The Representation of Guatemala at the World’s Fairs in the Late Nineteenth Century
1 online resource (118 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The Representation of Guatemala at the World’s Fairs in the Late Nineteenth Century is a case study among many Latin American countries’ desire to display modernity in an attempt to rid of any uncivilized notoriety. This thesis juxtaposes Guatemala’s participation at the 1889 IV Universal Exposition in Paris, the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and the 1897 Central American Exposition in Guatemala alongside the ideological, social, political, and economic events from post-independence to the late 1890s. It is important to clarify the identity of Guatemalan elites, why they wanted to modernize the country with European ideals, what were their intentions with indigenous groups, and how they transformed the country into a major coffee exporter. Doing so reveals why and how German investors became coffee plantation owners as well as how the Guatemalan government facilitated appropriation and exploitation of land and indigenous labor. The World’s Fairs offers a cultural perspective to examine the Guatemala case study. The Parisian fair offered elites the opportunity to display modern coffee production techniques juxtaposed to the few Pre-Columbian artifacts in their German-themed pavilion. Prize-winning coffee exhibits gave Guatemala impetus to exhibit at the World’s Columbian Exposition, and to later host the Central American Exposition. During Guatemala’s participation at the Chicago fair and the infrastructure improvements in preparation to host a fair, there is a shift from German to American relations through friendly diplomatic exchange that determined the fate of Guatemala in the twentieth century. This thesis argues Guatemala portrayed itself as a Europeanized, modern country eager to offer skilled indigenous labor and fertile lands for foreign investment through the World’s Fairs. I also make the claim that Guatemala’s shift from German to U.S. economic interest can be traced during the 1890’s.
COFFEEGUATEMALALATIN AMERICANINETEENTH CENTURYWORLD'S FAIRS
Latin American Studies
Weeks, GregorySoliz, CarmenPrasad, Ritika
Thesis (M.A.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2015.
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