Recent scholarly interest in the role of Spanish American colonial credit stems from the works and debates of the last few decades, which have focused mainly on ecclesiastical sources of credit.1 The newest additions to the study of colonial credit discuss the local effects of mortgage credit, with an emphasis on eighteenth-century Mexican regions.2 From other perspectives come fresh and original interpretations of colonial mercantile and public financial practices.3 Yet despite these valuable insights, the compounded contribution of the various forms of colonial credit—including ecclesiastical as well as public and private instruments—to the Spanish American economies remains largely unexplained and underestimated.4

The role of credit in the Peruvian colony, moreover, has not been researched as extensively as it has in the case of Mexico.5 The regional approach to the subject is nearly nonexistent.6 The important issue of the economic effects of the law of the consolidación de vales reales between 1806 and 1809, analyzed in many works on Mexico, bas hardly attracted attention among Peruvianists.7

This essay addresses the shortcomings in the literature on colonial credit. It describes a colonywide credit system that interacted with the late colonial economy.8 Its main argument is that a dramatic escalation of trade, reform of the public debt, and local creditors’ responses to those challenges contributed to the development of the colonial credit system between approximately 1750 and 1805.

A traditional (pre-Bourbon Reform) credit base, founded on ecclesiastical institutions, the Inquisition, and state-administered Indian trust funds, securely fixed credit obligations in rural and urban properties of low productivity. By the second half of the eighteenth century, however, the credit system entered a reform phase, in which new and enhanced mercantile and public credit mechanisms allowed local funds greater mobility. These credit innovations contributed in turn to market expansion, Bourbon neomercantilist attempts to increase the colony’s production, and the forging of active loyalist support by the colonial creditor elite. The surprising resilience and resources of the reformed credit system aided decisively in the colonial establishment’s protracted and costly defense against in dependence movements. These efforts, however, resulted in devastating financial losses to the local elite by the time independence was finally achieved.

This study will first reassess the commonly accepted views of the supposedly scant or negative effects of credit practices in the colonial economy, with an eye to defining and clarifying key concepts. Then it will analyze the main components of the early, traditional phase of the colonial credit system, up to approximately 1750. A discussion of the tendencies toward change, and the growing intermediary role of merchants and their guild (the Consulado de Lima) between 1750 and the 1770s, follows. An explanation will be offered for the gradual decline and subordination of ecclesiastical sources of credit after 1767 and the concomitant rising importance of the relationship between reformed public debt and mercantile interests after 1777. Finally, this essay will show how the reformed credit system, under viceroy Fernando de Abascal (1806-1815), secured the support of leading members of the Peruvian colonial elite during the struggles for independence between 1810 and 1824, which ultimately led to the credit system’s collapse.

The Importance of Colonial Credit

To consider the combined economic contributions of public, private, and ecclesiastical forms of credit, it is necessary first to explore the original legal and customary definitions of some key credit mechanisms and contrast them with postcolonial interpretations. The general functions of credit in modern economies—that is, the direct or indirect financing of economic activities against future repayment—were present in colonial times, albeit with some differences.

First, it seems from consistent evidence of scant loan repayment that, especially before the eighteenth century, colonial credit was used more for satisfying the consumption and status needs of privileged debtors than for productive accumulation purposes. Second, official theological, legal, and moral codes of the time equated the interest charged by creditors with the sin of usury.9 Beyond public shame, usurers theoretically risked losing the right to the sacraments and Christian burial. Consequently, the flow of funds from lender to borrower and vice versa was considerably reduced by the inherent risks of nonproductive loans and usury penalties (much less enforceable by the late colonial period).10

The gradual expansion of the colonial economy created conditions that fostered the standardization of formal disguises of interest charges on commercial and mortgage credit.11 This interaction between legal and theological prohibitions, on the one hand, and pragmatic adaptations to evade antiusury legislation, on the other, has been overlooked in most studies of colonial credit practices in Spanish America.

Disguising mortgage loans entailed camouflaging interest charges in the form of lease or sale contracts on rural or urban properties. The medieval Spanish censo enfitéutico was a loan-lease contract that stipulated the right of the lender-lessor to receive a rédito (annuity, interest) from the debtor-lessee. In terms of its duration, this censo was generally a lifetime or perpetual loan (censo perpetuo, irredimible).12 Another legally defined long-term censo was the censo reservativo, the sale of a property by credit, a loan-sale that granted an annual fixed income (pensión) in goods or money to the creditor-seller.13 These types of censos, a form of indirect credit, were not uncommon in Spanish America.

A new form of censo, however, became popular in Spain by the sixteenth century as a result of the increasing need to invest the surplus of silver currency from the New World. It was the legally defined censo consignativo, which, because it could be repaid by the debtor, was also generally known as the censo al quitar (or redimible).14 It differed from the loan-lease and loan-sale modalities in that it was generally granted by the creditor as a monetary advance guaranteed by the debtor’s real estate property. The debtor, however, was obliged to pay only an annual rédito. Repayment of the borrowed amount (principal) was left as an option for the debtor.15 Technically, the censo al quitar could perform as a direct mortgage credit operation, the way it was increasingly used in Spanish America.16 Legal analysts of the time considered the censo al quitar similar to the direct loan at interest (mutuo).17 Suspicion that it was a camouflaged form of usury persisted even after its release from usury prohibition by popes Martin V in 1420 and Calixtus III in 1455, and specifically in Spain by King Charles I in 1528.18

The nineteenth-century liberal view of the colonial economy as basically retrogressive has obscured our understanding of how that economy actually worked.19 In this light, colonial credit instruments are seen as encumbrances to production as well as support mechanisms for the idle classes and the clergy. Because silver coins were minted in considerable amounts in Mexico and Peru, moreover, it has been erroneously assumed that credit activities were irrelevant, since hard currency was available and was preferred in local transactions.20 Recent studies, however, have found that currency did not remain sufficiently in circulation, because it was exported to Europe through trade and exacting fiscal measures.21

As early as the sixteenth century, the colonial economies produced for interregional and overseas markets as well as for local and regional con sumption.22 The chronic shortage of capital and means of payment was a serious obstacle for these colonial productive and commercial activities. In Peru, periodic reminting of fractional, debased local coins (moneda macuquina, used to supplement official silver pesos) aggravated the problem.23 In consequence, credit mechanisms, especially those tied to the land, were used to overcome the relative insufficiency of currency supply and to provide local investment alternatives. According to the estimates for this study, Peruvian colonial long-term credit instruments amounted conservatively to 15 million pesos by 1806, representing an equivalent of more than one-third of the total currency in circulation at the time.24 Colonial credit instruments were essential for the working of the colonial economy because—apart from financing philanthropic services such as hospitals and schools—they kept funds from being transferred abroad or removed from properties through inheritance and partial sale.25

Among historians of Spanish America, a recent debate has centered on the nature and evolution of mainly church-held censos sometimes linked to the funding of capellanías (chaplaincies, trust funds endowing ecclesiastics), conventual dowries, and obras pías (pious works, philanthropy or donations to religious cults). The issue involves the distinction between money loans and encumbrance liens, and their relative and changing weight in the colonial economy.26

From the inclusive perspective of this study, considering private and public as well as ecclesiastical forms of credit, two positions can be identified regarding the general economic role of colonial credit instruments. On the one hand are the researchers who emphasize (at least until the mid-eighteenth century, if not later) the burdensome and rentier aspects of censos and other instruments on productive units. Ecclesiastical institutions, as major censo holders, are thus seen more as passive annuitants and consumers of colonial wealth than as active lenders. Heavily charged and indebted haciendas enhanced the danger of crisis in agrarian production, as evidenced by rapid turnover of rural properties. Instead of injecting capital into the productive sector, most censos and their réditos were draining it of capital resources and not encouraging entrepreneurship.27

On the other hand are those who see more positive implications of censo indebtedness when debtors applied repayable censo funds to enhance productivity. If loan repayments (censo redemptions) and property stability are considered as proxies of increased productivity, then it can be assumed that loans were being applied increasingly for productive uses.28 Thus, if ecclesiastical institutions and private lenders were receiving a growing number of redemptions and granting these repaid funds to new debtors, then they were performing as active creditors. This was especially the case at times when market expansion activated commercially oriented agricultural production, as in the regions of Guadalajara and the Bajío in the late eighteenth century.29

Determining the functions of key credit instruments entails practical difficulties, due to often limited historical sources. Despite tedious research, sometimes it is impossible to determine which censo funds were used for productive or consumptive purposes. This leads to confused as sumptions among researchers.

In reality, a wide range of censos acted both as encumbrance liens and direct loans, according to varying legal and economic circumstances. To evaluate their contribution to the colonial economy it is insufficient to consider the legal and customary definitions. It is also necessary to study (a) their concrete adaptations to antiusury limitations; (b) the origin of the funding (imposición), whether through monetary advance or simple donation; (c) the terms of repayment and the duration (perpetual, life, medium- and short-term), and whether the transaction was ever repaid; and (d) the specific uses, productive or nonproductive, to which funds were applied.

The debate on the role of colonial credit should not focus on whether credit instruments resulted in loans or liens. After all, both mechanisms were part of direct and indirect credit activities of the time.30 Instead, the debate should center on whether colonial credit activities contributed in practice, albeit sometimes through complex, archaic means, to the growth of the local economy.

Traditional Components of the Credit System

By 1750, ecclesiastical bodies (mainly convents and monasteries), the Inquisition, and such other institutions as the Caja de Censos de Indios (Indian trust funds) and lay brotherhoods (cofradías) were relying heavily on censos as a source of secure income. These institutions dominated the traditional mortgage credit supply. They functioned as barriers to fund remittances to Europe through trade mechanisms and forced or unreliable royal obligations such as donativos, empréstitos, and juros. These elements formed the traditional base of the local credit system, which harbored considerable weaknesses and was subject to periodic crises.

One such crisis developed after the earthquake that shook Lima and Callao on October 28, 1746. The quake had disastrous effects not only on the physical infrastructure of the viceregal capital and its port but also on the customary practices of colonial credit.31 Debtors found themselves unable to pay réditos of censos imposed on seriously damaged urban and rural properties. As a consequence, creditors (censualistas) and debtors (censuatarios) engaged in bitter legal disputes that exposed the vulnerable foundations of the traditional credit system.32

Soon after the earthquake, Viceroy José Manso de Velasco decreed emergency measures concerning censos at the request of Lima’s attorney general and audiencia—both of which were clearly sympathetic to the debtors’ plight, perhaps out of self-interest. The réditos of censos redimibles were lowered from 5 to 2 percent, those of censos irredimibles were condoned, and debtors were allowed a grace period of two years to pay their creditors. These legal measures were similar to those applied in the rebuilding of the city of Panama after a destructive fire in 1737.

In response, the most important censualistas in Lima, the religious communities and the Holy Office of the Inquisition, called a meeting with the viceroy, which concluded that an injustice had been done in lowering the réditos. Consequently, the viceroy had to appeal to the Council of the Indies in Spain for an ultimate decision on the issue. While the council deliberated, debtors were responsible for rédito payments based only on the undamaged sections of their mortgaged properties, at a reduced rate of 3 percent on redimibles and 2 percent on irredimibles.33

The audiencia’s attorney argued that the censo should be extinguished if the mortgaged property was destroyed; if it was partially damaged, the censo principal should be diminished proportionately. This interpretation was consistent with Spanish medieval legislation.34 He stated, moreover, that the ecclesiastical and inquisitorial tribunals had no jurisdiction on matters of censos because these pertained to the realm of the secular prince.35 The lawyer for the ecclesiastical creditors claimed that the proposed reduction of ecclesiastical censo funds and rents would entail not only the impoverishment of religious orders, pious works, and consequently the quality of religious cult, hut also a shortage of credit that would cause irreparable damage to mayorazgos (entailed properties of notable families) and the secular community in general. Furthermore, he argued that since the intention of ecclesiastical creditors was to seek secure allocation of funds and not to engage in usurious practices, ecclesiastical funds should be protected from natural calamities—implying that customary legislation on censos applied only to private censos and not to ecclesiastical funds.36

According to estimates quoted in this dispute, approximately 50 percent of the viceroyalty’s total rural and urban censos at the time belonged to ecclesiastical institutions. Most of these censos appear to have been repayable direct loans, even as early as the seventeenth century in Lima. Local monasteries and convents, such as the wealthy ones of Santa Rosa, En carnación, Concepción, and Nazarenas, held censo rights mainly against nearby haciendas.37 In Cuzco the convents and monasteries of Santa Catalina, Santa Clara, and San Agustín were also the most conspicuous ecclesiastical creditors of surrounding rural estates. Likewise, in Arequipa, the convent of Santa Catalina and the order of the Mercedarians had been major creditors to the regional elite of landowners since the late sixteenth century.38

By the first half of the eighteenth century, the major debtors continued to be mainly hacendados and aristocrats. In 1731, for example, Fernando de la Fuente, marquis of San Miguel, petitioned the procurador of the Jesuit college in Cuzco for a loan at 4 percent (25 mil el miliar) rédito to repay several censos of up to 61,000 pesos charged against his hacienda and vineyard, La Floresta, in Pisco (central coastal region) at a higher, 5 percent rédito.39 The loan was granted.

