This little book, beautifully presented, deals with studies of New Spain and the peripheries. Three essays are set in the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, and the rest in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Seven represent archival research undertaken for the dissertation; two are written by previously published authors. Power is defined as “making decisions and imposing them on other people” (p. 5). But it is elites that these essays focus on, elites with status, wealth, and honor. Some have power, some do not.

Ethelia Ruiz Medrano studies Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza and his cronies, who sold rights to encomiendas and used Indian slaves in textile factories and sugar refineries. The viceroy was enamored of stock raising, trade, and exploration. In the sixteenth century, he sent out ships destined for Peru and authorized expeditions to explore the Pacific and the southwest of what is...

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