The attraction of silver meant that Mexico was incorporated into European imperial orbits during the sixteenth century. The brutality that accompanied Spanish colonialism also brought with it economic transformation. Moreno-Brid and Ros (2004: 1) write that “by the end of the 18th century Mexico was probably one of the most prosperous regions [areas] in the world. It was surely one of the wealthiest Spanish colonies in America, with an economy whose productivity was possibly higher that that of Spain herself. Output per capita (in 1800) was around half that of the US, and Mexico’s economy was less agricultural, with an advanced mining industry and a signifi cant manufacturing sector.”