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Róbinson Rojas Sandford
Doctoral dissertation, London, 1985
[pp. 118-156]              FIRST SECTION
                           CHAPTER THREE
[development - the hacienda system - the social pyramid]

    By the end of the XVII century, the hacienda system had 
consolidated its presence in Ibero America, and was already the 
basis of the colonial system of exploitation. Its main features were
as follows:
    A. Monopoly of land and labour power. Monopoly of labour power
       based on the use of subsistence farming as source of
       appropriation of surplus labour, and monopoly of domestic
       Consequently, there was a formidable barrier to rural middle
       sectors emerging with the ability to accumulate surplus labour.
       Furthermore, since subsistence farming was the the main aspect
       in the reproduction of the class of direct-labourers, wages 
       for non-rural direct-labourers had to correspond to their wage
       level. Thus, those wages were either at the subsistence level
       or in kind, thereby adding to the extreme rigidity of the
       domestic market.
    B. Accumulation of surplus labour by the ruling class had to be
       achieved mainly through the production of commodities for the
       foreign market. Thus, the conditions for the development of 
       capitalist relations of production within this system of
       production were highly unfavourable.
    C. From this organisation of the labour process derived an 
       extremely rigid social estructure, polarised in a tiny 
       minority of extremely wealthy and a huge mass of extremely
       poor direct producers. Such social structure articulated two
       types of economy in one system of production: money economy,
       for the ruling class; and subsistence economy, for the bulk of
       direct producers, with a small intermediate zone with a 
       mixture of both economies.
    Let us examine the development and consolidation of this system
during the XVII and XVIII centuries.


By the year 1600, Spanish America had a population of about 
11,000,000, and Portuguese America 150,000 (1). The Spanish colony
occupied nearly 3,500,000 square km, that is just more than one-sixth
of the continental total area; less than 300,000 white people ruled
over 9,000,000 Amerindians and 1,700,000 negros and mestizos. Ninety
percent of the population was rural, and the tiny white minority 
lived concentrated in towns where they accounted for 10-25% of the
inhabitants. The most densely populated areas were the focus of inca,
maya and aztec cultures, from Central Mexico in the North to central
Chile in the South, to Bolivia and northern Argentina in the East. 
The urban population was not composed mainly of productive labourers
but bureaucrats and landowners, and a massive number of servants, 
alongside a small quantity of artisans and merchants (2).

This rural economy was developing within the pattern of the
countryside supporting mining of gold and silver, but with an
internal dynamic that produced a sort of take off of colonial
production from the XVII century onwards.

During this century the composition of imports from Spain changed
considerably.  Before, during the XVI century, more than 50% of the
cargo the vessels brought from Spain contained wine, oil, wheat and
cloth.  That is, an average of 4,000tons annually.  In the first 50
years of the XVII Century, with the average tonnage of annual imports
going up to 17,000 agricultural products constituted a small part
"because the Indies become increasingly self-sufficient in this
matter", and the cargoes the vessels brought were composed mainly of
"manufactured products, especially cloth of higher quality, hardware,
books, watches, handicrafts, metal manufactures, and so forth". (3)

In turn, New World exports to Europe changed their composition.  As
Haring writes " is abundantly clear that the commodities
supplied by the colonies to Spain were by no means confined, as is
the popular impression, to gold and silver, pearls and emeralds. 
After the middle of the sixteenth century agricultural and forest
products held and increasingly important place in the trans-Atlantic
trade: sugar, cotton, hides, dyewoods, sarsaparilla, and cochineal. 
With the expansion of colonial agriculture in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries, also indigo, tobacco, cacao, as well as
vanilla, chinchona, and cabinet woods. Tropical America for the first
time was furnishing opportunities for the large-scale production of
"colonial staples", whether indigenous or acquired from the Old
World, which were increasingly demanded by an expanding economy in
Europe.  The inauguration of a freer commerce by the Bourbon Kings
had a happy effect upon the prosperity of both agriculture and
stock-raisin, and by the close of the eighteenth century the annual
value of the agricultural produce in New Spain was greater than that
of the precious metals" (4).

By about 1600 the expansion of the colonial primitive economy had
created a clearly defined distribution of economic activities on the
continent.  1) In the Antilles and northern coast of Brazil, sugar
and other tropical crops, surrounded by tiny areas of subsistence
agriculture and livestock in Antilles, and very large in Brazil. 
Sugar and other tropical crops were exported to Europe, and produced
in plantations.  Subsistence crops and cattle, in haciendas and
ranches.  2) In Mexico a mining centre, surrounded by a big area of
subsistence economy and livestock, a second area of subsistence
agriculture in what is today's Guatemala-Honduras region, and a third
region of subsistence agriculture and livestock in the north-western
tips of South America-Columbia and part of Venezuela.  The whole
system worked to support the mining centres in Mexico, and the ports
of Portobello in Panama and Veracruz in Mexico, sites of trade with
Spain.  3) In Upper Peru and Bolivia, a mining centre (Potosi , and
Huancavelica), surrounded by two big areas of subsistence
agriculture, one in Peru, the other in Chile;  and a huge region of
cattle raising in northern and east Argentina and today's Uruguay,
with subsistence agriculture on relatively small spots within the
livestock region in today's Paraguay and the Argentinian province of
Cordoba.  The whole system worked to supply the mining centre of
Potosi-Huancavelica, and the big cities of Lima, Potosi, Santiago and
Buenos Aires.

Production in the mining and sugar and other tropical crop areas was
destined almost entirely for export.  Only ten per cent or less, of
the population worked on them. The products in the subsistence
agriculture and livestock areas were destined almost entirely for
domestic consumption in the colonies.  Hides were exported in some
quantity to Europe, but "were mainly used in the colonies for a large
number of purposes such as saddlery, storing water and carrying
liquids, making clothing in mining activities and so on.  The most
extensive areas of cattle raising were in the northern part of
Mexico, the northern part of Argentina, the lands behind the coast of
Brazil, the llanos of Venezuela, and alone among the islands, Cuba"

More than ninety per cent of the New World population worked in these
areas.  They were the food and clothes suppliers of the colonies,
alongside its role of supporters of the entire system of production,
whose needs were not met by imports from Spain - or other European
countries through contraband, either because the Luso-Spanish economy
was not in a position to do so in the XVI century or in the XVII
century a profound crisis led to a deterioration of the Peninsular
economy, pushing the colonies - the ruling class - to a position of
developing its own productive resources or perishing.

As we know, the policy of the European colonial powers - and Spain in
particular - was to discourage agriculture and manufacturing in
colonial areas, in accordance with mercantilist policy.  The Spanish
Absolutist State limited the expansion of agricultural products such
as vineyards and olive groves in the New World, and prohibited any
manufacturing developing.  But, in spite of these limitations, even
before the economic crisis in Spain and Portugal in the 17th century
"the needs of the colonies themselves made it necessary for them to
try to be self-supporting in basic agricultural products, a stage
which was attained about the year 1560 after a period of scarcity in
foodstuffs that at times became serious.  After that date, coincident
on the one hand with population loss and on the other with the
extension of crop cultivation, agriculture in America went through a
period of prosperity, as noticeable in New Spain ad in Peru"  (6).

In turn, as a result of the monopolistice pattern of trade between
the Peninsula and the colonies, manufactured goods coming from Spain
or other European countries were sold at very high prices.  Moreover,
as the price of gold and silver was lower in the New World than
Europe (7), it was to the benefit of the colonial ruling class to
produce some manufactured goods on the spot.  So, "industries did
develop in the colonies.  Food processing was often essential before
crops could be exported, and quite larger highly capitalised sugar
factories were built wherever sugar was grown commercially.  Minerals
were also processed"..."mining equipment had to be maintained and
iron, which was often short in the colonies, was worked in a limited
way.  Metal working developed particularly in Minas Gerais,
Brazil"..."All the ships for use in the Pacific by the Armada del
Sur were built on that side of the continent (in Guayaquil
particularly), while Havana (La Habana) served the Atlantic side. 
Cloth was widely manufactured, though the highest quality textiles
came from Europe"  (8).  An Interamerican trade thus developed in the
XVII century, mainly linking the mining areas: New Spain, Nueva
Granada and Peru, with the cities of Santiago and Buenos Aires.  "The
principal land route in South America was the road from Buenos Aires
to Tucuman, by mules from Tucuman to Potosi, by llamas to Cuzco and
Lima, by carts again to Payta, and finally by mules to Quito.  It was
a difficult road, but it formed an indispensable spinal column which
united opposite poles of the Spanish American viceregal economy: 
Lima and Buenos Aires"  (9).

So domestic development took place through an interamerican trade
with poles in Mexico - Lima - Buenos Aires, the three areas having
successive growth in their non-export production.  Among others,
"three special facts governed the internal dynamics of Inter America
trade: 1) Spain's determination to maintain the monopolies granted to
Mexico and Peru within the framework of the empire, 2) the inability
of Spanish industry to supply its colonial markets, and 3) the
continued pressure of foreign products in the seaports through the
"permission ship" system and contraband" (10).

In the late sixteenth century, the Mexican economy had an early
development in manufacturing.  Its goods were sold in Peru.  Among
them, textiles, clothing, furniture, jewellery, toilet and household
goods, leather goods and books.  The Peruvian commodities were
silver, wines, cacao, mercury, and so on.  It is known that by the
last decade of the sixteenth century, the trade between Mexico and
Peru amounted to almost 3 million pesos a year.  This trade,
nevertheless, tended to diminish as Peruvian manufacturing developed
in the early seventeenth century, and Chinese goods were brought to
Acapulco from Manila and eventually forwarded to Lima.  Among these
goods: Chinese damasks, satins, silks, chinaware, porcelain,
perfumes, and jewellery.

