British Lions and Mexican Eagles. Business, Politics, and by Paul Garner

By Paul Garner

Among 1889 and 1919, Weetman Pearson turned one of many world's most crucial engineering contractors, a pioneer within the overseas oil undefined, and certainly one of Britain's wealthiest males. on the heart of his international enterprise empire have been his pursuits in Mexico.While Pearson's impressive good fortune in Mexico came about in the context of unparalleled degrees of British alternate with and funding in Latin the USA, Garner argues that Pearson will be understood much less as an agent of British imperialism than as an agent of Porfirian country construction and modernization. Pearson used to be capable of safe contracts for a few of nineteenth-century Mexico's most crucial public works initiatives largely due to his reliability, his empathy with the developmentalist venture of Mexican President Porfirio Díaz, and his assiduous cultivation of a clientelist community in the Mexican political elite. His luck hence presents a chance to reappraise the function performed through in a foreign country pursuits within the nationwide improvement of Mexico.

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Extra resources for British Lions and Mexican Eagles. Business, Politics, and Empire in the Career of Weetman Pearson in Mexico, 1889-1919

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Because) . . they should derive very great moral support from the mere fact of the existence of friendly political relations and of active commercial and other intercourse with the great nations of Europe. 50 26 Chapter One The strategy of diversifying the sources of foreign capital and investment and therefore creating rivalries between competing overseas interests (whether in mining, industry, or, as will be explained in subsequent chapters, in the emerging oil business) between the “Great Powers” was also central to the Díaz government’s policy of protecting national sovereignty.

45 The arrogance and insouciance of the Times’s correspondent reflected the major stumbling block to the resumption of British-Mexican relations after 1867—the satisfactory settlement of what was referred to in Mexico as the “Deuda Inglesa” (English Debt). Scant progress was made for over a decade after 1867. The strategy adopted by the Committee of Mexican Bondholders (CMB), which represented the bulk of British (London) bondholders, also did little to improve the situation, and their activities only served to exacerbate the problem.

British merchants and chambers of commerce now pressed for commercial treaties and diplomatic protection for British subjects doing business in Mexico, and persistently reminded the Foreign Office that new business opportunities were being lost. As early as 1876, fifty-five branches of the Association of Chambers of Commerce of the United Kingdom had pointed out to the Foreign Office the participation of British merchants in the recent growth in Mexican trade. 47 Seven years later, in March 1883, the same organisation (which, perhaps significantly, included a representation from the Chamber of Commerce in 24 Chapter One Weetman Pearson’s home town of Huddersfield, and one from his business base in Bradford) informed the Foreign Office that the disadvantages to the “merchants, manufacturers and ship owners of Great Britain” as a result of the absence of formal British representation had reached a critical stage.

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