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Mexico-United States relations: Since 1945

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The IHR Library holds a wealth of resources for the history of Mexico-United States relations, covering the period succeeding the Mexican-American War up until the twentieth century. A range of sources, such as, treaties, diaries, autobiographies and letters, are included in English, Spanish, Portuguese and other languages. 


Read previous entries in this blog series:

The Mexican-American War

The Porfiriato

The Mexican Revolution

2/13/1988 President Reagan reviewing troops with President de la Madrid at the Camino Real Hotel landing zone in Mazatlan Mexico

Following the ongoing reclassification project for the Latin American collection and the upcoming Mexico-U.S exhibition, some interesting volumes have been discovered within the library’s holdings. This is the final blog post in a series that focused on the IHR Library’s holdings of material concerning the history of Mexico-U.S relations, with a focus on Mexico-U.S foreign relations since 1945.

The alliance between Mexico and the U.S. during World War II brought the two countries into a far more harmonious relationship with one another. Mexican President Manuel Avila Camacho met in person with both Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, helping to cement ties with the U.S. Avila Camacho was not a leader in the Mexican Revolution himself, and held opinions that were pro-business and pro-religious that were more congenial to the U.S. while he maintained revolutionary rhetoric. During Avila Camacho’s visit with Truman near the centenary of the Mexican–American War, Truman returned some of the Mexican banners captured by the United States in the conflict and praised the military cadets who died defending Mexico City during the invasion.

The end of World War II meant decreased U.S demand for Mexican labour via the Bracero Program and for Mexican  raw materials to fuel a major war. For Mexican labourers and Mexican exporters, there were fewer economic opportunities. However, while at the same time the government’s coffers were full and aided post-war industrialisation. In 1946, the dominant political party changed its name to the Institutional Revolutionary Party, and while maintaining revolutionary rhetoric, in fact embarked on industrialisation that straddled the line between nationalist and pro-business policies. Mexico supported U.S. policies in the Cold War and did not challenge U.S. intervention in Guatemala that ousted leftist president Jacobo Arbenz.

The IHR Library’s holdings on the history of Mexico-U.S relations is particularly strong from the period between Mexican independence, up until the Cold War. There are a number of electronic resources available that focus on the more contemporary period after the Cold War.


The first work being highlighted in this post is Foreign relations of the United States, 1955-1957. vol. 6 American Republics: Multilateral; Mexico; Caribbean – United States Department of State

This work is one of 27 volumes that the IHR library holds of the publication, Foreign Relations of the United States. The volumes in this series include documents that give a comprehensive record of the major foreign policy decisions of the United States together with appropriate materials concerning the facts which contributed to the formulation of policies.

The section of this volume that concerns Mexico relations focuses on the political and economic relations of the United States and Mexico from 1955 to 1957. Notable documents in this volume include letters from President Eisenhower to the Secretary of State and other government officials and a National Intelligence Estimate; a report that aimed to estimate the situation and probable developments in Mexico over the next few years.


The Mexico reader : history, culture, politics – edited by Gilbert M. Joseph and Timothy J. Henderson.

The Mexico Reader explores what it means to be Mexican, tracing the history of Mexico from pre-Columbian times through the country’s revolution (1910–20) to the present day. The materials relating to the latter half of the twentieth century focus on the contradictions and costs of post-revolutionary modernisation, the rise of civil society, and the dynamic cross-cultural zone marked by the two thousand-mile Mexico-U.S. border. The book is divided into several sections organised roughly in chronological order and brief historical contexts have been provided for each section. This work also contains a lengthy list of resources about Mexico, including websites and suggestions for further reading.

The United States is a major presence throughout this work and it acknowledges how U.S actors and agencies  have shaped Mexico. The chapter titled ‘The Border and Beyond’ addresses several issues surrounding the Mexico-U.S border; the permeability of the border, problems for law enforcement and environmental and social policy issues.


Two nations indivisible: Mexico, the United States, and the road ahead by Shannon K. O’Neil.

The IHR library holds a digital copy of this Council of Foreign Relations publication. Shannon K. O’Neil, a senior CFR fellow for Latin American Studies, argues that the U.S ought to forge a new relationship with its southern neighbour. She maintains that there is more to the narrative conveyed by the American media that Mexico is a dangerous place overrun by drug lords.

