Consolidación, Law of

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Consolidación, Law of

Law of Consolidación. The Spanish crown decreed the law of consolidación on 26 December 1804. The law, or more exactly collection of laws and implementing decrees, required that officials of the church's Juzgado de Capellanías recall all funds that had been invested by the court. The principal of the loans was to be handed over to royal officials, and the crown would pay the court 3 percent annual interest on the principal. Over the course of the Spanish colonial period, very large sums of money had been given to the church for the establishment of pious works. Those funds were normally invested in mortgages on real estate, both urban and rural. Many authors writing at the time believed that more than half of the available capital of the colonies was tied up in these loans. Many borrowers had held these loans for several generations and were hard put to come up with the cash necessary to pay them off, in accordance with the royal decree, and their recall posed an immediate and dire threat to the economic stability of the colonies. In the archdiocese of Mexico, within four years a total of over 2.5 million pesos was collected.

See alsoCatholic Church: The Colonial Period .


Booker, Jackie. Veracruz Merchants, 1770–1829: A Mercantile Elite in Late Bourbon and Early Independent Mexico. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1993.

Costeloe, Michael P. Church Wealth in Mexico: A Study of the "Juzgado de Capellanías" in the Archbishopric of Mexico 1800–1856 (1967).

Jáuregui, Luís. La real hacienda de Nueva España: Su administración en la época de los intendentes, 1786–1821. México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Facultad de Economía, 1999.

                              John F. Schwaller

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