The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989

Southwestern Hzstorical Quarterly

Vicente Guerrero. Both men wrote histories of the age, but this does
not make them either the leaders or the representatives "of two systems
[which] were struggling for the Mexicans' allegiance" (p. 233). No such
systems existed. Reality was much more complex.
Green begins his study in 1823 when Alamin returned to Mexico
from Spain and ends it in 1832 when Alamin was driven from office.
But the First Federal Republic continued to exist until 1835. The only
reason for this peculiar periodization is that Green, who wrote a disser-
tation on Alamin, seems to interpret Mexican history from that states-
man's perspective. Surely there are better criteria for periodization.
Although The Mexican Republic contains much valuable information,
it is of use only to specialists who can differentiate fact from outdated
interpretation. The nonspecialist can only be misled by this work. In
that respect, Green's study is not as reliable or as sophisticated an inter-
pretation of the age as Michael P. Costeloe's La primera republica federal
de Mixzco, 1824-1835, which appeared in 1975.
University of Cahfornia at Irvine JAIME E. RODRiQUEz O.
Fordson, Farmall, and Poppin' Johnny: A History of the Farm Tractor and Its
Impact on Amerzca. By Robert C. Williams. (Champaign: University
of Illinois Press, 1987. Pp. ix+232. Preface, photographs, illustra-
tions, graphs, notes, bibliography, index. $24.95.)
The farm tractor helped industrialize the American farm, forced
greater specialization and market dependency, and contributed to over-
production, labor displacements, larger farms, and new social and envi-
ronmental problems. Early attempts to adapt gasoline tractors to steam
traction systems failed, but by 19g o the age of steam was over and the
lighter, cheaper, more efficient and versatile gasoline tractor was emerg-
ing. The Bull Tractor (1913) denoted the new revolutionary design.
Subsequently, tractor design began to benefit from automotive design
and experience.
World War I greatly accelerated the adoption of tractors on the farm
by creating shortages of both labor and horses. And in 1917 Ford be-
gan to produce a unitized chassis uniquely suited to assembly-line pro-
duction. The postwar era marked the demise of hundreds of marginal
tractor manufacturers, and a battle for industry dominance between
Ford Motor Company and McCormick-Deering (International Har-
vester), a battle that IH won because of better design, dealer marketing
systems, and tractor-designed implements.
The introduction in 1923 of the Farmall, a general-purpose, row-
crop tractor, led to a quiet revolution in the industry. By World War II

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/. Accessed October 1, 2014.