O’Neil draws on her own personal experiences in Mexico City and other parts of the country to provide an in-depth analysis on the different aspects of Modern Mexico and its complex relationship with the United States.

 


For more information on the IHR Library’s holdings on Latin American and United States history more generally, please refer to the following guides:

United States History in the Institute of Historical Research Library

Mexican History in the Institute of Historical Research Library

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Mexico-United States Relations: the Mexican Revolution 1910-1920

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The IHR Library holds a wealth of resources for the history of Mexico-United States relations, covering the period succeeding the Mexican-American War up until the twentieth century. A range of sources, such as, treaties, diaries, autobiographies and letters, are included in English, Spanish, Portuguese and other languages. 


Read previous instalments in this series:

The Mexican-American War

The Porfiriato 

Following the ongoing reclassification project for the Latin American collection and the upcoming Mexico-U.S exhibition, some interesting volumes have been discovered within the library’s holdings. This blog post is the third in a series that will focus on the IHR Library’s holdings of material concerning the history of Mexico-U.S relations, focusing on the Mexican Revolution.

The Madero Revolution which overthrew the regime of Porfirio Diaz had its organisational and military beginnings in the United States. While the root cause was the unrest within Mexico itself, the Diaz government in 1910 was still strong enough to control internal dissension and maintain itself in power. Only the activities of the Mexican revolutionaries, organised and operating from a sanctuary above the U.S border, brought about the violent crack that was to force President Diaz from office. Wealthy landowner Francisco I. Madero challenged Díaz in the 1910 presidential election, and following the rigged results, revolted under the Plan of San Luis Potosí. Armed conflict ousted Díaz from power and a new election was held in 1911, bringing Madero to the presidency.


The first work being highlighted in this post is Documents on the Mexican Revolution edited by Gene Z. Hanrahan.

Volume I – The Origins of the Revolution in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California, 1910-1911.

This work consists of 9 volumes, with each volume covering a different time period during the revolution. The documents in this collection have been selected from the many thousands of papers on the Mexican revolution preserved in the United States National Archives. The documents include letters and reports prepared by U.S diplomats, the Mexican ambassador, special agents of the Department of Justice, state governors and private citizens. The first volume of this work includes important original writings and works of the Mexican revolutionaries that embrace subjects such as political and revolutionary writings, public and foreign reaction and U.S recognition of Madero.

Volume V – Blood Below the Border. American Eye-witness Accounts of the Mexican Revolution.

The fifth volume in this series consists of twenty reports, letters and documents written by Americans in Mexico during the first years of the Mexican Revolution. They included Americans in business, diplomats, visiting statesmen and mine managers. This volume sheds light on the concerns Americans had about their safety, investments and future in Mexico during this period, and how their views helped shape United States policy towards Mexico.

 

 


An American family in the Mexican revolution by Robert Woodmansee in collaboration with Richard Herr

This memoir details the experiences of an American family caught in Revolutionary Mexico. The book contains information about the Revolution, life as a foreign national in Mexico, the silver mining industry, and social and cultural aspects of Revolutionary Mexico.
Based on personal documents written by Richard Herr’s older brother, this memoir covers a critical period in Mexican history, beginning in the Porfiriato and continuing through the 1920s, from the point of view of one family. An American family in the Mexican revolution illustrates the economic expansion of the United States into Mexico in the late nineteenth century; relations between foreign managers and Mexicans of all social classes; the foreign colony in Mexico; the development of a working class in Mexico; various aspects of the Mexican revolution (including its contribution to the debate about the degree to which foreigners and their enterprises stirred revolutionary discontent); the impact and changes brought about by the revolution; and Mexican-United States relations during the entire period.


Un húngaro en el México Revolucionario : correspondencia de Kálmán Kánya, Ministro del Imperio Auistro-Húngaro en México durante la Revolución Mexicana y la Primera Guerra Mondial  by Ádám Anderle and Monika Kozári.

This work details the experience and correspondence of the Austro-Hungarian ambassador to Mexico, Kálmán Kánya, during the Mexican revolution. It is translated into Spanish from Hungarian and follows Kánya’s experiences and relationships with Mexican officials from his appointment as ambassador to Mexico to his return to Europe in July 1919.


