Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Driving the nation: Road transportation and the postrevolutionary Mexican state, 1925–1960
by Fulwider, Benjamin, Ph.D., Georgetown University, 2009, 294; 3378771
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the creation of a road transportation network in Mexico during the twentieth century. In 1920, at the conclusion of the Mexican Revolution, the significance of motorized transportation was negligible. Forty years later Mexico’s economy depended heavily on road transportation. This transformation wrought important economic, political, and cultural changes, and played an important part in Mexico’s shift from a rural, agrarian nation to an urban, industrial one. This study examines several components of Mexico’s transportation revolution including the planning and construction of roads, the emergence of the trucking industry, and efforts to ensure an adequate supply of cars, trucks, and buses.

The study links these changes to the development of Mexico’s postrevolutionary state. By examining an important development project that spanned the entire postrevolutionary period, this study offers a revised vision of Mexico’s national state. Its pages highlight the consistency of postrevolutionary administrations when it came to economic policy and analyze the economic model that they pursued throughout the period from 1920 to 1960. In so doing, the study depicts a state that drew its strength from pragmatism, flexibility, and a willingness to devolve and decentralize important decisions to local actors. This approach, especially after 1940, helped Mexico achieve remarkable economic growth but also limited who would enjoy the fruits of that growth. Finally, this dissertation demonstrates how the shift to road transportation bound the United States and Mexico into a more integrated and interdependent relationship, redefining ideas about Mexican nationalism and the legacy of the revolution.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Tutino, John
Commitee: McCann, Bryan, McCartin, Joe, McNeill, John R.
School: Georgetown University
Department: History
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 70/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Latin American history, Transportation planning
Keywords: Automobiles, History, Mexico, Roads, State formation, Trucking
Publication Number: 3378771
ISBN: 9781109432039
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