Within this historical framework, Climate and Society in Colonial Mexico: A Study in Vulnerability provides a timely examination of the human impact of climate change and its contemporary implications. By considering three broadly differentiated case study regions Chihuahua s arid Conchos Basin, the lush Oaxaca Valley, and Guanajuato in the Bajío of Mexico the text offers valuable insights into how different societies articulate knowledge about climate and the environment and how they respond to climatic variability. Capitalizing on Mexico s rich colonial archives many published here for the first time the study provides a unique historical perspective into the complex interrelationships between climate and vulnerable societies. By examining the past, Climate and Society in Colonial Mexico offers valuable insights into contemporary climatic changes, environmental impacts, the vulnerability of societies, and our increasing concerns for the future of our planet.
Series Editors′ Preface.
1 A Vulnerable Society.
Climate Change and the ′Double–Sided′ Structure of Vulnerability 5
Exploring Climate and Society in Mexico.
Climate History and Vulnerability in Mexico.
Case Studies and Approach.
2 Climate, Culture and Conquest: North, South and Central Mexico in the Pre–European and Contact Period.
Environmental Marginality and Society in the Conchos Basin, Chihuahua.
Guanajuato and the Chichimec Territory.
Power and Political Growth in the Central Valley of Oaxaca.
3 Exploring the Anatomy of Vulnerability in Colonial Mexico.
The Tools of Conquest and Colonization.
The Emergence of Regional Colonial Political Economies.
Climatic Variability and Vulnerability in Colonial Mexico: A Preview.
4 Responding to Crisis: Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity in Colonial Mexico.
Moral Economic and Institutional Responses to Climate and Crisis in Colonial Mexico.
Speculation and Scarcity: Capitalizing on Climate Knowledge.
Trade in Grains: Providing for the ′Engines′ of the Colonial Political Economy.
Tribute, Food Aid and the Supernatural: Appealing to a Common Sense of Loss.
′Compadrazgo′, Community Engagement and Public Works.
′Most sensitive and saddening events′: Flood Risk and Social Capital Response in Colonial Guanajuato.
′Great floods′ and ′Strong winds′: Damaging Events, Adaptation and ′Non–Adaptation′ in Colonial Oaxaca.
Responding Strategically: Climate, Consciousness and Experimentation.
5 Dearth, Deluge and Disputes: Negotiating and Litigating Water and Climate in Colonial Mexico.
Water and Local ′Everyday Conflicts′ in the Country and City.
Regional Resistance: Drought, Disease and Rebellion in Northern Mexico.
Vulnerability, Riots and Rebellions: Rare Events or ′Tipping Points′?
6 Illusory Prosperity: Economic Growth and Subsistence Crisis in the Disastrous Eighteenth Century.
Decline and Depression in Seventeenth–Century Mexico.
Economic Boom and Bust: Absolutism and Globalization in Late Colonial Mexico.
′A time of calamity′: A Synthesis of Climate and Crises in Late Colonial Mexico.
From Crisis to Insurrection: Vulnerability and Popular Unrest in the Early Nineteenth Century.
7 Regional, National and Global Dimensions of Vulnerability and Crisis in Colonial Mexico.
Prolonged Drought and the Conditions of Crisis in Late Colonial Chihuahua.
Drought, Risk and the Social Construction of Flooding in the Bajío.
Resilience and the Rare Event: Climate, Society and Human Choice in the Indigenous South.
Crises in Context and Historical ′Double Exposure′.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper–division undergraduates and above. ––J. B. Richardson III, University of Pittsburgh (Choice, February 2009)