Although the Spanish Crown prohibited this trade, it "continued to
expand illegally, so that by 1602 the Cabildo of Mexico City estimate
the value at between three and five million pesos, most of which was
going to the Orient since Mexican manufactures "amounted to no more
than about on-tenth in value of the trade" due to the development of
native Peruvian industry" (11)

The meaning of this trade appears very clearly if we compare its
value - around five million pesos - with the export of silver and
gold to Spain in the same year, around 5,600,000 pesos (12).  Another
indicator of the growth of economic activities in the Pacific side of
the colony, is the size of the Peruvian merchant fleet.

By 1590 there were between 35 and 40 vessels conducting trade between
the ports of Panama, Guayaquil, Callao and Valparaiso.  A century
later, there were more than 70 vessels in service.  And, most
importantly, only 4 or 5 vessels were sailing annually with the
treasury - gold and silver - from Callao to Panama, the rest were
involved in inter American trade. "Further more, in the last decade
of the century an average of at least four and possibly more vessels
were built in the viceroyalty annually, a certain indicator of
buoyant industry" (13).

Wheat, sugar, olives, grapes, and cacao were some of the major crops
grown in Peru, and after the big earthquake of 1687, Chile became the
main supplier of wheat to the viceroyalty.  Wine, for instance, was
an important item of trade between Peru and New Spain.  During the
seventeenth century the Peruvian province if Ayachucho produced about
125,000 pounds of grapes annually.  Exports of sugar and spirits from
sugar cane developed to other areas of the vice-royalty.  In turn,
Peruvian manufacturing was concentrated in textiles "and the arts and
crafts industries of centres of population such as Lima and Quito
produced a range of society's necessities and luxuries"..."the
textile industry of Peru was based on the heritage and labour of the
Indians (with Spanish sheep that were brought over in the sixteenth
century)"..." Limenos alone employed 323 Indian tailors, 129 cobblers
and 80 silk weavers in 1612" (14).

Most important was the development of shipyards, both in New Spain
and Peru.  The latter's was centred in Guayaquil, where, "for
instance, warships with up to sixty cannon were built, and a whole
host of ancillary activities developed - from Guatemalan pitch and
tar to Chilean rope fibres" (15).  "The small group of Spanish
craftsmen in the city tapped the large native population for
manpower.  Negro slaves and free blacks, many of them skilled
artisans themselves, were also utilised in the industry.  Aside from
the iron and metal fittings which were imported from Spain, almost
all materials employed in the shipyards of Guayayquil were present in
the Pacific" (16).

There is no doubt that one major contribution to the creation of an
autochtonous shipbuilding industry in the viceroyalty of Peru in the
seventeenth century was its isolation from the Atlantic.  The only
communication with the main sea route to Spain was the port in the
isthmus of Panama.  But, at the same time, it seems that the second
major contribution - if not he first - was the domestic economic
development in the viceroyalty itself.  One important indicator of
the latter is the rapid decline of maritime traffic to Panama in the
second half of the XVII century, accompanied by a clear rise in the
domestic trade.  L.A. Clayton  quotes figures which present a crystal
clear picture of this marked trend towards domestic economic

Between November 1661 and November 1663, 75 vessels with identifiable
ports of origin arrived at Callao.  Only 18.5% of them, that is 14,
had sailed from Panama.

Forty years later, in the period 1701-1704 the departures from Callao
increased to 241 vessels, and of these only 14.5%, that is 35 ships,
were destined for Panama.
In other words, maritime trade increased 220 per cent as a whole, as
against 150% of trade destined for Spain through Panama.  That is,
domestic trade grew nearly 240% in forty years in Peru.  Moreover, it
should be noted that not all the shipments for Panama resulted in
trade with Spain.  Part of it was destined for commercial exchange
with New Spain.  So, it would be an accurate assumption that domestic
trade grew by about 300% and shipments to Spain only 100% in the
period under consideration.  This reflects the development and slow
but steady maturation of a colonial domestic economy, which was also
diversifying its exports to Western Europe through Spain:

"By far the major item of value in the Peru-Spin exchange was
precious metals.  Certain staple commodities such as cacao, quinine,
sugar, tobacco, and vicuna wool also figured prominently in the
trade.  Other items, mostly raw materials, which returned to Spain
via the isthmus were: copper, tin, lead, shells, tortoise, shells,
hides, vicuna hides, tanned leather, seeded and unseeded cotton,
wool, alpaca wool, guanaco wool, earthenware vessels, indigo,
Peruvian beans, chocolate paste, ginger, coffee, cocoa butter", and
so forth..." "each of the twelve fleets which left Spain for the
isthmus between August 4, 1628, and June 3, 1645, carried Spanish
commodities ranging in value from eight to twelve million pesos,
and...they returned to Spain with gold, silver, vicuna wool, and
other commodities to the value of between twenty and forty million
pesos" (17).

In turn, domestic viceroyalty trade was mainly composed of wheat and
copper from the Chilean ports of Valparaiso and Concepcion, wines and
olive oil from Pisco, textiles from Quito, woods and cacao from
Nicaragua, etc.  Three-fourths of the custom duties collected at
Callao, at the time under consideration, were drawn from trade and
commerce directed to ports in the viceroyalty other than Panama.

The Hacienda System

Nevertheless, this economic growth was based on an organisation of
labour which did not enlarge the domestic market.  The seventeenth
century was the period in which the encomienda system collapsed and
the hacienda became the basic unit of production.  The hacienda
system aimed to organise labourers as producers and not as consumers. 
The compensation of labour time in land and/or in kind in the
hacienda's relation of production, alienated the whole labouring
class from the market in Latin America.  Consequently, the domestic
market in Peru, for instance, continued to meet ruling class consumer
capacity during the economic boom which commenced in the seventeenth
century.  With such a narrow range of circulation of commodities, the
production of means of production, through the development of basic
manufactures such as iron and steel, and even the mining of metals
destined for the production of tools or machinery, was not
profitable.  This early economic growth of Peru - and all
Luso-Spanish colonies - thus made the viceroyalty self-supporting for
both the ruling and subordinate classes, but did not lay the basis
for an accumulation leading to manufacturing development.  Any
accumulation had to be achieved through imports of basic products
from Spain, as the following list shows:

"The Spanish commodities placed on sale at Puerto Bello fairs
consisted of a wide variety of goods for the use of the Spanish
forces on the isthmus, in Peru, and the other Spanish South American
areas.  For the most part they were finished goods, in contrast to
the comoditiies which flowed back to Spain"..."other commodities
...were steel, lead, iron in bars and in plates, iron work and
grating, sheets of tin plate, shovels, hoes, nails, wire, hammers,
axes, musket balls, gunpowder, ramrods, weapons, copperas, sulphur,
white lead, cordage of all sizes, emery, whetstones," and so
forth (18).

As Barbosa-Ramirez describes "the organisation of labour in the
haciendas brought forward a radical transformation in the actual
condition of labour for the Amerindians.  They saw themselves
integrated to a specific system of exploitation, but without any
labour market.  The native labourer is integrated into the hacienda
system at the bottom of the social pyramid, in which the "patron" is
the king ruling over the other social classes.  It is no free
manpower, but labour power enchained to the hacienda's economy.  This
labour power becomes a "capital" exploitable at will, but it does not
produce buyers of commodities" (19).

Like Peru, New Mexico developed its domestic economy in the same way
starting in the late XVI century.  In spite of the mining boom, like
Peru again, New Spain's economy remained basically agricultural in
the XVII and XVIII century.  The eighteenth century is the "golden
age" of the Mexican mines.  The best mining deposits were discovered
in this century, throughout New Spain (20).

The production of silver and gold in the period was as follows:

Years               Silver (ton)             Gold (ton)

1741-1760           6,020                         16.4
1761-1780           7,328                         26.2
1781-1800           11,249                        24.6

Nevertheless, "agriculture remains the centre of the economic
activity, it is the main source of development.  Any cyclical
fluctuation of the economy, either triggered by demographic or
meteorological catastrophes, would be increased, extended and
transmitted to the other sectors through agriculture"..."colonial
society was quite vulnerable to natural calamities"...for instance,
in 1750 the drought in Guanajato and Zacatecas left several villages
without food whose in habitants fled to other parts of the country,
leaving the mines without labourers and the animals used in the mines
without food.  Entire mining zones were abandoned"..."price
fluctuations every year were between 6 to 61% in New Spain..."leading
to bankruptcy in communal (Indian) property and to extreme poverty in
small individual ownership of the land", mainly Spaniards and
mestizos farming small private plots on the boundaries of haciendas. 
"Conversely, big proprietors were in a position to "store" their
production during periods of good crops and to put pressure on prices
in periods of scarcity".  "This situation led to the strengthening of
the hacienda economy and its monopolisation of both property in land
and production". (21)

At the same time as the hacienda had the monopoly of labour power
through the peonage system - based on compensating labour time with
subsistence land or in kind- the small size of the domestic market,
restricted to the ruling class and tiny middle sectors, was a factor
preventing the hacienda from maximising production.  So "the
haciendas, born in the XVIII century, utilised three forms of
"adjustment"..."diminishment of its absolute number, and of the land
dedicated to production and eventually, development of a
sophisticated system of storage"..."In the XVI and XVII century an
inflow of peasant masses to the units of production together with the
birth of a new organisation of labour occurred but without any change
in both the colonial agricultural technique and technology"..."the
hacienda is a mode of appropriation and production of a surplus, and,
this feature makes the hacienda different from the encomienda,
because the latter is just a mode of appropriation of part of the
product of the (Indian) communities".  That is, "the hacienda is both
a form of property and appropriation; a form suitable for the
evolution of the system.  The life attachment, even for generations,
of the labourers to big estates, will be a feature of the peonage. 
In exchange for this labour power, the peon is given a salary which
is not sufficient, hence his continuous indebtedness to the
hacendado, in order to attach the former to the land"

As an economic unit, the hacienda was self-supporting in the
production of its means of subsistence both for its direct-labourers
and non-labourers (the haciendo and his relatives).  The production
of means of subsistence as a basis for the production of
direct-labourers, was a responsibility of the direct-labourers in the
hacienda.  The landowner (hacendado) provided the labourers with the
necessary land to cultivate these means of subsistence, in exchange
for the total surplus-labour of the later.  Consequently, the bulk of
the means of subsistence of both labourers and non-labourers were not
found in the market but produced by each unit of production
(hacienda).  That is, the overwhelming majority of the colonies
population had no need for a market to survive, to reproduce itself.