Of a total of 587,679 pesos in censos that pertained to the Jesuits, according to the official (Temporalidades) accounting in 1769, 76 percent was charged to 15 rural estates (among them Fuente’s property), of which 5 were cane-producing haciendas and 3 were vineyards mainly in the coastal areas (see table 1).40 It would appear that before 1730, Jesuit colleges did not rely as much on lending through censos as other religious orders. However, with improved economic conditions in the viceroyalty (except for the northern coast) some Jesuit colleges, especially in the central coastal region, diversified and became net creditors and lien rent recipients through lending, accrued donations, and the purchase and sale of rural estates.41

In 1739 the Martinete mill owed a censo of 4,000 pesos to the Santa Clara monastery. Likewise, debtor Alonso Huidobro replaced previous censos on his chacra with a loan of 15,000 pesos at 4 percent granted by the Santa Rosa monastery, according to the accounts of the Archidiocese of Lima.42 Evidence on the number of capellanía fundings also points to their concentration in coastal properties. Only 11 percent of these fundings, many in the form of direct monetary transfers, were in highland regions.43

Another important traditional creditor was the Holy Office of the In quisition. At the time of its suppression in 1813 the Inquisition of Lima had approximately 1.5 million pesos in censos on properties and fiscal rents producing about 70,000 pesos of annual rent.44 The Inquisition’s censo funds dated back to the initial accumulation of inquisitorial wealth resulting from the expropriation (secuestro) of Portuguese New Christians in the first half of the seventeenth century. The proceeds of these appropriations, disputed initially by Lima’s viceroys, were securely placed by Inquisition officers mainly on urban properties in order to consolidate the once precarious financial position of the Holy Office.45

Like other traditional creditors, the Inquisition was approached mainly by notable loan applicants, such as hacendados and mayorazgo holders, rather than by merchants. Nevertheless, the Consulado of Lima had an outstanding censo of ten thousand pesos with the Inquisition in 1813. Also, despite prohibitions, at least one Inquisition official engaged in making insured mutuo loans to unsuccessful merchants in 1739. The ensuing liquidation trial led, in 1748, to the clash of jurisdictions between the Inquisition and the Consulado and Audiencia of Lima.46

Debtors used censo loans obtained from traditional creditors mostly to repay previous debts or to repair properties, rather than to engage in trade or other profitable activities. The conde de las Torres, for example, petitioned both the Inquisition and the Caja de Censos de Indios to raise 40,000 pesos “a censo” on his mayorazgo properties with the intention of repairing damage from the 1746 earthquake.47Traditional credit adapted well to the needs of slow, vegetative economic growth.

The customary practice of lending at indefinite terms and low interest led to serious consequences for the Caja de Censos de Indios, a rarely studied credit institution. These censo funds and their réditos, nominally belonging to several Indian communities, were intended to help the Indians pay their tributes during times of hardship, as well as to preserve the Christian cult among the Indians and to support sundry expenses.48 The administrators of these funds, however, were not themselves Indians but state-appointed peninsular or creole officials who assumed the role of guardians, because Indians were legally considered minors. The Indian censos originated in the restitution of illegal appropriations, the sale of Indian lands, and informal loans imposed by the Spaniards in the first decades after the conquest. All these proceeds formed the Indian community funds (cajas de comunidades indígenas), introduced by viceroy Marqués de Cañete and reformed by viceroy Francisco de Toledo in the sixteenth century.49

Since 1588, individual Indian community funds had been integrated into general administrative units known as the cajas generales de censos in the audiencias of Lima, Cuzco, and Charcas. Soon a pattern of abuse and neglect by administrators and debtors undermined the cajas’ financial strength. The tendency started with the Royal Treasury’s traditional practice of enforcing loans on the cajas through censos, donations, and other mechanisms. In 1611 the Royal Treasury owed at least 114,625 pesos on these accounts.50 This study was able to obtain information on 73 censo fundings (imposiciones) between 1757 and 1781 belonging to the Caja General de Censos of Lima for a total of approximately one million pesos. The results of this research are shown in table 1.

Following the trend detected among ecclesiastical creditors, the caja’s censos were placed mainly on haciendas (51 percent of total funds). The estates were in various regions of the viceroyalty but mainly in the central coastal region. Some mortgaged properties, however, were situated as far away as Moquegua, Arica, and Trujillo. The Royal Treasury was the second most important debtor, with 220,428 pesos or 21 percent of total censo debts. Loans to urban properties followed with 14 percent, and loans to individual merchants and bureaucrats constituted 7.5 and 6.5 percent, respectively.51 Most of the caja’s censos were repayable but seldom were repaid. These were “soft” loans, with rédito charges that could be neglected or reduced with impunity, unlike the loans and réditos of ecclesiastical institutions and the Inquisition, which could often press their debtors more effectively for punctual payment.

The cajas’ debtors, mainly peninsular and creole landowners, benefited from an appalling neglect in the censo accounting records. Debtors also counted on the support of audiencia judges and caja administrators. By the end of the seventeenth century the cajas’ official jobs were even being sold to bidders, although this practice was later discontinued by order from Spain.

Despite local creditor hostility, the peninsular attorney don Diego de Holgado y Guzmán, in charge of supervising the caja of Lima in 1761, reported to the Council of the Indies on the irregularities and abuses in the administration of the Indian funds. The Royal Treasury of Lima owed the caja the considerable amount of almost 2 million pesos through overdue réditos (1.26 million pesos) and loans granted since 1626. This huge debt meant that the caja’s aid to Indians had been minimal. Many known debtors were simply not approached by inept and unwilling collectors. Accounting and legal instruments were missing altogether. Finally, many censuatarios had asked for and obtained reductions, pardons, and significant delays in rédito collection.52

Manuel Govena, oidor, judge of the caja of Lima in 1763, found that the réditos of approximately 857,953 pesos in censos were no longer being collected. This amount was almost double that of the active censos (458,357 pesos), the réditos of which only added up to 18,878 pesos. From this resulting income, 6,725 pesos went to pay salaries to officers, priests, and local judges (corregidores), and other costs (the Hospital de Bethlemitas, the Jesuit school for caciques’ children, and so on). Only the remaining 12,153 pesos were applied to the actual aid of Indians as ordered by law.53

According to the Council of the Indies, the audiencias of both Lima and Charcas granted the debtors of their respective cajas excessive reductions of up to one-half or two-thirds of their loans and réditos. The legal basis for these reductions came from a slanted interpretation of the royal decrees of 1700 and 1737, which limited the granting of reductions to cases in which the mortgaged property had deteriorated. Judge Govena noted that it was extremely rare for debtors to file suit for reductions except against the cajas de censos; this, he said, was because debtors were powerful and Indian creditors miserable. Major debtors at the time included notable proprietors, such as Juan Sancho Dávila (also a debtor to the Inquisition, to which he dared not petition for a reduction) and Lorenzo de Zárate.54 Not surprisingly, even Lima’s cabildo (city council) was a consistently delinquent and abusive debtor of the caja.55

The neglect and abuse of Indian funds was not limited to Lima. Starting in 1776, the Indian funds of Charcas were administered by the caja de censos of the Audiencia of La Plata. Accounts were missing and in disorder.56 Following a familiar pattern, the Royal Treasury was heavily Indebted to the caja. From a total of 788,930 pesos owed to the caja in 1776, approximately 51 percent was loans and pensions owed by the Real Hacienda, and 49 percent corresponded to imposiciones owed by the Cabildo of La Plata and other debtors in the town of Potosí and other districts of Charcas. These debts carried réditos that fluctuated between 3 and 5 percent and nominally pertained to 42 Indian communities of Charcas.57

Likewise, the Caja de Censos of Cuzco had been almost totally abandoned during the 1780s. The caja’s officers had illegally appropriated its assets in the midst of the region’s social instability during those years. Only in 1790 did the caja of Cuzco begin to reorganize by initiating 33 lawsuits for payments by delinquent debtors. By 1792 the income of réditos was a meager 1,052 pesos annually, and principal funds amounted to only 21,000 pesos.58

The few studies on the cajas de censos agree in dating their financial decline to the middle of the eighteenth century, although in Cuzco a brief recovery took place between 1795 and 1808. The three major cajas disappeared with the advent of independence from Spain, thereby completing the exhaustion of official Indian funds initiated in colonial times.59

Up to 1777, the state’s role as chronically delinquent debtor helped to reinforce the traditional elements of the colonial credit system. Since the sixteenth century, the Royal Treasury had met urgent financial needs through instruments such as juros (annual pensions funded by individuals and guaranteed by a specific fiscal revenue), censos placed on fiscal revenues, empréstitos forzosos (forced loans), and donativos (donations) imposed on the traditional creditors discussed earlier, as well as on merchants.60 In Spain and its colonies, juros and censos provided a promised, secure allocation that bestowed honor and satisfied traditional rentiercreditors.61 The state’s customary practice of delaying indefinitely the repayment of its debts thus transformed the Real Hacienda’s juros and censos into long-term encumbrances.

In the colonies the donativos and empréstitos, as well as the juros, became means of collecting needed revenue. In the Viceroyalty of Peru in 1592 the donativos and empréstitos, mechanisms of emergency public financing, accounted for up to two million pesos, an amount equivalent to 40 percent of the silver coined in Lima and Potosí that year. Likewise, by 1670 Lima’s consulado of merchants had granted approximately six million pesos in donativos and empréstitos earmarked for the defense of the viceroyalty.62 By the mid-seventeenth century these practices were helping to forestall conflicts between royal officials and the local elite at a time of frustrated fiscal (arbitrista) reform attempts. The merchants ostensibly accepted the recourse of these emergency loans as a means of avoiding an increase in fixed taxation.63 By the eighteenth century, the merchants’ increasing role in enhanced trade and public emergency financing, along with the official reforms of the customary public debt, had transformed the traditional colonial credit system.

Tendencies Toward Change

The instruments of mercantile credit, such as the insured loan (escritura de riesgo), allowed the merchants increased liquidity. Under such circumstances, the merchants’ guild was in a privileged position to become the main intermediary between ultimate lenders to the state and the state itself With new measures regarding the public debt introduced in the mid-eighteenth century, traditional creditors were growing wary of lending directly to the state through juros and censos. They preferred to have the consulado act as a go-between. The consulado proved to be a relatively effective negotiator in achieving more adequate servicing of the public debt.

Even before the war with England of 1739–41—which itself brought important changes in customary commercial and credit practices—the Consulado of Lima had been granted the right to collect special taxes on the silver, gold, and merchandise carried by periodic convoys (armadas), so as to guarantee the payment of interest on emergency loans and donativos to the state. In 1726 the new avería tax was established, charging 2 percent on silver and merchandise and 0.5 percent on gold.64 At the time, the public debt owed to the consulado amounted to four hundred thousand pesos. In 1730 the avería was increased to 3 and 0.75 percent, respectively; in 1737 it was reduced to 1.5 and 0.48 percent; and in 1745 it was back to 2 and 0.5 percent. In that year an additional tax, the derrama, was also collected by the consulado to repay loans with interest raised among Lima’s vecinos to meet the state’s increasing defense costs.65

According to a complaint to the Council of the Indies by the abbess of the convent Recoletas Agustinas in 1747, the defense costs of the war with England were “afforded by the viceroyalty’s inhabitants by paying the new tax imposed over the whole kingdom; not a single peso was spent by the Real Hacienda.”66 Therefore, the abbess argued, the expense of the war was not a valid reason for the viceroy, Manso de Velasco, to attempt to reduce from 5 to 2 percent the réditos of old censos and juros charged to the Royal Treasury.

