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Grant number like: FB-54859-10

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Amilcar E. Challu
Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH 43403-0001)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2010 – 7/31/2011

The Political Economy of Hunger in Bourbon Mexico

My project explores how conflicts between popular and elite sectors, cities and countryside, colonial institutions and economic agents affected access to food, material well-being, and ultimately the viability of the colonial regime in late colonial Mexico. In this preindustrial, geographically fragmented and predominantly peasant society, access to food by different social groups was significantly altered as markets became increasingly integrated and trade regulations improved the flow of grain to consumer centers. Market integration allowed cities to leverage higher purchasing power and more institutional resources than the countryside. Colonial authorities critically supported this process because they deemed capital cities and mining towns essential to the survival of the colonial regime. Ultimately, grain markets not only contributed to unequal social patterns in access to food, but they were also a tool of empire.