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What was Mexican life like under Spanish rule?

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This is a very broad question as there were many different classes of people in Colonial Mexico and Spain ruled Mexico for almost 300 years.  

Overall, we can say that Mexican life under Spanish rule was very stratified.  There was a small elite at the top and a large mass of impoverished people at the bottom.  The elites were of European descent.  Peninsulares who were born in Spain were the very top with creoles who were born in Mexico below them.  There were some mestizos who formed something of a middle class.  At the bottom of the social ladder were the masses of Indians who served as workers for the Spanish or who were subsistence farmers.


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