Southwestern Historical Quarterly
means of acquiring wealth. The greatest private project was
that of Cort6s, south of the Valley of Mexico in the present state
Under the stimulus of a rapidly developing sericulture, silk
crafts quickly took root in New Spain. By 1535, there were
twenty silk weavers, two spinners, and four silk workers
(sederos) in Mexico City. Slave labor, forbidden at the forma-
tion of the first silk guild, never was permitted, and in 1562
even free Negroes and mulattoes were prohibited from learning
the crafts of dyeing and weaving, which were thus monopolized
by Spanish artisans. The silk raisers were really masters rather
than capitalists. Mexican silk raising was characterized by
thorough state intervention. The central government regulated
production, forbade adulteration of fine quality silk with waste
of lower grades of thread, and ordered that just weights and
measures be used. On the whole, though, the industry was
In its first quarter-century silk raising became one of the
great permanent Mexican industries. Then the boom broke, and
there followed a quarter-century of stabilization. Thereafter
silk raising began to decline for a complexity of reasons which
Borah very ably handles.
Under the progressive Bourbon rulers of the eighteenth cen-
tury an attempt was made to revive the industry in Mexico.
The colonial administrators were encouraging it down to the
outbreak of the revolution, but their hopes were blasted by the
wasting of fields and groves and the impressing of peasants into
military service by the caudillos from 1810 to 1821.
Edinburg Junior College
El Primer Colegio de America, Santa Cruz de Tlaltelolco. By
Francis Borgia Steck, O.F.M. Mexico, D.F. Centro de
Estudios Hist6ricos Franciscos, 1944. Pp. 88. $2.00. With
a study of the Codex of Tialtelolco by Robert H. Barlow.
In 1536, one hundred years before Harvard College was
founded, the College of Santa Cruz opened its doors in
Tlaltelolco, now a part of Mexico City. It was to be a free school,
where the sons of Indian chiefs could be prepared for the priest-
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146056/. Accessed April 28, 2015.