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Posted in Laboratorio, Numero 31 - Laboratorio, Numero 31 - Marzo 2013, Numero 31 - Rubriche

Visions of the new Latin American republics: travelers and Secretaries of the Treasury in Mexico, the first half of the 19th century

Visions of the new Latin American republics: travelers and Secretaries of the Treasury in Mexico, the first half of the 19th century

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di Pedro Pérez Herrero, Eva Sanz Jara, Inmaculada Simón Ruiz



We will present an analysis of the image of Mexico as portrayed by Mexican Secretaries of the Treasury and foreign travelers during the first half of the 19th century. Treasury reports and travel books have frequently been used in historiography, although not as often as they are in the following study, to analyze the image that was being formed of the new republic. Therefore, we aim to provide an image that compares two apparently different views: the supposedly romantic view of foreign travelers and that of Mexican political figures who were concerned about the economic situation, so that we can observe the interaction between them in an effort to identify the existing similarities and differences between the model of a nation that each projects.

This work was carried out within the framework of the R+D project financed by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness: “Liberal Atlantic thinking, 1770-1880. Taxation, natural resources, social integration and foreign policy from a comparative perspective” with reference code HAR2010-18363.


Travel books and treasury reports constitute sources for the study of Latin American history that have been used extensively by researchers dedicated to 19th century Mexico since both types of texts provide a large amount of information related to different aspects of Mexican history. Nevertheless, we want to deal with these sources not because of the information they provide, but rather because they themselves are objects of study as creators of images. We begin, therefore, from the premise that we will not consider these documents as sources of information, but as objects of analysis. We are going to assess the images of Mexico they present but we are not going to question whether or not they are true. The texts and information that are found in them will always be valid provided that they form part of certain images that are presented.

The main contribution of this research paper is to compare the view that travelers and Secretaries of the Treasury1 transmit for the purpose of establishing relationships between the assessment of foreign nationals (who supposedly unite a personal, and oftentimes romantic, interest and whose knowledge of the country is partial as well as geographically and temporally limited) and the assessment of Secretaries of the Treasury (Mexican professionals whose knowledge of the country is allegedly broader and whose reports only serve to present the country’s financial situation and search for solutions to its economic problems). The interest in establishing this relationship arose from more comprehensive research that we have been developing in the framework of a project entitled: “Liberal Atlantic thinking, 1770-1880. Taxation, natural resources, social integration and foreign policy from a comparative perspective”. In that project we work with the hypothesis that liberalism constitutes an ideological framework that thinkers from both sides of the Atlantic feed and fuel in such a way that British liberalism, French liberalism, Mexican liberalism, etc., don’t exist, but rather a relationship of ideas is formed in which it is not feasible to establish who influences who, nor those who comply or not with orthodoxy. For this reason we have taken travelers – originating above all from countries frequently used as models of liberalism – and regional governments which have generally been accused of as having failed in their attempts to put liberal ideology into practice in Mexico. We believe that, by studying the comparison between the view of the country and model of a nation that each of them has in mind when they describe Mexico, we will be able to deduce if clear differences exist between foreigners and Mexicans, both in their perceptions as well as in their objectives, and if this conditions their view of the country. The relevance of contrasting the images of travelers and Secretaries lies in their mutual concern for Mexico and, consequently, in an interested, although different, intention. The former will presumably seek out the benefit of the country and its citizens, whereas the latter will look out for investing countries and possible “colonies”. The travelers will not be void of interest, but oriented by their native countries that they will normally consider superior in one way or another. Perhaps the only individuals who will be exempt from this view are the utopian travelers, those who don’t believe in the possibility of old Europe to fulfill certain expectations: either political, economic, religious, etc. Also free from this perception are perhaps those who feel expelled from their countries; those who wish to begin a new life in a foreign place instead of becoming wealthy there and returning home.

Travelers and Secretaries represent the Mexico they project in their narrations (or the one they perceive according to their own prejudices that, in turn, are the product of the views that others have conveyed to them), but also the image of what they wish it would be. The model of a nation they have in mind will condition to a large extent their own view of Mexico, one they will inevitably have to compare with that ideal of a nation.

We have used travelers and Secretaries of the Treasury because we feel that both have a large influence, although for different aims. The travelers tend to be commissioned by their governments or they themselves rise up as representatives of their respective countries to tell about what they see, in that way providing an image of Latin America abroad. Many write with the sole desire to entertain, but others have the intention of “selling” the country, of recommending (or not) investments or the emigration of foreigners (either governments or individuals). Many of these travelers are looking for utopias, the possibility to fulfill overseas what is not possible anymore in old Europe.

