Tetzcoco was one of the most important cities of the pre-Hispanic Aztec Empire. When the Spaniards arrived in 1519, the indigenous hereditary nobles that governed Tetzcoco faced both opportunities and challenges, and were forced to adapt from the very moment of contact. This book examines how the city's nobility navigated this tumultuous period of conquest and colonialism, and negotiated a place for themselves under Spanish rule. While Tetzcoco's native nobles experienced a remarkable degree of continuity with the pre-contact period, especially in the first few decades after conquest, various forces and issues, such as changing access to economic resources, interethnic marriage, and intra-familial conflict, transformed Tetzcoco's ruling family into colonial subjects by the century's end.
Bradley Benton is Assistant Professor of History at North Dakota State University. His areas of research include Colonial Mexico; Aztec politics, society, and culture; the early-modern Atlantic world; and cross-cultural contact and exchange.
Introduction; Part I. Conquest and Continuity: 1. Tumultuous colonial beginnings, 1515-39; 2. Reassertion of traditional authority, 1540-64; Part II. Post-1564 Transformative Forces: 3. Noble resources: tribute, labor, and land; 4. Interethnic unions and the rise of Mestizos; 5. Family conflict and local power; Conclusions: a colonial aristocracy.