Pearson's extraordinary success in Mexico took place within the context
of unprecedented levels of British trade with and investment in Latin
America, Garner argues that Pearson should be understood less as an
agent of British imperialism than as an agent of Mexican state
building and modernization. Pearson was able to secure contracts for
some of nineteenth-century Mexico's most important public works projects
in large part because of his reliability, his empathy with the
development project of Mexican President Porfirio Díaz, and his
assiduous cultivation of a business network within the Mexican
political elite. His success thus provides an opportunity to reappraise
the role played by overseas interests in the national development of
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