Mexico, Aztec, Spanish and Republican: A Historical, Geographical, Political, Statistical and Social Account of That Country From the Period of the Invasion by the Spaniards to the Present Time With a View of the Ancient Aztec Empire and Civilization, A Historical Sketch of the Late War and Notices of New Mexico and California (Complete)

Library of Alexandria, 1852 - 433 páginas

The people of the United States have always felt a deep interest in the history and destiny of Mexico. It was not only the commercial spirit of our citizens that awakened this sentiment. In former times, when the exclusive policy of Spain closed the door of intercourse with her American colonies, the ancient history of Peru and Mexico attracted the curiosity of our students. They were eager to solve the enigma of a strange civilization which had originated in the central portions of our continent in isolated independence of all the world. They desired, moreover, to know something of those enchanted regions, which, like the fabled garden of the Hesperides, were watched and warded with such jealous vigilance; and they craved to behold those marvelous mines whose boundless wealth was poured into the lap of Spain. The valuable work of Baron Humboldt, published in the early part of this century, stimulated this natural curiosity; and, when the revolutionary spirit of Europe penetrated our continent, and the masses rose to cast off colonial bondage, we hailed with joy every effort of the patriots who fought so bravely in the war of liberation. Bound to Mexico by geographical ties, though without a common language or lineage, we were the first to welcome her and the new American Sovereignties into the brotherhood of nations, and to fortify our continental alliance by embassies and treaties.

After more than twenty years of peaceful intercourse, the war of 1846 broke out between Mexico and our Union. Thousands, of all classes, professions and occupations,—educated and uneducated—observers and idlers,—poured into the territory of the invaded republic. In the course of the conflict these sturdy adventurers traversed the central and northern regions of Mexico, scoured her coasts, possessed themselves for many months of her beautiful Capital, and although they returned to their homes worn with the toils of war, none have ceased to remember the delicious land, amid whose sunny valleys and majestic mountains they had learned, at least, to admire the sublimity of nature. The returned warriors did not fail to report around their firesides the marvels they witnessed during their campaigns, and numerousworks have been written to sketch the story of individual adventure, or to portray the most interesting physical features of various sections of the republic. Thus by war and literature, by ancient curiosity and political sympathy, by geographical position and commercial interest, Mexico has become perhaps the most interesting portion of the world to our countrymen at the present moment. And I have been led to believe that the American people would not receive unfavorably a work designed to describe the entire country, to develop its resources and condition, and to sketch impartially its history from the conquest to the present day.


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