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5848 - European Migrants as Ambassadors of Modernization? The Case of the Germans in Yucatán During the Henequen Boom

From 1880 until 1915, the Mexican state of Yucatán enjoyed an economic boom thanks to the export of henequen. During this period, hundreds of North American and European immigrants came to the peninsula in different capacities, as investors, merchants, managers, professionals and technicians, but also as laborers and service personnel. Although with different skills and experience, there seems to be a common denominator: Most of them did better in the peninsula as they could have done in their society of origin.

From an ethno-historical perspective, this presentation will explore the causes that originated this migratory event, the preexisting socio-cultural, political an legal conditions that gave way to such a favorable receiving context for the foreigners, as well as the consequences for the hosting society.

This communication will present part of the results of a PhD dissertation in progress. It is mostly based on primary sources-in English, Spanish and Germans-that were consulted in México, the United States, Austria and Germany.

Keywords: Migration, Labour, Race and Ethnicity, Modernization

Author: Durán-Merk, Alma (Universität Augsburg, Germany / Deutschland)

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