Secretaries of the Treasury perform work that is much more limited than that of the travelers, but by no means less important. Their task, for domestic purposes, is to give details on the country’s financial situation. The image they create is based on economic data, supposedly more objective than the information contained in travel books. Nevertheless, it interests us because it is through these figures, normally negative, that a particular image is being created and, what’s more, a solution to the problem presented by the numbers, one that is always considered according to the possibilities and capabilities they believe the country possesses.

On the other hand, we will be interested in figuring out who influences who at the moment a judgment is made. For the case of the travelers, there is one individual who seems paradigmatic: Alexander von Humboldt. What he says is not only going to be read and repeated ad nauseam in Europe, but also in Mexico itself. And not only because Mexicans read his books, but also because he counted on the help of many of the country’s citizens to carry out his measurements, his maps, his travels, etc. and, furthermore, he lived in Mexico for a long time where, as expected, he met with professors, writers, ministers, etc. Everyone’s ideas become mixed together in such a way that it is not easy to know who influences whose particular perceptions.

With respect to the influences of the Secretaries of the Treasury and their reports, presented yearly at the Chamber of Deputies, it has to be noted that they reflect the economic shortcomings of the state and possible solutions to those shortcomings, which, by reading between the lines and interpreting them, give a lot of clues about the model of a nation they wanted to construct, as well as the assessment they make of Mexico itself based on the information that was analyzed and put forward. In addition, they give clues to the reflections made both by the predecessors holding the position and by the individuals in their circle of friends or teachers (among whom the foreign travelers themselves tend to be included).

Resulting from the relationship between these travelers and Secretaries, we will see important coincidences arise that are reflected in the texts we are going to study. These coincidences will be the result of mutual influences but, above all, they will sound familiar because all of them share the same model of the ideal nation, an influence of the liberalism prevailing on both sides of the Atlantic.


Before we begin reading the travel books and reports in order to analyze the image of Mexico they contain and transmit, it is worth questioning to whom the texts of each group (the travelers and secretaries) are directed, what they are thinking about when they write them, if they are directed to a specialized public, how they are spread, etc. We ask ourselves these questions because we are interested in knowing who they could be influencing with their opinions and judgments, and also because we think that a large part of the author’s and the text’s intention can be deduced from them, since a text written to entertain its readers will not have the same content as one for members of the parliament or senate that is reporting on a specific aspect concerning the country’s economy.

For that reason, we are interested in knowing who has access to these texts and, also, who orders them to be written. With regard to the stories: are they spontaneous? the result of a previously negotiated business deal or the product of a detailed professional process? All of this will influence the shape and depth of the document since it will limit its content and will be relevant in the way it is presented.

Another essential piece of information will be to meet, insofar as it is possible, the authors of the documents; to know what their professional and social relationships are, where they come from and what their interests are. These interests tend to be explicit in the majority of the cases and give an idea to the reasons that impelled the authors to assert themselves in one way or another in a particular case, and to chose certain topics or be interested in certain matters and not others.

Reports Made By Secretaries Of The Treasury

After analyzing the published reports that the Secretaries of the Treasury presented to Congress for discussion and approval during the first Federal Republic (1825-1834), the Centralist Republic (1835-1845), the second phase of the Republic (1846-1852) and the dictatorship under Santa Anna (1853), one can see that some concepts were repeated quite often during the first half of the 19th century, regardless of the type of government at each moment. Given that public income was less than its expenditures, a deficit was created in the government revenue that was growing exponentially over the years instead of lessening. As a result, the Secretaries of the Treasury pointed out that the fastest way to finance the deficit was to turn to foreign loans. They emphasized that in order to guarantee the influx of capital the country needed, they had to diffuse the image that Mexico was a mature and responsible country that took care of the debt it accrued (by mortgaging, for that purpose, its most substantial source of income – the income gained from customs), and that the country had an almost unlimited potential for growth as a result of its vast wealth (geographical diversity, widespread natural resources, large population). With that, they were hoping that possible investors, businessmen and merchants would come to Mexico to exploit its resources. For this reason, the reports are not only the most important document for studying the Treasury, but they are also the documents that contain the keys to the image of Mexico that they desired to be projected abroad.