In 1748, however, the crown decreed that the réditos of juros and censos levying the royal treasuries of the empire should be reduced from 5 to 3 percent; this was one of the first Bourbon attempts to restructure the traditional public debt. The measure was applied in Peru in 1755.67 It was an attempt to reduce customary charges on the Royal Treasury and thereby diminish the influence of traditional aristocratic and ecclesiastical creditors on fiscal matters. The reduction had negative effects on the ecclesiastical creditors. The convent of Santa Clara, for example, had a sizable investment in juros: up to 104,530 pesos, dating back to 1641-48.68 Consequently, such traditional creditors’ confidence in lending directly to the state declined as their reliance on the consulado’s mediation increased.

In 1758 the new debt owed to the consulado (and thereby also to the consulado’s traditional creditors) had been reduced to 294,248 pesos. Viceroy Manso de Velasco, heeding official encouragement from Madrid, thought it an opportune moment to extinguish the avería and derrama taxes. His announced intention provoked strong opposition from consulado officials, who argued that the viceroy had neither a valid reason nor the authority to terminate such taxes. They enumerated the many loans, donativos, and expenses incurred by the consulado at the service of the Royal Treasury since 1727. The consulado demanded that the taxes be continued, adding that the vecinos of Lima who had lent to the consulado were crucially interested in the issue. Nevertheless, the chief attorney of the Council of the Indies in Madrid decided “for the time being” in favor of the viceroy’s measures.69

The largest item in the aggregate debt owed to the consulado in 1759 was the amount of one hundred thousand pesos (plus another hundred thousand pesos of interest in arrears for 20 years), originally owed to 168 merchants from Peru who traded at the Portobelo fair in 1739. The royal officials of Panama, in dire financial need after the English attack that year, had raised this large amount as an enforced loan from the merchants arriving from Peru. Viceroy Manso de Velasco argued that the original hundred thousand pesos were not the property of these merchants because “the subjects who went to Panama with funds in the armada [of 1739] were not owners of what they carried with them, or else had very little of their own, because it was clear to everyone that the funds of the armadas . . . were legalized risks [riesgos escriturados] that belonged to people of different sexes and conditions [in Lima].”70 According to the viceroy, this type of mercantile loan, the escritura de riesgo, a version of a direct loan (mutuo), was difficult to condemn as illicit or usurious trade “because this type of contract is generally practiced in this kingdom by all kinds of people,” and thus it was necessary to grant a “dispensation that is tolerated and dissimulated.”71

It was estimated that the funds thus lent to the 168 merchants belonged to at least two thousand persons and institutions in Peru, most of which could not intervene directly in trade matters because of legal and canonical regulations. This larger number of people lost their investment. The viceroy ordered that neither this debt nor the interest claimed by the consulado should be repaid, deeming it to be a donativo and not an empréstito. The aggregate debt to the consulado was thereby reduced to only 94,248 pesos.

Financing the growing maritime trading activities involved new complexities in the credit system. The commercial credit mechanisms of the monopoly convoy system until its demise in 1739 worked as follows. In preparation for the departure of the Pacific fleet (organized in Lima to carry Peruvian silver to purchase European goods at the fair of Portobelo), lenders and merchants (cargadores) signed numerous contracts (a mutuo, escrituras de riesgo) to finance commercial ventures. Even traditional ecclesiastical creditors participated in this activity. The interest rate provided by commercial loans was considerably higher relative to other types of loans, such as the censos and juros. The expectation of higher gains enticed creditors to lend to merchants. In this way the merchants had access to silver on loan, which they would repay later with proceeds from the sale in Peru of the merchandise brought from Panama.

Spanish legislation allowed and regulated the use of the escritura de riesgo de mar, which made possible the funding of merchants at the risk of the lender. This contract combined the characteristics of credit and insurance instruments. The escritura de riesgo had existed before, but was legally perfected in the eighteenth century. In 1768 a royal order was enacted approving the 1760 regulations regarding escrituras de riesgos sanctioned by the Junta de Comercio of Cádiz.

According to the Consulado of Cádiz, the escritura de riesgo consisted in “one person providing money to another with a premium [premio]; the former is responsible for all the risks and contingencies at sea and other unfortunate events, so that if there is a calamity, the latter is exempt from responsibility or, conversely, [if there is no problem during the voyage] the former gains the previously agreed principal amount plus the premium.”72 The risks in these contracts applied from the seaside where the merchandise embarked to the port in the Indies where it was unloaded.73 The risk was defined as that of “sea, wind, land, fire, friends, enemies, and other unfortunate maritime events.”74

The escrituras de riesgo could be contracted for one way only, return only, or both ways (also known as “two risks”). These contracts were first drawn and signed privately before specialized notaries; subsequently they were registered officially at the consulado before departure. In Cádiz in the 1760s, the notary who legalized most contracts involving trade with Peru was Mathías Rodríguez.

The format of these escrituras was basically standard. The information they provided included the names of the two parties, the amount of the loan, the type and distinguishing marks of the merchandise being transported, and the term and place of cancellation of the loan. The interest or premium charged was customarily not included in the original contract or in the consulado register.75 Sometimes the document contained a vague reference to the current market premium, as well as legal clauses releasing the creditor from proving that the interest charged was not usurious.76

It is therefore difficult to follow the fluctuation over the years of the interest charged by the escrituras de riesgo. Using trial records, however, it is possible to determine that during the mid-eighteenth century (except during years of war), the interest rate for escrituras de riesgo declined as trade activities rose. The premio de mar climbed to 130 percent in 1739, a war year; in two peaceful years, 1751 and 1765, the interest was quoted, respectively, at 65 percent and 30 percent. In 1773 and in 1783 it declined to 16 percent, and in 1790 it reached only 12 percent.77 The decline in the interest rate for interoceanic commercial credit facilitated the increase in the supply of European merchandise in Peru. This caused an oversupply of goods in the limited local market, which triggered the protest from the merchants of the Consulado of Lima.

The easier access to commercial credit and the significant growth of trade in the second half of the eighteenth century produced considerable changes in the colonial credit system.78 Since early in the century the increased commercial competition had threatened the profit share of Lima merchants. Competition came from contraband and from merchants in Cádiz acting as agents of foreign firms. Following the dismantling of the armada system in 1739, trade patterns shifted, as interoceanic trade was diverted from the Panamanian isthmus to Cape Horn. Thus, even before the Bourbon reform of free trade (1778), the merchants of Lima were seeking new ways of adapting to the challenge.

According to modern specialists, trade in imported goods increased considerably between 1750 and 1780 in the Peruvian viceroyalty. Some argue that consumption of these goods by the urban population and, secondarily, the legalization of the forced sale of merchandise (repartimientos) were the most important consequences of the introduction of the new system of individual shipments (registros sueltos) that replaced the armada system. Others believe that the repartimientos were especially instrumental in mercantile penetration among the rural Andean population.79 Corregidores and Lima merchants established a network in which the sale of imported merchandise on credit allowed an expansion of the Peruvian market, albeit with substantial social costs and the disruption of traditional rural labor and trade patterns. This disruption helped to heighten tensions with the Indian population, leading to the Tupac Amaru rebellion in 1780.80

Commercial interests in Cádiz and Lima financed the corregidores’ mercantile search for quick profits. In 1773, for example, Pedro Pablo Pomar, en route to assume his post as corregidor of Huaylas province, was granted a riesgo loan in Cádiz for 10,841 pesos at 16 percent interest (included as part of the loaned amount) nominally by the Spanish merchant Juan Manuel Sarria of Cádiz, with the guarantee of the French firm Durand Cristein y Cía. Pomar was supposed to repay the loan to Sarria’s relatives and correspondents in Lima only six months after his arrival.81

Cádiz and Lima mercantile interests, however, had acute differences that led to growing demands from Lima for fair treatment and enforcement of regulations.82 One of the most intense and, paradoxically, least-known matters of dispute at the time involved the rules of commercial credit. Through its delegate in Madrid, Joseph Azofra, the Consulado of Lima petitioned the Council of the Indies in 1777 for the enforcement of earlier royal decrees (of 1749 and 1769) that allowed Lima merchants to send their own funds to Spain to buy merchandise through their trusted agents and not through the lenders and agents of Cádiz. According to Azofra, since 1729 a virtual monopoly over merchandise consignments to Peru had been conspicuous in Cádiz, traceable to the requirements imposed by the Consulado of Cádiz on merchants dealing with Peru. Moreover, argued Azofra, it was obvious that in matters relating to this monopoly the Consulado of Cádiz favored the interests of foreign firms of dubious standing over those of merchants from Peru.83

Foreigners were legally forbidden to contract escrituras de riesgo or to appear in the official register of consulados, in accordance with the Laws of the Indies (book 1, title 27, law 30). The Consulado of Lima used such legal prohibitions as shields to defend its own interests. What is more, some important merchants in Peru thereby avoided repaying their debts to foreign firms.84 Another of the consulado’s demands was that peninsular merchants not be allowed to sell merchandise in the interior provinces of Peru. In 1770 peninsular traders had been granted permission to engage in such trade, thereby lowering the prices of goods and causing profitless competition and intolerable local bankruptcies.

In 1774 the consulado demanded that vessels of registro suelto traveling through Cape Horn should be limited to only two trips of six hundred or seven hundred tons’ capacity each per year. The excessive number of vessels in recent years, up to six per year, had forced local merchants to sell merchandise at lower prices and low-interest-yielding credit to little-known agents, thereby increasing their risk of bankruptcy. In consequence, the consulado argued that lower interest rates on commercial credit diminished the merchants’ profits and contributed to the decline of trade.85

Even though the merchants of Lima pressed for official intervention, the merchants of Cádiz and their foreign partners continued to dominate interoceanic trade. This is shown by the lawsuit that resulted from the partial damages suffered at sea by the vessel La Limeña and the merchandise it transported to Lima in 1783. Twenty cargadores of Lima had signed escrituras de riesgo with 40 lenders of Cádiz, among whom were listed Juan Manuel Sarria and Matías Landaburu. Thanks to a favorable legal interpretation in the Spanish courts of how the insurance coverage of the escritura de riesgo was to be applied, in the case of partially damaged merchandise, the Cádiz lenders prevailed in their petition to share the losses with the debtors.86

The best way for the merchants of Peru to assure royal support for their demands and counteract peninsular competitors was to provide loans to the Royal Treasury and guarantee their repayment. In this way the Consulado of Lima was behaving much like the Cádiz merchants, the Cinco Gremios Mayores de Madrid, and the companies of Caracas and La Habana.87 The complex negotiations between the consulado and merchants of Lima and the Royal Treasury took place amid the advent of the Bourbon reforms and their implications for the financial and credit spheres.

The Reformed Credit System

The Bourbon imperial reforms of the second half of the eighteenth century evolved intellectually from policies and initiatives against contraband, and neomercantilist and physiocratic assumptions (proyectismo) that had held influence since early in the century.88 In Peru the reforms were targeted mainly at increasing fiscal revenues and taxation; expanding production (especially mining) and markets; and centralizing political control for the benefit of the metropolitan economy.89 New legislation on public debt, disamortization, credit, and imperial administration was considered the means to achieve these Bourbon goals. The new measures in turn provoked particular local responses that had important consequences for the colonial credit system.

One of the priorities of the Bourbon reforms in Peru was to promote mining production and establish tighter fiscal controls over it. By the second half of the eighteenth century, mining was considered a risky activity for long-term lending. According to the contemporary view, Peruvian miners’ bad reputation as debtors was due to the higher costs of operation, more expensive repairs, and lower productivity than in Mexican mining. Whereas in Mexico merchants granted credit in large amounts and were undaunted by occasional failures by miners, in Peru the creditor (habilitador, aviador, or rescatador) advanced money in smaller amounts and expected an almost immediate return of the investment in silver.90 Merchants thereby avoided granting long-term credit to miners. Traveling merchants and aviadores, as agents of wealthier merchants, opted for granting more expensive short-term credit to miners for their purchase of merchandise and mercury.91 Traditional creditors, except for the Inquisition in 1793, seldom lent to miners, as evidenced by ecclesiastical records.92

Miners apparently obtained the necessary investment capital either through their own family networks, self-finance, the state’s subsidies and protection, or other miners. The most successful habilitadores were miners themselves who often combined the roles of commercial provider and local military authority.93 Under the Bourbon reforms, however, the official bancos de avío y rescate were introduced to promote the financing of miners through collaboration between the mining guild and the state.