For more information on the IHR Library’s holdings on Latin American and United States history more generally, please refer to the following guides:

United States History in the Institute of Historical Research Library

Mexican History in the Institute of Historical Research Library

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Mexico-United States Relations: Porfiriato (1876–1910)

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The IHR Library holds a wealth of resources for the history of Mexico-United States relations, covering the period succeeding the Mexican-American War up until the twentieth century. A range of sources, such as, treaties, diaries, autobiographies and letters, are included in English, Spanish, Portuguese and other languages. 


Read the first blog post in this series: The Mexican-American War.

Following the ongoing reclassification project for the Latin American collection and the upcoming Mexico-U.S exhibition, some interesting volumes have been discovered within the library’s holdings. This blog post is the second in a series that will focus on the IHR Library’s holdings of material concerning the history of Mexico-U.S relations, focusing on the rule of Porfiriato Díaz.

The rule of Porfirio Díaz (1876–1911) was dedicated to the rule by law, suppression of violence, and modernisation of all aspects of the society and economy. Diaz was an astute military leader and liberal politician who built a national base of supporters. To avoid antagonising Catholics, he avoided enforcement of anticlerical laws. The country’s infrastructure was greatly improved, thanks to increased foreign investment from Britain and the US, and a strong, stable central government.

The first work being highlighted in this blog post is an electronic resource titled Creating Mexican 

consumer culture in the age of Porfirio Díaz by Steven B. Bunker. This work focuses on the Mexican experience of consumerism under the Porfiriato regime. Steven Bunker’s study shows how goods and consumption embodied modernity in the time of Porfirio Díaz, how they provided proof to Mexicans that “incredible things are happening in this world.”

 


Estadísticas económicas del porfiriato : Comercio exterior de México, 1877-1911 – Colegio de México

This volume gathers the statistics of Mexican foreign trade in the years from 1877 to 1911. The data was compiled  by the Seminar of the Modern History of Mexico. Prepared as part of the research on the economic life of the country during the Porfiriato, these statistics are also provide a useful study on the economic development of the country under the regime.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Archivo del general Porfirio Díaz, memorias y documentos : prólogo y notas de Alberto María Carreño by Porfirio Díaz.

The IHR library holds 30 volumes of this series of Porfirio Díaz’s documents and memoirs, published in collaboration with the Institute of History at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. These epistolary works contain military correspondence, photos, maps and illustrations.

Letter from General Porfirio Diaz to Don Casimiro del Collado, asking for an opinion about his memoirs. vol. 1, pg.9

1. Manuel Iturribarria, Governor of the State of Oaxaca and Director of its Institute of Sciences. 2. Arms of the first Marquis of Montserrat, Don Joaquin Vasconcelos, who impelled the young Porfirio Diaz to pursue a literary career. Vol. 1, pg. 69

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


For more information on the IHR Library’s holdings on Latin American and United States history more generally, please refer to the following guides:

United States History in the Institute of Historical Research Library

Mexican History in the Institute of Historical Research Library

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Mexico-United States relations: The Mexican-American War (1846-1848)

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The IHR Library holds a wealth of resources for the history of Mexico-United States relations, covering the period succeeding the Mexican-American War up until the twentieth century. A range of sources, such as, treaties, diaries, autobiographies and letters, are included in English, Spanish, Portuguese and other languages. 


Following the ongoing reclassification project for the Latin American collection and the upcoming Mexico-U.S exhibition, some interesting volumes have been discovered within the library’s holdings. This blog post marks the first in a series that will focus on the IHR Library’s holdings of material concerning the history of Mexico-U.S relations, beginning with the Mexican-American War.

The Mexican–American War, also known as the Mexican War, or Intervención estadounidense en México (American Intervention in Mexico), was an armed conflict between the United States of America and the United Mexican States from 1846 to 1848. It followed in the wake of the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas, which Mexico considered part of its territory in spite of its de facto secession in the 1836 Texas Revolution.

The first work being highlighted in this blog post is the Memoirs of José Francisco Palomares by José Francisco Palomares. 

These memoirs date from 1846 to 1848 and the library’s copy is translated from the manuscript in the Bancroft Library by Thomas Workman Temple II. In this first-person narrative, Palomares recounts one of the many military campaigns he launched in California during the 1800s against indigenous people.