At the same time, the hacendado had the monopoly of commerce within
the boundaries of hacienda.  Thus, through special retail shops
(pulperias), the hacendado sold to his labourers basic staples such
as salt, edible oil, candles, coal, paraffin, small tools, and so on,
at very high prices.  With this device, the hacendado perpetuated the
indebtedness of the poenes, since he gave credit to his labourers
without limit.  Moreover, the hacendado paid some wages not in money
but in vouchers for use in the pulperias.  Consequently, even the
small hacienda's market was isolated from the circulation of money in
the overall system.
In general, there were three forms of compensation of labour time in
the hacienda: wages, plots of subsistence and sharecropping.  The
most important, as we saw, was the subsistence plot.  However, more
often than not, there was a mixed system of compensation, adding some
wages to the subsistence plot for specific jobs (collection of wood
from the forest, making of charcoal, and so forth).  Yet these wages
were in token money.  The sharecropping system was also shaped as a
device impeding any accumulation of surplus labour by the direct
labourer.  The sharecropper was given seeds and even tools to do his
work by the hacendado, and the former had to do some free labour for
the hacendado during the busy rural season.

The hacienda was a self-supporting unit of production, maintaining
the monopoly of land for one stratum of society and the monopoly of
land for one stratum of the society and the monopoly of utilisation
of labour power for this stratum.  Consequently, the land market was
restricted to the ruling class, and there was no labour market, the
labourers being attached to the land.  At the same time, compensation
in land put labourers out of the market.  Therefore, the social value
of necessary labour was almost and almost negligible quantity for the
landowners, enabling them to make profits at the lowest possible
level of productivity given the monopoly of land and unlimited
availability of labour power (23).

Simultaneously, there emerged a new development of obrajes, which
were units of manufacturing based on token wage labour.  That is,
indian labourers were paid a very low wage (24) and attached to the
enterprise in the same way as peones in the haciendas: by debts. (25)

Consequently from the monopoly of land and labour-power, there
developed a concentration of means of production and wealth, a
regressive distribution of income, and, from this, an unequal social
structure polarised into labourers and non-labourers.  Superimposed
on this the racial differences between white people (Spaniards) as
non-labourers, and Amerindian, Negroes and mestizos as labourers
produced an extremely hierarchized colonial structure.

As C.H. Haring comments, "pride of birth, class distinctions, always
jealously guarded in Spain as in other countries of semi-feudal
Europe, were intensified in America by the number and the mixture of
diverse races.  The primary races were white, the 'red', and the
black, and on the Pacific side of the continent a few Malays and
Mongolians brought over on ships from the Philippine Islands.  Mexico
City had its Chinatown even in the sixteenth century.  As women
always formed a small proportion of the immigrants from Europe - near
the close of the colonial era only about ten per cent - race mixtures
soon abounded: mestizos, mulattos, zambos (part Indian, part Negro),
and endless subdivisions.  Of course, education, wealth, and honours
were concentrated almost exclusively in the whites whether Spaniards
or Creoles.  Between them and the castes lay socially an immense
gulf, and the distinction was recognised by law"..."the descendants
of the conquistadors, others who were related to distinguished
families in Spain, higher civil officials, and wealthy Creoles who
had obtained a title or decoration or acquired some perpetual office,
formed a colonial aristocracy based chiefly upon wealth"..."below the
colonial aristocratic class were always a number of small Spanish
proprietors living in towns and villages and dedicated to agriculture
or grazing, while in the principal cities groups of artisans were
organised in guilds for the pursuit of their respective
professions"..."The mestizos generally comprised lower middle class
farmers, stewards, shop-keepers - although unquestionably many of the
wealthy, aristocratic families had traces of Indian blood in their
ancestry"..."Most of the Indians lived in their own villages, either
aboriginal settlements or reductions made by the Spaniards, separate
from the Europeanised population...most of them were in a condition
of semi-serfdom, subject to unlimited exactions in labour and
produce...kept to a very low standard of living, wretchedly house,
and generally undernourished...their miserable condition led to
innumerable servile revolts that only occasionally assumed serious
proportions, but that were severely repressed"..."Negroes, mulattos,
and zambos were on the lowest rungs of the social ladder, whether
slaves or freemen.  If free, they paid tribute and had by law to
reside with recognised employers, under penalty of being consigned to
the mines or labour contractors" (26)

At the base of this peculiar social structure was the unit of
production called the hacienda in Spanish America and fazenda in
Portuguese America. These "latifundios" were "the fundamental
institution of Iberian colonialism.  The hacienda was not merely a
form of land ownership, but primarily a form of social organisation
capable of fulfilling needs of all kinds.  But even though the
remnants of the hacienda system are so harmful today, it should not
be forgotten that during the colonial era it was the only means of
providing an elementary community life to a rural society isolated
from the outside world"..."As the latifundios spread in the
sixteenth and seventeeth centuries, a quasi-feudal system began to
arise in Latin America at the very time when it was on the wane in
Western Europe.  When in the nineteenth century and in some cases
even in the twentieth century, capitalism was introduced in Latin
America in very advanced forms, it clashed with a still young and
strong feudal society." (27)

Without agreeing with Lambert's assumption that the hacienda was a
unit of feudal production of a feudal or quasi-feudal system, his
description is accurate: the hacienda system arose out of the need to
establish a system of production in the colonies capable of coping
with the necessity of merchant's capital to market commodities in
Europe.  The first attempt in this direction consisted of imposing a
feudal mode of appropriation of surplus labour through exaction of
tribute in kind and labour over the Amerindian population.

The attempt failed because Amerindian societies were no on the level
of individual ownership of land; there was not a small peasant
economy, and therefore the level of the productive forces was below
the needs of such a system.  The availability of surplus labour in
feudal relations of production possible, as we already saw in the
last part of the last chapter.

Consequently, in less than one hundred years this "feudal attempt",
through the institution of encomienda, lay in ruins.  For instance,
in 1560 there were 480 encomiendas in New Spain (Mexico).  In 1602,
they were reduced to only 140 (28).

In 1624, the archbishop of Lima, capital city of the viceroyalty of
Peru wrote that the "Indian population has been declining" in such a
way that the "encomenderos who ten or twelve years ago had a rent of
four or six thousand pesos, today only get, half of it or even a
third", and "there are some who don't receive any rent any more".

This decline was parallel to a notorious boom of intercolonial trade
caused by the accelerated growth of colonial agriculture, as we saw
before in this chapter, and to a steady growth, from 1531 to 1630, of
gold and silver mining, exported to Spain.  The following table shows
the bullion outflow to Europe, by ten-year periods, in "pesos" of 450

YEARS                    AMOUNT              ROYAL SHARE

1503-1510                143,466,3            44,818,9
1511-1520                218,875,0            68,376,5
1521-1530                117,260,6            36,632,2
1531-1540                558,812,5           174,573,0
1541-1550              1,046,271,6           300,567,7
1551-1560              1,786,453,0           513,203,3
1561-1570              2,534,875,1           689,739,5
1571-1580              2,915,855,0           793,404,1
1581-1590              5,320,724,3          1,447,769,0
1591-1600              6,961,336,3          1,879,560,8
1601-1610              5,580,835,5          1,462,183,6
1611-1620              5,464,058,1          1,431,583,2
1621-1630              5,196,520,5          1,270,939,0
1631-1640              3,342,545,6            817,503,1
1641-1650              2,553,435,0            624,506,4
1651-1660              1,065,488,3            260,591,8
In the same way, the economic boom which started in the early XVII
century in the colony was parallel to the economic disaster that wept
Spain during the 1600s.  Manuel Colmeiro wrote, that during the XVII
century the maritime traffic between Spain and the New World
"diminished to less than forty vessels annually", at the same time
that the number of "vessels of other nations" doing trade with
Spanish America "were more than three hundred" (31)

The decline of the encomienda coincided with the growth of the
economy in the colony.  This economy was designed to permit the
exploitation of mines and plantations at the lowest available cost. 
The hacienda system arose from this necessity.  However, it was not
the only attempt made by the conquerors to meet the needs of
merchant's capital exploitation of the continent.  They tried to use
slavery as well.  Yet slavery proved to be profitable solely in those
areas where the Amerindian population was scarce and the transport
costs of Negro slaves were the lowest (Antilles and northern coastal
Brazil).  Conversely, slave labour was costly in the mainland,
because dense Amerindian populations made alternative methods of
enforced labour cheaper, for a while.

Nevertheless, as long as enforced labour was sustained by the
Amerindian system of production - based on communal ownership of the
land and a bureaucratic state organisation  of labour before the
Iberian conquest - at the level of reproduction of the labourers,
these early methods could last only if the Amerindian system of
production, with its State structure beheaded after the conquest
could avoid its ruin. This was impossible.  The communal economy was
reduced to the subsistence level, due to the lack of a bureaucratic
state.  Rent in kind and in labour could no longer be exacted by the
colonial conquerors at the rate they required.  Thus, the encomienda
system began to decay, alongside the methods of enforced labour.

