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  • Harvard University

    *History 2781

    The History of Mexican Industry and Industrial Labor, 1546-2005

    Fall 2006-2007

    John Womack, Jr.

     

                    This is a seminar on the history of modern industries and the industrial working class in Mexico, from the first great mines of the 16th century, through the establishment of interstate railroad transportation, to the present. Questions for consideration, discussion, and research include industrial technology, material and social relations of production, material and social divisions of labor, industrial labor markets, industrial work, industrially and technically strategic positions, and their consequences in Mexican society, politics, and culture. The course is primarily for graduate students in History, but also open to graduate students in other departments and to undergraduate juniors and seniors.
                    Requirements are regular attendance, informed participation in class discussion, a map exam, an identification exam, and a seminar paper, i.e., a paper based at least partly on primary sources, the text at least 25 pages long, not including appendices or bibliography. Any topic in Mexican economic, technological, social, political, cultural, religious, or intellectual history between 1546 and 2005 the study of which contributes to an understanding of Mexican industrial or labor in this long run of time is suitable for the paper. In class and at office hours discussion with the instructor may clarify which topic would make most sense for a particular student to explore and write on. A reading knowledge of Spanish is not a requirement for the course, but may be necessary to do enough research for the paper.  
    Participation counts for one-sixth of the final grade, the quizzes for one-sixth each, and the paper, which is due on the last day of Reading Period, January 12, 2006, for one-half. (On grading, see below, almost at the end.)
                    Some prior study of Latin American history, particularly modern Mexican history, is advisable.

     

    Required Reading, in parts as detailed below in weekly assignments, averaging ca. 200 pages a week
    (*=for sale in the Coop, and if not, but out of print, as several are, try to find it used at
    www.abebooks.com):
    Alicia Hernández Chávez, Mexico: A Brief History
    *Thomas G. Rawski et al., Economics and the Historian
    *John T. Dunlop, Industrial Relations Systems
    *Peter J. Bakewell, Silver Mining and Society in Colonial Mexico: Zacatecas, 1546-1700
    Doris M. Ladd, The Making of a Strike, 1766-1775
    Robert W. Randall, Real del Monte: A British Mining Venture in Mexico
    Ward J. Barrett, The Sugar Hacienda of the Marqueses del Valle
    Robert A. Potash, Mexican Government and Industrial Development in the Early Republic
    *Leslie Bethell, ed., Mexico since Independence
    *John H. Coatsworth, Growth Against Development: The Economic Impact of Railroads in Porfirian
                    Mexico
    *Stephen H. Haber, Industry and Underdevelopment: The Industrialization of Mexico, 1890-1940
    Lorene M. Parlee, “The Impact of United States Railroad Unions on Organized Labor and Government
    Policy in Mexico (1880-1911),” Hispanic American Historical Review, LXIV, 3 (August 1984), pp. 443-475
    *Rodney D. Anderson, Outcasts in Their Own Land: Mexican Industrial Workers, 1906-1911
    Marjorie R. Clark, Organized Labor in Mexico
    Michael Snodgrass, Deference and Defiance in Monterrey: Workers, Paternalism, and Revolution in
                    Mexico, 1890-1950
    *John Lear, Workers, Neighbors, and Citizens: The Revolution in Mexico City
    *Jeffrey L. Bortz and Stephen Haber, eds., The Mexican Economy, 1870-1930: Essays on the Economic
    History of Institutions, Revolution, and Growth
    *Kevin J. Middlebrook, The Paradox of Revolution: Labor, the State, and Authoritarianism in Mexico
    Sylvia Maxfield, Governing Capital: International Finance and Mexican Politics
    Harley Shaiken, Mexico in the Global Economy: High Technology and Work Organization in Export
    Industries
    Gary Martin, “Employment and Unemployment in Mexico in the 1990s,” Monthly Labor Review, CXXIII,
    11 (November 2000)
    Marcelo M. Giugale et al., eds., Mexico: A Comprehensive Development Agenda for the New Era
    Dan La Botz, “Mexico’s Labor Year in Review,” Mexican Labor News and Analysis, 2001-2005
     

    Maps: Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, Mexico Maps, www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/mexico.html, and others to be distributed in class.
    Identifications: a list to be distributed in class.

    Weekly Assignments:
    1. September 20: Introduction  

    2. September 27: History, Economics, Technology, Relations of Production, Divisions of Labor:
                                                    Alicia Hernández Chávez, Mexico: A Brief History, pp. 27-143
                                                    Susan B. Carter and Stephen Cullenberg, “Labor Economics and the Historian,”
                                                    in Thomas G. Rawski et al., Economics and the Historian, pp. 85-120;
                                                    John T. Dunlop, Industrial Relations Systems (rev. ed.), pp. 43-106.

    3. October 4:         Mexican Mining and Transportation, 1546-1850:
    Peter J. Bakewell, Silver Mining and Society in Colonial Mexico: Zacatecas, 1546-1700, pp. 1-40, 58-80, 114-149;
    Doris M. Ladd, The Making of a Strike: Mexican Silver Workers in Real del Monte, 1766-1775, pp. 6-18, 29-84;
    Robert W. Randall, Real del Monte: A British Mining Venture in Mexico, pp. 86-152.

    4. October 11:      Mexican Manufacturing, Sugar and Textiles, 1535-1850:
    Ward J. Barrett, The Sugar Hacienda of the Marqueses del Valle, pp. 25-102;
    Robert A. Potash, Mexican Government and Industrial Development in the Early Republic: The Banco de Avío, pp. 1-11, 61-71, 146-165.

