Cartographic Mexico

Author: Raymond B. Craib
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822334163
Format: PDF, ePub
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This vivid social history reveals the powerful role that cartographic projects such as exploration, surveying, and mapping played in the creation of modern Mexico in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Raymond B. Craib describes the varied and pervasive attempts by government officials to determine the lines and claims that would define the nation. These projects included the privatization of communal lands; the delineation and archiving of village, municipal, state, and national boundaries; and the determination of waterways and water rights. As Craib emphasizes, the everyday processes of these cartographic routines proved to be much more conflicted than is indicated by their end products: maps with unitary and smooth faades. Taking central Veracruz as a case in point, Craib shows how agrarian officials, military surveyors, and metropolitan geographers traversed "fugitive landscapes" of overlapping jurisdictions and use-rights, opaque tenure systems, confusing property regimes, ambiguous borders, and shifting place names. He draws on an array of sources--including maps, letters from campesinos, official reports, and surveyors' journals and correspondence--to trace the everyday, contested processes through which officials attempted to redefine and codify these landscapes in struggle with the villagers they encountered in the field. In the process, he demonstrates in meticulous detail how surveying and mapping were never mere technical procedures: they were--and remain to this day--profoundly social and political processes in which rural people, long ignored in the history of cartography, were actively involved.

In the Lands of Fire and Sun

Author: Michele McArdle Stephens
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 0803288581
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The Huichols (or Wixárika) of western Mexico are among the most resilient and iconic indigenous groups in Mexico today. In the Lands of Fire and Sun examines the Huichol Indians as they have struggled to maintain their independence over two centuries. From the days of the Aztec Empire, the history of west-central Mesoamerica has been one of isolation and a fiercely independent spirit, and one group that maintained its autonomy into the days of Spanish colonization was the Huichol tribe. Rather than assimilating into the Hispanic fold, as did so many other indigenous peoples, the Huichols sustained their distinct identity even as the Spanish Crown sought to integrate them. In confronting first the Spanish colonial government, then the Mexican state, the Huichols displayed resilience and cunning as they selectively adapted their culture, land, and society to the challenges of multiple new eras. By incorporating elements of archaeology, anthropology, cultural geography, and history, Michele McArdle Stephens fills the gaps in the historical documentation, teasing out the indigenous voices from travel accounts, Spanish legal sources, and European ethnographic reports. The result is a thorough examination of one of the most vibrant, visible societies in Latin America.

Mapping an Empire

Author: Matthew H. Edney
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226184862
Format: PDF, ePub
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In this fascinating history of the British surveys of India, Matthew H. Edney relates how imperial Britain used modern survey techniques to not only create and define the spatial image of its Empire, but also to legitimate its colonialist activities. "There is much to be praised in this book. It is an excellent history of how India came to be painted red in the nineteenth century. But more importantly, Mapping an Empire sets a new standard for books that examine a fundamental problem in the history of European imperialism."—D. Graham Burnett, Times Literary Supplement "Mapping an Empire is undoubtedly a major contribution to the rapidly growing literature on science and empire, and a work which deserves to stimulate a great deal of fresh thinking and informed research."—David Arnold, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History "This case study offers broadly applicable insights into the relationship between ideology, technology and politics. . . . Carefully read, this is a tale of irony about wishful thinking and the limits of knowledge."—Publishers Weekly

Boundaries

Author: Peter Sahlins
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520074157
Format: PDF, ePub
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“Brilliant. . . . This fascinating exploration through three centuries of the frontier is rounded off with a perceptive and balanced appraisal of the nature of national identity within the context of the Pyrenees. . . . A study which is exciting, learned, and thought-provoking, a splendid example of interdisciplinary history at its best.”—Times Literary Supplement

Masters of All They Surveyed

Author: D. Graham Burnett
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226081212
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Chronicling the British pursuit of the legendary El Dorado, Masters of All They Surveyed tells the fascinating story of geography, cartography, and scientific exploration in Britain's unique South American colony, Guyana. How did nineteenth-century Europeans turn areas they called terra incognita into bounded colonial territories? How did a tender-footed gentleman, predisposed to seasickness (and unable to swim), make his way up churning rivers into thick jungle, arid savanna, and forbidding mountain ranges, survive for the better part of a decade, and emerge with a map? What did that map mean? In answering these questions, D. Graham Burnett brings to light the work of several such explorers, particularly Sir Robert H. Schomburgk, the man who claimed to be the first to reach the site of Ralegh's El Dorado. Commissioned by the Royal Geographical Society and later by the British Crown, Schomburgk explored and mapped regions in modern Brazil, Venezuela, and Guyana, always in close contact with Amerindian communities. Drawing heavily on the maps, reports, and letters that Schomburgk sent back to England, and especially on the luxuriant images of survey landmarks in his Twelve Views in the Interior of Guiana (reproduced in color in this book), Burnett shows how a vast network of traverse surveys, illustrations, and travel narratives not only laid out the official boundaries of British Guiana but also marked out a symbolic landscape that fired the British imperial imagination. Engagingly written and beautifully illustrated, Masters of All They Surveyed will interest anyone who wants to understand the histories of colonialism and science.

Myths of Demilitarization in Postrevolutionary Mexico 1920 1960

Author: Thomas G. Rath
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 0807839280
Format: PDF, Kindle
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At the end of the Mexican Revolution in 1920, Mexico's large, rebellious army dominated national politics. By the 1940s, Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was led by a civilian president and claimed to have depoliticized the army and achieved the bloodless pacification of the Mexican countryside through land reform, schooling, and indigenismo. However, historian Thomas Rath argues, Mexico's celebrated demilitarization was more protracted, conflict-ridden, and incomplete than most accounts assume. Using newly available materials from military, intelligence, and diplomatic archives, Rath weaves together an analysis of national and regional politics, military education, conscription, veteran policy, and popular protest.