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First impressions: Henry George Ward's Mexico in 1827

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Abstract

Henry George Ward's Mexico in 1827 (published in 1828) is one of the most exhaustive accounts of Mexico and its mining activities in the years following its independence from Spain. Written with a meticulous attention to detail, it provided a unique first-hand interpretation both of Mexico's early governments’ achievements and of the not insignificant problems they had as yet to overcome. It highlighted the risks and opportunities Mexico presented to potential British investors and emphasised the benefits of free trade, the need for patience, and how important it was to become meaningfully acquainted with the country before investing in one or several ventures there. This study provides for the first time an analysis of Ward's two-volume survey-cum-travelogue. It shows how Ward's cautiously optimistic appraisal faithfully reflected the short-lived hopes of Guadalupe Victoria's 1824–9 government and provides a sympathetic account of the young republic that would prove anything but common in subsequent British representations of Mexico, as the country's inability to service the London debt and its ensuing instability went on to hinder British–Mexican relations for the greater part of the nineteenth century.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-289
JournalJournal of Latin American Studies
Volume50
Issue number2
Early online date12 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
EventMEXICO AND THE UNITED KINGDOM: PAST AND PRESENT PERSPECTIVES - St Andrews, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Oct 201525 Oct 2015

    Research areas

  • Henry George Ward, 'Mexico in 1827', Independent Mexico, British-Mexican relations, Travel writing

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