Catalogue


Germany in Central America : competitive imperialism, 1821-1929 /
Thomas Schoonover.
imprint
Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, c1998.
description
xiii, 317 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0817308865 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, c1998.
isbn
0817308865 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
1823781
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [295]-302) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Thomas Schoonover is Professor of History at the University of Southwestern Louisiana.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-09-01:
Influenced by world systems theory and the concept of social imperialism, Schoonover has exhaustively researched German, French, English, and US archives in analyzing German economic expansion into Central America. In contrast to Lewis Pyenson's Cultural Imperialism and Exact Sciences: German Expansion Overseas, 1900-1930 (1985), which emphasizes the cultural aspects, Schoonover's study shows an industrializing Germany exporting its social problems both before and after unification through emigration and colonizing schemes, while developing companies like Siemens and Krupp sought markets especially in Guatemala and Costa Rica. At times aggressive (in the 1880s and 1890s) in investing in communication systems while facing US competition, German economic interests expanded into the agricultural scene, seeking single-product enclaves and competing with United Fruit Company. A key factor was the establishment of an important consular infrastructure within the Isthmian states. World War I brought displacement and confiscation of property, but German economic recovery in the 1920s in certain places surpassed the 1914 level. Graphs and illustrations add significantly to this excellent study. Upper-division undergraduates and above. M. S. Miller emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Historians have long understood that Germany often played as significant a role as Great Britain or the United States in Latin America, but there are few works, especially in English, dealing with the history of Germany's relations with the region. . . . While providing an overview of Germany's evolving relationship with the Central American countries, Schoonover argues that the German thrust into Central America and other peripheral areas was motivated by the same idea that drove British and American imperialism: the belief that expanding into world markets would reduce the domestic, social, and economic conflicts that wracked these industrial giants."-American Historical Review
“Historians have long understood that Germany often played as significant a role as Great Britain or the United States in Latin America, but there are few works, especially in English, dealing with the history of Germany’s relations with the region. . . . While providing an overview of Germany’s evolving relationship with the Central American countries, Schoonover argues that the German thrust into Central America and other peripheral areas was motivated by the same idea that drove British and American imperialism: the belief that expanding into world markets would reduce the domestic, social, and economic conflicts that wracked these industrial giants.”-American Historical Review
"Professor Schoonover describes the significant role that Germany played in Central American affairs between 1821 and 1929, a dynamic century both in Germany and in America. He is successful in linking events in the isthmus with domestic conditions in Germany and to broader world affairs." Edward H. Moseley, Director Capstone International Program, The University of Alabama
"The successful exploitation of massive German documentation, heretofore rarely used, is a tribute to the author's diligence and linguistic skills. Schoonover presents a very thorough picture of German economic and imperial activity in Central America." Charles L . Stansifer, The University of Kansas
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 1998
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Summaries
Main Description
Using previously untapped resources including private collections, the records of cultural institutions, and federal and state government archives, Schoonover analyzes the German role in Central American domestic and international relations. Of the four countries most active in independent Central America-Britain, the United States, France, and Germany- historians know the least about the full extent of the involvement of the Germans. German colonial expansion was based on its position as an industrialized state seeking economic well-being and security in a growing world market. German leaders were quick to recognize that ties to the cheap labor of overseas countries could compensate for some of the costs and burdens of conceding material and social privileges to their domestic labor force. The Central American societies possessed limited resource bases; smaller and poorly educated populations; and less capital, communications, and technological development than Germany. They saw the borrowing of development as a key to their social, economic, and political progress. Wary Central American leaders also saw the influx of German industrialists as assurance against excessive U.S. presence in their political economies and cultures. Although the simplistic bargain to trade economic development for cheap labor appeared to succeed in the short term, complex issues of German domestic unemployment and social disorder filtered to Central American countries and added to their own burdens. By 1929, Germany had recovered most of its pre-World War I economic position.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
Foundations of German Interest in Central America, 1820-1848p. 10
Prussia and Commerce with the Pacific Basin, 1848-1851p. 21
Franz Hugo Hesse's Mission to Central America, 1851-1858p. 34
Bismarck and the Foundations of the German Empire, 1858-1871p. 55
Defining Germany's Role in Central America, 1871-1885p. 67
Aggressive Participation in the New World, 1885-1898p. 85
Aggressive Penetration and National Honor, 1898-1906p. 112
Apogee of German Power in Central America, 1906-1914p. 137
U.S. Displacement of German Economic Power during World War Ip. 154
Reestablishing Germany's Role, 1920-1925p. 173
A Revived German Presence in Central America, 1924-1929p. 190
Conclusion and Epiloguep. 207
Tablesp. 213
Notesp. 227
Research Resources on Germany in Central Americap. 287
Primary Materials and Published Sourcesp. 295
Indexp. 303
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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