During the first Federal Republic (1825-1834) the treasury reports pointed out that, given that income itself was insufficient and since they had to turn to foreign loans, it was necessary to promote an image of Mexico as a reliable, wealthy and stable country (in particular, see the texts on the analysis carried out in 1825 by the Senate Treasury Committee; and the Treasury Report that José Ignacio Esteva presented in 1826)2.

In the treasury reports that were discussed in Congress during the Centralist Republic (1835-1845) (it is particularly worth citing the texts presented by Treasury Secretaries Ignacio Alas in 1836, Joaquín de Lebrija in 1837, Manuel Eduardo de Gorostiza in 1838, Ignacio Trigueros in 1844, Luis de la Rosa in 1845), everyone pointed out the disorder in the nation’s accounts and they all agreed on the urgency to turn to foreign capital in order to continue financing an ever-increasing public deficit. In these texts one can see that, at that time, the origin of the problem was already diagnosed as well as what needed to be done to fix the situation. They had concrete information on the balance of the public accounts and they knew which fiscal reforms needed to be used to boost economic growth and strengthen the nation’s institutions. It was stated that the problem lay in the absence of political will on the part of the members of parliament to come up with a definitive solution to the matter3. After reading the aforementioned reports, it was confirmed that the Treasury didn’t work as was hoped to serve the nation, but rather that it acted for the private interests of the moneylenders, possibly in collusion with some power groups that had influence in the Chambers of Deputies and Senators. The Mexican government guaranteed the payment of the debt in exchange for impoverishing the country. For the benefit of few, the future of the Republic was mortgaged and plunged the majority of the population into poverty. Mexico needed to export an image of a wealthy country in order to continue financing its domestic debt.

During the second phase of the Republic (1846-1852), the diagnoses and proposals for reform made by the Treasury Secretaries continued the same trend as in prior years. In the reports presented by Mariano Riva Palacio in 1848, Manuel Piña y Cuevas in 1849, José Ignacio Esteva y González in 1851, Manuel Piña y Cuevas in 1851 and Guillermo Prieto in 1852, it was pointed out that the highest expenses continued being those derived from the payment of debt agreements (domestic and foreign) and the war. They explained that, given that the country was unraveling from internal tensions and was being mortgaged to unsustainable levels, a solid external image needed to be established in order to guarantee the continuity of credit4.

During the Santa Anna dictatorship (1853), in the report on 12 July 1853 drawn up by Antonio Haro y Tamariz, the Treasury Minister newly appointed by President Antonio López de Santa Anna, it was stated that once the basic needs of the Treasury were declared, he became focused on continuing to guarantee the arrival of foreign capital. However, as there was not much margin left to negotiate new credits abroad because of the situation of distrust, he considered the need to negotiate satisfactory agreements with domestic creditors and he tried without success to gain the support of the church. As the Minister was not in favor of creating a National Credit Bank, he proposed that the church provide credit worth 17 million pesos (the value of the deficit that he calculated as probable), giving it in exchange securities that would assure the ownership of its assets, and assign it the management and product of the taxes on rural and urban property. Once again everything was simply words and, since the plan didn’t have the approval of the President, the Minister stepped down and went to support Ayutla’s liberal plan that went against Santa Anna5. As one can see, a comprehensive fiscal reform was once again not proposed, but rather indirect means were turned to in order to solve the problem. The proposal for a type of bailout fund controlled by the church was never put into practice but, even it if had been, it wouldn’t have been more than temporary solution.

In summary, the external image, the internal war and credit were indissolubly linked, thereby creating some connections and synergies that were difficult to undo. The war, by maintaining elevated expenditures, impeded the Treasury from being able to earmark their resources for boosting development. The external image of a wealthy country guaranteed the arrival of capital. Meanwhile, the power groups in Mexico lived off of, and at the expense of, the budget. The Treasury didn’t work as a mechanism to strengthen the nation, but rather it was a means used by the usurers to generate private benefits, and by the most influential groups to finance clientelistic and support networks. The Treasury Secretaries could have had good reformist ideas and may have known the liberal principles of how to create a solid foundation for public funds, but the convergence of interests impeded their proposals from materializing.

Travel Books

It is important to observe the proportion of foreign travelers that arrived to Mexico in the 19th century with respect to other moments in history. The increase of travelers from other nations at that time not only explains the political change that made it possible for the entry of foreigners into the old Spanish colonies, but also the interest stirred up by the new republics to fulfill their expectations.

