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Evolution of the Textile Industry of Puebla 1544–1845

  • Jan Bazant (a1)
Abstract

This article deals with an important chapter in the economic history of Mexico. Throughout its history Puebla was an industrial center. Well into the 19th century it was the prime center of the country's chief manufacture — textiles. The city became the commercial and industrial capital of New Spain within a few years of its foundation. I shall concentrate on the ways in which the several branches of the textile industry were organized, comparing their development with that of the textile industries of medieval and early industrial Europe.

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1 de Terreros Manuel Romero, Las Artes lndustriales en la Nueva España (Mexico City, P. Robredo, 1923), p. 47.

2 Ibid., p. 120.

3 Ibid., p. 137.

4 Quintana Miguel Angel, “Papel Histórico de Puebla en el progreso industrial de la Nueva España y México”, Boletín de la SMGE, t. LXII, p. 347.

5 Veytia Mariano Fernández de Echeverría y, Historia de la Fundación de la ciudad de la Puebla de los Angeles, Libro 1 (Puebla, 1962), p. 125. Hereafter cited as Echeverría y Veytia.

6 de la Barca Madame Calderón, La Vida en Mexico (Porrùa, 1959), pp. 358–62.

7 Fr. Clavijero J., “Breve Description de la Provincia de México de la Cía. de Jesùs”, in Tesoros Documentales de México, ed. Cuevas P. Mariano (1944), pp. 324 ff.

8 Chevalier François, Formation des Grands Domaines au Mexique au XVle et XVlIe Siécles (=; Travaux et Mémoires d'Institut d'Ethnologie No. 56) (Paris, 1952).

9 Chevalier François, Significatión Social de la Fundación de la Puebla de los Angeles (=; Centro de Estudios Históricos de Puebla, Publ. No. 6) (Puebla, 1957).

1 Pueblo a través de los Siglos (Ed. “El Sol de Puebla”, Puebla, 1962), esp. p. 11.

11 Francisco del Paso y Troncoso, Epistolario de la Nueva España, t. XVI, pp. 5–21. Hereafter cited as Epistolario.

12 Puebla a través de los Siglos, p. 14.

13 Chevalier, Significatión Social…

14 Pirenne Henri, Histoire Economique de L'Occident Médiéval (Desclee de Brouwer, Bruges, 1951), p. 198.

15 Leicht Hugo, Las Calles de Puebla (Puebla, 1934), pp. 276279;Villaseñor P. Lopez de, Cartilla Vieja de la Nobilisima ciudad de Puebla (1781) (UNAM, 1961).

16 P. López de Villaseñor, op. cit.

17 Cf. The Cambridge Economic History of Europe, Vol. III (Cambridge, 1963), p. 17.

18 Epistolario, t. IV, pp. 123–128.

19 Echeverría y Veytia, op. cit., pp. 299–300.

20 See Thrupp Sylvia L., “The Gilds”, in The Cambridge Economic History of Europe, Vol. III (1963), pp. 230280.

21 James John, History of the Worsted Manufacturer in England (London, Longman and Roberts, 1857), pp. 2932.

22 Livermore Harold, A History of Spain (New York, Farrar, Strauss Cudahy, 1958), pp. 186 ff.

23 Ibid.,

24 Epistolario, t. IV, pp. 94–102.

25 Borah Woodrow, Silk Raising in Colonial Mexico (University of California Press, Berkeley, 1943), p. 43.

26 Epistolario, t. XV, pp. 141–155.

27 Aiton A.S., Antonio de Mendoza, First Viceroy of New Spain (Durham, Duke University Press, 1927), pp. 28 ff.

28 Borah, op. cit., pp. 36–37.

29 Ibid., p. 35.

30 Ibid., p. 97.

31 Hume Martin A.S., Spain: Its Greatness and Decay 1479–1788 (Cambridge University Press, 1940), pp. 8384.

32 Cited in Pujol J. Carrera, Historia de la Economia Espanola (Barcelona, 1943), Vol. I, p. 529.

33 D. Antonio Bermudez de Castro, Theatro Angelopolitano (1746), cited in León N., Bibliografía Mexicana del Siglo XVIII, Va. Parte A-Z (Mexico City, 1908), pp. 121354;

34 For a short account of economic conditions and policy in Spain at this time see Hamilton Earl J., “The Decline of Spain”, Economic History Review, VIII (1938), reproduced in Carus-Wilson E.M., ed., Essays in Economic History, I (1954). See also discussion of the internal peace of New Spain in, Luis Chávez Orozco, Conflicto de Trabajo con los Mineros del Real del Monte, Ano de 1766 (Instituto Nacional de Estudios Históricos de la Revolución Mexicana, Mexico City, 1960), p. 10.

