Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-6520-2 • Hardback • February 2017 • $115.00 • (£88.00)
978-1-5381-0046-2 • Paperback • February 2017 • $36.00 • (£28.00)
978-1-4422-6521-9 • eBook • February 2017 • $34.00 • (£26.00)
Tatiana Seijas is associate professor of history at The Pennsylvania State University.
Jake Frederick is associate professor of history at Lawrence University.
Chapter 1 Emblems of Liberty
Chapter 2 The Ghost of a Dollar
Chapter 3 Minting Mexico’s Independence
Chapter 4 North America’s Third Republic
Chapter 5 Buying Mexico
Chapter 6 Border Coppers
Chapter 7 Gold Recklessness
Chapter 8 Defending the Republics
This is an original work that does a good job of connecting complex monetary and banking processes with the crucial political events of the period.
— American Historical Review
This volume impresses with its scope and its timeliness and offers the following avenues for further research. . . It offers no shortage of insight to issues of national identity and territory for scholars interested more in the politics than in the geography.
— International Studies Review
The authors contend that Spanish pieces of eight were the first global currency in 1535 and that Spanish silver coinage minted in the New World became the model for currency in the emerging republics of Mexico and the US. A single piece of eight was worth eight Spanish reales and required a standard silver content, coinage mints, banks, and treasury departments to flourish. Merchants in both South America and North America valued these coins (called ‘Spanish milled dollars’ in the British colonies) above all other currencies. Hard currency from anywhere was scarce in Colonial America, both South and North; merchants relied on credit, local tokens, and barter to conduct business. Mexico and the US had similar currency problems in the Colonial era after they each achieved independence. Eight profiles of key individuals illustrate the establishment of currency stability in both countries: Congressman John Page, merchant Stephen Girard, José Esteva (Mexican treasurer), President Sam Houston (Texas ), President López de Santa Anna (Mexico), boundary commissioner John Bartlett, Robert Patterson (director, US Mint), and Emperor Maximilian (Mexico). Concise and pithy, this engaging volume is recommended for students of economic and financial history.
Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.
— Choice Reviews
The monetary histories of the United States and Mexico have been entwined from the start. By highlighting key personalities and simplifying the complex global history of hard cash, Seijas and Frederick demonstrate why ready money mattered so much for these fledgling, ex-colonial nations even as their paths diverged. Many readers will be surprised to discover who depended on whom for silver currency, and for how long. Spanish Dollars and Sister Republics is transnational history at its best.
— Kris Lane, Tulane University
Seijas and Frederick have written an important book about a largely ignored subject that’s nevertheless fundamental to US, Mexican, and borderlands histories: money. The currencies of both countries had their roots in Spanish tradition, and when it came to creating symbols representative of freedom, finding enough specie for coins, or negotiating the terms of credit and debt, the early United States and Mexico faced financial challenges that were more similar than different. Their focus on shared histories is refreshing given today’s rhetoric of difference and division.
— Geraldo Cadava, Northwestern University
Short, story-driven chapters make the work readable and entertaining
Brings economic history to life through evocative images of the people and money that built the new nations
Narrative vignettes reveal surprising connections between the history of Mexico and the United States, while also explaining the peculiar yet central role of money in national history.
Individual protagonists humanize economic history and invite readers to think more deeply about the creation and circulation of national currencies.
Emphasis on material culture provides natural links to topics related to nationalism, state formation, and political economy
Timeline links the joined history of the United States and Mexico
Glossary provides easy reference for readers unfamiliar with economic terminology
Meets the growing classroom need for comparative studies and global perspectives
Ideal for introductory courses on the history of Mexico and the United States and for upper-division courses on Latino History, the American Southwest, and the Early Republic