By Sharon Bailey Glasco (auth.)
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Extra info for Constructing Mexico City: Colonial Conflicts over Culture, Space, and Authority
51 A combination of streets and canals that existed before the Spanish arrived dominated transportation in the city. Causeways originally built by the Mexica connected the island city to Guadalupe in the north, Tacuba in the west, and Mexicalzingo and Coyoacan in the south, although they went through a number of reconstructions during the colonial period. 2 Neighborhood divisions in eighteenth-century Mexico City. Key to barrio divisions: A. Santa Anna; B. La Lagunilla; C. San Carmen; D. San Sebastían; E.
These people, in his opinion, made it unsafe for most residents to go about their daily activities. Another Frenchman, Villiet d’Arignon, repeated these sentiments. During his visit in 1785, he was shocked at the number of robbers present in the city and the daring nature of their acts. 4 These facts highlight the complex position in which Mexico City found itself during the last years of colonial rule. On the one hand, its opulence and wealth was dazzling. Magnificent homes of the elite, impressive public buildings, and open public spaces adorned the city landscape.
The migration of ethnically diverse middle groups to the city was also a factor. Merchants, artisans, educated professionals, actors, musicians, and architects also viewed the city as a place of opportunity, where they could take advantage of specialized training, expanded career opportunities, and the social and cultural possibilities that the city offered. Most of the wealthiest families in colonial Mexico also had a residence in Mexico City, which helped them organize and run family businesses, as well as keep up on the latest business trends and activities.