This work is a reedition, the first in English, of El Banco de Avío de México: El fomento de la industria, 1821-1846 (1959). It is an analysis of the government’s promotion of Mexico’s early national industry through financial assistance and protective tariffs. Both the successes and failures of the Banco’s policies are fully weighed, and the reader emerges with a good understanding of why economic growth was so limited in early nineteenth-century Mexico. Political upheaval was not the only factor, as Potash clearly demonstrates.
For those interested in the problems of underdevelopment in Third World nations, this fine historical monograph has a good deal of contemporary relevance. Additions have been made to the text to incorporate post-1959 research on the early cotton textile industry, and a bibliographical postscript has been added to include post-1960 economic writing on the 1821–46 period.