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"Capital and Cultural Imperialism
in the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands, 1880-1940"

   In 1894, Walter Logan, the so-called "apostle of irrigation," promoted investment in Mexico among New York entrepreneurs by claiming, "Sonora is the California of Mexico, and history repeats itself." Logan was but one of many notable surnames--Chandler, Huntington, Rockefeller, Hearst--that lined up, like boxcars, to follow the ties of U.S. capital into Mexico. His sales pitch for a "new California" articulated an important historical trajectory that led to heavy investment across the border. By 1910, Americans owned more than twenty-seven percent of the nation's total land and eighty percent of its railroads. > READ MORE

   This website borrows the idea of a "persistent frontier" put forth by the Western historian Howard Lamar. In his presidential address at the Western History Association in 1972, Lamar said that, contrary to popular belief, frontiers did not lose their relevance at the end of the nineteenth century; frontiers -- historical, cultural, and academic -- remained especially relevant to the twentieth-century West.
   This site takes Lamar's idea of the persistent frontier and personalizes it. Assembled by Andrew Offenburger, a Ph.D. student in history at Yale University, this website documents the people, places, and ideas Offenburger encounters in his studies of the U.S. West, the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, and global frontiers.