In 1787 the state granted miners the right to associate as a guild by sanctioning the creation of the Tribunal de Minería. Its avowed intention was to impose limits on the merchants’ speculation with the price of silver and the supply of mercury to the mines. By 1790, however, the state had taken control of the administration of the Tribunal de Minería and its revenues proceeding from the new tax, the real en marco. The state also dictated the tribunal’s expenditures and designated appointees to the posts of mining deputies.94

Under the tribunal’s administration the bancos de avío y rescate subsequently strove to finance—with the tribunal’s own and outside funds—the direct purchase of silver from miners, as well as collective projects (such as draining shafts, socavones de desagüe), technology imports, and a German scientific expedition. Some doubts persist about the overall achievement of the Bourbon intervention in mining production.95 But recent studies have demonstrated that mining production increased substantially in the late eighteenth century and had only started to slow by 1800.96

The state also pursued its reformist intervention in two other important and related spheres of colonial credit: ecclesiastical funds and the public debt. Regarding ecclesiastical funding and credit practices, the three relevant measures were the expulsion and expropriation of the Jesuit order in 1767, the consolidación de vales reales between 1806 and 1809, and the suppression of the Inquisition in 1813–15. Bourbon reforms of the public debt completed the transformation of the credit system. The most important measures in this regard were the Consulado of Lima’s administration of newly created public debt through imposiciones, beginning in 1777, and the emergency loan policies of Viceroy Fernando de Abascal (1806–15).

The expulsion of the Jesuit order and confiscation of its assets was carried out mainly for reasons of state, but it brought significant economic and financial consequences for the Peruvian viceroyalty. The most important assets expropriated were rural estates and censo funds that came under the administration of the ad hoc official agency, Temporalidades, in 1767. The agency’s role was to raise revenues for the state from the sale of Jesuit properties to private bidders. Sizable properties were sold on credit at 3 percent interest, mostly between 1770 and 1781, at terms ranging from 3 to 50 years. Properties were sold, on average, at 80 percent of their value. Failure to pay caused the repossession and subsequent resale of approximately 10 percent of properties valued at less than 100,000 pesos and 31 percent of those valued at more than that amount.97 The total revenue garnered in this way by the Royal Treasury amounted to 4.5 million pesos, of which approximately one-third consisted of censos (531,254 pesos) and capellanías (1 million pesos).98

The Temporalidades funds proved very helpful even after independence; the independent state inherited these funds (together with the funds of the Caja General de Censos and the abolished Inquisition).99 Between 1785 and 1816 approximately 900,000 pesos of the Temporalidades funds were spent in the agency’s administration.100 By 1822 those funds had been reduced to 2.6 million pesos.

Among the 46 private buyers of Jesuit properties (31 creoles and 15 peninsulars), approximately 80 percent have been identified as engaged in commercial activities.101 Ultimately the acquisition of Jesuit properties by private merchants and landowners helped to diversify and reinforce interregional trade of Peruvian sugar with Chilean wheat and Guayaquil timber, vessels, and cacao102.

Temporalidades was also in charge of the accounting of former Jesuit censos and the collection of their réditos. After the expropriation, debtors did not have to redeem censos automatically. Moreover, the sale, on credit, of former Jesuit properties increased the supply of credit for local merchants and landowners. In the long run, however, the funds on credit formerly granted by the Jesuits were not replenished by Temporalidades once they were repaid or extinguished. Therefore, ecclesiastical sources of credit started to diminish with the expulsion of the Jesuits.

Whereas the expropriation of Jesuit properties by the Bourbon state might have temporarily enhanced the colonial credit supply, the amortization of censos and obras pías that resulted from the law of consolidación de vales reales clearly curtailed credit and further reduced ecclesiastical credit sources. Issued on December 26, 1804, the law of consolidation—drafted according to the principles of Manuel Godoy, the minister of Carlos IV—ordered that funds from censos of obras pías were to be paid by loan and lien debtors directly to the state, rather than to ecclesiastical institutions. The intent of this law was to fund, or consolidate, the declining value of the vales reales, interest-bearing notes issued by Spain’s first central bank (the Banco Nacional de San Carlos, created in 1782) in circumstances of war against England, the Spanish Empire’s third in a decade.103

Funds raised mainly through the alienation of real estate tied to charitable fundings in Spain since 1798 had not been enough to sustain the face value of the vales. Consequently, juntas superiores de consolidación were formed in the Spanish colonies in November 1805. The implementation of the consolidation measure, also known as the amortization (of censos of obras pías), in the Spanish colonies differed dramatically from disentailment measures in Spain because it involved lien and loan mechanisms rather than real estate.104 Implemented in Peru in 1806, the amortization, as it had in Mexico, not only affected the ecclesiastical creditors but also upset their traditional direct and indirect credit links to local landowners, mayorazgo holders, urban owners, and debtors in general.105

Lima’s cabildo became one of the most resolute enemies of the amortization. Cabildo members felt insulted and outraged by powerful and “protected ” parties who obtained salaries and privileges resulting from the execution of the law. Such was the uproar that threats circulated to call a cabildo abierto, a radical meeting, to oppose the measure. The notable vecinos of Lima were not alone; opposition to the consolidation law in the colonies was so widespread that the measure was suspended in November 1808.

The procurador general, Manuel Agustín de la Torre, listed the inconveniences of the amortization (mockingly referred to as the “mortification”) in a legal representation addressed to the king on behalf of the cabildo. In the first place, the Royal Treasury would be burdened by new encumbrances it would not be able to honor. This would cause the treasury to lose its credit standing and ability to raise loans and censos to cover its urgent needs. Second, by monopolizing the funds of pious works, the Royal Treasury would curtail the means of credit that viceregal subjects used to facilitate renovations, repairs, remodeling, and habilitación of rural properties. Third, the cabildo and other institutions would not be able to raise money for their needs or to provide donativos to the state; they would be forced to take loans with réditos as high as 6 percent instead of the customary 3 or 4 percent. Likewise, landowners, “the most powerful body” in the viceroyalty, would have to take loans with higher premiums at the cost of their wealth and status. Moreover, the state had already begun to sell properties belonging to pious works and religious communities at prices below their real value. This could only benefit wealthy buyers, such as successful merchants.106

The chief lieutenant of the cabildo added his voice of warning and protest. He cited the grave consequences that would result from Viceroy Abascal’s order to the junta superior de consolidación to remit to Spain the proceeds from amortizations of the censos of pious works. The scant number of coins (numerario) in circulation would shrink and, as a consequence, “there would be no trade or agriculture, nor would miners have means to work the mines.”107

The deputy in charge of the junta superior de consolidación, the peninsular Gaspar Rico, also participated in the debate, but in defense of the amortization. Rico minimized the claim that the amortization would have a negative impact on the circulation of coins. He estimated that the sum extracted from the viceroyalty would be only one million pesos over a period of three years. This was a petty amount, he asserted, compared to 40 million pesos in local circulation and 5 million pesos (officially 4.5 million for 1806) minted annually in Lima.108 These figures did not reflect the overwhelming export of silver currency to Europe.

In practice, between early 1806 and November 1808 Peru’s junta de consolidación was able to collect 1,487,093 pesos by auctioning properties and amortizing censos pertaining to pious works. Of this amount, 1,291,187 pesos were shipped to Spain, 62,202 pesos paid in salaries, 63,920 pesos paid for réditos, and 59,783 remained in Lima’s treasury.109 The junta’s actions were thus effective in pressing debtors to repay censos mainly in Lima, Cuzco, and Arequipa. These actions had the full support of Viceroy Abascal.110

In Mexico the total collected by the consolidación was 11.1 million pesos, or 1.8 pesos per capita, whereas in Peru the corresponding figures were approximately 1.5 million pesos in total and 1.3 pesos per capita. These amounts were critical more for their local financial significance than for their magnitude. The total of funds collected in Peru was more modest, constituting 72 percent of the per capita figure for Mexico.111 In consequence, the consolidación affected the credit system in Peru somewhat less than did its counterpart in Mexico.

The abolition of the Inquisition capped the state’s assault on traditional creditors. The Cortes of Cádiz issued a decree on February 22, 1813, declaring that the suppression of the Inquisition entailed the absorption of its properties and censo funds by the Royal Treasury. Beginning July 30, 1813, the official occupation and expropriation of the Inquisition properties and assets were carried out as mobs sacked the unpopular institution’s main building and its secret archives.112

Not long before its abolition, the Inquisition had donated to the Royal Treasury 19,008 pesos on the occasion of the invasion of Buenos Aires and the Napoleonic intervention in Spain. It had also granted the treasury a loan for 34,000 pesos without interest for four years, and another for 6,000 pesos at a rédito of 4 percent.113 According to the inventories of confiscated property, the Inquisition of Peru was in a better financial situation than the Inquisition of Mexico, which had donated larger amounts to the Mexican treasury.114 Relative to the size of the viceregal economies, therefore, the Inquisition in Peru seemed to wield a larger weight and influence than the Inquisition in Mexico.

After Ferdinand VII reversed the abolition on July 31, 1815, the Holy Office of Lima had serious trouble retrieving its confiscated properties. Officials complained to the Supreme Council of the Inquisition in Madrid that Viceroy Abascal was perpetrating his impolite attitude toward them. Debtors of censos formerly owed to the Inquisition were erratic in paying their réditos because royal authorities did not have effective means of enforcing collection. For his part, Abascal stated in his memoirs that the unceasing requests of those Inquisition officials were not only impertinent but impossible to grant. The confiscated Inquisition funds had been used to pay expenses of the viceroyalty’s defense and its campaigns against internal insurgency115.

The Bourbon reforms were also applied to the reorganization of the royal public debt in Spain and its colonies. To implement these changes, the Spanish authorities needed the support and cooperation of the colonials. As far back as 1627, the Consulado of Lima had raised loans among local creditors at interest rates as high as 17 percent in order to provide empréstitos and donativos to the Royal Treasury at no additional interest. Serving as intermediary, however, caused the consulado extra expenses (as well as problems in the financing of trade) that were not properly compensated by granting the consulado the administration of old and new taxes. These taxes, moreover, were paid directly by colonial subjects, and constantly risked being abolished by viceroys, as they were in 1759.116 Consulado members also complained, as early as 1677, that the crown did not appreciate the financial efforts of the Consulado of Lima as it had similar efforts in Spain; the latter received far greater royal favors and concessions117

An important change in these public debt practices was introduced in 1777. Stricter rules and regulations were sanctioned in order to guarantee interest payments and amortization of public loans by colonial creditors. This new system of public debt servicing lasted until Peru’s independence. The minister of the Indies, José Gálvez, needing to raise a loan of 1.5 million pesos to finance a military expedition against the Portuguese in the Viceroyalty of La Plata, granted the Consulado of Lima the right to charge new taxes on the exportation of silver (1.75 percent) and gold (0.5 percent). This concession was necessary, according to Gálvez, “to allow a fast and effective funding of the loan by receiving funds at interest [from the public].”118

It was no longer only a matter of prestige to lend to the consulado and the state. The interest on loans had to be guaranteed and paid punctually, as it was in other modernizing public debt systems of the time.119 Despite the opposition of peninsular merchants, the Consulado of Lima argued that if the taxes on silver and gold exports were not introduced to guarantee interest payments, the consulado would be unable to raise the requested amount of Gálvez’ loan.120 Creditors in Lima had already suffered losses in the previous donativos and empréstitos of 1722, 1729, 1740, and 1759.

The granting of the consulado’s request in 1777 was complemented later by other measures that enhanced the consulado’s reorganizing role in the administration of the public debt. Loans with similar and larger guarantees were raised by the consulado in 1781 to meet the expenses of the war with England and the rebellion led by Tupac Amaru. After 1785 the taxes on silver and gold exports were also collected in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, and after 1789 in Guayaquil. The product of these taxes was transferred to Lima through official clearance bills (libranzas) issued to merchants who advanced amounts in Lima and later cashed the libranzas through their private correspondence in those ports.121In this way the Consulado of Lima extended its radius of financial influence; this was also a way of compensating for the loss of Lima’s commercial monopoly after the creation of the Viceroyalty of La Plata in 1776 and the introduction of the comercio libre in 1778.

Independence and the Collapse of the Credit System

Increasing financial pressure on the colonial treasury because of war, demands from Spain, and internal rebellion all increased the colonial government’s reliance on the public debt guaranteed and managed by the Lima consulado. In time, the crown’s growing financial needs conceded seven major types of fiscal revenues to the consulado’s administration.122 By 1819 these tax revenues guaranteed the sum of 6,052,672 pesos of public debt funds (imposiciones) at annual interest ranging from 3 to 6 percent. In 1806, increased war expenses also necessitated the introduction of a new subvención tax that charged 1.5 percent of the value of imported goods and 0.5 percent of exported funds.123In 1821, the total debt under the consulado’s administration added up to 7,475,402 pesos.

