Latin American History
Mexican Nationalism: History and Theory
David Brading (Cambridge)
4 October 2011

Flag of Mexico

In 1821 Mexico gained independence from Spain and formed a Republic.  By the 1880s a ‘reformation’ had begun to occur in the Mexican church, trade had moved primarily with Europe to Mexico’s North American neighbours, and modernisation went hand-in-hand with a government based around dictatorship and a cast based society.  Amongst, all of these changes in Mexican society were the growth of a nationalist ideology straining to break free of its Spanish roots and searching for a new ‘Mexican’ identity.  David Brading is both successful as an historian in English-speaking countries and in Mexico itself.  Indeed, several of his books are reprinted regularly in Mexico and viewed as essential texts in their universities.  This talk, then, on Mexican nationalism, comes from a man who is by-far one of the leaders in his particular field.  Brading looks at the multi-faceted nature and history of nationalism in Mexico especially where it intersected with major events such as civil war, religious transformation, and growth of urbanisation and modernisation. 

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