Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/228

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city, so that Valladolid had every reason to hold itself high as a town of distinction.

It was named Valladolid after the birthplace of Mendoza in Spain, and called always Valladolid de Michoacan, in distinction from the town in the old country, until the name was changed, in this century, to Morelia, for reasons we shall understand better further on in the story.

It is hard to account for the presence in Mexico of the "more than sixty families," and many, many more which served as nucleus for all the cities founded by the Spaniards. In the prosperous condition of Spain at that time, when the empire of Charles V. was at the greatest period of glory, it is a question to solve why any noble families took the trouble to risk a perilous voyage, in those days long and, to say the least, uncomfortable, in order to make a new life in the recently conquered colony. Doubtless the reports given by the Conquistadores of the great wealth of the new land attracted many adventurers, who left their country for their country's good, thus seizing a short cut to wealth; but this does not account for whole families, in numbers sufficient to settle city after city over the newly grasped possessions in the hands of the viceroy. Religious liberty was not the motive, for here the strong arm of the Church was stretched as firmly as at home. As early as 1527 a royal order was issued, by which all Jews and Moors were banished from New Spain. The Inquisition was established in 1570, but although the auto da fé was of frequent occurrence during two centuries, the institution never