Compare and contrast revolutionary and reform movements in Mexico and China during 1890-1914. How were their goals and methods similar and different?  

These two revolutionary and reform movements successfully toppled long-established rulers. They were partly done to remove overbearing foreign influence and brought about social and political reforms. However, they both resulted in many years of political infighting and instability, more so in China, which devolved into civil war.

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These two revolutionary movements had both social and political aims. They both sought to overthrow a long-established form of rule the Porfitario in the case of Mexico and the Qing Empire in China. At the time, however, the poor, rural classes were being exploited by the power structure. While...

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These two revolutionary movements had both social and political aims. They both sought to overthrow a long-established form of rulethe Porfitario in the case of Mexico and the Qing Empire in China. At the time, however, the poor, rural classes were being exploited by the power structure. While these revolutions were ostensibly fought for the benefit of the poor, they were both led by members of the educated middle class. In both China and Mexico a temporary increase in liberalism and democracy resulted.

These two revolutionary movements were also waged to remove the large degrees of domineering foreign influence in each nation. For nearly a century, the Qing Dynasty had been forced to sign humiliating treaties with European powers that eroded the sovereignty of the Chinese in their own land. Porfirio Diaz had alarmed many in Mexico through his practice of encouraging foreign investments. While these were not hostile or coercive incursions into Mexico the way they were in China, the amount of foreign economic influence that Diaz allowed was concerning to many.

The Chinese and the Mexican revolutions achieved their main goals, which was to topple the established power structure. However, neither achieved the long-term goal they sought. China soon fractured along ideological lines and was plunged into a destructive civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists. In Mexico, the successors of Diaz fell into infighting that resulted in a turbulent decade and led to the long rule of a single political party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

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The Mexican Revolution of 1910 and the Chinese Revolution of 1911 both centered on the fight to secure social and political reforms, but the Chinese Revolution was significant for its part in overthrowing the centuries-old imperial system in China. The Chinese Revolution in 1911 led to the establishment of the republic of China under Sun Yat Sen; however, the continued fight for working class reforms eventually culminated in the Revolution of 1949, a conflict that ushered in decades of Communist rule which has lasted until today.

The Chinese Revolution of 1911 heralded the fall of the Qing Dynasty after the imperial ruler failed to execute meaningful working-class reforms on behalf of the population. The Emperor Guangxu, a liberal-minded ruler, was actually open to the industrialization and development of China; with the support of like-minded senior officials, Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao, Guangxu called for a series of reforms and issued edicts to modernize China. However, the Emperor Guangxu's efforts were stymied by the Dowager Empress Cixi, who felt that the reforms were far too extreme. The Empress managed to engineer a coup to dethrone the young Emperor and to take over as Regent.

With power in her hands, the Empress nullified all edicts issued by Emperor Guangxu. In retaliation, she also had the six main proponents of the edicts executed: they were Lin Xu, Yang Shenxiu, Liu Guangdi, Yagn Rui, Tan Sitong, and Kang Guangren.

Read more : The Hundred Days Reform of 1898.

Read about Sun Yat Sen's three principles for revolution.

To preserve her power, the Empress allowed some reforms to go forward. For example, the civil service examination system that had favored Chinese elites was eliminated. However, the Empress' half-hearted and lackluster efforts to appease the people failed. If anything, followers of Sun Yat Sen believed that the overthrow of the entire Qing Dynasty was the only acceptable answer to China's woes. The 1911 Revolution set in motion an overarching struggle that was to eventually culminate in the emergence of Communist China on the world stage.

On the other side of the ocean, the Mexican Revolution of 1910 began as a middle class struggle against the enduring dictatorship of one Porfirio Diaz, an Army officer. The emerging middle class in Mexico agitated for freedom of the press, representation in the political arena, and elimination of the provincial oligarchies that had prevented them from benefiting from foreign investment dollars. Unlike China, Mexico did not have to endure a series of humiliating treaties that was to see numerous ports of entry appropriated for foreign use. Similar to China, however, was the enduring struggle to secure a representative form of government.

The dictator, Diaz, was soon replaced by a wealthy landowner, Francisco Madero, who became the president of Mexico in 1911. However, Madero was never able to push back successfully against the old guard, the Diaz supporters, who agitated for a return to the status quo. Madero was eventually replaced by another revolutionary leader, Victoriano Huerta. However, Huerta was even less successful than Madero, and he was soon challenged by Emiliano Zapata and Francisco Villa, populist leaders who led years of violent revolt until 1920, when Alvaro Obregon became president of Mexico. The Mexican Revolution of 1910 was to culminate in the eventual recognition of labor unions and peasant organizations and the creation of a Mexican petroleum company in 1940. Today, Mexico is part of the economic conglomerate of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) countries.

So, while both the Mexican and Chinese revolutions were predicated on the fight to secure social and political reforms, both revolutions led to differing degrees of economic and political independence in the respective countries.

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