Monthly Archives: September 2014

Storms of Iron and Copper: Reflections on the Social Impact of Industrial Technology in the Nineteenth-Century U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

Across the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, the extractive industries carved complex social and environmental changes that deeply affected the landscape and communities of the region. Private companies and governments collaborated to build new railroads to support mining and other commercial endeavors, while new groups of people arrived in search of work. Long-standing views of proper conduct within frontier society gave way to hegemonic ideas of what it meant to be a “good citizen.” These transformations were closely linked to the deployment of new time-saving technologies that mobilized capital resources on behalf of state and corporate agents. This essay offers brief reflections on the impact of technical infrastructures and industrialization on everyday life in northern Mexico and the U.S. southwest during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Continue reading

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