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On-line version ISSN 1668-8090


MARQUEZ, María Victoria. Through the Andes: Social strategies and power networks between Córdoba and Huancavelica in 18th Century. Andes [online]. 2012, vol.23, n.1. ISSN 1668-8090.

We research on the participation and use of bureaucratic and administrative fields by the colonial elite in the eighteenth century. For that purpose, we study the case of a family of important interregional traders -the-Mendiolaza- whose interests were established in different parts of the Andean region. This offers a comparative look on the strategies deployed by a same social network. This article is focused on two places, Cordoba and Huancavelica, as these were the main areas of the family activities, but also they were interesting contrasting regions whose realities could hardly be compared. While Córdoba was a borderland jurisdiction, dedicated mostly to mules raise and trade, located far from the major centers of the colonial power, Huancavelica was a mining town, under royal jurisdiction because it was the only American mercury-producing area, subject to the influence and interests of the viceregal court of Lima. The paper notes that marriage alliances, compadrazgos and friendships that shaped power strategies were as effective as the very exercise of a position in the colonial administration. For the specific case under discussion,  it is also established  that the systematic support to the controversial measures of the Bourbon government -and to its officials- was an essential aspect to their own consolidation within the local spaces of power in which they settled.

Keywords : Colonial networks of power; Elite of eighteenth-century Córdoba; Bourbon officials; Quicksilver; Comparative study.

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