Chronologically, following Marie Louise Pratt (1997), it can be stated that the expeditions (and their subsequent literature) made for scientific purposes whose objective was to record information would chronologically go in first place, beginning with La Condamine. Later, together with the so-called sentimental literature, Humboldt holds great importance, who in some ways continued with the previous genre of naturalism although he widely transcended it. The commercial expeditions would come next (many of which were also pursued for military, conquest and colonization purposes), whose objective was the physical control and domination of the territory and its resources, going well beyond the control implied by the knowledge and classification that the scientific expeditions hoped to gain (the colonists/conquerors and migrants would compose a variation of this type of traveler, just as the Utopians could also generally be considered a variation of this “macro-group”). Another category that could be mentioned would be the literary and artistic expeditions and, likewise, women’s travels and trips taken by consular envoys. Naturally, these categories overlap on some occasions.

Because of his influence in the case of Mexico, we are particularly interested in Humboldt, a scientific traveler, although he easily transcends this category. He writes an enormous amount of work on botanical geography, zoology, and astronomic and barometric measurements, but also travel narratives strictly speaking, as well as politics, society, economy, etc., and “non-specialized writing”. As opposed to the oldest scientists, Humboldt “reinvents the idea of America, first and foremost as nature”. However, his nature is very different from that of previous writers (the Linnaean taxonomists, scientists who are primarily concerned with classification): it’s amazing, extraordinary, surprising, etc. What has been identified using American nature is Humboldt’s invention (Pratt 1997, 221-222). Likewise, he influences the vision from the first decades of independence that Latin Americans themselves (and even national heroes) have with regard to the meaning of America.

We have already seen in the previous epigraph that the very first receptors of Mexico’s image, as issued by the Treasury Secretaries, were other members of the government. They, in turn, rendered decisions on the need to disguise this image in order to gain the trust of foreign powers and, in addition, they served as transmitters of this vision in their own social circles, just like the Secretaries. The treasury reports were also published, which leads us to think they were acquired by individuals, among whom may have been the travelers that arrived to the country and needed to know information about the current situation.

The travel books were also published during that time but, in contrast with the treasury reports (which were consumed by the few individuals who were interested in the country’s economy), they became a large-scale business throughout the entire 19th century. These publications were distributed by large publishing houses (many of the books were written to order depending on the prior subscription of potential readers) and in periodic publications; the illustrated magazines of the time that echoed the interest and trend that had been stirred up around this literary genre. The supply of travel books was so broad that subgenres were created to awaken the interest of the public reader. Let’s look at the collection of letters that were later published in the form of books, such as the “Letters on Mexico (The Mexican Republic during the decisive years of 1832 and 1833)”, written by C.C. Becher6 who was supposedly writing to his wife and, therefore, without any prior intention to publish. Nevertheless, as Iturriaga points out, given the quantity of detailed information on politics, history, economy, etc., it’s doubtful that they were written without having already thought about their possible publication (Iturriaga 1993, I, 166). Their author didn’t leave Germany without a fixed route nor with the idea of simply travelling and telling his wife about it, rather he had been previously commissioned by a group of German industrialists and merchants who wanted to know about the possibility of doing business directly with Mexico, without French and English intermediaries. The proliferation of information contained in the letters indicates that while he was collecting it, he was “killing two birds with one stone” and that as he was writing it all down, he was thinking just as much about those who had commissioned it as about its posterior publication.

The authors, while writing, rarely limit themselves to description, rather they tend to make proposals and critical comments in which comparisons to other countries (generally to their own) abound.

It is worth citing this fragment from a text entitled “Details of a trip from Altamira to Catorce” by the British writer Robert Phillips7, who went to Mexico in 1822 and was responsible for transporting heavy machinery for the town Real del Catorce (SLP):

A fault is pointed out:

“The damage to the carriages was partly due to the oxen, which were all wild; but mainly to the drivers, groups of completely uncivilized beings…” (Iturriaga 1993, I, 129)

It is compared to the idea of how it would have been in Europe:

two Englishmen would have done double the work in the same amount of time. The indolently sluggish patience that can be seen among the working class in this country is truly surprising for the eyes of an Englishman” (Iturriaga 1993, I, 133).

A reason for this difference is explained:

In the same tone, Poinsset8 says: “there where nature does everything, man becomes indolent; [it] is applicable to this country and to this town” (Iturriaga 1993, I, 136).

And the possibility of benefitting from it is put forward.

As one can see from this fragment written by Bourne9, a retired British coronel, in his “Notes on the state of Sonora and Sinaloa” when he talks about exploiting the gold in the rivers:

a lot of gold has been taken from this current, since the rain washes it down from the mountains that rise up almost perpendicularly on either side and deposit the small nuggets of gold in the sand. Intelligent people could, without a doubt, obtain larger quantities, since it is only natural that the large nuggets are buried at some depth (Iturriaga 1993, I, 146).