By 1819 the public debt accounts serviced by the silver and gold taxes amounted to 2,070,532 pesos and produced annual interest of 68,663 pesos to approximately 200 creditors. The debt guaranteed by the subvención tax accounted for 1,058,157 pesos among 50 creditors; and the debt serviced by derecho patriótico accrued to 980,448 pesos among 30 creditors.124

With the increasing risk of war and insurrection, moreover, owners of funds considered investment in the public debt guaranteed by the consulado administration a temporary haven and expected repayment in the future: “Although today [imposiciones] do not produce considerable yield due to the paralysis of maritime trade caused by the destructive war we are fighting, after commerce recovers its natural vigor and direction, they will improve their yield considerably.”125

Viceroy Abascal was a key figure in the culmination of the reformed credit system. He also contributed, however, to the ultimate depletion of Peru’s public funds. From the time he arrived in Peru in 1806 he was able to engage local funds of up to 521,742 pesos for the defense of Buenos Aires.126In 1807 he secured contributions from the most important viceregal bodies to finance the construction of defense fortifications in Lima.127 He also raised funds through special donativos and forced loans at interest in the viceregal provinces, as in the case of Cuzco in 1810.128

It was the Consulado of Lima, however, that offered the most ample financial assistance in Abascal’s quest to defend the Spanish Empire. His arrangements with the consulado continued and enhanced earlier compromises between the merchant guild and the state. According to Abascal, by offering the consulado the administration of increased funds at higher interest rates during a period of chronic interruption of trade because of war, he was bestowing on the consulado an enhanced social position. Consequently, between 1810 and 1818 the consulado provided the Royal Treasury additional loans for a total of 1,116,000 pesos. Abascal acknowledged the consulado in grateful recognition for its efforts and collaboration. Likewise, the consulado garlanded Abascal with many honors and, at the end of his administration, requested that he be exempted from the customary residencia, or review trial.129

A detailed analysis of the creditors of imposiciones active in 1819 (several of them dating back to 1777) reveals a telling social composition. This can be illustrated with a sample of 123 creditors from the consulado accounts, complemented by notarial records to supply more information and identify their main economic and social activities.130 The main group of creditors, who accounted for 26 percent of total imposiciones, were merchants, as shown in table 2. Ecclesiastical institutions and pious funds followed with 24 percent, and aristocrats and rentiers (mainly landowners) accounted for 21 percent. Thus, mainly traditional creditors held almost two-fifths of the funds loaned to the state through imposiciones. It is clear, then, that the consulado as main administrator and guarantor, and the Royal Treasury as debtor, successfully absorbed major traditional credit sources that had been employed for other purposes in the past. In this way the merchants consolidated their leadership position in a colonial credit system that subordinated traditional creditors.

At the time of independence from Spain (1821) the total colonial public debt in Peru (according to official figures elaborated in 1865) amounted to 12,246,812 in different accounts. The most significant type of debt corresponded to the consulado administration of imposiciones (7,475,402 pesos), followed by debts to the tobacco monopoly and the royal mint (3,489,825 pesos) and the lingering consolidation debt (1,281,585 pesos; see table 2). Of the total public debt, 44 percent was owed to private individuals and 51 percent to religious institutions, pious and ecclesiastical funds. The amount of this colonial debt was considerable given that, for example, as a proxy of the amount of capital available in Lima, the funds invested in rents by major institutions in 1815 added up to approximately 12.7 million pesos.131

With independence, the necessary trust in the public debt system disappeared. The new republican government refused to honor the formidable amount owed by the viceregal administration and guaranteed by the consulado. The fate of the colonial debt was discussed at the official surrender of the Spanish army on December 9, 1824. Spanish officials argued that the new government should assume the debt, while the victors concluded that a future Peruvian Congress should decide the matter.132 Despite later attempts at consolidation, the colonial debt was never repaid. The former colonial elite thus suffered crippling financial losses. Nevertheless, after independence the practice by influential creditors of pressing the state for concessions was inherited by new merchant creditors.133


This study of the changes in colonial credit practices in Peru since 1750 has yielded evidence on the workings of a credit system that developed a dynamic interaction between ecclesiastical, public, and mercantile sources of credit. A traditional phase of that system was led by ecclesiastical institutions, the Inquisition, and the cajas de censos, which were instrumental in concentrating funds in landed properties of scant productive growth.

This phase was transformed by the escalation of trade and by reforms intended to increase production and reorganize the royal debt structure. The merchants of the Consulado of Lima responded to these external challenges by assuming the administration of ad hoc tax guarantees established to service newly acquired royal obligations through public debt fundings (imposiciones). At the same time the state, in chronic financial need, proceeded with its onslaught on and absorption of ecclesiastical funds. This produced local disturbances in the links between traditional creditors and debtors, mainly hacendados. The expulsion and expropriation of the Jesuits, the consolidation of vales reales, and the abolition of the Inquisition reduced and subordinated ecclesiastical sources of credit in a reformed credit system.

Further detailed research is needed to determine the effects of late colonial credit practices on different productive sectors and regions. The research for this study, however, has revealed strong evidence that the late colonial credit system developed under the spur of enhanced trade, imperial reforms, and corresponding local adaptations. At the same time (that is, until approximately 1805), the resulting credit innovations contributed to attempts to expand markets, increase local and overseas trade, and enhance mining and perhaps commercial agricultural production.

Finally, the financial administration of Viceroy Fernando Abascal took full advantage of the already established bases of the reformed credit system to mobilize and deplete local resources in the imperial defense against the forces of independence. The colonial elite and its leading financial group, the merchants, were financially bound to loyalism, and consequently suffered devastating financial losses that crippled their ability to lead the country after independence.

This work was made possible by support from the Centro de Formación del Banco de España, a Fulbright-Hays grant, the American Philosophical Society, and the Professional Staff Congress-CUNY. For their invaluable comments I am grateful to Kenneth J. Andrien, David A. Brading, Arnold J. Bauer, Noble David Cook, Reinhard Liehr, Rory Miller, Richard J. Salvucci, Mark D. Szuchman, and the HAHR’s anonymous external evaluators.

Research for this essay utilized the following archives; Archivo General de Indias, Seville (AGI); Archivo General de la Nación, Lima (AGN); Archivo Histórico Arzobispal de Lima (AAL); Archivo Histórico Nacional, Madrid (AHN); Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid (BNM); and Biblioteca Nacional del Perú, Lima (BNP).


Asunción Lavrin, “The Role of Nunneries in the Economy of New Spain in the Eighteenth Century,” HAHR 46:4 (Nov. 1966), 371-93; Michael Costeloe, Church Wealth in Mexico: A Study of the Juzgado de Capellanías in the Archbishopric of Mexico, 1800-1856 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1967); Brian Hamnett, “The Appropriation of Mexican Church Wealth by the Spanish Bourbon Government: The ‘Consolidación de Vales Reales,’ 1805–1809,” Journal of Latin American Studies 1 (1968), 85-113, and “Church Wealth in Peru; Estates and Loans in the Archdiocese of Lima in the Seventeenth Century,” Jahr buch für Geschichte von Staat, Wirtschaft, und Gesellschaft Lateinamerikas 10 (Cologne; Böhlau Verlag, 1973), 113-32; Arnold J. Bauer, “The Church and Spanish American Agrarian Structure, 1765-1865,” The Americas 28 (1971), 78-98, and “The Church in the Economy of Spanish America; Censos and Depósitos in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries,” HAHR 63:4 (Nov. 1983), 707-33·


Linda Greenow, “Spatial Dimensions of the Credit Market in Eighteenth-Century Nueva Galicia, ” in Social Fabric and Spatial Structure in Colonial Latin America, ed. David Robinson (Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1979), 227-79, sod Credit and Socioeconomic Change in Colonial Mexico: Loans and Mortgages in Guadalajara, 1720-1820 (Boulder: Westview Press, 1983); Eric Van Young, Hacienda and Market in Eighteenth-Century Mexico: The Rural Economy of the Guadalajara Region, 1675—1820 (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press. 1981); Margaret Chowning, “The Consolidación de Vales Reales in the Bishopric of Michoacán,” HAHR 69:3 (Aug. 1989), 451-78; Agueda Jiménez Pelayo, “El impacto del crédito en la economía rural del norte de la Nueva Galicia,” HAHR 71:3 (Aug.1991). 501-29·


Kenneth J. Andrien, “The Sale of Juros and the Politics of Reform in the Viceroyalty of Peru, 1608–1695," Journal of Latin American Studies 13:1 (May 1981), 1-19; Jacques Bar bier, “Venezuelan ‘Libranzas,’ 1788-1807: From Economic Nostrum to Fiscal Imperative,” The Americas 37 (1981), 457-78; Pedro Pérez Herrero, Plata y libranzas: la articulación comercial del México borbónico (Mexico City; El Colegio de México, 1988). Relevant lit erature is also discussed in Herbert S. Klein and Jacques A. Barbier, “Recent Trends in the Study of Spanish American Colonial Public Finance,” Latin American Research Review 23:1 (1988), 35-62·


Carlos Marichal advances new interpretations in “La iglesia y la crisis financiera del virreinato, 1780-1808: apuntes sobre un tema viejo y nuevo, ” Relaciones 40 (1989), 103-29, and “Las guerras imperiales y los préstamos novohispanos, 1781-1804, ” Historia Mexicana 156(39:4. Apr.-Jun. 1990), 881-907.


The pioneering exceptions are Hamnett, “Church Wealth in Peru”; María Encarnación Rodríguez. Vicente, “Una quiebra bancada en el Perú del siglo XVII,” in Economía, sociedad, y real hacienda en las Indias españolas (Madrid: Alhambra, 1987), 149-84; Mar garita Suárez, “Las estrategias de un mercader; Juan de la Cueva, 1608-1635” (Bachelor’s degree essay. Universidad Católica, Lima, 1985).


Future analyses of regional credit will profit from general regional studies by Susan Ramírez, Keith Davies, Kendall W. Brown, Brooke Larson, Marcel Haitin, Alberto Flores Galindo, Manuel Burga, and Nils Jacobsen; and regional ecclesiastical histories by Nicholas Cushner, Donald Gibbs, and Kathryn Bums cited below. See also Nils Jacobsen and Hans-Jürgen Puhle, eds., The Economies of Mexico and Peru During the Late Colonial Period, 1760-1810 (Berlin; Colloquium, 1986).


Hamnett, “Appropriation of Mexican Church Wealth”; Romeo Flores Caballero, “La consolidación de vales reales en la economía, la sociedad, y la política novohispanas,” Historia Mexicana 18 (1969), 334-78; Masae Sugawara, ed., La deuda pública de España y la economía novohispana, 1804-1809 (Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 1976); Asunción Lavrin, “The Execution of the Law of Consolidación in New Spain: Economic Aims and Results,” HAHR 53:1 (Feb. 1973), 27-49; Stanley J. Stein, “Prelude to Upheaval in Spain and New Spain, 1800-1808: Trust Funds, Spanish Finance, and Colonial Silver,” in Iberian Colonies, New World Societies: Essays in Memory of Charles Gibson, ed. Richard Garner and William Taylor (n.p., 1985), 185-202; Chowning, “Consolidación de Vales,” among others.


For relevant definitions of the interaction between premodern finance and economies, see Raymond Goldsmith, Premodern Financial Systems: A Historical Comparative Study (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1987).


Bernard Dempsey, Interest and Usury (Washington, D.C.: American Council on Public Affairs, 1943), 3-4. The scholastic tradition was based on the treatment of “interest” by Aristotle and by St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae·, see also Benjamin Nelson, The Idea of Usury: From Tribal Brotherhood to Universal Otherhood (Princeton: Prince ton Univ. Press, 1949); Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson, The School of Salamanca: Readings in Spanish Monetary Theory (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952), and Early Economic Thought in Spain, 1117-1740 (London: G. Allen and Unwin, 1978); John Noonan, The Scholastic Analysis of Usury (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1957); Raymond de Roover, Business, Banking, and Economic Thought in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Selected Studies, ed. Julius Kirshner (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1974), 318, 330-32.


