Conference on Latin American History 61
Our panel explores the nature of economic and political networks in late colonial and early modern Mexico. The papers are linked in a number of ways. First, each examines an elite actor, and seeks to disentangle the many networks used to advance their careers and entrepreneurial activity. Second, the focus is specifically on elites and credit and political networks. These networks were sources of potential strength and opportunity, but also had sharp limits related to shifting political fortunes and economic trends. Third, our papers suggest that these elite networks worked in surprisingly contradictory and paradoxical ways, both serving to empower these elites but also to block and challenge them. Fourth, a close study of these economic elites contributes to our understanding of the fluid and shifting notions of the political nation and how differing representations of nation and nationalism could promote and derail careers.