    5. October 18:      Map Exam 
     Mexico Institutional, Political, and Revolutionary, 1867-1932 [[[1935]]]:
    Hernández Chávez, Mexico, pp. 144-250;
    John Womack, Jr., “The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1920,” in Bethell, ed., Mexico since Independence, pp. 125-200.

    6. October 25:      Identification Exam
     Industrial Mexico, Transportation and Manufacturing, 1870-1910:
                                                    John H. Coatsworth, Growth Against Development: The Economic Impact
                                                    of Railroads in Porfirian Mexico, pp. 77-147;
    Stephen H. Haber, Industry and Underdevelopment: The Industrialization of Mexico, 1890-1940, pp. 27-102.
                                                   
    7. November 1:    Mexican Labor Organizations, 1870-1910:
    Lorene M. Parlee, “The Impact of United States Railroad Unions on Organized Labor and Government Policy in Mexico (1880-1911),” Hispanic American Historical Review, LXIV, 3 (August 1984), pp. 443-475;
    Rodney D. Anderson, Outcasts in Their Own Land: Mexican Industrial Workers, 1906-1911, pp. 50-68, 99-272.

    8. November 8:     The Mexican Revolution and the Mexican Labor Movement, 1910-1933 [[[1935]]]:
                                                    Marjorie R. Clark, Organized Labor in Mexico, pp. 57-86, 97-147;
    Michael Snodgrass, Deference and Defiance in Monterrey: Workers, Paternalism, and Revolution in Mexico, 1890-1950, pp. 31-53;
    John Lear, Workers, Neighbors, and Citizens: The Revolution in Mexico City, pp. 49-85, 299-340;
    Aurora Gómez-Galvarriato, “Measuring the Impact of Institutional Change in Capital-Labor Relations in the Mexican Textile Industry, 1900-1930,” in Jeffrey L. Bortz and Stephen Haber, eds., The Mexican Economy, 1870-1930, pp. 289-323.

    9. November 15:  Mexican Labor Politics and Labor Law, 1917-1933 [[[1935]]]:
                                                    Clark, Organized Labor, pp. 148-260;
    Kevin J. Middlebrook, The Paradox of Revolution: Labor, the State, and Authoritarianism in Mexico, pp. 41-71;
    Snodgrass, Deference and Defiance, pp. 82-144.

    10. November 22: Mexico Economic and Political, 1933 [[[1935]]]-1982:
    Hernández Chávez, Mexico, pp. 250-308;
    Alan Knight, “The Rise and Fall of Cardenismo, c. 1930-c. 1946,” in Bethell, Mexico since Independence, pp. 241-320;
    Sylvia Maxfield, Governing Capital: International Finance and Mexican Politics, pp. 33-94.

    11. November 29:  Mexican Industrialists and the Mexican Popular Front, 1935-1950:
    Middlebrook, Paradox, pp. 72-155;
    Snodgrass, Deference and Defiance, pp. 144-281.
     
    12. December 6:    U.S. Finance, Mexican Business, Government, and Labor, 1950-1982:
    Maxfield, Governing Capital, pp. 97-141;
    Middlebrook, Paradox, pp. 159-254;
    Ian Roxborough, Unions and Politics in Mexico: The Case of the Automobile Industry, pp. 43-119.

    13. December 13:  Contemporary Mexico, Industrial and Political, 1982-2005 [[[2006]]]:
    Hernández Chávez, Mexico, pp. 309-357;
    Harley Shaiken, Mexico in the Global Economy: High Technology and Work Organization in Export Industries, pp. 21-116;
    Gary Martin, “Employment and Unemployment in Mexico in the 1990s,” Monthly Labor Review, CXXIII, 11 (November 2000), 3-18;
    William F. Maloney, “Labor Markets,” in Marcelo M. Giugale et al., eds., Mexico: A Comprehensive Development Agenda for the New Era, pp. 511-536;
    Dan La Botz, “Mexico’s Labor Year in Review: 2000,” Mexican Labor News and Analysis [which appears electronically at the website of the United Electrical Workers of the United States, www.ueinternational.org], VI, 1 (January 2001), pp. 3-8;
    Dan La Botz, “Mexico’s Labor Year in Review 2001: The Return to Struggle,” Mexican Labor News and Analysis, VII, 1 (January 2002), pp. 2-8;
    Dan La Botz, “Mexico’s Labor Year in Review: 2002 Year of Frustration,” Mexican Labor News and Analysis, VIII, 1 (January 15, 2003), 1-12;
    Dan La Botz, “Mexican Labor Year in Review [2003],” Mexican Labor News & Analysis, IX, 1 (January 2004), 1-11;
    Dan La Botz, “Mexican Labor Year in Review: Labor Standing Fast, Stepping Forward [2004],” Mexican Labor News & Analysis, X, 1 (January 2005), 1-11;
    Dan La Botz, “Mexican Labor Year in Review: 2005,” Mexican Labor News & Analysis, XI, 1 (January 2006), 1-9.

     

    Grading:
    There is no curve; there may be a tube or barrel or a pyramid, on its base or summit, depending on the distribution of the quality of work.
    E means failing, numerically 0-60.
    D means unsatisfactory: D-, 61-64; D, 65-67; D+, 68-70.
    C means satisfactory: C-, 71-74; C, 75-77; C+, 78-80.
    B means good: B-, 81-84; B, 85-87; B+, 88-90.
    A means excellent: A-, 91-94; A, 95-100.

     

    Office Hours:                      Tuesdays, 2-4 p.m., Robinson 220, or by appointment over the phone at 495-5247, or via e-mail at jwomack@fas.harvard.edu.

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