Sheep Growing constituted New Mexico's leading industry for much of the territorial period and had been of major importance over the preceding two centuries, since the days of Spanish sovereignty. This work is a dedicated economic history of the industry during the territorial period, a time during which sheep sheep growing underwent a series of dramatic changes from the traditional Spanish practices of open-range grazing and large trail drives serving Mexican markets to capitalized sheep and wool production on managed lands, serving vastly larger American markets. The herds multiplied tremendously, while leadership and control of the industry shifted from a small cohort of wealthy, landed Hispanic families to well-connected and well-capitalized Anglo merchants and growers, recently arrived in the territory. This shift, how and why it came about, is the central theme of this work. It is shown to be largely the result of impersonal economic forces, as New Mexico was gradually absorbed, economically and socially, into the American mainstream. The role of capital was central.
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Wallace, Jon M.. "Livestock, Land, and Dollars: The Sheep Industry of Territorial New Mexico." (2014). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hist_etds/80