On the risks and weakness of imperfect colonial credit markets (based on debt rather than equity) and the dangers of illiquidity for debtor entrepreneurs, see Richard J. Salvucci, Textiles and Capitalism in Mexico: An Economic History of the Obrajes, 1539-1840 (Prince ton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1987), 81—83. Judicial inquiries against usury practices were held as late as the mid-eighteenth century in Peru, but with a dwindling ability to deliver strong punishments. See Pablo Macera, “Iglesia y economía en el Perú del siglo XVIII,” Letras 70-71 (1963). 3–44, esp. 32-33. Complaints against common and unpenalized usurious practices appear in “Expediente del establecimiento de un Monte de Piedad en Lima a propuesta de Francisco Xavier de Villalta, cura del pueblo de Bellavista (1779),” AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 1018A.


Theological and legal exceptions started to appear in early modern Europe, based on the reasoning that the lender lost the opportunity to gain by lending (lucrum cessans, interesse lucri cessanti, damnus emergens). These exclusions applied especially to commercial and exchange operations rather than to direct banking activities severely affected by usury prohibitions. Bernard Schnapper, Les Rentes au XVIe siècle; histoire d’un instrument de crédit (Paris: SEVPEN, 1957), 9, 65; de Roover, Business, Banking, and Economie Thought, 332. Also: “Si lo lleva por causa de lo que pierde: ya no es por razón de lo que fía o presta, y ansi no es usura: y entonces entra al interesse que se dize del daño que se recrece, o de la ganancia que cesa. Fray Luys de Alcalá, Tratado de los préstamos que passan entre merca deres y tractantes; y por consiguiente de los logros, cambios, compras adelantadas, y ventas al fiado, etc. (Toledo: Juan de Ayala, 1546), f 2.


Alfonso X, Las siete partidas del sabio rey don Alfonso (Barcelona: Imprenta de A. Bergnes, 1843–44), 1a. partida, título XIV, ley 3, cited in Gisela von Webeser, San Carlos de Borromeo: endeudamiento de una hacienda colonial (1608-1729) (Mexico City; UNAM, 1980), and “Mecanismos crediticios en la Nueva España. El uso del censo consignativo,” Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos 5 (1989), 1-23. The latter otherwise relies heavily on formal definitions from nineteenth- and twentieth-century Mexican legal histories. The censo enfitéutico would correspond to the medieval French instrument of rente simple, a contract of land lease in which the debtor could not repay the debt, a perpetual loan. The creditor-lessor was a type of co-owner of the leased property. The debtor-lessee was obliged to pay the lessor an annual percentage of the borrowed amount. Schnapper, Les Rentes au XVIe siècle, 41-43.


Tomás de Mercado, Suma de tratos y contratos, ed. Nicolás Sánchez Albornoz (Madrid: Instituto de Estudios Fiscales, 1977), 2:497.


Femando González de Socueva Arias Fustero, Estado actual de los censos más frecuentes de este reyno; y aquel a que deben reglarse sus réditos y condiciones (Seville: Joseph Navarro y Armijo, 1759), 4-6. Lope de Deza defines the censo al quitar as “invención de un rico holgazán.” See Gobierno polytico de agricultura (Madrid: Viuda de Alonso Martín de Balboa, 1618), f 31.


Mercado, Suma de tratos, 2:497-507; D. Ubaldo Gómez Alvarez, Estudio histó rico de los préstamos censales del Principado de Asturias (1680-1975) (Luarca: Bibliófilos Asturianos, 1979), 16-25; Manuel Vaquerizo Gil, “Los censos al quitar, nueva fuente para el estudio de la financiación. Un ejemplo: la Junta de Voto, 1591-1605,” Altamira 1 (1975), 275-94·


If the censo al quitar is associated instead with a censo reservativo (loan-sale), then the real weight of direct repayable credit in the colonial economy is underestimated. Von Webeser, San Carlos de Borromeo, 92; Bauer. “Church in the Economy,” 716.


Another form of direct credit or loan used in colonial times was the depósito irregular, with amortization terms and no collateral, and often a revolving type of instrument. Stein, Prelude to Upheaval,” 189; von Webeser, “Mecanismos crediticios,” 5—6.


On the suspected usury, see Deza, Gobierno polytico de agricultura, ff. 27v, 29: “usura y censo suenan lo mismo.” Diego Pizarro warned about the censo al quitar, “Porque . . . son por la mayor parte perjudiciales en gran manera a la caridad cristiana y al público en general [especially in the town of Guadalupe] . . . y dan causa o ocasión a que muchos vezinos della que los han impuesto y imponen sobre sus haciendas se ayan destruido . . . por no poder pagarlos.” See his Tractado muy necessario y provechoso, a las consciencias, sobre los censos al quitar, y otros. Con la glosa de las extravagantes de los pontífices Mar tino V y Calixto III (Medina del Campo: Guilielmo de Milis, 1551), n.p. See also González de Socueva, Estado actual de los censos, 5: “Y a la verdad, tiene visos de usurario, pues se da dinero, que se ha de volver en la misma cantidad, y esta es la naturaleza del mutuo o empréstito.” On further suspicions after the papal exemptions, see ibid., 1-2; Alexandra Parma Cook and Noble David Cook, Good Faith and Truthful Ignorance: A Case of Transatlantic Bigamy (Durham: Duke Univ. Press, 1991), 130-31; Richard Kagan, Lawsuits and Litigants in Castille, 1500-1700 (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1981), 132-33; Charles Jago, The Influence of Debt on the Relations Between Crown and Aristocracy in Seventeenth-Century Castille,” Economic History Review 26 (1973), 218-36; Gómez Alvarez, Estudio histórico, 17-19; Fernando Andrés Robres. Crédito y propiedad de la tierra en el País Valenciano (1600—1810) (Valencia: Alfons El Magnanim, 1987), 12—15.


Consider the liberal criticism and overestimation of church wealth by Manuel Abad y Queipo, José María Luis Mora, Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, and others cited by recent works, esp, David A. Brading, The First America: The Spanish Monarchy, Creole Patriots, and the Liberal State, 1492-1867 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1991), 649-52; Hamnett, “Appropriation of Mexican Church Wealth,” 85-88; and Bauer, “Church in the Economy,” 711-12.


Ernesto Lobato López, El crédito en México: esbozo histórico hasta 1925 (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1945), 49-51; Guillermo Lohmann Villena, “Banca y crédito en la América española: notas sobre una hipótesis de trabajo y fuentes informativas,” Historia 19 (1969), 289-307.


In Mexico between 1752 and 1810, only 2 percent of up to 1.047 million pesos’ worth of minted coins remained in circulation. Richard Garner, “Exportaciones de circulante en el siglo XVIII (1750-1810),’’ Historia Mexicana 124 (31:4, Apr.-Jun. 1982), 544-98; Carlos Lazo García, Economía colonial y régimen monetario: Perú, siglos XVI—XIX, 3 vols. (Lima: Banco Central de Reserva del Perú, 1992), 2:185-87.


Eduardo Arcila Farías, Comercio entre Venezuela y México en los siglos XVII y XVIII (Mexico City: El Colegio de México, 1950); Woodrow Borah, Early Colonial Trade and Navigation Between Mexico and Peru (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1954), chap. 5; Carlos Contreras C., El sector exportador de una economía colonial: la costa del Ecuador entre 1760-1830 (Quito: Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales [FLACSO], 1990).


Mercurio Peruano 27 (Apr. 3, 1791), 250; Manuel Moreyra Paz Soldán, La moneda colonial en el Perú: capítulos de su historia (Lima: Banco Central de Reserva del Perú, 1980), 153-55, 257-59; Lazo García, Economía colonial, 2:186.


Assuming 40 million pesos in circulation and aggregate credit instruments of up to 15 million pesos by major long-term creditors, as follows: ecclesiastical institutions, 6 million; private lenders, 6 million; Inquisition, 1.5 million; cajas de censos, 1 million; lay brother hoods and other organizations, 1 million. See below for sources, esp. table 1 and notes 32 and 107. This estimate does not consider mercantile short-term credit or the public debt.


Greenow, Credit and Socioeconomic Change·; Jiménez Pelayo, “Impacto del crédito’’; Armando de Ramón, “Los censos en el desarrollo agrícola de la región central de Chile durante el siglo XVII,” Historia 16 (1981), 151–223; John Kicza, Colonial Entrepreneurs: Families and Business in Bourbon Mexico City (Albuquerque: Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1983). 55–57.


Bauer, “Church and Spanish American Agrarian Structure,” 89–90, and “Church in the Economy. ” Von Webeser disputes the legal accuracy of such terms in “Mecanismos crediticios,” 17. See also her San Carlos de Borromeo, and “El crédito y la banca en México. Siglos XVI al XIX,” Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos 4 (1988), 163–77; and Jiménez Pelayo, “Impacto del crédito,” 502-3, among others.


Jan Bazant, Alienation of Church Wealth in Mexico: Social and Economic Aspects of the Liberal Revolution, 185651875 (Cambridge; Cambridge Univ. Press, 1971), 11–12; von Webeser, San Carlos de Borromeo, 97; Bauer, “Church in the Economy,” 731-33; Chowning, "Consolidación de Vales,” 453; Juan Carlos Garavaglia and Juan Carlos Grosso, “Mexican Elites of a Provincial Town; The Landowners of Tepeaca (1700-1870),” HAHR 70:2 (May 1990), 266, 286.


Van Young, Hacienda and Market, 183–84.


Ibid. ; David A. Brading, Haciendas and Ranchos in the Mexican Bajío: León, 1700–1860 (Cambridge; Cambridge Univ. Press, 1978), 91–92; Hamnett, "Church Wealth in Peru”; Jiménez Pelayo, “Impacto del crédito,” 529; Armando de Ramón, “Los censos en el desarrollo agrícola,” 154–55; Stein, “Prelude to Upheaval,” 187–89.


Even when funding resulted from donations to endow priests, nuns, and charitable or religious institutions, the liens thus formed can be interpreted as a version of indirect credit to allow the purchase, lease, or undivided use of properties by private interests; to avoid outlaying precious currency; and to arrest the flight of funds abroad. Income from liens provided funds to grant loans, as Thomas Millington argues in Debt Politics After Independence: The Funding Conflict in Bolivia (Gainesville: Univ. of Florida Press, 1992), 42. Furthermore, if a loan originated, for example, a century ago through a currency advance and was not repaid in all that time (a common practice in the seventeenth century), should the transaction be considered an encumbrance or a loan?


The 1746 earthquake left approximately six thousand casualties and three hundred million pesos in damages. “Descripción de la ciudad de Lima . . .,” BNM, Manuscritos, ms. 11026, ff. 9–10; AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 509, f. 3v; María Pérez Cantó, Lima en el siglo XVIII: estudio socioeconómico (Madrid: Univ. Autónoma de Madrid, 1985), 47.


Espediente sobre competencia entre censuatarios y censualistas, de si deben pagar los censos de las fincas arruinadas por el terremoto del año 1746. Años 1747 a 1754, ” AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 509.


Ibid., ff. 1–2v. The Council of the Indies granted a similar concession to haciendas and sugar mills of Trujillo experiencing economic difficulties in 1816. AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 602.


Destruida en todo, o en parte la finca, sobre que está constituido un censo, con la misma proporción perece éste, y sus réditos . . . una de las conclusiones más ilustradas ... y de algún tiempo a esta parte se va olvidando.” González de Socueva, Estado actual, 20. See also Alfonso X, Las siete partidas, partida 5, título 7, ley 28.


Miguel de Valdivieso y Torrejón, Alegación jurídica por parte de los vecinos de esta capital, sobre la rebaja de los censos, por ruina que padecieron con el terremoto de 28 de octubre de 1746 (Lima, 1748), 2; Manuel de Silva y la Banda to Consejo de S[u]. M[ajestad]., Aug. 12, 1748, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 509, ff. 435–36.


Antonio Joseph Alvarez de Ron, Representación jurídica, allegato reverente, que se hace por parte de las religiones de esta noble capital al Exmo. Señor don Joseph Manso de Velasco (Lima, 1747), 3v, 6v–7, 18.


Hamnett, “Church Wealth in Peru,” 114; AAL, Censos (expedientes sobre censos), leg. 17, años 1700–1829.


Donald Gibbs, “The Economic Activities of Nuns, Friars, and Their Conventos in Mid-Colonial Cuzco,” The Americas 45 (1989), 343–62, esp. 359–60; Kathryn Burns, “Apuntes sobre la economía conventual. El monasterio de Santa Clara del Cusco,” Allpan chis 38 (1991), 67–95; Keith Davies, Landowners in Colonial Peru (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1984), 104; Kendall W. Brown, Bourbons and Brandy: Imperial Reform in Eighteenth-Century Arequipa (Albuquerque: Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1986), 140. Compare similar relationships in Mexico in Asunción Lavrin, “El capital eclesiástico y las elites sociales en Nueva España a fines del siglo XVIII,” Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos 1 (1985), 1–28.