Or the comments by George Francis Lyon10 in his “Residence in Mexico, 1826. Journal of a residence and tour in the Republic of Mexico”:

It would be very difficult, even in this universally lethargic country, to find a group of people more indifferent, idle and sleepy than those in Pánuco, the majority of whom are Creole. Surrounded by land that is capable of the best farming, living in a river swarming with the best fish, they barely have a vegetable and rarely any other food besides corn tortillas and occasionally a little jerky. Naps seem to last half the day, and even speaking is an effort for this lazy race (Iturriaga 1993, I, 151).

Another one of the most repeated features among travel writers is that they tend to compare what they see with what they and their potential readers know firsthand (which is generally their native countries) but, sometimes, they also do it with other parts of Latin America or with other supposedly exotic places in Africa, Asia and southern Europe. In the latter cases, the comparison does not tend to be as negative as when it is with England, France or the United States. This is due to the fact that they are comments made by travelers with more open minds, who travel all over the world on long journeys that can last up to several years (for example, the trip Rugendas took through America that lasted 16 years) and who are, frequently, debtors from the artistic current of Orientalism insomuch as their taste for the exotic and their fascination of everything far away, which is positively valued as compared to what is known. Greek, Italy, Spain (above all Andalusia and the Arabic world), etc., they are all merely places to travel to that are different from Europe. They are the “others” in comparison to Europe, without any clear difference between them but with one common attraction: their contrast with respect to what is known.

The place Mexico is compared to, therefore, also has a lot to do with what is being searched for. Those who travel as part of a personal learning experience and to flee from ties and restrictive environments, will emphasize the possibilities that the country has in that sense and its similarities to other alleged paradises; whereas those who are looking for progress will point out the faults and possibilities that the country has in that sense, and they will compare it with other allegedly developed places in Europe.

In both cases, the authors are reflecting in their writing what they want to see and a good part of that is the product of what they had previously hoped to see, what they had read about, or what they had been told by others.

We will move from here to the subject of how some discourses and images influence others. In this sense, the influence of two Anglo Saxon travelers to Mexico during the first half of the 19th century is classic: Ward and Poinsset. The former was an English diplomat who was in Mexico in 182711 and converted his residence there into a meeting place for “Scots”; the latter, to whom we have already previously alluded, was a United States ambassador around whom the Yorkinos lodge was formed. Dougherty (1969) wrote about this struggle by presenting the former author as someone only interested in economic matters and the latter as a “neocolonialist” politician. What interests us here is to point out the influence that both had and the transfer of ideas that was generated around them. Ward himself tells us who he benefitted from when elaborating his own writing surrounding Mexico and its possibilities. In the preface of his Mexico in 1827, he states:

apart from the Essai politique by the Baron of Humboldt, to whom I have expressed my recognition elsewhere, I have made great use of El Español, whose eloquent author, Mr. Blanco White, has gathered not only the most interesting collection of the nation’s papers that exist today on the period in which the inclination towards the independence of the Spanish colonies began to appear, but also a pile of reflections on American matters…I have similarly made generous use of, in my outline of the revolution, the cuadro histórico by don Carlos Bustamante, as well as Robinson, Backenbridge and many other works published in the United Sates and seldom read in England […] (Ward 1995, 21-22).

He therefore makes use of the analyses and opinions of Spanish, United Sates and Mexican authors and spreads the idea that Mexico is formed from their own observations as well. And he expresses a fundamental idea to justify the writing of his own book in which he is trying “to present before the public an impartial panorama of the Mexico’s current situation and capabilities” because he thinks that Mexico’s image was created in an illusory way when their independence was declared.

by some men guided solely by their enthusiasm and by many who, at the same time, had no other purpose than to take advantage of the enthusiasm of others. Everyone contributed, unfortunately, to arouse the imagination of the ignorant by presenting before them a state of affairs that had no foundation either in nature or in truth.

Seen through an illusion of hope, the Spanish America presented no more than favorable perspectives. A large and immediate success should have been felt by every company there, without having to use those means that success depends on, according to the experience that the world has shown up to now. Of time, industry, perseverance, knowledge of the setting where the operations should have begun, the men that should manage them, the language and the peculiarities of the country in which they were going to be carried out; all of these were said to be considerations of little importance: it was argued that only capital was needed (Ward 1995, 20).