Correspondence between the Secretary of War and General Scottmessage of the President of the United States, transmitting the correspondence between the Secretary of War and Major General Scott, with the accompanying documents, in compliance with the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 17th instant.

This 63-page document dates from the outset of the War in April 1848 to November 1846, and details the correspondence between the Secretary of War, W.L. Marcy, and Major General Scott.


The Websters : letters of an American army family in peace and war, 1836-1853 by Van R. Baker.

This work offers information on life in the Army and the practices of the War Department, and focuses on the correspondence between Lucien Webster, a career army officer, and his wife Frances Smith. It contains a series of letters and memoirs that provide firsthand accounts of the Mexican-American War.


Chronicles of the gringos : the U.S. Army in the Mexican War, 1846-1848; accounts of eyewitnesses & combatants, edited, with introd., commentaries, and notes, by George Winston Smith & Charles Judah.

This work assembles the eyewitness accounts and letters written by the Gringo (American) soldiers and those close to them. It delves into what happened behind the scenes during the Mexican-American War, such as the daily life of the soldiers, their view of Mexico and its people and how they viewed each other.


For more information on the IHR Library’s holdings on Latin American and United States history more generally, please refer to the following guides:

United States History in the Institute of Historical Research Library

Mexican History in the Institute of Historical Research Library

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“Narratives of New Spain, written by the anonymous conqueror” from the Collections of the IHR Library

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During the ongoing reclassification of the Institute of Historical Research Library’s Latin American collections, a book was discovered entitled Narrative of some things of New Spain and of the great city of Temestitan, Mexico – written by the anonymous conqueror, a companion of Hernan Cortes.

The document was written during the early 16th century by an unknown author referred to as a “companion of Hernán Cortés”, or simply, “The Anonymous Conqueror” or “Gentleman of Cortés”. The edition in the IHR Library’s collection was translated into English by Marshall H. Saville, and published by the Cortés Society in New York in 1917. The document is one of the sources for the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire dating from the 16th century, one of the many surviving contemporary Spanish accounts from the period of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire and central Mexico (1519–1521). However, unlike conqueror accounts which highlight individual deeds worthy of rewards from the Spanish crown (a genre called probanzas or relaciones de méritos y servicios,[1] , the Anonymous Conqueror’s account is descriptive of indigenous life at the time of the conquest.

The document begins with an introduction written by Saville, which explains how the original Spanish text of the report of the Anonymous Conqueror is lost and that this edition was translated from the Italian text. He states that the anonymous author had been speculated to be Franciso de Terrazas, who was the butler of Hernan Cortés, and a mayor of Mexico.

Narrative of some things of New Spain provides descriptions of the life and culture of the pre-Columbian Aztec/Mexica and surrounding peoples of the Valley of Mexico, as they were first encountered by the expedition of Conquistadores under Hernán Cortés. The narrative is divided into 24 chapters and describes everything from the land and animals, to military concerns, to food and drink, to religion and government, to marriage and burials and beyond. It also contains information on the weapons of the Aztecs in comparison to those of the Spaniards.

1.  Altman, Ida (2003). The Early History of Greater Mexico. Upper Saddle River, NJ. p. 75.

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Sexuality and LGBTQ History in the IHR Library

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LGBT History Month is a month-long annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. (February in the UK, October in the US)  –

 

20170217_102658In honour of LGBT History month, a new collection guide on Sexuality and LGBTQ history has been created to indicate the range of material we have here and to help readers locate specific works that may be of use to their research.  The guide provides an overview of the Library’s collections and gives details of the relevant bibliographies, classmark locations and highlights works concerning sex customs and ethics, gender, sexual orientation, marriage and family policy.

 

As well as these, there are details of relevant University of London theses and electronic resources and periodicals that can be accessed from within the library. The guide brings together works dispersed across the Library’s collections, in particular from Women’s and Gender history, and also provides information of free seminars relevant to the study of the history of sexuality in the IHR.

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Churchill Archive Offsite Access

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 Lockeyear W T (Capt), Malindine E G (Capt), No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit - http://media.iwm.org.uk/iwm/mediaLib//38/media-38944/large.jpgThis is photograph BU 8950 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24498201

Winston Churchill in a jeep outside the German Reichstag during a tour of the ruined city of Berlin, 16 July 1945 by Lockeyear W T (Capt), Malindine E G (Capt), No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit – http://media.iwm.org.uk/iwm/mediaLib//38/media-38944/large.jpg. This is photograph BU 8950 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24498201

The IHR Library recently acquired access to the vast digital Churchill Archive. It can be consulted within the library, but IHR Library members can also access this collection of over 800,000 items remotely.

