By Gabriel Haslip-Viera

Younger, negative women and men migrated from the geographical region and swelled the ranks of the unemployed and underemployed in Mexico urban throughout the eighteenth century. With this quick development in inhabitants got here a rise in road crime, thefts, attacks, and murders, in addition to ethical crimes, prostitution, adultery, and vagrancy. those transgressions supplied a gentle stream of inmates to the city's six jails. This pioneering social background of crime and punishment in past due colonial Latin the United States plunges us at once into the way of life and studies of its lawbreakers. ladies ordinarily represented 30 percentage of all criminals, and by way of the eighteenth century difficulty for his or her welfare led to Mexico City's first makes an attempt at rehabilitation. This Enlightenment-era scan in social re-education took the shape of putting ladies in separate amenities or in deepest houses to function maids to "respectable" households, which regularly amounted to little greater than exploitation of unpaid workers. For males, prison used to be a way-station by way of serious corporal punishment after which years of pressured hard work. Many male criminals have been assigned to scrub rubbish-filled streets and open canals of Mexico urban. Others went into factories, mines, or army carrier. All have been expendable and regularly died ahead of finishing their time period of confinement.

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Extra resources for Crime and Punishment in Late Colonial Mexico City, 1692-1810

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The first chapter will examine the eighteenth-century urban environment and social structure, and its relationship to the rise of crime. Rural to urban migration, economic crises, unequal wage scales, incomes and status, poor housing, insufficient food, inadequate clothing, poor sanitation, and deficient health care will be looked upon as important factors or prerequisites for the rise of crime and the creation of a criminal class. The second chapter will discuss the various mechanisms and institutions that were developed by colonial society to deal with theft, burglary, assault, murder, and other crimes.

51 The elite was primarily Spanish and creole and consisted of the great miners and merchants, the titled nobility, and the large landowners, who lived in great splendor with their families and their extensive retinues in the center of Mexico City. The great wealth of the upper class was derived from a variety of enterprises in addition to mining, agriculture, and commerce. The wealth of the Marqueses de Aguayo-Alamo, for example, came from a conglomerate of enterprises that included urban prop- Page 24 erties, in addition to large agricultural landholdings, commercial ventures, and speculative investments in mining.

There are three, however, that stand out from the others: the Plaza Mayor, with a circumference of 2,000 Castillian varas, is located in front of the Viceregal Palace, which is so large and magnificent that it is fit for the residence of Our Catholic Monarch. 1 Page 8 In contrast to Viera, Hipólito Villarroel, a chief prosecutor of the tribunal of the acordada, made these comments about Mexico City's urban environment in 1787: An effort has already been made to make known the deplorable state of this unhappy city .

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Crime and Punishment in Late Colonial Mexico City, by Gabriel Haslip-Viera
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