Nevertheless, the alleged attempt by Ward to present a more realistic panorama of Mexico, the vision of a country as a promise land in need of investors, continued being spread by propagandists: enthusiasts or interested parties, nationals or foreigners, during the first half of the century.


Considering the arguments and descriptions from travelers and Secretaries of the Treasury in Mexico during the first half of the 19th century, it is possible to establish certain relationships. By basing ourselves on Ward’s argument when he justifies writing his book as an effort to tinge the optimistic vision of the first travelers and Mexican politicians who presented Mexico as a promise land that only needed an injection of capital in order to continue forward with its modernization project, we can see that this vision didn’t change during the first decades of independence. There are exceptions, like Ward, who did experience this change between 1824, the date of the first trip he took to Mexico, and 1827, the date of the second and also the writing of his aforementioned book. Nevertheless, this was not the dominating tone and we believe that the desire of the Secretaries and government members, who insisted on promoting the country’s virtues in order to obtain loans and foreign investments, was an important factor for this continuity.

The first independent governments didn’t see the possibility of Mexico growing without counting on these external injections. The image they project abroad coincides with that of the parties interested in investing or finding a destination for the surplus population in their own countries and, for that reason, the vision doesn’t change, so they therefore become Mexico’s propagandists and its possibilities for exploitation. The discourse from the travelers and Secretaries coincides in such a way that it is not possible to establish who influences who, but it is clear to establish what model they have in mind for their country; that of a nation-state that guarantees private property and security in its business and financial transactions in order to assure the largest benefit with the smallest possible investment. In both cases, the view of Mexico touches a liberal note: what benefits can we get from exploiting it, how can we make it a productive country and obtain the greatest benefits with the smallest investment. Development, progress, investment/benefits, etc. All of this forms part of the same discourse: that of economic liberalism which was spreading throughout the entire western world in the 19th century.

Beginning during the Reformation in Mexico, these perceptions would be modified and the Treasury Secretaries’ solutions to the deficit of the country’s public accounts would change substantially as they began to pledge for a larger internal investment in order to achieve balance in the Treasury. It is yet to be seen if there is a parallel transformation in the travelers’ narratives from the second half of the 19th century.


Dr. Pedro Pérez Herrero. Professor at the Universidad de Alcalá. Doctor of History for El Colegio de México (Mexico) and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain). Corresponding member of the Academia Mexicana de la Historia. Director of the Master’s Degree in Contemporary Latin America and its relationship with the European Union: a strategic cooperation and the PhD in Contemporary Latin America offered by the Universidad de Alcalá. Director of the Instituto de Estudios Latinoamericanos at the UAH. Author of various publications related to the history and current situation in Latin America.


Dr. Eva Sanz Jara. Research associate for the Instituto de Estudios Latinoamericanos at the Universidad de Alcalá. Academic coordinator of the Master’s Degree in Contemporary Latin America and its relationship with the European Union: a strategic cooperation and the PhD in Contemporary Latin America offered by the Universidad de Alcalá. Teaching assistant for Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia. History graduate, Social and Cultural Anthropology graduate, Master’s Degree in Higher Education, Advanced Studies Diploma in Social Anthropology and the Contemporary World, and PhD in Contemporary Latin America.


Dr. Inmaculuada Simón Ruiz. Research associate for the Instituto de Estudios Latinoamericanos at the Universidad de Alcalá. Geography and History graduate and Doctor of the History of Contemporary Latin America received at the Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain). Author of various publications on contemporary Mexican history.


1825                Análisis de la Memoria presentada por el señor secretario del Despacho de Hacienda al primer Congreso constitucional de los Estados Unidos mexicanos, hecho por la Comisión de Hacienda de la Cámara de Senadores de cuya orden se imprime, Mexico, Imprenta de Martín Rivera.


Dougherty J. E.

1969                “México, manzana de discordia entre Gran Bretaña y Estados Unidos”, in Historia Mexicana n. 74.

1839                El justo medio o ensayo político sobre la prosperidad y grandeza de la República Mexicana, por el ciudadano Marcos Arnaud, Mexico, Imprenta de Ignacio Cumplido.

1836                Exposición que dirige Ignacio Alas a sus conciudadanos, Mexico, Imprenta de J.M. Lara.

1848                Exposición que al Congreso General dirige el ministro de Hacienda sobre el estado de la Hacienda Pública de la Federación en fin de julio de 1848, Mexico, Imprenta de Ignacio Cumplido.

