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Partido is the practice of giving mine workers a part of their pay in silver ore. After the worker had extracted a fixed amount of ore from the mine workings, he had the right to half of the additional ore that he could remove from the mine during the shift. In mines where entrepreneurs had no money to pay wages, owner and worker shared the ore. The partido was compensation for the extraordinary dangers of mine work and arose in response to a shortage of free labor as well as a scarcity of capital with which to pay the workers. Even after independence, as mines were developed or acquired by foreign firms that sought to change the work regime, workers continued to press, though increasingly unsuccessfully, for the right of the partido.

See alsoMining: Colonial Spanish America; Mining: Modern.


Partido is treated in David A. Brading, Miners and Merchants in Bourbon Mexico (1971); Alan Probert," Discord at Real del Monte," in Journal of the West 14 (April 1975): 35-50; and in Doris Ladd, The Making of a Strike: Mexican Silver Workers' Struggles in Real del Monte, 1766–1775 (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Cubillo Moreno, Gilda. Los dominios de la plata: El precio del auge, el peso del poder: Empresarios y trabajadores en las minas de Pachuca y Zimapán, 1552–1620. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 1991.

Couturier, Edith Boorstein. The Silver King: The Remarkable Life of the Count of Regla in Colonial Mexico. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003.

Herrera Canales, Inés, ed. La Minería mexicana: De la colonia al siglo XX. Mexico City: Instituto Mora, El Colegio de Michocoán, El Colegio de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas-UNAM, 1998.

                                    Edith Couturier