Access is simple, and is detailed below, but please speak to one of the librarians if you have any issues.

Guidance

IHR Library members should access this resource onsite or offsite using the link from the catalogue record or the e-resources webpage. (Direct access to the resource is only available through the Churchill Archive website if you are using one of the IHR PCs.) When offsite, these links will prompt you for your name and the barcode number from your IHR membership card. Once you have access to the site, it will say ‘Subscriber Access’ at the top right of the screen.

catalogue-authentication_0

The optional MyArchive feature allows you to save your searches and favourite documents. To set this up, you can 1) click ‘Sign in’ and 2) click the ‘register here’ link.

1)

subscriber-access

2)

my-archive-registration

There is further information and a useful Take a Tour feature on the Churchill Archive website.

If you are not a member of the IHR Library and would like to join, further information is available on the Membership page.

We look forward to hearing what use you make of this important resource.

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Researching Cold War espionage in the IHR Library

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My name is Tundun Folami, and I am the Institute of Historical Research Library’s current graduate trainee.

In an exercise designed to improve understanding of what it’s like to use the collections, each of the IHR library staff have been undertaking different research projects using the library. This exercise was particularly beneficial to me to see how easy it is to access the collections, as I only started at the IHR library a week ago.


Using the library catalogue

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I chose espionage during the Cold War as my research topic and as a starting point for my research, I searched the library catalogue using ‘Cold War’ as a keyword.
Searching ‘Cold War’ by keyword brings up 88 results. Some examples included:

Britain, Italy and the early Cold War : aspects of British foreign policy towards Italy, 1946-1949
The Cambridge history of the Cold War
Canada and the early Cold War, 1943-1957
Chronology of the Cold War at sea, 1945-1991
Chronology of the Cold War, 1917-1992
The CIA and the Cold War: a memoir
The Cold War reference guide: a general history and annotated chronology with selected biographies
The Cold War: a history in documents and eyewitness accounts

Next, I carried out a number of searches to try and narrow down the search results to resources related to Cold War espionage, with terms such as “cold war espionage” and “cold war intelligence”. This yielded the following results:
Encyclopedia of Cold War espionage, spies, and secret operations
Operation overflight: the U-2 spy pilot tells his story for the first time
Cold War Anthropology The CIA, Pentagon, and the Growth of Dual-Use Anthropology
The CIA and the Cold War: a memoir
On the edge of the Cold War American diplomats and spies in post-war Prague
Voices of decolonization: a brief history with documents

The first five results were most relevant to my research; three of which were books available on open access and two were e-books.
I felt narrowing down my search to Cold War espionage didn’t yield enough results, so I scrolled to the bottom of the page and found a link to the IHR library E-Resources page. Here I found a list of links to online resources available onsite. I went through the list and ultimately, the most relevant results were retrieved from JSTOR and Times Digital Archive. These included journal articles, reviews and newspaper articles.


 

Working in the IHR Library (Wohl Library – Lower Ground)
My topic for this exercise was on Cold War espionage and so I chose to work on the lower ground level of the Wohl Library, as this is where the International Relations collection is held. I sat at the desk closest to the entrance as it had a PC which I could use to browse the library catalogue and it was near to the rolling stacks holding the International Relations collection.                                                               _DSC7337
Working in this area was comfortable and quiet, though occasionally the noise from reception on the floor above would disturb the silence. The room housing the International collection was also poorly lit, especially further in towards the window.

 

 

 


 

Summary

The library has a large amount of material on the general topic of the Cold War, both in the library itself and online as e-books and e-resources. When I narrowed down my research topic to Cold War espionage, the majority of titles   found were_DSC7340 from a U.S perspective. A smaller number of titles were retrieved for the USSR, France, Germany, Italy and Latin America. I felt it would’ve helped my search if there had been a sub-category in either the Military or International Relations collection guides on the website. There were a few issues regarding noise and lighting were the International Relations collection is held, but overall, working in the IHR library was pleasant and largely problem free, and an ideal place to start research on the topic I’d chosen.

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