This collection focuses on the part of the Yucatán Peninsula that became the state of Quintana Roo. The title was chosen because rulers and elites often treated the region as if it were unoccupied, while in reality a number of Maya lived there beyond the control of government. In the subtitle, geopolitics reflects the importance that colonial and republican governments gave to the strategic necessity of occupying it. Yet, occupation was difficult and expensive because the small population and insignificant commercial activity produced a limited tax base. Truly, as Juan Bautista Alberdi said, “to govern is to populate.” Governments had to offer incentives to encourage entrepreneurs to invest in economic activity. One popular incentive was land, which inevitably resulted in conflict or disagreement with the Maya living in the region. The book therefore concentrates on the interplay of government policies, entrepreneurial activity, and...

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