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Environment and History

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Environment and History

Conflicts Over Water in 'The Little Drought Age' in Central Mexico

Georgina H. Endfield and Sarah L. O'Hara

Environment and History 3(1997): 255-272

Mexico represents one of the most climatically sensitive regions of the world. Over the Colonial period, prolonged drought episodes had severe impacts on all sectors of society, particularly indigenous rural populations. This paper employs a variety of colonial historical records to document the nature and extent of these impacts within the context of prevailing social, political and economic conditions. It is clear that access to water has long been a source of contention especially during drought episodes. Resource monopolisation by individuals and institutions such as the church served to exacerbate this situation particularly during the 18th century.

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