Thus, landowners without a stable source of labour and labourers
without a stable source of means of subsistence met together in the
haciendas. Compensated with plots of subsistence, labourers could
escape from the nightmare of Indian communities submitted to all sort
of exactions under the guise of tribute in kind and labour.  To put
it another way individual appropriators of individually produced
surplus-labour, and communal labourers became landless individual
labourers, obtaining use of land in exchange for labour power.

As in New Spain and New Granada "the Andean hacienda rose, generally
speaking, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries out of the
needs of the mines.  Its purpose was to provide the mines with
labour, provisions, meat, hides, and beasts of burden"..."calonos,
yanaconas, gente propia, peones, arrendires were all obliged to
perform unpaid duties in exchange for a piece of land: they lived
under forms of debt-peonage without security of tenure"..."At least
until 1790-1800, the Indians with the Negro slaves, were the basis
for the flowering economy of the viceroyalty of Peru, as its
agricultural producers and its forced labourers.  They fed the local
population, produced for the export market and extracted the silver
that made Spain rich." (32)

Thus, by 1700 the colonial economy was based upon "the existence of
large estates and a massive availability of manpower"..." in the
rural properties the value of the land was secondary as compared with
the value of the cattle and the number of labourers on them" (33). 
This massive availability of manpower enabled the landowner to secure
labour power without the existence of a labour market.  There was no
need for the landowners to compete for labour supply, on the one
hand, and for the labourers there was no market in which to offer
their labour-power; they thus had to accept the only way out
presented by the ruling class: to be paid in kind, mainly land.  From
the requirements of the ruling class to establish a profitable system
of production of commodities for the European merchant's capital
market, and the needs of the labourers to survive, both converged at
a point in which a new organisation of labour was created.  In it,
the hacendado became the direct organised of labour, giving the new
system a higher productivity than the communal labour in the Indian

A study undertaken in the Province of La Paz in Peru shows that the
average output per worker in the haciendas was more than 120% higher
than in the Indian communities dedicated to the production of the
same commodity (coca leaves). (34)

A comparative analysis of encomienda and hacienda systems shows that
from the point of view of concentration of wealth, the situation
didn't change much for the non-labourers.  If we consider, for
simplicity's sake, that the productivity of peones was the same,
roughly speaking, we can devise the following table: (35)


Percentage of total      Percentage of total  Percentage of total
non-labourers owners     tribute received by  labourers in
either of encomiendas    encomenderos         haciendas
or haciendas

5% superior                   25.7                23.3
6.5% lower superior           16.6                16.3
13.5% middle                  21.7                18.3
75% inferior                  36                  42.1

100.0                        100.0                100.0

From the above figures we can assume that for the more affluent
encomenderos - the actual rulers of the colony - the transition to
haciendas was not against their main interest, and, therefore, they
followed the trend willingly.  In fact, as a group, they began to
take away land from the Indian communities and possess them as
private property at a very early stage.  Thus, by the late sixteenth
century signs of peonage emerged when some Spaniards who owned land,
either by force or purchase, started to advance money and goods to
the Indians under conditions of repayment in work.

Thus, the growth of the hacienda system occurred alongside the
continuation of a communal system of production in a balanced manner. 
Not the hacienda fighting against the encomienda, but rather
encomenderos shifting to private property in land, working it with
peones and sparing the communal economy of the Indians as a source of
labour power, and even added profits in the form of a tribute to be
used by the colonial state.

Both the Indian labourer serving as a peon or the Indian labourer
tilling in his community were component parts of a sole system.  "On
the one hand there was the serf, tied to the land and to the person
of his master;  on the other, the peasant who, within his community,
enjoyed the use and the co-ownership of his land...the differences
between these two categories of peasants must not be exaggerated
however: the technology in both sectors of peasant society was
rudimentary...the sole innovations brought by the Spanish conquest
were the iron blade attached to...a sort of hoe of Inca design for
breaking up the soil, the Mediterranean swing plough and, above
all, the acclimatisation of new plants (European cereals) and new
animals (oxen, sheep, horses, mules, pigs and fowl, the latter two
from the seventeenth century onwards).  The agricultural productivity
of the Andean peasantry, whether free or servile, was therefore
extremely low and living conditions were no better...As descendants
of those defeated in the conquest, the Indian peasants in the
communities had to pay tribute - a heavy head tax in money or in
kind.  In addition there was the mita, or forced labour in the mines
of Huancavelica or Potosi.  This meant that one part of the
population had to travel thousands of kilometres from its village to
go and work like galley-slaves, more or less without payment, in the
silver or mercury mines.  For those staying behind in the village,
there was the obligation to work in the pottery or weaving workshops
by the Crown (obrajes), where conditions were particularly bad - and
again there was no pay.  To all these should be added the several
corvees and the obligation to work for the corregidores as a servant,
driver of carrier" (36).

An indicator of the distribution of the Indian population between
hacienda and communal economy is given by the following data for
Peru: (37)

                         Provincia of La Paz - 1786
Districts      Yanaconas on haciendas Indians on Ayllus  Total
Pacajes               7,846                31,385        39,231
La Recaja            13,307                11.801        25.108
Omasuyos             22,657                20,092        42,749
Sicasica             11,446                19,490        30,936
Chulumani            19,348                10.418        29,766

TOTAL                74,604                93,186       167,790
  %                  (44.5)                (55.5)       (100.0)

In New Spain. by 1810 data on the ownership of land provide us with 
a clear picture of the communal economy as having an important role 
in the reproduction of the hacienda economy, as a supporter of the 
latter's requirements for very cheap labour power (38).


Type of property                                 HECTARES
Land of indian communities                      18.000.000
Land of non-indian towns: cities,
mines, small properties                          5.000.000
10.438 large estates and ranches                70.000.000
Waste land                                     100.000.000
Total                                          193.000.000

So, the articulation hacienda economy and indian communal economy 
lasted up to the end of the period of Iberian dominance in the continent,
and beyond as we shall see. This articulation provided a basis upon
which a tiny minority of individual large landowners managed to reproduce 
a tight pyramidal social structure. Around the unity hacienda -
indian community, the remainder of the colonies population took its
place as labourers, sharing the role of the indian in a rural economy 
built upon the relation of production hacendado-peon.

What I am indicating here is the following:

a) Although the Iberian colonial system in Latin America was
based on indian labour, and the evolution of relation of production
led to the specific relation hacendado-peon based upon the racial 
distinction white non-labourer-indian labourer, the growth of population 
and the economy added landless mestizos, freed negroes and landless 
whites to the existing indian labourers.

b) Thus, even when the racial component was ever-present in 
the formation of the social structure. it was not determinant. The 
determinant factor was the structure of the hacienda economy:
The rationale of this, was the monopoly of land, and the monopoly
of the majority of the available labour (indian). Around this basic 
dynamics, the rest of the population took its place in the structure, 
and both mestizos and whites became a monopoly, of the ruling class,
as labourers. A microcosm reflecting the multiracial composition
of working class in late colonial times is provided by the 1790 census 
of the city of Lima (39).

By the late XVIII century the Peruvian population was around 
1,250,000. Seventy five per cent were Indian, and the rest whites, 
negroes and mestizos. Ninety per cent of the inhabitants were peasants
and the remaining 125.000 lived in towns and cities. The most important
city was, of course, the capital, Lima, with 52,547 inhabitants, 
of whom 47.796 were secular, 1,567 religious, and 3,184 "living in 
communities". About 49 per cent were men and 51 per cent women.
For our analytical purposes let us single out the secular population:


                        Number                         Percentage
Spaniards               17,215                            36.0%
Indians                  3,912                             8.2
Mestizos                 4,631                             9.7
Negroes                  8,960                            18.2
Mulattoes                5,972                            12.5
Other mixed blood        5,986                            12.5
Chinese                  1,120                             2.4
TOTALS                  47,796                           100.0

Of this number, there were 16,462 able bodied males. That is, 
71 per cent of the secular male population, or 34.4 per cent of the
total secular population. In turn, the classification of males
by occupation and category, gives the following result:


Manual Workers
Slaves                      9,229                56.1 per   cent
Servants from free castes   2,903                17.6
White servants                474                 2.9
Jornaleros                    363                 2.2
Labourers                     308                 1.9
Artisans                    1,027                 6.2

Sub total                  14,304                86.9

Royal                         426                 2.6
Private Offices               121                 0.7

Sub-total                     547                 3.3

Retailers, grocers            287                 1.7

Professionals and 
Other Occupations 
Doctors, surgeons, lawyers,
notaries, escribanos, 
plaintiffs, students          657                 4.0 per cent

Big Proprietors
Hacendados                     90                 0.5
Merchants                     393                 2.4
Manufacturers                  60                 0.4 
Wholesale Provisioners         48                 0.3
Titled Nobles                  49                 0.3

Permanent residents 
with fuero militar             27                 0.2

Sub-total                     667                 4.1

TOTALS                     16,462               100.0

A comparison between the above two tables reveals the following:

 a) The condition of slave was not only reserved for Negroes, but for
Indians as well. Negroes amounted to 8,960 and "slaves" 
to 9.229. Moreover, and with a more accurate reading of the tables,  
able bodied male Negroes were around 4,000, as compared with more 
than 9,000 slaves. Thus,  it could be said that over 50 per cent were 
Indian. But, the total male Indian  population was below  4,000, so, 
we must conclude that some mixed blood were  slaves as well. 
Nevertheless, the majority of slaves were servants and not productive 
workers. They belonged to the hacendados living in Lima, and 
merchants, manufacturers, wholesale provisioners, titled nobles.

b) The white population was employed by the aristocracy in most 
occupations except slavery. Eight per cent of able bodied male 
whites were "servants" . To put it another way, 87 per cent
of Lima's inhabitants were engaged in manual work as compared with
a non-white population of only 64 per cent. Therefore, it could be 
assumed that around 64 per cent of white limeńos were manual workers 
by the end of the XVIII century; these white direct labourers shared
the same status with Indians and Mestizos.

