Miners and Merchants in Bourbon Mexico 1763-1810
The aim of this study is to define that distinctive blend of enlightened despotism and entrepreneurial talent which created Bourbon Mexico. The period 1763-1810 was a crucial and distinctive stage in the colonial history of Mexico. Jose de Gálvez, the dynamic minister of the Indies, transformed the system of government and restructured the economy. The ensuing 'golden age', far from being the culmination of two hundred years of steady development, sprang rather from a profound regeneration of the New World's Hispanic society. The chief success of Gálvez's policy was the unprecedented mining boom which made Mexico the world's chief silver producer. It was this silver boom which largely financed the revival of the political and economic power of the Spanish monarchy and, in Mexico itself, created a new aristocracy of merchant capitalists and silver millionaires.