The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973 Page: 230
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ican relations, a labor which began with his highly regarded The
United States and Cuba: Business and Diplomacy, 1917-9g6o. In both
books the dominant theme is the interplay between economics (prin-
cipally investments) and diplomacy.
The Mexican revolutionaries of 910-1920o faced not only the prob-
lem of internal division but also the problem of external opposition.
Beginning with the Porfirian period, 1877-1911, Smith shows how
Mexico developed a favorable climate for foreign investment in min-
ing and oil, a climate in which the concepts of Anglo-Saxon order,
progress, and decency were fostered. The Revolution was thus not only
physically destructive but a challenge to contemporaneous theories
that equated order and progress with the protection of foreign invest-
ments. Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 struck out boldly
against such theories with its proud proclamation that the subsoil
wealth of Mexico belonged to the Mexicans, a view that horrified
Thus, from 1916 to 1932, Presidents Wilson, Harding, Coolidge,
and Hoover, and a number of influential business and political groups,
sought various means by which an "industrial-creditor nation" could
check the internal social and political erosion of a "backward nation."
The goal of checking revolutionary nationalism in Mexico united poli-
ticians, businessmen, and diplomats; the means of achieving it divided
them. Wilson, for instance, was more righteous in his Mexican poli-
cies than his Republican successors, believing the United States had
a moral duty to uplift the Mexicans, yet his administration was more
zealous in protecting property rights of Americans in Mexico than
Harding's, Coolidge's, or Hoover's. The Pershing Punitive Expedition
of 1916-1917, Smith argues, was less a response to banditry than a co-
vert design to protect investments.
When the violent phase of the Revolution ended in 19o, American
officials and pressure groups continued their efforts to challenge Mexi-
can policies by threatening intervention and by refusing recognition
to the Alvaro Obreg6n government. Actually, foreign economic con-
trol in Mexican mining, coffee, chicle, rubber, bananas, and refined
sugar increased, though the Mexicans gained somewhat in the control
of petroleum. Two significant factors account for the ultimate recog-
nition of Obreg6n in 19.23 and the improvement in Mexican-Ameri-
can relations. One was a growing effort among some American inter-
est groups to modify the hard-line stand against Mexican oil policies;
the second and more important was a more moderate attitude among
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973, periodical, 1973; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101202/m1/260/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.