By Marie Eileen Francois

Pawning was once the commonest credits mechanism in Mexico urban within the 19th century. a various, mostly girl pawning shoppers from reduce- and middle-class families on a regular basis secured small intake loans via hocking family items. A two-tiered region of private and non-private pawnbrokers supplied collateral credits. instead of simply supplying emergency subsistence for the negative, pawnbroking facilitated intake via Creole and mestizo heart sectors of Mexican society and superior identification formation for these in middling families via permitting them to make the most of fabric investments to keep up prestige in the course of lean occasions. A tradition of daily Credit indicates how Mexican girls have relied on credits to run their families because the Bourbon period and the way the collateral credits company of pawnbroking built right into a ecocnomic company equipped at the call for for housework loans as regulations on usury waned through the 19th century.

Pairing the examine of family intake with a close research of the increase of non-public and public pawnbroking presents an unique context for realizing the function of small enterprise in way of life. Marie Eileen Francois weighs colonial reforms, liberal laws, and social revolution by way of their impression on families and pawning businesses.

Based on facts from pawnshop inventories, censuses, laws, petitions, literature, and newspapers, A tradition of daily Credit portrays families, small companies, and govt entities as intersecting arenas in a single fabric international, an international strapped for money all through many of the century and became the other way up throughout the Mexican Revolution.

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Extra resources for A Culture of Everyday Credit: Housekeeping, Pawnbroking, and Governance in Mexico City, 1750-1920 (Engendering Latin America)

Example text

Most households were headed by fathers and husbands, with sons, wives, and daughters subject to the authority of the patriarch, at least in theory. The significant minority of household heads that were women could escape this system, though other male relatives might exert author31 Hocking the Private in Public ity. ∏∑ The conditions of life in Mexico City in the late eighteenth century made some women independent—even defiant. ∏∏ Widows, whatever their ethnicity, were often, though not always, household heads in 1811.

The retail pawning decrees that called for the protection of honorable women as they went about their provisioning duties also aimed to protect elite property and domestic space. ’’ This list of ‘‘forbidden collateral goods’’ consisted of those items easily stolen in service: silver trays used by the maids of the comfortable homes when serving meals; silver spoons, plates, and goblets used by the members of the household and their guests, which servants cleared from the table, washed, and polished; and door handles and cushions of carriages in the care of doormen and drivers.

Thus, while a household might be cash poor, the material possessions in that house guaranteed the members’ access to daily provisions for meals. ’’ This mandatory provision in pawning policy, made explicit in a decree by Viceroy Revillagigedo in 1790, represents a royal social-welfare policy that recognized the socioeconomic function of the pawning process in the capital. Another welfare aspect of the 1790 decree was the limitation of the cost to the customer of the lending services to one-quarter of a real per peso loaned, e√ectively mandating a lower interest than the Monte de Piedad.

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