To summarise, in late XVIII century colonial Latin America
the distinction white non-Iabourer-amerindian direct-labourer was
no longer valid. The evolution of the colonial system of production
had led to a relation non-labourer - direct labourer in which a white
tiny minority remained as non-labourers, but with the labouring class 
composed of amerindians, negroes, mestizos and whites in a changing 
proportion, in accordance with the changing composition of the population.
Last, but not least, an important conclusion to be derived from 
the above tables is the existence of a small middle sector - less
than ten per cent - and an equally small productive stratum - jornaleros, 
labourers, and artisans, which was only slightly over ten per cent.

The Social Pyramid

Our limeńo microcosm gives us a fair reflection of the pyramidal 
social structure articulated upon the relation hacendado-peon. As
Vivens wrote:

"Latifundists, bureaucrats, encomenderos, and hidalgos formed 
the top rung of Creole society. They held the power and the 
agricultural wealth. Merchants and artisans were relegated
to second place, since they were absolutely banned from public 
office. However, the Crown also intervened in the formation
of a hierarchy, organizing "universities" of merchants and professional 
guilds with all their privileges and disadvantages. Nevertheless, 
under the pretext of certain commercial activities, some merchants
took advantage of the process of accumulating healthy sums of
capital which permitted them to purchase urban real state and
acquire rural property by buying up mortgages. Thus, in the
course of the 17th century an incipient moneyed bourgeoisie
began to form, with business interests in the seaport cities
and sugar and cocoa plantations or livestock ranches - according
to the region - in the interior. This class was the one which 
gave form to the typical "Creolism" of the 18th century. (40)

Thus, the making of the white ruling class was pivotally achieved 
through property in land - and the availability of unlimited quantities 
of labour power, obtaining this property either through royal will
or purchase. Landowners lived in the big cities and not in their 
haciendas. The making of the colonies was undertaken from town to 
countryside, and the towns were not the result of the growth of the 
rural areas (41). They were the core of the dominance of the whole 
colonial system of production - landowners were merchants, and vice
versa. The royal bureaucrats were landowners and vice versa. Even 
some manufacturers were landowners as well, and vice versa.

"The power of this landed aristocracy - called, as a class,
hacendados - was further strengthened by the fact that the implementation 
of bureaucratic functions also devolved upon it; this came
to be more and more true as the system of sale of public offices 
by the Crown became a general practice ... Thus a bureaucratic 
and administrative class came into being which profited heavily 
from the American economy. Many members of this class succeeded 
in becoming large landowners" (42)

This landowner - merchant - bureaucra~ ruling class imposed
a.very unequal distribution of income, in order to maintain the rationale 
of the hacendado - peon relation.
In Peru, "in an age when a wage of 20 to 50 pesos a month was 
considered adequate, there existed in Lima in the early seventeenth 
century at least 60 merchants with capital over 100,000 pesos apiece 
and some with fortunes over 500.000 and even a million pesos" (43a). 
In the same period, the wages for Indians working in obrajes in Lima 
was around 30-35 pesos a year.
Roughly, it can be said that in the eighteenth century the Iberian 
colonies in Latin America were reaching the same distribution of
income that existed in Spain by the middle of the sixteenth century, 
two hundred years earlier.

Social sectors                            Percentage of population

Higher income groups:
nobles, bishops and professional classes             5 - 7%

Middle income:
Skilled artisans                                    10 - 12%

Poor groups:                                          80%

Moreover, New Spain's seventy per cent and Peru's almost ninety
per cent of the population hardly possessed money to buy its means
of subsistence in the market. The overwhelming majority were producing
their own means of subsistence in the countryside as peones or Indian 
commoners, while the remainder were either slave or servant, with
only a reduced percentage of wage earning labourers. Therefore,
an overwhelming majority of the Ibero American population was outside 
the domestic market.
With such a reduced domestic market at the end of the XVIII 
century, it was logical for the colonial ruling class to produce 
selective commodities for the European market of merchant's capital 
and supply important parts of the domestic market with imports.
It was cheaper for the ruling class to do this and, at the same time, 
it kept the social value of necessary labor at the lowest possible
Upon this economic reality, a class system based on the ownership 
and actual use of property was built up, with clear features of a 
monopoly of wealth, authority and prestige by a tiny minority, the 
white nobility.
Emerging from the early colonial ruling class based upon 
the simple distinction between white conquerors - amerindian conquered, 
this eighteenth century ruling class was a product of a specific
system of production. In the sixteenth century, before the dissolution 
and fusion of the two former main modes of production, the social 
structure was quite simple.

"The white or Spanish component of society was the American 
counterpart of the noble estate of Spain" ... "The Indians existed
as a conquered people, the Spanish as conquerors. The Spanish 
became the employers and exploiters of labour, the Indians the 
hewers of wood and the drawers of water" ... "the castes" ... "formed
a large proportion of the artisan and laboring population" ... "they 
constituted a common estate deformed by New World circumstances" ... 
So, "the trichotomy Spaniard - caste-Indian" ... "constitutes
a social structure" ... "they represent an American system of estates 
which envolved in an ad hoc fashion out of New World circumstances ... " (43) .

Yet this situation was no longer viable following the decimation 
of the Amerindian population, the growth of the mestizo and white 
population, and the growing need for commodities to be exported by 
international merchant's capital. As a result, as we already saw, 
a new basic social relation of production appeared, and out of it, 
a new mode of production. As McAlister states:

"Substantial changes in the character of the upper nobility 
also took place in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
In rural areas the nucleus of a new elite appeared, the masters 
of the great haciendas and estancias. Some of its members were 
descended from the old encomendero nobility, but others were 
American and European, Spaniards who were rewarded for services
to the Crown by grants of land. Although some of the beneficiaries 
came from titled families and others subsequently acquired titles, 
the new upper nobility was primarily a nobility de hecho rather
than de derecho. Titles simply confirmed a status derived from
the ownership of latifundio" ... "The growth of a landed aristocracy 
was paralleled by the development of a mercantile patriciate
in the cities of viceroyalty" ... "The concentration of trade
in a few cities, and monopolistic privileges conceded to merchant 
groups encouraged the accumulation of merchantile fortunes
by a relatively small number of families. The mineowners ... 
constituted a related group. The possession of great wealth 
conferred influence and status, much to the disgust of the old 
encomenderos. 'Those who yesterday operated shops and taverns
and engaged in other base occupations', wrote one disgruntled 
benemerito, 'are today placed in the best and most prized positions'. 
Merchantile and mining fortunes were recognised, or perhaps
it would be better to say, exploited by the crown through the 
concession of titles of nobility. These were granted with increasing 
frequency in the latter half of the 18th century" ... "The more 
enterprising encomenderos managed to escape the general decadence
of their class. Some managed to retain or acquire landed estates. 
Others, forgetting their class pride, married into the aristocracy
of wealth or entered commerce themselves. Such concessions
although distasteful were not degrading since commerce at the 
wholesale level had become officially and socially honorable.
Among the other groups, wealthy merchants and miners employed
excess capital for the purchase of rural states and needy hacendados 
contracted marriage alliances with willing merchants and mining

The hacendado-peon relation thus permitted the dissolution of
the feudal nobility into a nobility of wealth; an economic aristocracy,
composed of landowners-merchants-miners. On the other hand,
it permitted the dissolution of feudal serfdom - as represented in 
Latin America by the Indians within the encomiendas - into a labouring
class bartering its labour power for the right to use land in which 
to cultivate its means of subsistence.
This new distribution of property led to the emergence of a 
class system which can be described as follows:

An upper class composed of the owners of haciendas, ranches, 
plantations, mines, textile factories, and mere antile establishments,
and the upper levels of the royal bureaucracy and the clergy.
The clergy and the most important royal officials were at the same
time owners of haciendas, mines, textile factories, and mercantile
establishments. Their share of power thus had an economic basis. 
This upper class held the monopoly of land, labourers, political
power and society as a whole. It was a small minority and its members 
shared a racial feature since almost all were whites. There was
a similar structure in Brazil, where "the small farmer resisted the 
encroachments of the large proprietor; but backed by the camaras
(town councils), the big owners gradually forced the submission 
of the small, independent agriculturist. Those who were able, remained 
as renters on the big estates; those who were unable to maintain
even the independence of renter, placed themselves under the protection 
of the large proprietor, paying him service in return for food, clothing
and shelter. It was under these conditions, condibOns amounting
to peonage, that the great majority of the rural population - mestizos, 
Indians, and Portuguese - of Brazil remained throughout colonial
times. Thus during the seventeenth century there developed in the 
colony a distinct social class which was dependent on land for its 
position. The large landowner established himself socially as well
as financially while he arrogated to himself absolute power over 
slaves, dependents, renters, share-croppers, mechanics, overseers,
members of his own family, in fact, over all who existed on his possessions". 
A native aristocracy thus emerged in the colony ... "The creation of
this landed aristocracy native to the colony was aided by the rural
character of Brazilian colonization" (45).

Consequently, the landed aristocracy in Luso-Spanish America 
became the core of the ruling class in that particular social formation, 
ruling over a tiny middle sector and a broader lower sector composed 
of mestizos, Indians and whites.

The middle sector was composed of retail merchants and shopkeepers,
the more substantial artisans, professionals, owner of small and 
middle-sized ranchos and mines, managers and salaried employees of 
rural properties, mines, and workshops, and lower members of the
church and lower royal employees.

A second level of this middle sector was formed by less affluent 
shopkeepers, and artisans operating outside the guilds. In all,
the middle stratum accounted for less then ten per cent of the total 
population. Most of its members were appendages of the large landed 
estates, big mercantile establishments, big mines, and the higher 
echelons of the bureaucracy. Their interests were so linked to that 
of the upper class, that they consututed a supporting factor rather 
than a social sector opposed to the upper class.

