Miller Center

Jose Ramos

History, University of Chicago

The Other Revolution: Politics, Culture, and the Transformation of U.S.-Mexican Relations after the Mexican Revolution, 1919–1930

Ramos photo

Luis Ramos is Assistant Professor of Latin American History at Valparaiso University.

Ramos’s dissertation is a revisionist interpretation of 20th century United States-Mexican history. He examines the origins of a rich and unacknowledged history of collaboration that began during the 1920s, the decade after the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Due to assumptions that political and cultural conflict has determined US-Mexican history, there is no historical explanation for the remarkable improvement of US-Mexican relations after the Mexican Revolution, the persistence of Mexican sovereignty, and the increasing influence of American culture. To answer these questions, his project traces how Americans and Mexicans collaborated in the reconstruction of post-Revolutionary Mexico and US-Mexican relations in six areas traditionally examined as evidence of conflicting interests: the oil controversy, inter-American politics, the external debt, rural reconstruction, immigration, and public health. Luis argues that in the aftermath of World War I and the Mexican Revolution, a political and cultural transformation in how Americans and Mexicans understood each other encouraged mutually beneficial political arrangements that leveraged power asymmetry, sustained Mexican sovereignty, and spurred common networks of progressive reformers that connected the political and intellectual agendas of American progressivism and Mexican revolutionary nationalism. This marked an exceptional embrace of revolutionary nationalism and the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship unlike any other in Latin America, what he calls the other revolution. His work contributes to studies of US-Mexican history and to broader debates on the relationship between international politics, culture, and nationalism.

Fellowship year: 2014

Mentor: Frank Ninkovich

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