Empire and Revolution: The Americans in Mexico since the Civil War

Empire and Revolution: The Americans in Mexico since the Civil War

Empire and Revolution: The Americans in Mexico since the Civil War

Empire and Revolution: The Americans in Mexico since the Civil War

Synopsis

"This is an extraordinarily important history of both U.S.-Mexico relations and of the political, economic, social, and cultural activities of Americans in Mexico."--Friedrich Katz, author of "The Life and Times of Pancho Villa

"Empire and Revolution is empowering as well as informative, providing a detailed record and judicious interpretation of the protean relations between the United States and Mexico. As John Mason Hart convincingly narrates, the association is of dynamic importance for people of both countries. While there have been studies on discrete parts and periods of the U.S.-Mexico relation, this book charts and anchors the relation globally. Hart allows the reader intellectual as well as imaginative insight into the multifaceted social, cultural, and political reality of the sharing of North America--then, now, and in the future."--Juan Gomez-Quinones, author of "Mexican-American Labor, 1790-1990

Excerpt

I n 1883 a group of the most prominent capitalists and politicians of the United States gathered with their Mexican counterparts in the banquet hall of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. The cabinet members and financiers took their seats at the long dining table. Facing each other at the left and the right of the head chair were General Porfirio Díaz and Ulysses S. Grant, both former presidents. Collis P. Huntington, one of the leading railroad industrialists and financiers of his time, took the head chair. In the meeting that ensued, the Mexican officials presented their case for pervasive American participation in the development of their economy, and the American investors bargained for access to Mexico's abundant natural resources. The program of free trade, foreign investment, and privatization of the Mexican countryside that they agreed upon that evening continues to resonate. The benefits and detriments of the agreements that they struck have influenced the relationship between the peoples and governments of the United States and Mexico to this day. It was the Americans' first step in a progression that has determined the relations between the United States and the nations of the Third World in the twenty-first century.

The story of the American experience in Mexico is one of intense interaction between two peoples and the relationship that developed between two nations as a result. Mexico was the first of the many legally recognized but economically and militarily weak nations that Americans encountered after the Civil War. Between 1865 and 2000, when this narrative concludes, the contacts and connections between Americans and Mexicans were marked not only by intervention and revolution, but by accommodation and cooperation as well. The history that unfolded during those 135 years offers critical insights into how the United States became a global empire, the impulses . . .

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