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Pachuca, mining center and capital of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico, where silver was first discovered in 1552. Noted as the place where the patio process for silver refining was developed, Pachuca, along with the adjacent Real del Monte workings, was the closest significant mining region to Mexico City. Tributary labor provided by the local sedentary indigenous population was important, but there emerged a large body of free wage laborers, who, beginning in 1766 at Real del Monte, mounted what may be the first strike in Mexican history. Following Mexican independence, mining was taken over by a succession of British, Mexican, and U.S. interests.

See alsoMining: Colonial Spanish America .


A monograph-length discussion of Pachuca is Alan Probert, "Silver Quest: Episodes of Mining in New Spain, Nine Readings," Los Angeles: Journal of the West, 1975. Real del Monte has received more attention in English: Robert W. Randall, Real del Monte: A British Mining Venture in Mexico. Austin: University of Texas Press (1972); Doris M. Ladd, The Making of a Strike: Mexican Silver Workers' Struggles in Real del Monte, 1766–1775. Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 1988.

Additional Bibliography

Flores Clair, Eduardo. Conflictos de trabajo de una empresa minera: Real del Monte y Pachuca, 1872–1877. México, D.F.: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 1991.

Gutiérrez, M. Caminantes de la tierra ocupada: Emigración campesina de la Huasteca hidalguense a las minas de Pachuca. México, D.F.: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1992.

Lorenzo Monterrubio, Antonio. Arquitectura, urbanismo, y sociedad en la ciudad de Pachuca durante el porfiriato. Hidalgo: Sistema de Educación Pública de Hidalgo; Consejo Estatal para la Cultura y las Artes, 1995.

                                   Robert Haskett