Journal Article


Transborder capitalism and national reconciliation: The American press reimagines U.S.-Mexican relations after the Civil War

Abstract

The end of the Civil War did not eradicate Americans’ concerns regarding the fragility of their republic. For many years after Appomattox, newspapers from across the political spectrum warned that the persistence of sectionalism in the postwar United States threatened to condemn the country to the kind of interminable internal disorder supposedly endemic among the republics of Latin America. This article examines how, from the early 1870s onward, growing numbers of U.S. editors, journalists, and political leaders called on Americans to concentrate on extending their nation’s commercial reach into Mexico. In doing so, they hoped to topple divisive domestic issues—notably Reconstruction—from the top of the national political agenda. These leaders in U.S. public discourse also anticipated that collaboration in a project to extend the United States’ continental power would revive affective bonds of nationality between the people of the North and South. In making this analysis, this article argues that much of the early impetus behind U.S. commercial penetration south of the Rio Grande after the Civil War was fueled by Americans’ deep anxieties regarding the integrity of their so-called exceptional republic.

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Authors

Beverton, Alys

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of History, Philosophy and Culture

Dates

Year of publication: 2021
Date of RADAR deposit: 2020-12-07


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


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