CLAS Lecture Series: Technology and the Search for Progress in Modern Mexico

This is an Archive of a Past Event

Technology and the Search for Progress in Modern Mexico with Edward Beatty

In the late nineteenth century, Mexican citizens quickly adopted new technologies imported from abroad to sew cloth, manufacture glass bottles, refine minerals, and provide many goods and services. Rapid technological change supported economic growth and also brought cultural change and social dislocation.

Drawing on three case studies—the sewing machine, a glass bottle–blowing factory, and the cyanide process for gold and silver refining—Edward Beatty in this book talk will explore a central paradox of economic growth in nineteenth-century Mexico: while Mexicans made significant efforts to integrate new machines and products, difficulties in assimilating the skills required to use emerging technologies resulted in a persistent dependence on international expertise.

Edward Beatty (Ph.D., Stanford, 1996) is Associate Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. A leading economic and technological historian of Porfirian Mexico, he is the author of Institutions and Investment: The Political Basis of Industrialization in Mexico before 1911 (Stanford University Press, 2001) and Technology and the Search for Progress in Modern Mexico (University of California Press, 2015), as well as numerous articles and book chapters.