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Extra resources for The Political Economy of Spanish America in the Age of Revolution, 1750-1850
1965), passim; and Jacques Godechot, France and the Atlantic Revolution of the Eighteenth Century (London, 1971), 3. It also represents the period from 1750 to 1850 in Spanish America as a time of transition, beginning with the crisis of the colonial orderfrom the escalation of the Bourbon Reforms between approximately 1750 and 1765to Spanish America's incorporation into the global economy between approximately 1850 and 1900. Historiographical articles emphasizing this periodization are: Woodrow Borah, "Discontinuity and Continuity in Mexican History," Pacific Historical Review, 48 (1979): 125; Eric Van Young, "Mexican Rural History since Chevalier: The Historiography of the Colonial Hacienda," Latin American Research Review, 18:3 (1983): 561; Van Young, "Recent Anglophone Scholarship on Mexico and Central America in the Age of Revolution (17501850),'' Hispanic American Historical Review, 65:4 (November 1985): 72543.
Although the coastal cacao economy flourished during this period, the overall stagnation of the highland textile industry meant that the crown increased revenues by exploiting diminished regional economies more effectively. Per-capita tax rates soared compared to those achieved in other European colonies in the Americas. This system suffered during the disruptions of the independence era, however, and the income levels of the late Bourbon period were not attained again until 1850. Nevertheless, there were important continuities: Amerindian tribute still yielded large sums until its abolition in 1857, taxes on trade remained high after independence, and capital flowed out of the national economy, although it went to repay foreign loans, rather than as tax remittances to metropolitan Spain.
One does not need to be an apologist for Iturbide to recognize that ignoring him and his empire does a disservice to him, to Mexican history, even to Spain and its legacy, for the creation of a constitutional monarchy in Mexico is one of the foremost early examples of the continuity of Spanish influence in that country. The argument so frequently encountered in the historiography, often stated explicitly, is that Iturbide created a monarchy so that he could seize the throne for himself. This argument, however, completely ignores the fact that monarchy was natural, normal, and appropriate to the needs of a vast nation facing a transition period of undetermined duration in the wake of separation from Spain.