As a matter of fact, the major antagonism during the colonial 
period occurred within the upper class, between the rulers of Spanish 
origin and the creoles (Spaniards born in Latin America). There
was a sharp status distinction between the European-born and American-
born Spaniard, and this constituted a motive force in the independence 
movement in the early XIX century.

In 1816, Mariano Tamarria presented a report to the Crown, emphasizing
how American-born Spaniards had been despotic and tiranic officials who 
had treated the other colonies' inhabitants "as if they were from
a different species" (46). Another witness stated that only Creoles 
were insurgents in the wars of independence, because "the indigenous
population have not properties, neither capital nor talents" and 
therefore is "incapable" of governing themselves (47)

Finally, at the bottom of the social ladder were approximately 
90 per cent of the population, composed mainly of Indians, Mestizos
and whites, with a negro minority. They were slaves, servants, labourers
and a "mass of landless, propertyless, and hobless idlers and vagabonds" (48). 
This huge mass of manual workers, the actual producers of 
colonial wealth, were maintained outside the s~tem of distribution
of its own surplus-labour, and in the fringes of the circulation
of commodities. They were expropriated of the entire surplus-labour 
produced by them, leaving no possibility at all for a domestic market 
to expand.

Thus the colonial social structure consituted a formidable barrier
to any possibility for the emergence of capitalist relations of production 
within the colonial system of production. There was no free 
labour available to enter into a capitalist relation with monetary capital. 
Conversely, enough money capital existed to put manufacturing enterprises 
in motion, but the economic system rendered unprofitable any increase
of production beyond the limits of ruling class capacity for consumption, 
given the restricted domestic market necessary for this particular 
organisation of labour.

It is generally held belief that the bullion extracted from 
Spanish America was almost entirely sent to Spain during the colonial 
times. For instance, Celso Furtado states:

"Taking an extremely schematic view, it can be said that the 
first 150 years of the Spanish presence in the Americas 
were marked by the spectacular economic successes of the Crown and
the Spanish minority that had participated directly in the Conquest, 
by the destruction of a large part of the existing population,
by the worsening of the living conditions of the population
that survived the conquest and, finally, by the impact on vast 
regions of the development of growth poles whose main function
was to produce a surplus in the form of precious metals, which
was transferred to Spain on an almost entirely unilateral basis" (49)

Furtado's assumption,among others, has led many scholars to 
conclude that the lack of development of the forces of production 
in Latin America during the colonial period and beyond was mainly 
caused by the scarcity of money capital. But a closer reading of 
available data shows that it was not true that the precious metals 
were "transferred to Spain on an almost entirely unilateral basis".

In the 157 years from 1503 to 1660 the bullion that remained
in the hands of the colonial ruling class inside Spanish America 
comprised 37,22 per cent of the total - a fantastic amount if we 
consider that the rest of the bullion exported to Spain, both private
and royaL, was an important component part of European merchant capitalist 
development and helped to a great extent to create a basis for the
further emergence of industrial capitalism in the Old World. Moreover
if we consider that on average, colonial imports from the Old World 
accounted in the same period for about twenty-five per cent of the
bullion exported to Spain we can see that the bullion left in the
colonies was sufficient for it to be transformed into money capital, 
entering into a relation with free labour and developing manufactures 
in the New World (50).

Nevertheless, in the first stage of colonization, investment
in anything other than mining enterprises was forbidden by the Crown,
and therefore most of this money was spent in non-productive consumption.
But as long as the colonial system of production was working out
a life of its own, it was not royal prohibition which prevented colonial 
rulers from investing productively.

Moreover, having an almost unlimited source of labour power
from the very beginning, the Spanish colonists had no need to develop 
technology to mine more gold and silver. Pierre Vilar tell us, for 
instance, how in the mining city of Potosi, the bullion left 
in the colonies went into dilapidation:

"The city develooped under the double sign of the scales (for 
trade) and Venus (venal 1ove) ... There were 700-800 criminals,
120 white prostitutes - which is astonishing given the small 
number of Spanish women emigrants to America - 14 gambling houses, 
and 14 dancing halls. A theatre seat cost 50 pesos (more than 
the annual salary of an Indian worker. R.R.) Extravagance was
not just an individual trait, it was often practised collectively; 
in 1556, which was far from being the most prosperous year,
the city spent 8,000,000 pesos to celebrate the accession of 
Philip II. In contrast, it should be noted that investment
in hydraulic works, which, as mentioned above, was considerable, 
reached only 3,000,000 pesos in the following period" (51)

Such extravagance stood in contrast with the requirements of
mines in terms of forced labour: "13,000 - 17,000 mitayos a year",
which "set over 40,000 people moving along the roads to the mines"(52)

Coming back to Furtado's assumption, it is apparent from the 
table in note SO that the bullion going to Spain was not exacted 
at will by the Crown and the Spanish based merchants. Firstly, in 
order to make the mining trade attractive, the Crown was lowering
the taxation upon it, leaving an increasing participation for private 
merchants-entrepreneurs. There was a constant variation of percentages 
in each period under consideration with the tendency to even out
the amount of private bullion going to Spain and the amount remaining
in the New World. Even more, in the period 1566-1620, for about 
one-third of the years in consideration, when more than 65 per cent
of total bullion was produced, the tendency to have the same percentage 
of bullion going to private hands in Spain and remaining in the colonies 
is very clear. On the contrary, when production was at a low level,
or tended to slow down, the percentage of bullion going to Spain
was always very high.

From this data it is possible to assume that there was an internal 
struggle within the ruling class: between the interests of Spanish 
merchant capitalism to have more bullion going from the New World's 
mines to Spanish merchant pockets, and the interests of the Spanish 
ruling class in the colonies to retain this bullion, to cope with
their own needs.

Yet, this struggle didn't give rise to any attempt to question 
the rule of the Crown over the colony.

"In Spanish America there never developed the almost autonomous 
regional loci of political power typical of European feudalism"
 ... "the existence of strong regional sites of political power, 
able to check and at times override the central power of the 
monarchy, is a defining characteristic of feudalism and this 
certainly did not occur in the Spanish dominions in the Indies. 
The Western European phenomenon of the transfer of power from
an aristoractic, feudal periphery to a central monarchy is absent 
from Spanish America where even the most authoritarian local 
colonial governor, captain-general or viceroy was only using
or misusing - a power de1egated directly to him from Madrid and
whose legitimacy was absolutely dependent on the continued and 
explicit support of the metropolis. This power could and often 
was invalidated with the stroke of a pen by the Council of the
Indies in Madrid" ... "This strong centralist tradition was transferred 
to Latin America not only as an attitude and an institutional
habit but also through the complex bureaucratic structures which
from the earliest decades of colonial government was established
in the new territories" ... "crown officials, administrators, 
lawyers, accountants and the like; all members of a rapidly 
expanding and emphatically urban bureaucracy" ... "In the Latin 
America cultural and historical experience there is therefore 
no continued tradition of extralegal and accepted political 
challenge of the centre by the periphery ... " (53)

Of course, this "loyalty" had its roots in something other than 
political factors, or even ideological ones. Its real source lay
in the economic relation the colonial ruling class had with the Spanish 
ruling class as middlemen. Colonial ruling class profits could be
realized only through the relation of dependence with merchant's 
capital in Europe, and this, through the relation of authority with
the Spanish Crown. The economic growth that took place in the colonies 
from the seventeenth century onwards was motivated by the need to 
support this export of commodities to Europe, the centre of power
of merchantts capital. The very position of the colonial ruling
class as middlemen made it a dependent class.

As Vivens states:

"the 18th century was the golden age of latifundia owned by 
native-born colonials. Beginning with the huge accumulations 
of real estate of the preceding century, the proprietors combined
their power over men and things with the favorable turn of agricultural 
prices in the world market and the ever growing demand for colonial 
products by a teeming and prosperous Europe. Those facts explain
the success of colonial agriculture during this period, especially
in the case of products destined for European markets. The
bases of native subsistence continued to be corn and rice, the
banana, manioc flour, and the potato. Each of these crops
expanded outside its original areas during the course of the
18th century ... As for wheat, the grain preferred by the Creole
class, it had considerable success, especially in its expansion 
together with corn, into the pampas. After 1780 wheat began
to establish in the La Plata region, the most brilliant record
of any cereal plant in America" ... "The recovery of economic
momemtum was also shown in the matter of livestock breeding.
Herds increased everywhere in the colonies, but nowhere was
this so evident as in the La Plata region" ... (54)

As this stage the relation of production hacendado-peon was 
already consolidated. Consequently, this economic growth did not 
bring with it a parallel manufacturing growth. Urban crafts continued 
to be the most important aspect of this trade, with some manufacturing 
enterprise such as shipbuilding, totally dependent on steel imported 
from Europe.

Despite the fact that part of this industrial underdevelopment 
was caused by the prohibitions of the Spanish Crown

"the main cause of America's lack of initiative in achieving
a modern industrial structure had its origins in the economic
and mental make-up of the Creole class. We must remember that
the 18th century was the golden age of latifundism in America,
and that profits from the ever-increasing prices of agricultural 
products were channeled into new acquisitions or more extensive 
cultivation of land, or into lucrative commercial ventures. 
Agriculture paid for commerce and commerce stimulated agriculture. 
In this closed circle the role of modern industry was non-existent. 
And so we find the survival of an economy based on artisan industry" (55)

This pattern of growth can be seen in microcosm in Venezuelan
exports to Spain: (56)

            CACAO       COFFEE      INDIGO       COTTON       HIDES
Year      (fanegas)  (quintales)  (quintales)  (quintales)   (units)
1775       58,923           4            87           0       37,058
1792       89,024       1,831         7,792       5,637       51,200

Thus, it was not profitable for the colonial ruling class to 
shift its investments to industrial trade. This was so because, 
firstly, the export-oriented colonial system of production specialized 
in agricultural and mining products, and, secondly, the relation
of production born from the collision in the 16th century was based 
on the compensation of labourer's labour time in kind (land) and not 
in money, leaving approximately ninety per cent of the population 
outside the domestic market, thus making a large scale production 
of commodities unprofitable.

