Mexican Revolution (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: Conflict in Mexico results in a new collectivist constitution and elected governments.
Summary of Event
In 1876 Mexico had come under the governance of Porfirio Díaz, whose motto had been the restoration of constitutional government. There is general agreement that the Mexican government during his reign was autocratic, arbitrary, and repressive. His program might be described as one of “scientific” development of Mexico, and he allowed the suppression of the political rights and the denial of the economic rights of large sections of the Mexican society to meet those goals. To bring about the development of Mexico, Díaz invited the investment of foreign capital under extremely favorable conditions. The economic penetration of foreign investors, especially from the United States, occurred in the areas of railroads, mining, and—more significantly from the perspective of the Mexican Revolution—petroleum and land.
Despite the economic development and its social ramifications, the Mexican Revolution began as a reaction to the suppression of political rights. As such, one could describe the revolution in its initial stage as liberal in character. As the Díaz regime aged, it became subject to much criticism, particularly for its authoritarian political nature, for its exclusion from political office of all except a favored few men, and for its suppression of labor in favor of foreign...
(The entire section is 2042 words.)
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Mexican Revolution (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Control of the Mexican state. Result: The creation of a stable, flexible, one-party state.
The Mexican Revolution resulted primarily from the inability of President Porfirio Díaz to transfer power smoothly to a successor. The period known as the Porfiriato (1876-1911) began with such transfers. Díaz, who himself had revolted under the constitutional banner of no reelection, surrendered office to his elected successor and friend, Manuel González (1880-1884), who returned it to him by election. The constitution was then changed to permit reelection, and Díaz ruled as a republican monarch. He used North American capital to make Mexico an economic miracle of the late nineteenth century and used the opportunities it created to conciliate diverse regional strongmen (caciques) and their factions (camarillas). Díaz was advised by technocrats known as the científicos, who, in the regime’s last years, favored European capital over American, particularly in the petroleum industry. In 1904, científicos led by Finance Minister José Limantour forced the aging Díaz to allow the creation of a vice presidency to clarify the succession. Social unrest by peasants deprived of land by modernization grew, as did political unrest by radical liberals upset both by Díaz’s reconciliation with the Catholic Church and by his perpetuation in office. In 1908,...
(The entire section is 1034 words.)