Book

Empire and Revolution

John Mason Hart

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780520223240
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939295 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520223240.001.0001
Empire and Revolution

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The deep relationship between the United States and Mexico has had repercussions felt around the world. This chronicle of the economic and social connections between the two nations opens a new window onto history from the Civil War to today and illuminates the course of events that made the United States a global empire. The Mexican Revolution, Manifest Destiny, World War II, and NAFTA are all part of the story, but this narrative transcends these moments of economic and political drama, resonating with the themes of wealth and power. Combining economic and historical analysis with personal memoirs and vivid descriptions of key episodes and players, this book is based on substantial amounts of previously unexplored source material. Recently declassified documents in the archives of the United States government have been examined for this book and the author has also traveled extensively in rural Mexico to uncover the rich sources for this gripping story of 135 years of intervention, cooperation, and corruption. Beginning just after the American Civil War, the book traces the activities of an elite group of financiers and industrialists who, sensing opportunities for wealth to the south, began to develop Mexico's infrastructure. It charts their activities through the pivotal regime of Porfirio Díaz, when Americans began to gain ownership of Mexico's natural resources, and through the Mexican Revolution, when Americans lost many of their holdings in Mexico. The book concentrates less on traditional political history in the twentieth century and more on the hidden interactions between Americans and Mexicans, especially the unfolding story of industrial production in Mexico for export to the United States. Throughout, this narrative illuminates the development and expansion of the American railroad, oil, mining, and banking industries. The book also shows how the export of the “American Dream” has shaped such areas as religion and work attitudes in Mexico. This book reveals much about the American psyche, especially the compulsion of American elites toward wealth, global power, and contact with other peoples, often in order to “save” them. These characteristics were first expressed internationally in Mexico, and the book shows that the Mexican experience was and continues to be a prototype for U.S. expansion around the world. This work demonstrates the often inconspicuous yet profoundly damaging impact of American investment in the underdeveloped countries of Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

Keywords: United States; Mexico; Civil War; Mexican Revolution; Manifest Destiny; World War II; NAFTA; American Dream; American investment; Latin America

Book.  688 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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Table of Contents

Arms and Capital in Empire and Revolution

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Rival Concessionaires in Empire and Revolution

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Ubiquitous Financiers in Empire and Revolution

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Building the Railroads in Empire and Revolution

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Absentee Landlords in Empire and Revolution

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