Jesuit Ranches and the Agrarian Development of Colonial Argentina, 1650-1767

By Nicholas P. Cushner

Subjects: Latin American Studies
Paperback : 9780873957069, 206 pages, June 1984
Hardcover : 9780873957076, 206 pages, June 1984

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations and Tables


List of Abbreviations


1. The Lay of the Land

The physical environment

Acquisition of land

Jesuit lands

Distribution of farm/ranch units

Lawsuits and litigation

2. Farmsteads and Ranches

The structures

Construction materials


Organization and management

World vision and commercial venture

3. The Mule Trade

Mules and donkeys

Jesuit mules

Salta and mule distribution

4. Works and Days: The Functioning Farm


Textile mills

Herds and hides

Rentals and other land uses

Product distribution

Colonial role of ranches and farms

5. Labor: Salaried and Slave

Personal service

Conchabados and peones


Labor costs

Criticism and rationale

6. Finance

Accounting methods

Revenue and expenses: Córdoba

Revenue and expenses: the Province and other colleges

Return and reinvestment

7. Credit, Money, and Colonial Trade

Currency and prices

Credit mechanisms

Oficios and the trade network


8. Conclusion

Appendix A. The Morality of Business Transactions

Appendix B. Directives to the Office of the Missions on Business Activity, 1738


Glossary of Spanish Terms




Jesuit Ranches and the Agrarian Development of Colonial Argentina, 1650-1767, is the last book in a trilogy that examines Jesuit economic activity in three major geographic regions of colonial Spanish America. The first, Lords of the Land, focuses on Jesuit sugar and wine production on the Peruvian coast, primarily from the viewpoint of the agricultural geographer. The second, Farm and Factory, examines the complex of Jesuit farm, wool, and textile production in Interandine Ecuador insofar as it contributed to the beginnings of agrarian capitalism in Latin America.

This book examines the agro-pastoral development of colonial Argentina, primarily Tucumán, its farms, its ranches, and its trade connections with Alto Peru. Three major geographical regions are thus studied, each specializing in a distinct complex of economic enterprises, but each linked by trade routes that crossed snowy mountains and traversed barren deserts.

Nicholas P. Cushner is Associate Professor of History at Empire State College, State University of New York.


"This book brings a wealth of important information on a topic never treated before" — Susan M. Socolow, Emory University.

"Cushner culls intimate information about important rural production from the account books and letters of agricultural estates. The sources are among the most informative available for any period of Latin American history—even for today—that I have seen. This is scholarship at its best. " — Jonathan C. Brown, Northern Illinois University.