The Aztec Aristocracy in Colonial Mexico
The student of Aztec âaristocracyâ in its colonial period (1519â1810) confronts an historical situation of which the abstract conditions are familiar from other (and often much better known) instances of conquest and long-term adaptation. Romans and Barbarians, Moslems and Christians, Whites and Negroes, and additional examples will immediately suggest themselves. The situation is one wherein a given society, previously independent, suffers subjugation under an external society to the extent that its whole hierarchy of class stratification is subordinated to a new and foreign upper class. The society is demoted as a whole, and whereas for lower classes this entails only a further degradation, for ruling classes the change is absolute, from a dominant to a subordinate rank. Theoretically, at least, one could expect stimulus and response in greatest degree and greatest incidence in the group whose position is most seriously affected.