Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/450

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

yearly investing more and more capital in these enterprises. To the skill of English engineers is due the successful achievement of the Mexican railway, the first built of the great lines that now mark up the map in all directions. Many a Mexican company had faced the chasm between the capital and the gulf, but baulked before the leap. No government lasted long enough to ensure the success of the enterprise, until, in 1868 republican stability and English capital combined to push it forward, and in 1873 the road was opened to the public.

Two great lines connecting Mexico with the United States—the Mexican Central and the National Railway—are essentially American enterprises. The Yankee pervades Mexico—not, as many of its inhabitants fear, with the deep design of absorbing all its territory into the already large domain of the United States, but with his characteristic instinct for doing a good thing for himself. He finds a perfect climate, a productive soil, a land rich in metals and minerals, unlimited space for future railroads, telegraphs, towns, shops, business. There are instances, no doubt, where he thinks he has found a simple native population, easily imposed upon, whose ignorance he may work to his own advantage. But there is no doubt that Yankee liberality, intelligence, conscience, and capital have already done much, and will do far more, to advance the civilization of the country, and lift the spirit of the Aztec, kept low down by centuries of life at the very base of the social pyramid, so that it may ascend higher and higher towards its apex.