The eighteenth century in New Spain witnessed major changes: among these, one of the most significant was the adoption of French customs among the upper groups of society in response to the spreading ideas of the Enlightenment. These new ideas, it has been assumed, brought a relaxation of social customs. But Viqueira Alban takes this assumption, and raises the question: Was it really a period of relaxation of social customs, in this age of 'growth without development?' He discovered that the movement of rural workers and their families to urban centers created a concern within the church and government hierarchy about the threat of disorder, leading to the need for new social restraints. This text is ideal for colonial Latin American survey courses, courses on the history of Mexico and Latin American literature, and courses on the popular culture and social history of Latin America.