The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927

Boole Reviews and Notices

The United States and Mexico. By J. Fred Rippy, Associate
Professor of History, University of Chicago. (New York;
Alfred A. Knopf, 1926. Pp. xi, 401.)
"The volume here presented," says Dr. Rippy, "is the first
general survey of the diplomatic relations of the United States
and Mexico that has appeared in any language" (p. vii). The
publisher's advance announcement, and the author's assertion, to
the contrary notwithstanding, this is not a general account of
United States-Mexican relations. Historical scholars, however,
need not be disappointed, but rather there is ample cause for
rejoicing, for Dr. Rippy has given us, not the customary digest,
designed for text-book purposes, of the monographic materials on
our relations with Mexico since independence, but he presents an
original, scholarly contribution to the histories of Hispanic Amer-
ica and the foreign relations of the United States.
Ostensibly the book covers the period 1821 to 1924, but in
reality it is a detailed study of the years 1848 to 1910. The early
relations, Texas, and the Mexican War are disposed of in a few
words; the justifiable assumption being that Manning, Smith, and
Rives have handled this period adequately. The years since the
overthrow of the Diaz government are accorded an interpretative
treatment in thirty pages; the author's explanation for his avoid-
ance of the details of recent Mexican relations being that the most
important sources are not yet available. But so acceptable is his
summary of these remaining years, and so suggestive is his inter-
pretation of events, that we wish he possessed the temerity of
that numerous brotherhood of good standing in historical circles,
which is engaged annually in the task of "bringing their books
down to date."
There is a central theme, a single thread, which runs from
beginning to end of this book: it is manifest destiny and expan-
sion (territorial and economic). From 1836 to 1861 manifest
destiny was most potent in shaping foreign policy and in giving
unbridled license to the passion for territorial expansion. "Sub-
sequent to 1865 they [expansionists] have been eager for com-
merce, investment opportunities, subsoil resources, and, occasion-

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 30, July 1926 - April, 1927. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 30, 2015.