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Mexico and the United States

Ambivalent Vistas

W. Dirk Raat and Michael M. Brescia

Publication Year: 2010

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 Calderón 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.

Published by: University of Georgia Press

Series: The United States and the Americas

List of Illustrations

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pp. xi

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pp. xiii-xvi

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 ...

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pp. xvii

Special thanks to individuals who assisted in the first edition of this book: Gary Barber, Don Bush, William Graebner, William T. Hagan, John Coatsworth, James Lockhart, David Weber, John Hart, Friedrich Katz, David LaFrance, Deborah Lanni, Colin Mac- Lachlan, Oscar Martínez, Charlotte Morse, B. W. Wolfe, and John Womak ...

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1. “Gringos” and “Greasers”

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pp. 1-15

Most of humanity tends to perceive the world from an egocentric or ethnocentric point of view. Egocentrism is the habit of ordering the world so that components away from “self” diminish in value. Because as individuals we are dependent on others for biological comfort and psychological security, egocentrism can be realized only in part. Ethnocentrism (collective egocentrism), however, or at least the ...

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2. Space/Time in the Tierra de la Mexica

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pp. 16-45

In July of 2008 it was estimated that there were more than 303 million persons residing in the United States, a country lying adjacent to Mexico with perhaps as many as 110 million inhabitants. While the rate of population growth in the United States had been relatively high during the “baby boom” years of the 1950s, a decline set in after 1960. During the 1970s the population of the United States slowly increased ...

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3. Up and Down from Colonialism

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pp. 46-64

The productivity gap that exists between Mexico and the United States today dates from the late colonial era and the early years of the national period, roughly between 1770 and 1870. From its colonial base, the economy of the United States “took off,” while the Mexican economy slowed and then spiraled downward after 1770. In effect, the United States went up from colonialism, while Mexico went down. ...

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4. Texas and a Collision of Cultures

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pp. 65-90

While 1846 may have been a momentous year for Bernard De Voto in his Western narrative entitled The Year of Decision, it was 1848 that proved momentous in world history. For Europe it was a year of revolt in Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Milan, and Rome. Across the oceans, armies were on the move. The British were arriving in New Zealand, and Texas Rangers were returning from central Mexico. The U.S. invasion ...

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5. From Pueblo to Global Village

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pp. 91-113

British historian Eric Hobsbawm interpreted the history of what he called the “long nineteenth century” (1789–1914) in three works. The first, The Age of Revolution, 1789–1848, traces the double breakthrough of the first industrial revolution in Britain and the Franco-American political revolution. The former established the capitalist productive system ...

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6. The Mexican Revolution in the United States

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pp. 114-137

Between 1907 and 1908 the world marketplace was in trouble. The banking crisis was started when U.S. speculators tried to corner the market in copper, resulting in the destabilization of banks in London, Amsterdam, and Hamburg. Panic swept Wall Street. Banks closed; 20 percent of them were in Texas. New investment money for ...

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7. Soldiers, Priests, and Lords of Land and Industry

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pp. 138-159

World War I intensified the penetration of developing states and societies by the colonial powers. The world economy brought these countries into an expanding global network of commerce, trade, and Western ideas. Yet, in many instances, this contact provoked indigenous reactions that were highly nationalistic and anticolonial. Mohandas ...

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8. Preening and Ruffling the Serpent’s Plumage

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pp. 160-184

Immanuel Wallerstein, famed sociologist and architect of the world-system theory, argues that 1967–68 was a pivotal time in the history of the world-economy. Until then, the United States dominated the military arena and the political economy. After 1967, a steady process of erosion of the hegemonic position of the United States in ...

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9. Mexamerica

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pp. 185-210

That region of North America where the two societies of Mexico and the United States come together and overlap is known as Mexamerica. Historically, it has been a shifting cultural zone, known to the Aztecs as the “land of the uncivilized dogs,” or what the Spaniards called the Gran Chichimeca. That area has been called the Spanish borderlands during the later colonial period, El Norte and ...

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Epilogue: The Rediscovery of Mexico

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pp. 211-238

Every half century or so, New Yorkers rediscover Mexico. In 1940 all things Mexican were the rage. The Museum of Modern Art, under the direction of Nelson A. Rockefeller, hosted “Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art,” an exhibition of five thousand selections of ancient and modern Mexican works. A calendar of cultural and social events accompanied the exhibit, including a concert by Carlos Chávez and his ...


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pp. 239-290

Bibliographical Essay

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pp. 291-304


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pp. 305-324

E-ISBN-13: 9780820336114
E-ISBN-10: 0820336114
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820333670
Print-ISBN-10: 0820333670

Page Count: 348
Illustrations: 1 photo, 9 maps, 3 figures
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: Fourth Edition
Series Title: The United States and the Americas