Professor Ramon Ma Serrera has never been able to locate the original documents pertaining to Guadalajara. See his José Menéndez Valdes. Descripción y Censo General de la Intendency de Guadalajara 1789-1793 (Guadalajara: Unidad Editorial, 1980), pp. 30-32; p. 161. Serrera published the city of Guadalajara’s summary population statistics for 1793, which he took from an earlier work of Luis Páez Brotchie, Guadalaxara, pp. 117-119. Páez Brotchie’s source was Luis M.Rivera, “La población de Guadalajara según los censos oficiales,” Gaceta Municipal de Guadalajara, vol. 1, no. 6, 15 junio 1917. This author has been unable to locate the original sources of this census.

18. Van Young, Hacienda and Market, p. 35.

19. Lindley, “Kinship and Credit,”pp. 17-24.

20. Ibid., p. 25.

21. Ibid.

22. Probably the most interesting (and controversial) recent approach to the relationship between weather, famine and economic crisis is Arij Ouweneel, Shadows Over Anahuac. An Ecological Interpretation of Crisis and Development in Central Mexico 1730-1800 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 1996), esp. 59-158.

23. Gibson, Aztecs Under Spanish Rule (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1964), 316.

24. D. A. Brading, Haciendas and Ranchos in the Mexican Bajio. Leon 1700-1860 (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1978), 189-200;David A. Brading and Celia Wu, “Population Growth and Crisis: Leon, 1720-1860,” Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 5 (1973), p. 2. Arij Ouweneel, Shadows Over Anahuac. An Ecological Interpretation of Crisis and Development in Central Mexico, 1730-1800 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996), 72-100; 109-112. Brading and Wu called the 1814 pestilence "the mysterious epidemic" because it had been variously diagnosed as typhus, yellow fever and smallpox; "Population Growth," p. 28.

25. Van Young, Hacienda and Market in Eighteenth-Century Mexico. The Rural Economy of the Guadalajara Region, 1675-1820 (Berekely: University of California Press, 1981), 94-103.

26. Ibid., 35. Van Young concludes that the “Revillagigedo” census of 1792 did not include the Indian barrios of the city (as had the 1777 count) and extrapolates a figure of 28,250. Ibid., p. 32, note b to table 1 and footnote 6. However, under the cuartel reforms of 1790, cuartels twelve, thirteen and fourteen were reserved for the “Indian” barrios of San Juan de Dios,; San Jose de Analco and Mexjicalcingo repsectively. See Carmen Castaneda, “Guadalajara hace 200 anos: el Reglamento de Cuarteles de 1790 y el Padron de 1791,” in Vivir en Guadalajara la ciudad y sus funciones, Carmen Castaneda, ed. (Guadalajara: Ayuntamiento de Guadalajara, 1992), 43. However, even given Van Young’s figures as correct, the population growth rate would have been substantially under two percent per annum.

27. On the contemporary observation of the relationship between migrant, vagrancy and crime, see the documents cited in William B. Taylor, “Banditry and Insurrection: Rural Unrest in Central Jalisco, 1790-1816,” in Friedrich Katz, ed., Riot, Rebellion, and Revolution. Rural Social Conflict in Mexico (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988), note 13, 210.

29. Eric Van Young, “Agrarian rebellion and defense of community: meaning and collective violence in late acolonial and independence-era Mexico,” Journal of Social History, vol. 17:2 (December 1993), 252 and Van Young, Hacienda and Market in Eighteenth-Century Mexico. The Rural Economy of the Guadalajara Region, 1675-1820 (Berekely: University of California Press, 1981), esp. 313-342.

30. EricVan Young documents those conflicts in considerable detail in his Hacienda and Market. Richard B. Lindley’s Hacienda and Economic Development. Guadalajara, Mexico, at Independence (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983) is an in-depth look at the hacienda class, their economic and social bases and the financial pressures which guided their business decisions.

31. William B. Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred. Priests and Parishioners in Eighteenth-Century Mexico (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996), table 4, p. 398 and table 6, p. 426. The highest concentration of judicial disputes involving parish priests (1750-1810) in the Diocese of Guadalajara (roughly equivalent to the Intendency of Guadalajara) took place in the Lake Chapala region, were pre-Insurgency land disputes were common and later an area of heavy insurgency warfare; see ibid., map 3, p. 37. In comparison to other regions of Mexico studied by Taylor, the Diocese of Guadalajara saw the largest number of priest-district governor lawsuits and the next to the lowest (of five regions) priest-parishioner litigation; ibid., table 5, p. 399.

