Delineating the Peace: Marking Oaxaca's State Boundaries, 1856-1912

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This article analyses efforts by the state of Oaxaca to mark its border from 1856 to 1912. State officials hoped to demarcate a permanent border along the frontier as a way to delineate a peaceful ending to on-going boundary disputes, some of which allegedly dated to pre-Columbian times. The activity of marking Oaxaca's boundary effectively represented a literal process of Mexican state formation. Oaxaca officials attempted to negotiate the state's jurisdictional limits in cooperation with other federations as well as with their own citizens as they located the parameters of the state and the limits of its authority during the era.