Mexican Ports and Communication Networks in the Pacific: Routes, Navigation, and Commercial Systems, 1848-1927

Mexican ports in the Pacific coast experienced a new phase of growth during the second half of the 19th century. As an isolated area from the country's mainland, port towns established a relationship with San Francisco, particularly from 1848 onwards, when the gold rush stimulated the opening of navigation routes across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This also spurred the beginning of the route from Panama to San Francisco, which had an immediate effect in the participation of Mexican ports in an international commercial system. In the next decades such ports developed specific functions within the system and were linked both to global and national markets. The main purpose of this work is to examine why some ports experienced greater expansion while others remained stagnant. This will help explain how Mexican ports in the Pacific had their own commercial dynamics, and at the same time, how they were integrated to the outside world as well as to the rest of the Mexican territory by means of diverse communication networks.

Karina Busto-Ibarra graduated from the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, México in 1999, and obtained her PhD degree in History from El Colegio de México in 2008. She is currently a visiting scholar at the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas, University of California, Davis. Her research interests include economic growth and expansion on the Pacific, focusing on international relations, commerce and geographical change. She is particularly interested in the connections between Mexico and the west coast of the United States after the California gold rush. She has published book chapters and articles related to Mexican ports, travelers, nautical cartography, and Historical Geography.

You are invited to bring your own "brown bag" lunch. In keeping with the Bolivar House cafecito tradition, hot coffee is provided beginning at 11:45 am. Lecture/q&a runs from 12:15-1:05 pm.

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Date and Time:
 Tuesday, April 20, 2010.  12:15 PM.
Bolivar House, 582 Alvarado Row  [Map]
General Public
Center for Latin American Studies
Free and open to the public.
Last Modified:
April 6, 2010