1849                Exposición con que el Excelentísimo Sr. ministro de Hacienda presentó a la Cámara de Diputados de la nación el día 2 de enero de 1849, el presupuesto general de gastos para el mismo año, Mexico, Imprenta de Vicente G. Torres.

1851                Exposición que dirige al Excelentísimo Señor Presidente de la República, su ministro de Hacienda ciudadano José Ignacio Esteva, Mexico, Tipografía Vicente García Torres.

1838                Gorostiza a sus conciudadanos. Breve reseña de las operaciones del Ministerio de Hacienda durante los ocho meses y dieciocho días que lo ha tenido a su cargo, Mexico, Imprenta del Águila.

1838                Informe del establecimiento de minería al Escmo. Sr Ministro de Hacienda que tiene por objeto probar la urgente necesidad que hoy, más que nunca, ecsiste de conceder a los que se dedican a la labor de los criaderos de azogue, la libertad de todos derechos en los artículos de su consumo, y de que también iguales franquicias se hagan estensivas al importante ramo de minería, Mexico, Ignacio Cumplido.

1852                Informe que presenta el Secretario de Hacienda sobre el estado que guarda la deuda estrangera pidiendo que se cubra el deficiente extraordinario de 1.300.000 pesos para el pago de los dividendos que se adeudan, Mexico, Tipografía de Vicente García Torres.


Iturriaga de la Fuente J.

1993                Anecdotario de viajeros extranjeros en México. Siglos XVI-XX, 4 vols., FCE, Mexico.


López de Escalera J.

1964                Diccionario biográfico y de historia de México, México, Magisterio, 1964, p. 331., 31/07/2012.

1844                Memoria de Hacienda que presenta el Secretario de Estado y de Hacienda, en cumplimiento del decreto de 3 de octubre de 1843, presentó a las cámaras del Congreso general, y leyó en la de diputados en los días 3 y 6 de febrero y en la de senadores en 12 y 13 de febrero, Mexico, Imprenta de J.M. Lara.

1825                Memoria sobre el estado de la Hacienda Pública, leída en la Cámara de Diputados y en la de Senadores por el Ministro del Ramo. En cumplimiento del Artículo 120 de la Constitución federal de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos a 4 de enero de 1825, Mexico, Imprenta del Supremo Gobierno de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos.

1826                Memoria del ramo de Hacienda Federal de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, leída en la cámara de Diputados el 13 de enero, y en la Senadores el 16 del mismo, por el Ministro respectivo. Año de 1826, Mexico, Imprenta del Supremo Gobierno.

1846                Memoria que sobre el estado de la Hacienda Nacional de la República Mexicana, presentó a las Cámaras el Ministro del ramo en julio de 1845, Mexico, Imprenta de Ignacio Cumplido.


Pratt, M.L.

1997                Ojos imperiales. Literatura de viajes y transculturación, Buenos Aires, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes.

1839                Presupuesto general de los Ministerios de Relaciones Exteriores , del Interior, de Hacienda y Guerra y Marina, año de 1840, Mexico, Imprenta de J.M. Lara.

1851                Proyecto de recursos que presentó el Excmo. Sr. Ministro de Hacienda en 20 de agosto del presente año y Dictamen que estendió la Junta de Sres. Gobernadores de los Estados reunida en esta capital, Mexico, Imprenta de J.M. Lara.


Ward H.G.