AGN, Compañía de Jesús, Censos, leg. 11.


“Libro mayor y general . . . de la negociación de Temporalidades de Jesuitas . . .,” AHN, Jesuitas, Lima, libro 443. Among the Jesuits’ main debtors: Caja Real, Marqués de San Miguel, Claudio Fernández Prada, Marqués de Santa María, Marqués de Campo Ameno, and Conde de Sierra Bella.


New evidence disputes the accepted notion that the Jesuit order was a net borrower and lien payer by the mid-eighteenth century. Compare the views of Nicholas Cushner, Lords of the Land: Sugar, Wine, and Jesuit Estates of Coastal Peru, 1600–1767 (Albany: SUNY Press, 1980), 50; and Davies, Landowners in Colonial Peru, 103; with Kendall W. Brown, “Jesuit Wealth and Economic Activity Within the Peruvian Economy; The Case of Colonial Southern Peru, ” The Americas 44 (1987), 23–43, and Bourbons and Brandy, 141; and Gibbs, “Economic Activities, ” 359–60.


AAL, Censos, leg. 17, años 1700–1829.


Manuel Burga, Nacimiento de una utopía: muerte y resurrección de los incas (Lima: Instituto de Apoyo Agrario, 1988), 197–208, 213.


“Expediente sobre la ocupación del Tribunal de la Inquisición por el intendente de la provincia de Lima y el vocal de su diputación (Juan M. de Gálvez y Francisco Moreyra y Matute), Lima, Dec. 7, 1813,” AHN, Inquisición, leg, 48002, f. 6v; “Expediente sobre la ocupación de bienes del extinguido Tribunal de la Inquisición, 1813,” AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 1605; “Testimonio de ff 562 de los autos originales formados por la comisión dirigida por al Señor Intendente de esta capital . . . con intervención del . . . vocal de la Junta Provincial para la ocupación, inventario, y custodia de los bienes y efectos que poseía la extinguida In quisición de la dicha ciudad de Lima,” AGN, Colección Moreyra, leg. 44; AHN, Inquisición, leg. 4800.


Maurice Birckel, “Recherches sur la trésorerie inquisitoriale de Lima,” Mélanges de la Casa de Velasquez 5 (1969), 223–309, and 6 (1970), 309–57; René Millar Gorhacho, “Las confiscaciones de la Inquisición de Lima a los comerciantes de origen judío-portugués de ‘La Gran Complicidad’ de 1635,” Revista de Indias 43 (1983), 27–58; Alfonso W. Quiroz, “The Expropriation of Portuguese New Christians in Spanish America, 1635-1649, ” Ibero-Amerikanisches Archiv 11 (1985), 407–65.


“Manifesto legal por la jurisdicción del Santo Oficio para conocer de todas y qual-quier causas de sus ministros u oficiales titulados y asalariados . . .,” f 15 in “Competencia en la causa de don Jerónimo de la Torre contra los bienes de don Félix Antonio Fernández de Vargas, 1750,” AHN, Inquisición, leg, 16521, exp. 7; also “Espediente de competencia entre el Tribunal de la Inquisición y el del Consulado . . . años 1750 a 1753, ” AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 514, f 42v.


“Expediente del Conde de las Torres . . . año 1755,” AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg.515. f 410.


Marcelo Urbano Salemo, “Cajas de censos y bienes de comunidad: evolución histórica en el Río de la Plata,” in 3erCongreso del Instituto Internacional de Historia del Derecho Indiano, actas y estudio (Madrid: Instituto Nacional de Estudios Jurídicos, 1973), 869–91.


Guillermo Lohmann Villena, El corregidor de indios del Perú bajo los Austrias (Madrid: Ediciones Cultura Hispánica, 1957), 290; Ronald Escobedo, “Bienes y cajas de comunidad en el virreinato peruano,” Revista Internacional de Sociología 3 (1979), 465–92; Vilma Ceballos López, “La Caja de Censos de Indios y su aporte a la economía colonial (1565-1613),” Revista del Archivo Nacional del Perú 26 (1962), 269–352.


Carmen Martín Rubio, “La Caja de Censos de Indios en Cuzco,” Revista de Indias 39 (1979)’ 187–208; AGN, Audiencia de Lima, Caja de censos, leg. 39.


The Caja de Censos of Lima also rented some nominally Indian-owned estancias and haciendas (Concha Conchucos in the province of Conchucos and Canja in Canta, the highlands of Lima), the income from which was used to pay tributes.


AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 817; also AGN, Audiencia de Lima, Juzgado de la Caja General de Censos, leg. 39; Holgado to Consejo, Feb. 22, 1761, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 817; AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 824; “Fiscal Holgado sobre paga de créditos de la corona en los dos reynados antecedentes,” 1766-1767, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 833.


“Expediente respondido del Sor. Fiscal, acerca de la duda que se ha ofrecido al virrey del Perú . . .,”1763-1765, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, Cartas y Expedientes, leg. 824.




AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 1171; Defensa de la caxa general de censos del distrito de esta Real Audiencia en el pleito que sigue en el real acuerdo contra los propios , y rentas del M. I. Cabildo de esta ciudad . . ., pamphlet (Lima, 1792), AGN, Audiencia de Lima, Caja de censos, leg. 61.


“Testimonio de la nómina general de deudores de la Caja General de Censos de Comunidades de Indios del distrito de esta Real Audiencia de la Ciudad de La Plata, provincia de Charcas,” La Plata, Nov. 22, 1775, BNP, Manuscritos, C2518, f. 2v.


“Resumen de lo que se debe por la Real Hacienda y por particulares . . .,” May 22, 1776, ibid., f 85.


“La Real Audiencia del Cuzco . . . acerca del establecimiento . . . de la judicatura de censos de indios y arreglo de su Caja General . . .,” Mar. 8, 1792, AGI, Gobierno, Audiencia del Cuzco, leg. 6, no. 26.


“Libro manual de los caudales correspondientes a la Tesorería de la Dirección General de Gensos y obras pías, año 1822,” AGN, Libros de Cuenta, serie C-15, leg. 349, libro 1553.


Juros took three forms, according to the length of their terms: perpetuos, vitalicios, and al quitar. The third was an actual operation of public credit, whereas the other two represented royal grants. See J. Barthe Porcel, Los juros desde el juro de heredat hasta la desaparición de las cargas de justicia, siglos XIII-XX (Murcia: Univ. de Murcia, 1949); Pilar Toboso Sánchez, La deuda pública castellana durante el antiguo régimen (juros) y su liquidación en el siglo XIX (Madrid: Instituto de Estudios Fiscales, 1987), 10, 231–35.


Manuel Torres and J. M. Pérez-Prendes, Los juros (aportación documental para una historia de la deuda pública en España) (Madrid: Instituto de Estudios Fiscales, 1963), 34.


Rocío Caracuel Moyano, “Los mercaderes del Perú y la financiación de los gastos de la monarquía,” Actas y memorias, 36° Congreso Internacional de Americanistas (Seville: Editorial Católica Española, 1966), 4:335–43; Lawrence A, Clayton, “Local Initiative and Finance in Defense of the Viceroyalty of Peru: The Development of Self-Reliance,” HAHR 54:2 (May 1974), 284–304; Sonia Pinto, Elfinanciamiento extraordinario de la Real Hacienda en el virreinato peruano: Cuzco, 1575–1650 (Santiago; Univ, de Chile, 1981), 30–31; AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 470.


Kenneth J. Andrien, Crisis and Decline: The Viceroyalty of Peru in the Seventeenth Century (Albuquerque; Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1985), p. 75 and “Sale of Juros.”


The old avería was charged in Callao after 1589 on 1 percent of the total value of goods carried in the armada, to pay for the armada’s maintenance. Initially it was collected by customs officers. Andrien, Crisis and Decline, 48.


“Expediente sobre la cesación de la exacción de los derechos de derrama y avería por parte del Tribunal del Consulado de Lima, 1759,” AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 817.


Thomasa Josepha de San Pedro al Consejo, Lima, Sept. 30, 1747, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 509, f. 487v.


BNM, Manuscritos, 10.252, f. 113.


María Leonor Fausto Gallegos, abbess of the Convent of Santa Clara, to Consejo, Lima, Dec. 1747, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 509, AGI, ff. 493, 497. Juros charging 5 percent (20 mil el millar) had been imposed on the Royal Treasury since 1639, during the administration of the viceroy Marqués de Mancera.


Consulado to Consejo, Mar. 9, 1761, and chief attorney’s response, in “Expediente sobre la cesación.”




Viceroy José Manso de Velasco to Consejo, Lima, May 1, 1748, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 514, f. 8.


AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 913.


“Expediente donde el Consulado de Lima aclara algunos puntos sobre el riesgo de mar,” AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 860.


AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 913.


“Escrituras de riesgo y seguros,” AGI, Consulados, legs. 877-87, and libros 409-37, 443–44


“Joseph de Retortillo, vecino y del comercio de Cádiz con Simón Ximénez de Villalva, arcediano de la Iglesia Catedral del Cuzco sobre paga de pesos procedidos de su habilitación para pasar a rendir su prebenda,” 1784-86, AHN, Consejos, leg. 20.304; Pedro de Membiela vs. Juan Bautista Yrigoyen, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 874. A common formula used was the non numerata pecunia.


“Francisco Antonio de Rivero, vecino del comercio de Lima, contra los bienes de don Juan Garay y Leaniz, y don Joseph Francisco de Villanueva, vecinos de Cádiz,” AHN, Consejos, leg. 20.304; AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 913; AHN, Gonsejos, leg. 20.319; “El Consulado y comercio del Perú,” AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 874; José Baquíjano y Carrillo, “Disertación histórica y política sobre el comercio del Perú,” Mercurio Peruano 27 (Apr. 3, 1791), 247. There were also escrituras de riesgo de tierra, used in land trade, ranging between 5 and 6 percent in Lima in the period 1748-1765 and at 4 percent in Cádiz in 1753. AHN, Consejos, leg. 20.212.


John Fisher, “Imperial Free Trade’ and the Hispanic Economy, 1778–1796,” Journal of Latin American Studies 13:1 (May 1981), 21—56, esp. 32; Commercial Relations Between Spain and Spanish America in the Era of Free Trade (Liverpool: Univ. of Liverpool, 1985), 50–53; and Trade War and Revolution: Exports from Spain to Spanish America, 1797–1820 (Liverpool: Univ. of Liverpool, 1992), 79–83.


Javier Tord and Carlos Lazo, Hacienda, comercio, fiscalidad, y luchas sociales (Perú colonial) (Lima.: Biblioteca Peruana de Historia. Economía, y Sociedad [BPHES], 1981), 135– 36; Jürgen Golte, Reparto y rebeliones: Tupac Amaru y las contradicciones de la economía colonial (Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 1980), 32.


Jorge Juan and Antonio Ulloa, Noticias secretas de América (London: R. Taylor, 1826), 240, 248; Alfredo Moreno Cebrián, El corregidor de indios y la economía peruana en el siglo XVIII (los repartos forzosos de mercancías) (Madrid: Instituto Fernández de Oviedo, 1977), 168–69; AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 817; Alberto Flores Galindo, Aristocracia y plebe: Lima, 1760–1830 (Lima: Mosca Azul, 1984), 65–67; Scarlett O’Phelan Godoy, Un siglo de rebeliones anticoloniales: Perú y Bolivia, 1700–1783 (Cuzco: Centro de Estudios Rurales Andinos Bartolomé de las Casas, 1988), 143.


“Expediente sobre cierta cantidad que vino desde el Callao a Cádiz registrada en cabeza de un español (Juan Manuel de Sarria), pero por cuenta de una casa extranjera (Durand Cristein y Cía),” AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 913.


Conflicts between these consulados dated back to the seventeenth century. Andrien, Crisis and Decline, 16; Suárez, “Las estrategias de un mercader,” 100.


“El diputado del Consulado del Comercio del Peru,” Mar. 7, 1777, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 890.


Casas de comercio de Chancel y Girardon sobre cobranzas de unas escrituras,” 1767–1771, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 860; “Recurso de injusticia notoria introducido por Luis Feit, apoderado, albacea, y testamentario de doña Hipólita Sabugo, su mujer, en los autos seguidos en el Consulado de Lima con Alonso de Losada . . .,” AHN, Consejos, leg. 20.291.


