Revolution and the Industrial City: Violence and Capitalism in Monterrey, Mexico, 1890-1920
<italic>Revolution and the Industrial City</italic> makes two major contributions to the field: it expands our understanding of the structure of the global economy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and it inserts the strategic, economic, and political value of Monterrey into the histories of the Mexican revolution. Specifically, this study analyzes international networks of trade, violence and social relations along the U.S.-Mexico border, focused on the city of Monterrey. The analysis begins by rethinking Monterrey's origins under Spanish colonial rule and its transformation into the leading city of the Mexico-U.S. borderlands in the 1850s and 1860s. The study then details how Monterrey became a unique industrial city in the continental interior, making textiles for regional markets, steel for expanding Mexican railroads, beer and the glass to contain it for Mexican consumers, and refined silver for export to the U.S.--a precocious industrialization consolidated around 1900. The analysis turns to the challenges of sustaining industrial capitalism in the face of serial crises: a devastating flood in 1909, the political crises rooted in Monterrey that led to the outbreak of revolution in 1910, and the uncertainties of years of political and social conflict mostly away from the city in 1910-1914. Finally, this dissertation examines the culminating year of 1915, when an alliance forged by Pancho Villa, the Madero family, and General Felipe Ángeles worked to ground a revived revolutionary faction in the industrial economy of Monterrey. The attempt confirmed the pivotal importance of the northern industrial city and the fragility of industry in a time of revolution. The alliance could hold the city, but its opponents used mobile rural warfare to cut transport links, blocking supplies of raw cotton, mineral ores, and coal while limiting access to markets in Mexico and the U.S. While set during the early twentieth century, <italic>Revolution in the Industrial City</italic> is based on research that begins in the colonial period and introduces a new vision of the nineteenth century. Sources used in this study range from Foreign Service documents in Washington and London to state and municipal archives in northeastern Mexico.
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