35 Zavala Silvio, Ordenanzas del Trabajo, Siglos XVI y XVII (Mexico City, Edit. Eleda, 1947), p. 202.

36 Hamilton, op. cit. For a recent and very able discussion of the problem, see John H. Elliott, “The Decline of Spain”, in Past and Present, no. 20 (November 1961); also a book by the same author, Imperial Spain 1469–1716 (New York, St. Martin's Press, 1963), pp. 172–91 and 279–95.

37 Carrera Pujol, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 417.

38 Archivo del Ayuntamiento de Puebla, t. 221 (1583–1621), t. 224 (1621–1807). Cited hereafter a AAP.

39 Hugo Leicht, op. cit., pp. 276–79.

40 Bermùdez de Castro, op. cit., p. 189.

41 Zavala, Ordenanzas, p. 207.

42 AAP, t. 234, Expediente 2.

43 Bermúdez de Castro, op. cit., p. 190.

44 Cited in Priestly Herbert Ingram, José de Gálvez, Visitor-General of New Spain, 1765–1771 (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1916), p. 18.

45 Chevalier, Formation des Grands Domaines au Méxique.

46 Archivo General de la Nación (hereafter cited as AGN), Sectión de bandos.

47 AGN, reproduced in Orozco Luis Chávez, ed., Documentos para la Historia Económico de México, Vol. VII (published by Secretario de la Economía Nacional, 1935), pp. 2533. Absenteeism from work on Monday is still common in some parts of Mexico.

48 The easiest way of solving labor shortage in New Spain consisted in lending small amounts of money to Indians who could then be forced to work to pay off their debt.

49 Flon Manuel de, Noticias Estadísticas de la Intendencia de Puebla, 1804, in Relaciones estadísticas de Nueva España de principios del S. XIX (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público, 1944), p. 54. This report refers to conditions in 1803.

50 AAP, t. 224, Exp. 26, ff. 226–235.

51 The best study is Franco Borlandi's, “Futainiers et Futaines dans l'ltalie du Moyen Age”, in Eventail de I'Histoire Vivante. Hommage a Lucien Febvre (Paris, Armand Colin, 1953).

52 See also the luxurious list of cloth and jewels which Cortes sent to Spain in 1519, printed in Lucas Alaman, Disertaciones (Ed. Jus, 1942), t. I, pp. 395 ff.

53 Variations in the size of pieces made before the Conquest are described in Othón de Mendizábal, Las Artes Textiles Indigénas y la Industria Textil Mexicana (Vol. VI of his Obras Completas), pp. 257–496.

54 Gariel A. Carrillo y, El Traje en la Nueva España (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 1959), p. 24.

55 AAP, t. 231, L. 2695, Exp. 2.

56 Echeverria y Veytia, op. cit., p. 301. Fray Juan Villa Sánchez, in his important chronicle, Puebla Sagrada y Profana, edited by Fr. Javier de la Pena in 1835, also states that weavers in 1746 bought thread from the spinners. See the facsimile edition of 1962, pp. 39–40. Some weavers may have employed spinners for wages: see references to “the good old times” for weavers in Clamores del tejedor (1820), reproduced in Quintana José Miguel, ed., Las Artes Grdficas en Puebla (Mexico City, 1960), pp. 109–11, and in Antuñano, Ampliatión, Aclaración y Correccion a los principales puntos del Manifiesto sobre el Algodon manufacturado y en greña, edited by Orozco Luis Chavez (Parnia, 1955), pp. 63, 74.

57 Echeverráa y Veytia, op. cit., p. 301.

58 Potash Robert A., El Banco de Avío de México, Fondo de Cultura Ecñnomica (Mexico City, 1959), pp. 2023. (Translation of an unpublished dissertation, Harvard University, 1953.)

59 Flon, op. cit., p. 54. See above, n. 48.

60 AAP, t. 234, L. 2700, Folios 268–284.

61 Potash, op. cit., p. 24.

62 They were selling cloth to merchants in 1813. Pueblo Sagrada y Profana, p. 105.

63 J. M. Quintana, op. cit.

64 Antunano, Ampliación …, p. 73.

65 Ibid., p. 17.

66 Leicht, op. cit.

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