“El Consulado y comercio del Perú,” AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 874.


“Don Baltazar de Laya y Llano y consortes vecinos y comerciantes de la ciudad de Lima cargadores escriturarios del navío La Limeña, siguen pleito con los interesados prestamistas y aseguradores del mismo buque, comerciantes de Cádiz, y a su nombre, el Consulado de dicha ciudad sobre el repartimiento de averías del referido buque, en el viaje que hizo desde el puerto de Cádiz a el del Callao y otras cosas,” AHN, Consejos, leg. 20.319.


Miguel Capella and A, Matilla Tascón, Los Cinco Gremios Mayores de Madrid: estudio crítico histórico (Madrid; Imprenta Saez, 1957), 223–38, 295–301; “Memorial a Su Majestad sobre la decadencia del comercio con América y medios para volverlos a su antiguo esplendor,” BNM, Manuscritos, 20.271(2).


José Muñoz Pérez, “Los proyectos sobre España e Indias en el siglo XVIII: el proyectismo como género,” Revista de Estudios Políticos 81 (1955), 169–95; Marcelo Bitar Letayf, Los economistas españoles y sus ideas sobre el comercio con las Indias (Mexico City: Instituto Mexicano de Comercio Exterior, 1975), 305–10; Peggy Liss, Atlantic Empires: The Network of Trade and Revolution, 1713–1826 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1983), 50; Bernardo Ward, Proyecto económico (originally written in 1762; published in Madrid: Viuda de Ibarra, 1787); José Campillo y Cosío, Nuevo sistema de gobierno (Madrid; Benito Cano, 1743); Pablo de Olavide, “Informe de Olavide sobre la Ley Agraria,” ed. Ramón Garande, Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 139 (1956), 357–462; Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, “Informe de la Sociedad Económica de Madrid al Real y Supremo Consejo de Castilla en el expediente de Ley Agraria, extendido por el autor en nombre de la Junta encargada de su formación,” Biblioteca de autores españoles 50:2 (Madrid: Rivadeneyra, 1859), 79–138. On creole-inspired projects: “Memorial a Su Majestad sobre la decadencia del comercio con América y medios para volverlos a su antiguo esplendor,” BNM, Manuscritos, 20.271; “Proyecto y suplemento formado y representado por Don Juan Infanzón y Tineo, en que propone varios medios de adelantarse el comercio del Perú y hacer más productivas sus rentas,” AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 807; Josef de Lagos, “Proyecto económico a favor de los indios habitantes del Reyno del Perú,” ibid., leg. 1029.


David A. Brading, “Bourbon Spain and Its American Empire,” in Colonial Spanish America, ed. Leslie Bethell (Cambridge; Cambridge Univ. Press, 1987), 132; John Lynch, Bourbon Spain, 1700–1808 (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989), chap. 9.


“Desagravio de los mineros: señores de la Sociedad de Amantes del País,” Mercurio Peruano 1;1 (Jan. 2, 1791), 4, 1:3 (Jan. 9. 1791), 21–22; John Fisher, “Miners, Silver Merchants, and Capitalists in Late Colonial Peru,” Ibero-Amerikanisches Archiv 2 (1976), 258–59.


David A. Brading and Harry E. Cross, “Colonial Silver Mining; Mexico and Peru,” HAHR 52:4 (Nov. 1972), 545–79; Fisher, "Miners, Silver Merchants, and Capitalists,” 260– 62; Miguel Molina Martínez, “La contabilidad y la política económica del Real Tribunal de Minería de Lima. Un estudio de método,” Revista de Indias 28 (1978), 593–615, and El Tribunal de Minería (1785–1821) (Seville: Diputación Provincial, 1986), 225, 268–69, 375; Richard Garner, “Long-Term Silver-mining Trends in Spanish America; A Comparative Analysis of Peru and Mexico,” American Historical Review 93 (1988), 898–935.


An example of the exception is a loan of 137,000 pesos by the Inquisition to the bancos de rescate, mentioned in Fisher, “Miners, Silver Merchants, and Capitalists,” 261.


See the case of Joseph Avellafuerte (1733–1803), married into a notable family of Lima, and his son Pablo de Avellafuerte y Querejazu, AGN, Colección Moreyra, D1.36–1003, D1.36–1020, leg. 36; and “Testimonio de la liquidación, división, y partición extrajudicial de los bienes que quedaron por fin y muerte de la Sa. Doña Francisca de Querejazu . . . ,” year 1809, ibid.. D1.36–1029, leg. 36.


Molina Martinez, Tribunal de minería, 241, 371.


Vicente Palacio Atard, “La incorporación de la corona de los bancos de rescate de Potosí,” Anuario de Estudios Americanos 2 (1945), 723–37; Pilar Mariscal Romero, Los bancos de rescate de platas (Seville: Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, 1964); Rose Marie Ruechler, The Mining Society of Potosí, 1776–1810 (Syracuse: Syracuse Univ. Press, 1981); and for the case of Lima, Molina Martínez, Tribunal de minería.


John Fisher, Silver Mines and Silver Mining in Colonial Peru, 1776–1824 (Liverpool: Univ. of Liverpool, 1977); Garner, “Long-Term Silver-mining Trends,” 902, fig. 2.


Cristóbal Aljovín, “Los compradores de Temporalidades a fines de la colonia,” Histórica 14 (1990), 183-233.


Fernando de Abascal, Memorias del gobierno del virrey Abascal, ed. V. Rodríguez Casado and J. A. Calderón Quijano (Seville: Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, 1944), 1:105–6; Manuel Amat y Juniet, Memorias del virrey Amai, ed. V. Rodríguez Casado and F. Pérez Embid (Seville: Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, 1947), 135.


According to an official account, Peru’s treasury appropriated the following colonial funds in 1822 (amounts in pesos).


Abascal, Memorias, 108.


Aljovín, “Compradores de Temporalidades,” 219.


Flores Galindo, Aristocracia y plebe, 58-59.


Indian communities of Mexico owned a portion of the initial stock of the Banco de San Carlos, as did a few individuals in Peru, such as the administrator of mail, José Antonio Pando, and the merchant Antonio Elizalde. See Teresa Tortella Casares, Indice de los primitivos accionistas del Banco Nacional de San Carlos (Madrid: Banco de España, 1986). On funding the vales reales, see Hamnett, “Appropriation of Mexican Church Wealth,” and Politics and Trade in Southern Mexico, 1750-1821 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press,1971), 151


Stein, “Prelude to Upheaval,” 185–86; Richard Herr, Rural Change and Royal Finances in Spain at the End of the Old Regime (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1989).


Sugawara, La deuda pública, 7–12. Stein argues that the group most affected in Mexico was medium-sized and small rural proprietors. “Prelude to Upheaval,” 195–96. Compare Susana B. Liberti, “Notas sobre la consolidación de vales reales en el Río de La Plata (1806–1809),” Investigaciones y Ensayos 6–7 (1969), 295–322.


“El Cabildo de la Capital del Perú . . . que la Junta Suprema de Gobierno de España e Indias tome conocimiento de lo que comprende el adjunto recurso . . . no solo que en suspensión, sino que se extinga enteramente y para siempre el establecimiento de la Amortización,” Nov. 23, 1808, in “Expediente sobre la venta de los bienes de obras pías en los reinos de Indias,” started on Jan. 28, 1806, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 769. See also “Representación del Procurador General,” Apr. 29, 1806, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 769.


Miguel Antonio de Arana to the Viceroy, May 8, 1806, AGI, Gobierno, Lima. leg. 769. For similar complaints by scholars of the University of Guatemala, see Geoffrey Cabat, “The Consolidation of 1804 in Guatemala,” The Americas 28 (1971), 20–38, esp. 31–32.


“Informe, contesta el diputado principal de la Junta Superior de Consolidación,” Lima, Nov. 8, 1806, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 769, AGI.


Letter, Diego Miguel Bravo de Lagunas, regidor of Lima, prosecuting judge, and secretary-accountant of the former Junta de Consolidación, Cádiz, Oct. 12, 1811, in “Amortización y consolidación 1780–1830,” AGI, Indiferente, leg. 1702. See also Abascal to President of Castilla. Lima, Apr. 8, 1809, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 738, in which Abascal reports the delivery of 1.211,187 pesos of the amortization’s proceeds aboard the ship San Fulgencio.


“Libro en que se copian los informes que se expiden en esta Real Caxa Matriz de Lima,” Oct. 1808. AGN, Libros de Cuenta, H–3–1164, f 61, and leg. 19; AGI, Indiferente, leg, 1702.


Gompare to figures in Stein, “Prelude to Upheaval,” 197–99; and Lavrin, “Execution of the Law of Consolidación, ” 35, 45.


“Testimonio de los autos originales formados por comisión dirigida al Sor. Intendente de esta capital Don Juan María Gálvez con intervención del Sor. Don Francisco Moreyra y Matute,” Lima, 1813, AHN, Inquisición, leg. 48002; “Comisión para la ocupación e inventario de los bienes de la Santa Inquisición 1813–1830, ” AGN, Colección Moreyra, leg. 44, D1.44–1325.


“Expedientes de los Tribunales de Inquisición de América y sus dependencias, ” AGI, Indiferente, leg. 3014B.


The two Inquisitions financial assets in 1813 compare as follows (amounts in pesos).


Cartas al Consejo, Jan. 23 and June 14, 1815, July 11, 1815, AHN, Inquisición, leg. 48001; Abascal, Memorias, 94–95.


“Expediente sobre la cesación de los derechos de derrama y avería por parte del Tribunal del Consulado de Lima,” 1759, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 817.


“Testimonio de las juntas que se hicieron en el Tribunal del Consulado de Lima para responder a diferentes papeles del Exmo. Conde de Castellar Marqués de Malagón, virrey destos reinos,” year 1677, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 470.


“[Expediente] Sobre el préstamo del millón y medio,” AGI, Consulados, leg. 794.


James Riley, International Government Finance and the Amsterdam Capital Market, 1740-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1980).


“[Expediente] Sobre el préstamo. . .”


For example, merchant Antonio Elizalde. See AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 1555.


Derechos sobre la plata, ordenanzas, corsarios, subvención, patriótico, trigo y sebo, and armamento.


“Libro mayor principal del real derecho de subvención que corre a cargo del Real Tribunal del Consulado de Lima correspondiente al año 1806,” AGI, Consulados, libro 750; “Manual duplicado del Real Tribunal del Consulado de Lima correspondiente al año 1808,” AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg, 1544C.


“Tribunal del Gonsulado: toda imposición, 1819.” AGN, leg. 349, libro 1237A,


Acordado en Junta General de Tribunales, pamphlet. Jan, 5, 1819, AGN, Colección Moreyra, leg. 97, D1.97-2208.


AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 738; AGI, Diversos, leg. 1, 1806, ramo 2, 1807, ramo 3.


The Cabildo of Lima contributed funds to build six baluartes. The conventos of Santo Domingo, San Agustín, and La Merced, the Tribunal de Minería, and the hacendados of Lima financed three each; the Inquisition two; and various others one. Manuel de Mendiburu, Diccionario histórico biográfico del Perú (Lima; Imprenta Enrique Palacios, 1931), 1:62.


Mateo Pumacahua, future insurgent, participated with 2,000 pesos in the 46,257-peso donativo and loan raised in Cuzco in 1810. “El Regente Presidente de la Audiencia de Cuzco (Manuel Pardo) sobre donativos y préstamos voluntarios . . . al 5 por ciento,” Jan. 18, 1810, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 769.


Abascal to the Minister of Hacienda, Apr. 23, 1809, AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 738; Abascal, Memoria, 143; AGI, Gobierno, Lima, leg. 1539.


For detailed information on the sample of creditors, see Alfonso W. Quiroz, Deudas olvidadas: instrumentos de crédito en la economía colonial peruana, 1750–1820 (Lima: Fondo Editorial Universidad Católica del Perú, 1993), app. 3.


Timothy E. Anna, The Fall of the Royal Government in Peru (Lincoln; Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1979), 114.


“Deuda española liquidada hasta 1821,” BNP, Manuscritos, 1865-D12853.


Timothy E. Anna, “Economic Causes of San Martin’s Failure in Lima,” HAHR 54:4 (Nov, 1974), 657–81; Alfonso W. Quiroz, La deuda defraudada: consolidación de 1850 y dominio económico en el Perú (Lima: Instituto Nacional de Cultura, 1987), chap. 1.