To put it another way, the hacendado-peon relation of production 
was beneficial for the ruling class in keeping the cost of labour
­power as low as possible, in order to maximise profits. However, 
this relation of production promoted a structural backwardness in industrial 
development, since the limited dimensions of the domestic market
were a direct result of the presence of this relation of production. 

Similarly, the social structure formed on the basis of this relation
of production reproduced the systemic pattern inimical to industrial 
development. Hence, the best choice for the colonial ruling class 
appeared to be the promotion of this particular economic development 
dependant on exports of raw materials, foodstuffs and bullion for 
Europe dominated by merchant's capital.

Thus, it was neither a lack or scarcity of money capital, nor
a technological incapacity (technology was available in Europe, anyway) 
which impeded industrial development in colonial Latin America during 
the XVIII century. Even the prohibition by the colonial metropolis
on developing manufacturing in Latin America was a failure, as we
saw above. What actually happened was a development of manufacturing 
within the conditions of the hacendado-peon relations of production. 
Thus, the rationale of the colonial system of production allocated 
resources overwhelmingly to commerce, agriculture and mining, and
this within the limits of a relation of production that provided 
cheap and abundant labour power, along with a monopoly of land and 

This system of production restricted the formation of a significant 
sector of small independent farmers, the availability of free labourers, 
the circulation of money and the appearance of middle sectors capable
of accumulate capital and supplying it productively to free labourers.
In short, this system of production restricted the appearance of capitalist 
relations of production.

Thus the combined effects of Western European merchant's capital 
and the Absolutist State directed the collision between the Western 
European feudal mode of production and Amerindian modes of production 
along a path that resulted in the dissolution of both into a specific 
new mode of production. The social formation that arose from this dominant 
mode of production was characterised by a social structure with a 
monopolistic ruling class dependant on European merchant's capital.

Concerning the internal dynamics of this specific social formation 
we can say, as Simon Collier states, that

"if the hacienda deprived the peon of opportunity, it also deprived 
the landowner of any stimulus to make his estates more efficient
or productive. He had a large labor force permanently at his 
disposition, a labor force moreover, which was easily able to 
fulfill the tasks of the hacienda in an unchanging and inefficient 
manner" ... "His estate was never in real danger of being overwhelmed 
by competition. In fact, most of the pressures were in the
other direction - the direction of consolidation and conservatism. 
The law enabled the landowner to perpetuate his control over
the land and to hand it down to the generations which followed 
him" ... "For most of the colonial period, and well beyond, being
a landowner was regarded as the most clearly desirable condition 
for an upper-class creole. Land became the basis of his social 
prestige as well as of his wealth" (57).

Throughout the XIX century, the period characterised by the 
collision of the Latin American mode of production with the emergent 
capitalist mode of production, the colonial social structure continued 
to reproduce itself, giving this collision a special pattern, as
we will see in the next section. This collision eventually resulted in what 
is conventionally referred to as the state of "underdevelopment" 
in the Latin American continent.


1) "The first great emigration (to Brazil), which occurred after
1580 when the subjection of Portugal by Philip II caused Portuguese
families of the best type to flock to the colony, brought so many
free settlers to the country that from a total population of 57,000
in 1584 the colony grew to 150,000 perhaps even to 200,000, in
1640". Alan K. Manchester, "The Rise of the Brazilian Aristocracy",
Vol. XI, 1931, pp. 145-168.

2) See Gonzalo Anes, "Historia de Espana Alfaguara III. El Antiguo
Regimen: Los Austrias", Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 1974.

3) Gonzalo Anes, op. cit., pp. 436 and 417.

4) C. H. Haring, op. cit., p. 239.

5) J. P. Cole, op. cit., p. 77.

6) Jaime Vicens Vives, op. cit., p. 393.

7) "Moreover, the mineral seemed to be so cheaply produced that he
would exchange it for any product coming from Europe; he therefore
began the process whereby the exchange value of the gold or silver,
that is, of the commodity he produced, was reduced"..."the
Spaniards, according to Chaunu, regarded this labour (Indian
labour) as freely given to them, like air or water"..."the
abundance of silver in mining areas made this coin more common and
lower in value"...Pierre Vilar, "A History of Gold and Money 1450-
1920", NLB, London, 1965, pp. 113-138.

8) J. P. Cole, op. cit., p. 78.

9) Jaime Vicens Vives, op. cit., p. 549.

10) Ibid., p. 549.

11) L. A. Clayton, op. cit., p. 3, and J. Lynch, "Spain Under the
Habsburgs, Spain and America, 1598-1700", Oxford, 1969, p. 225:
"...indeed one Mexican activity, silk rising and manufacturing, was
a victim of Chinese competition, which, combined with Indian labour
shortage and Crown policy, helped to ruin the industry".

12) See Earl J. Hamilton, "American Treasure and the Price
Revolution in Spain, 1501-1650", Cambridge, Mass., 1934.

13) L. A. Clayton, op. cit.

14) Ibid.

15) Simon Collier, op. cit., pp. 184-185.

16) L. A. Clayton, op. cit.

17) Allyn C. Loosley, "The Puerto Bello Fairs", in HISPANIC

18) Ibid., p. 321.

19) A. Rene Barbosa-Ramirez, op. cit., pp. 234-235.

20) For further information on those gold and silver mines in New
Spain, see M. Bargallo, "La Mineria y la Metalurgia en la America
Espanola durante la Epoca Colonial", Fondo de Cultura Economica,
Mexico, 1955.

21) A. Rene Barbosa-Ramirez, op. cit., pp. 207-234.

22) Ibid., p. 225 and pp. 226-227-232-233.

23) We must take into account that it was economically necessary
for the landowners not to cultivate all the land owned, because the
increased production would lower the prices in merchant's
capitalist markets such as theirs. So, the hacendados always
disposed of spare land to ced as compensation to new labourers,
which did not rise neither the cost of production nor the value of

24) An indicator is the wage of Indian labourers in Peru in early
XVII century. They received about 30-35 pesos a year, as compared,
for instance, with "the wages of a striker or sailor: 22-30 pesos
a month". Experts as L. A. Clayton consider that at that time 20 to
50 pesos a month was "adequate". Thence, Indian labourers were
earning only one-twelfth or less than "adequate".

25) Alexander von Humbdolt, "Political Essay on the Kingdom of New
Spain", Vol. III, Imprenta de Nunez, Madrid, 1870.
At the end of the sixteenth century, a contemporary witness told us
how land was bought and sold as a commodity in New Spain, already
with the peonage system at work, and how this trade comprised
manufactories (obrajes) as well:
"-When the landowners sell their land, do they sell the peasants  
with the land?
"-Yes, sir, and the obrajeros (owners of textile factories), the  
farmers and cattleowners and all those who have such haciendas  
sell them with the indians that work in them.
"-How is that? -answered the priest- Those indian labourers or  
servants who work there, are they slaves or free men?
"-Either slaves or free men, they are a property of the hacienda  
and in the hacienda they have to work, and each indian in the  
hacienda of his amo (master)." (Jeronimo de Mendieta, "Historia
Eclesiastica Indiana, 1595-1596", Madrid, 1936)

26) C. H. Haring, op. cit., pp. 196-207.

27) Jacques Lambert, "Latin America. Social Structures and
Political Institutions", Univ. of California Press, 1967, 
pp. 59-60.

28) Gonzalo Anes, op. cit., p. 145.

29) "La republica de los naturales ha declinado de manera que los
encomenderos que hace diez o doce anos tenian cuatro o seis mil
pesos de renta hoy no tienen la mitad, muchos el tercio y a algunos
no les ha quedado nada. Y como ellos eran el fundamento de las
ciudades y lugares donde moraban, porque gastaban en ellas sus
rentas, estan perdidas". Quoted in Gonzalo Anes, op. cit.,
 p. 422.

30) Earl J. Hamilton, "American Treasure and the Price Revolution
in Spain, 1501-1650", Cambridge, Mass., 1934.

31) See Manuel Colmeiro, "Historia de la Economia Politica en
Espana", Taurus Ediciones, Madrid, 1965, Vol. II, p. 1005. Another
indicator is that by 1600, the Spain-New World trade was made
through about one hundred vessels (roughly 25,000 tonnes in total),
and a smaller number of non-Spanish boats.

32) J. Piel, "The Nineteenth-Century Peruvian Peasantry", in PAST

33) Gonzalo Anes, op. cit., chapter "La Economia en las Colonias".

34) Herbert S. Klein, "Hacienda and Free Community in Eighteenth
Century Alto Peru: A demographic Study of the Aymara Population of
the Districts of Chulumani and Pacajes in 1786", in JOURNAL OF
LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES, Vol. 7, pp. 193-220.

