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.
history of Guadalajara is the history of a Spanish city. No pre-Colombian,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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),
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
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.
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.
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,
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
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
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.