32. Eric Van Young, “Rural Economy and Society: Colonial,” in Encyclopedia of Mexico. History, Society & Culture, Michael S. Werner, ed., vol. 2 (Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997), 1301.

33. Enrique Florescano, Precios del maiz y crisis agricolas en Mexico (1708-1810) (Mexico City, 1969), pp. 115-117. The prices are for Mexico City.

34. Quoted in Juan B. Iguiniz, ed., Guadalajara a traves de los tiempos. Relatos y descripciones de viajeros y escritores desde el siglo XVI hasta nuestros dias, 2 vols. (Guadalajara, 1950-51), p. 101, vol. 1.

35. On textiles, see Manuel Miñno Grijalva, Obrajes y tejedores de Nueva España, 1700-1810. La industria urbana y rural en una economía colonial (Mexico: El Colegio de México, 1998), 233-35; 259-61. The best overview of the city’s merchants is Maria de la Luz Ayala, “El comerciante de Guadalajara (1795-1820),” in Carmen Castañeda, ed., Vivir en Guadalajara. La ciudad y sus funciones (Guadalajara: Ayntamiento de Guadalajara, 1992), 222-23. On Puebla, see Guy P. C. Thomson, Puebla de los Angeles. Industry and Society in a Mexican City, 1700-1850 (Boulder: Westview Press, 1989), 43. An important player in encouraging the city’s economic growth was the city’s bishop Antonio Alcalde. It was he who commissioned the construction of the church, and underwrote the building of 249 “casitas” for artisans and their families, on sixteen of the northern blocks.

36. G. F. Lyon, Journal of a Residence and Tour in the Republic of Mexico in the year 1826, vol. 2 (1828), 31. On living conditions in late colonial Guadalajara, see Sergio Alcántara, “El edén novogalacio: la calidad de vida en la etnohistoria de Guadalajara,” in Castañeda, Vivir en Guadalajara, 3-40 and María de los Ángeles Gálvez Ruiz, “La ciudad de Guadalajara: reglamentos, reformas y desarrollo urbano (1790-1800),” in ibid., 59-77. Also useful for this and other issues in the broad survey by Helene Rivére d’Arc, Guadalajara y su region: Influencias y dificultades de una metrópoli Mexicana (Mexico: SEP/SETENTAS, 1973).

37. A list of churches is provided in Rao, Estadisticas, p. 15. The best English/Spanish details of the churches is found in Cornejo Franco, Guadalajara.

38. On the region’s economy in general and credit in particular, see the invaluable study by Linda Greenow, Credit and Socioeconomic Change in Colonial Mexico. Loans and Mortgages in Guadalajara, 1720-1820 (Boulder: Westsview Press, 1978). Also for credit in the vital northern region of Nueva Galicia, see Águeda Jiménez-Pelayo, “El impacto del crédito en la eonomía rural del norte de la Nueva Galicia,” Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 71:3 (August 1991), 501-30.

39. Muria, Sumario Historico de Jalisco, 196-200. William B Taylor, “Rural Unrest in Central Jalisco,” in Friedriach Katz, etc., Riot, Rebellion, and Revolution. Rural Social Conflict in Mexico (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988), 220-222.

40. For more details see Jose Maria Muria, Sumario Historico de Jalisco (Guadalajara: Editorial Grafica Nueva, 1988), 191-200.

41. Lilia V. Oliver, Analisis demografico y social de una epidemia de colera: Guadalajara, 1833 (Guadalajara: Unidad Editorial, 1986), p. 75. The death rate was 80 per 1000 population. Only the great cholera outbreak of 1833 was more deadly, killing 110 per thousand. On city policy towards newcomers during the epidemics, see AMHG, paq. 27, leg. 151, 1813.

42. Eric Van Young, Hacienda and Market in Eighteenth-Century Mexico. The Rural Economy of the Guadalajara Region, 1675-1820 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981, particularly his conclusion, pp. 343-357. Ibid., p. 146.





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