Total production (in      Percentage produced  Percentage produc.
cestos. 1 cesto=22pd)     in haciendas-80.4    in ayllu- 19.6

Total population          Percent. of yana-    Percentage of 
(Indian population)       conas in haciendas   Indian living in
29,766                    65%                  ayllu  36%

Average Output per worker (in cestos)
In hacienda       40.9        In ayllu  18.5
35) This table was calculated with data on the encomiendas in New
Spain in the year 1560, in A. Rene Barbosa-Ramirez, "La Estructura
Economica de la Nueva Espana, 1519-1810", Siglo XXI Editores,
Mexico, 1971, p.53, and data on haciendas in Upper Peru, by Herbert
S. Klein, op. cit. in note 34. Klein's tables are as follows:

Number of     Number of     Total number  Total       Average
properties    hacendados    of haciendas  yanacona    population
by hacendado                              population  p/hacienda  
   1            206            206         8,716         42.3
   2             24             48         3,755         78.2
   3             13             39         2,774         71.1
   4              6             24         1,933         80.5
   5              1              5           248         49.6
   6              2             12           919         76.6
   7              1              7           700        100.0
TOTALS          253            341        19,047         55.8

Number of haciendas    Number of Yanaconas  Number of Tributarios
        7                     700                    134
        4                     695                    149
        2                     671                    168
        3                     538                    119
        6                     495                    110
        6                     424                     82
        3                     411                    144
        3                     397                    113
        2                     378                    111
        3                     358                     86
        2                     330                     82
        2                     318                     91
        4                     297                     76
        3                     276                     51
        1                     272                     68
        5                     248                     82
        2                     227                     57
        4                     226                     70
        1                     223                     62
        2                     219                     62
        1                     218                     75
        2                     206                     60
        3                     193                     39
        3                     190                     65
        3                     190                     55

TOTAL  77                   8,700                  2,211
The term "tributario" refers to the indian males between 18 and 50
years old. Roughly speaking, they were the able-bodied men in the
indian communities.
Barbosa-Ramirez's table is as follows:

Annual Value (in pesos)     Number of      Number of Villages
of the tribute              Encomiendas    in the encomiendas

     100-   300                 92                 123
     301-   500                 60                  69
     501-   700                 41                  46
     701-   900                 29                  38
     901- 1,100                 23                  40
   1,101- 1,300                 13                  15
   1,301- 1,500                 18                  29
   1,501- 1,700                  9                  11
   1,701- 1,900                  9                  18
   1,901- 2,100                 11                  22
   2,101- 2,500                  8                  13
   2,501- 3,000                  9                   8
   3,001- 3,500                  5                  12
   3,501- 4,000                  8                   8
   4,001- 5,000                  4                  11
   5,001- 6,000                  1                   1
   6,001- 7,000                  0                   0
   7,001- 8,000                  0                   0
   8,001- 9,000                  1                   1
   9,001-10,000                  0                   0
   + of 10,000                   3                   3

TOTAL                          344                 468

36) Jean Piel, op. cit., pp. 113-114.

37) Herbert S. Klein, op. cit.

38) A. Rene Barbosa-Ramirez, op. cit., p. 126.

39) "Plan Demostrativo de la Poblacion Comprendida en el Recinto de
la Ciudad de Lima", Lima, 5 Dec. 1790. This census was utilized by
Timothy E. Anna in his work "The Peruvian Declaration of
Independence: Freedom by Coercion", published in JOURNAL OF LATIN
AMERICAN STUDIES, Vol. 7, pp. 232-236. The figures and percentages
I use in the following paragraphs were taken from Anna's article.

40) Jaime Vicens Vives, op. cit., p. 389.

41) "...the wealth derived from the hacienda was, for the most
part, put to use well away from the area which had produced it. The
hacendado's local investment was minimal. Even the casa grande, the
big house which stood at the heart of the estate, was less
sumptuous, even in the eighteenth century, than its European
equivalent. The Spanish-American propensity for urban life meant
the massive transfer of hacienda wealth to the cities, where it
underpinned an upper-class style of life modeled on that of Spain.
The...landowner spent relatively little time on his estates; for
many of his peons he must often have been a somewhat remote and
mysterious figure"..."The city had been essential nucleus of
Spanish colonization in America...There is a real sense in which
the Spanish American city can be said to have preceded the Spanish-
American countryside, in time as well as in importance. The
countryside was colonized from the city: the city was in no sense
the result of the countryside...In colonial Spanish-America...the
city stood at the heart of the social order; its municipal
government was in the hands of the landowners themselves; nor
specifically and distinctively urban interests could therefore
crystallize, for there was nothing against which they could measure
or assert their difference". Simon Collier, op. cit., pp. 182 and

42) Jaime Vicens Vives, op. cit., p. 388.

43a) L. A. Clayton, op. cit., p. 19.

44a) "The Fontana Economic History of Europe", Collins/Fontana
Books, London, 1974, Vol. 2, pp. 96-97.

43) Lyle N. McAlister, "Social Structure and Social Change in New
pp. 349-370.

44) Lyle N. McAlister, op. cit., pp. 364-368.

45) Alan K. Manchester, "The Rise of Brazilian Aristocracy", in

46) "El Virrey, el Regente, cada Oidor y el mas minimo de los jefes
de oficinas, tienen con la salvaguardia de V.M. lugar para hacerse
despota, tiranizar al pobre, y tratarlo como si fuese de distinta
especie"..."se tienen por soberanos". From "Propuesta de D. Mariano
Tamarria Para la Designacion de Informantes sobre la Situacion de
America", Lima, 23 April 1816, quoted in "Revolucion y Reaccion
1808-1833", by M. C. Garcia Nieto, S. M. Domezar and L. Lopez
Puerta, Madrid, 1970, pp. 225-226.

47)..."hablando propiamente no hay insurgentes sino entre los
criollos, porque las demas razas son a lo mas auxiliares, algunas
veces enemigos ocultos que se cambian al partido de los realistas,
tan pronto como estos se presentan"..."?que harian los indigenas
que conocen su grande inferioridad respecto a las razas europeas,
y que ademas no tienen ni propiedades, ni capitales, ni talentos
para gobernarse a si mismos?" From "Carta al Senor Abate de Pradt
por un Indigena de America del Sur...", by Jose Dominguez Diaz, in
op. cit., pp. 217-218.

48) Lyle N. McAlister, op. cit., p. 360.

49) Celso Furtado, "Economic Development of Latin America. A Survey
from Colonial Times to the Cuban revolution", C. U. Press, 1970, p.

50) With data given by Earl J. Hamilton ( in "American Treasure and
the Price Revolution in Spain, 1501-1650"), C. H. Haring (in "Trade
and Navigation Between Spain and the Indies in the Time of
Habsburgs"), and Pierre Vilar (in "A History of Gold and Money,
1450-1920", NLB, 1976, London), it is possible to obtain the
following figures on the bullion produced in the New World during
the first 150 years of colonization (in millions of "pesos de
YEARS     ROYAL   %     PRIVATE    %    PRIVATE    %     TOTAL
          SHARE         EXPORT TO       LEFT IN          BULLION
                        SPAIN           S. AMERICA    

1503-10   0.049  25.0     0.095  48.5     0.052  26.5    0.196
1511-15   0.074  25.0     0.145  49.0     0.077  26.0    0.296
1516-20   0.073  22.0     0.146  44.0     0.113  34.0    0.332
1521-25   0.015  22.0     0.031  45.6     0.022  32.4    0.068
1526-30   0.053  22.0     0.135  56.0     0.053  22.0    0.241
1531-35   0.098  22.0     0.226  50.8     0.121  27.2    0.445
1536-40   0.245  20.0     0.547  44.6     0.433  35.4    1.225
1541-45   0.164   -       0.819   -         -     -     (0.983)
1546-50   0.339  20.0     0.770  45.4     0.586  34.6    1.695
1551-55   0.717  20.0     1.230  34.3     1.638  45.7    3.585
1556-60   0.339  18.0     1.286  68.3     0.258  13.7    1.883
1561-65   0.427  18.0     1.829  77.1     0.116   4.9    2.372
1566-70   0.746  18.0     2.068  50.0     1.330  32.0    4.144
1571-75   0.653  18.0     1.767  48.7     1.208  33.3    3.628
1576-80   1.323  18.0     2.089  28.4     3.938  53.6    7.350
1581-85   1.501  18.0     4.352  52.2     2.486  29.8    8.339
1586-90   1.613  18.0     3.176  35.5     4.171  46.5    8.960
1591-95   1.997  18.0     5.034  45.4     4.062  36.6   11.093
1596-00   2.173  16.0     4.718  34.7     6.190  49.3   13.581
1606-10   1.700  16.0     4.551  42.8     4.375  41.2   10.626
1611-15   1.486  16.0     3.432  36.9     4.370  47.1    9.288
1616-20   0.902   -       5.108   -        -       -    (6.010)
1621-25   0.955  15.0     4.450  69.9     0.962  15.1    6.367
1626-30   0.928  15.0     4.061  65.7     1.197  19.3    6.186
1631-35   0.942  15.0     2.468  39.3     2.873  45.7    6.283
1636-40   0.937  15.0     2.339  37.4     2.973  47.6    6.249
1641-45   0.966  15.0     1.817  28.2     3.654  56.8    6.437
1646-50   0.341   -       1.982   -         -     -     (2.323)
1651-55   0.448  15.0     1.011  33.8     1.528  51.2    2.987
1656-60   0.155  15.0     0.516  50.0     0.361  35.0    1.032
TOTAL   118.445         328.895         265.240        712.580
%        16.62           46.16           37.22         100.00
AVERAGE   0.754           2.095           1.689          4.359

51) Pierre Vilar, op. cit., p. 132.

52) Ibid., p. 128.

53) Claudio Veliz (ed.), "An Historical Introduction, In Latin
America and the Caribbean. A Handbook", Anthony Blond Publisher,
London, 1968, p. XX.

54) Jaime Vicens Vivens, op. cit., pp. 544-545.

55) Ibid., p. 548.

56) Jordi Nadal and Gabriel Tortella, "Agricultura, Comercio
Colonial y Crecimiento Economico en la Espana Contemporanea", Ed.
Ariel, Barcelona, 1974.

57) Simon Collier, op. cit., p. 183.

dissertation, London, 1984  pp. 118-156 and