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Because of the Church's prominence in colonial Latin American society, understanding the role of the Church in the economy of the times does not simply give insight into Church policies; it provides clarity, depth, and color to our understanding of the culture, society, and economy of the time. This paper begins by examining the part the Church as an institution played in the economy of colonial Latin America, and what effect that involvement had. Then, the discussion delves into a deeper assessment of what colonial Americans expected of the Church, what the Church expected of the people, and what happened when these economic expectations were not met.