Mexico and the United States: Ambivalent Vistas

Mexico and the United States: Ambivalent Vistas

Mexico and the United States: Ambivalent Vistas

Mexico and the United States: Ambivalent Vistas

Synopsis

Drug wars, NAFTA, presidential politics, and heightened attention to Mexican immigration are just some of the recent issues that are freshly interpreted in this updated survey of Mexican-U.S. relations.

The fourth edition has been completely revised and offers a lively, engaging, and up-to-date analysis of historical patterns of change and continuity as well as contemporary issues. Ranging from Mexican antiquity and the arrival of the Spanish and British to the present-day administrations of Felipe Caldern and Barack Obama, historians Dirk Raat and Michael Brescia evaluate the political, economic, and cultural trends and events that have shaped the ways that Mexicans and Americans have regarded each other over the centuries. Raat and Brescia pay special attention to the factors that have subordinated Mexico not only to "the colossus of the North" but to many other players in the global economy. They also provide a unique look at the cultural dynamics of Gran Chichimeca or Mexamerica, the borderlands where the two countries share a common history. The bibliographical essay has been revised to reflect current research and scholarship.

Excerpt

This history of Mexico is not an ordinary narrative that traces the contours of the past in a geographic vacuum, but one that views Mexico in the context of its relationship with the United States and the global economy. We examine the manner in which the United States has shaped the political economy of Mexico since the nineteenth century while at the same time influencing its political culture and social system. of course, influence has flowed north of the international border; Mexico has affected the United States tremendously. For example, during the Mexican Revolution of 1910–20, the first social revolution of the twentieth century with international implications, the United States was used as a source of materiel, recruits, and funds for Mexico, which resulted in profound social change and commercial growth for the U.S. Southwest. in the more recent past, the rapid influx of Mexican workers in the United States and the violence that accompanies illegal drug trafficking, as well as the U.S. post-9/11 preoccupation with border security, promises to color the ambivalent views that each country holds of the other.

This history is also an account of the growth of Mexico's economy vis-à-vis the United States. Part of that story can be found in the demographics of Mexico, the comparative resource base of Mexico and the United States, and the geopolitics of the international community. Spain's imperial rule bequeathed a heritage that resulted in an economic gap between Mexico and the United States, a gap that was widened by the wars of independence in the early nineteenth century and then by Manifest Destiny, whereby the United States sought to link its Atlantic and Pacific coasts by its invasion and occupation of Mexico in 1846–48. Moreover, since 1870 Mexico's economy has been subordinate to that of the creditor nations in the world-economy, first Great Britain, and after 1900, the United States. in other words, Mexico's modern economy has been conditioned by the development and expansion of . . .

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