1995                México en 1827, Mexico, FCE.

  1. Throughout the first half of the 19th century, the members of the Treasury were sometimes called Ministers and other times Secretaries, so we will use the specific names when we make reference to concrete people but when we reference them in general we will call them Secretaries, which is the term that is currently used. []
  2. Report on the state of the Treasury, read in the Chamber of Deputies and the Chamber of Senators by the Acting Minister. In compliance with Article 120 of the Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States, 4 January 1825, Mexico, the printing press of the Supreme Government of the United Mexican States, in Palace, 1825; Analysis of the report presented by the Secretary of the Treasury Office to the first constitutional congress of the United Mexican States, made by the Treasury Committee of the Chamber of Senators on whose order it was printed, Mexico, printing by Martín Rivera, 1825. Signed by Cañedo, Medina, García and Barraza; Report from the branch of Federal Treasury of the United Mexican States, read in the Chamber of Deputies, 13 January, and in the Chamber of Senators, 16 January by the Acting Minister. 1826, Mexico, printed by the Supreme Government, 1826. []
  3. Speech that Ignacio Alas addressed to his fellow countrymen, Mexico, printed by J.M. Fernández de Lara, La Palma Street 4, 1836; Report on the General Treasury of the Mexican Republic, presented to the Chambers by the Acting Minister on 29 June 1837, Mexico, Águila Printing Press, run by José Ximeno, Medinas Street, no. 6, 1837, BNE; Report on the establishment of the mining industry to the President of the Treasury, the purpose of which is to prove the urgent need that today, more than ever, exists in granting those who mine mercury the release of all rights to its consumer products, and also that similar franchises are extended throughout this important branch of the mining industry, Mexico, printed by Ignacio Cumplido, Los Rebeldes Street, no. 2, 1838, BNE; Gorostiza to his fellow countrymen. A brief summary on the operations of the Treasury Department during the eight months and eighteen days that he held office, Mexico, Águila Printing Press, run by José Ximeno, Medinas Street, no. 6, 1838, BNE; General budget of the Ministers of Foreign Relations, the State, the Treasury, and War and Navy, 1840, Mexico, printed by J.M. Lara, La Palma Street, no. 4, 1839, BNE; Treasury Report presented by the Secretary of the State and Treasury, in compliance with the decree on 3 October 1843, presented to the Chambers of General Congress and read in the Chamber of Deputies on 3 and 6 February, and in the Senate on 12 and 13 February, Mexico, printed by J.M. Lara, La Palma Street, no. 4, 1844, BNE. []
  4. Report on the state of the National Treasury of the Mexican Republic, presented by the Acting Minister to the Chambers in July 1845, Mexico, printed by Ignacio Cumplido, 1846, BNE; Presentation on the state of the Federation’s Treasury addressed to Congress by the Treasury Minister at the end of July 1848, Mexico, printed by Ignacio Cumplido, 1848; Statement presented by the President of the Treasury Board to the Nation’s Chamber of Deputies on 2 January 1949, the general budget of expenditures for the same year, Mexico, printed by Vicente G. Torres, 1849; Speech made by the President of the Republic, his Treasury Minister José Ignacio Esteva, Mexico, Vicente García Torres typography, 1851; Resource project presented by the President of the Treasury Board on 20 August of the current year and a report issued by the Board of Governors of the State meeting in Mexico City, printed by J.M. Lara, La Palma Street 4, 1851; A report presented by the Secretary of the Treasury on the state that holds foreign debt, asking for the extraordinary debt of 1,300,000 pesos to be covered for the payment of dividends that are owed, Mexico, Vicente García Torres typography, 1852. []
  5. Report presented to the President of the Republic by the Treasury Minister on the matters contained in it, Mexico, printed by Ignacio Cumplido, 1853, signed by Antonio de Haro and Tamariz (12 July 1853). []
  6. German traveler, presumably from Hamburg. Assistant manager of the Renana Indooccidental Company in Elberfeld, composed of industrialists and German merchants. He arrived to Mexico in 1832 and during his 15-month stay he visited El Sitio, a German iron foundry located in the Cuautla Valley, the obsidian fields of Zacualpan, and the German mines near Angangueo (Mich.). Before leaving for Mexico, he visited Humboldt in Paris, from whom he received information and letters of recommendation (Iturriaga 1993, I, 166). []
  7. A British traveler who arrived to Mexico in 1822, in charge of bringing heavy machinery needed for the exploitation of a mine on an eventful trip from Tampico to Real del Catorce (San Luis Potosí). During his stay in Mexico he met Henry George Ward, who published the account of his trip together with his own (Iturriaga 1993, I, 128). []
  8. A United States diplomat who travelled to Mexico in 1822 to study the possibilities of United States expansion into Mexico. His intrigues in the country provoked a general riot in 1829 in front of his house and his expulsion from the country in 1830. []
  9. A retired English military man who worked in the mining industry in 1825. He came into contact with Henry George Ward to whom he provided information about Sonora and Sinaloa (Iturriaga 1993, I, 143-144). []
  10. A British traveler, captain of the Marines, he was commissioned by the Real del Monte and Bolaños mining companies to travel to Mexico to study its possibilities in 1826. He travelled for a year throughout San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas, Guadalajara, Valladolid, Mexico City, Hidalgo, Jalapa and Veracruz. Upon his return to England, he suffered a shipwreck from which he managed to salvage the account of his trip that he wrote in the form of a journal (Iturriaga 1993, I, 150). []
  11. The first British ambassador in Mexico between 1823 and 24 commissioned to negotiate the Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation. He made a second trip in 1825 as business commissioner and was in the country until 1827. []

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