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The relationship between business and politics is crucial to understanding Mexican history, and Pesos and Politics explores this relationship from the mid-nineteenth century dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz through the Mexican Revolution (1876-1940). Historian Mark Wasserman argues that throughout this era, over the course of successive regimes, there was an evolving enterprise system that had to balance the interests of the Mexican national elite, state and local governments, large foreign corporations, and individual foreign entrepreneurs. During and after the Revolution these groups were…mehr

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Produktbeschreibung
The relationship between business and politics is crucial to understanding Mexican history, and Pesos and Politics explores this relationship from the mid-nineteenth century dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz through the Mexican Revolution (1876-1940). Historian Mark Wasserman argues that throughout this era, over the course of successive regimes, there was an evolving enterprise system that had to balance the interests of the Mexican national elite, state and local governments, large foreign corporations, and individual foreign entrepreneurs. During and after the Revolution these groups were joined by organized labor and organized peasants.

Contrary to past assessments, Wasserman argues that no one of these groups was ever powerful enough to dominate another. Because Mexican governments and elites committed themselves to economic models that relied on foreign investment and technology, they had to reach a balance that simultaneously attracted foreign entrepreneurs, but did not allow them to become too powerful or too privileged.

Concentrating on the three most important sectors of the Mexican economy: mining, agriculture, and railroads, and employing a series of case studies of the careers of prominent Mexican business people and the operations of large U.S.-owned ranching and mining companies, Wasserman effectively demonstrates that Mexicans in fact controlled their economy from the 1880s through 1940; foreigners did not exploit the country; and, Mexicans established, sometimes shakily, sometimes unplanned, a system of relations between foreigners, elite and government (and later unions and peasant organizations) that maintained checks and balances on all parties.


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  • Produktdetails
  • Verlag: Stanford University Press
  • Seitenzahl: 272
  • Erscheinungstermin: 15. April 2015
  • Englisch
  • ISBN-13: 9780804795210
  • Artikelnr.: 48416364
Autorenporträt
Mark Wasserman is Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
Inhaltsangabe
Contents and Abstracts 1Elites
Foreigners
and Government in Mexico
1877-1940 chapter abstract 2Mexican Entrepreneurs chapter abstract Two case studies about the patriarchs of two Mexican entrepreneurial families: Enrique C. Creel
who was Mexico's leading banker during the Díaz era (1880-1910)
a governor and national cabinet member; and Evaristo Madero
a large landowner and industrialist. Both families diversified extensively
although they based their wealth in good part on landholding and partnered with other elite groups in Mexico City and Monterrey. Creel and Madero were similar in that they opposed Díaz for many years
but never lost out entirely because they were too strong economically. They were different in that the Creels cooperated with
brokered for
and partnered with foreign businesspeople
while the Maderos often found themselves in opposition to foreign companies. 3Mexico Versus the Seven Kings: The Railroad Consolidation
1902-1910 chapter abstract This is the history of the consolidation of the Mexican railroad system under government ownership from 1902 to 1911. The Díaz regime undertook these mergers in order to prevent the railroad tycoons in the United States from taking control of the financially unstable Mexican railway companies. The arrangements were engineered by finance minister José Y. Limantour
who ingeniously stymied the US capitalists while at the same time not alienating them. The railroad consolidation was an excellent example of how the elite-foreign enterprise system worked
as the regime balanced the interests of all of the competing groups. 4Foreign Landowners chapter abstract Discusses the various types of foreign landholders in Mexico during the period under study; it uses case studies of large owners
more modest owners
lumber companies
colonizing schemes
and lumber companies. It argues that foreign investors
while owning large tracts
rarely yielded profits. They required considerable capital
a steady market
and secure labor force to succeed. 5The Corralitos Company chapter abstract The Corralitos Company operated an 800
000-acre ranch and a substantial mining company. It makes an excellent case study of foreign investment in each of these businesses because we have a fairly complete set of records for the company. During a period of forty years
the company was profitable only for a short period. Its investors sunk hundreds of thousands of dollars into new equipment and livestock. 6Foreign Mining Entrepreneurs chapter abstract This chapter contains a large number of case studies of mining companies
the vast majority of which were unprofitable. It reiterates that these companies required great capital
expertise
management skills
the ability to negotiate with local elites and governments
a steady market
good transportation
and a secure labor force. Very few companies combined all of these. 7The American Smelting and Refining Company in Mexico
1890-1940 chapter abstract This is the history of the American Smelting and Refining Company in Mexico
which was the most important success of all foreign enterprises in Mexico during this era. 8Conclusion chapter abstract