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Empire and RevolutionThe Americans in Mexico since the Civil War$
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John Mason Hart

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520223240

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520223240.001.0001

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Silver, Copper, Gold, and Oil

Silver, Copper, Gold, and Oil

(p.131) 5 Silver, Copper, Gold, and Oil
Empire and Revolution


University of California Press

This chapter examines the exploration of Mexico's natural resources by the Americans. The nation contained major deposits of essential metals and one of the world's largest petroleum fields. The position of the American mining and oil interests was strengthened by congressional approval of the 1884 mining code which reversed the colonial-era law that declared that Mexico's subsoil resources were owned by the government and in 1892 when the government bequeathed unquestioned title to whatever subsoil deposits there might be to property buyers. However, the ruthless tactics of the American capitalists and the lack of lasting benefits from mining combined to frustrate the plans of the Porfirio Díaz administration.

Keywords:   natural resources, Mexico, Americans, essential metals, petroleum fields, mining code, American capitalists, Porfirio Díaz

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