Time Period Mexico Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Revolutionary history of Mexico [...] revolutionary period/era in Mexican social development and describe the atmosphere of the period. The Mexican Revolution was a period of great upheaval in the society and government of Mexico. It was an attempt to equalize class and social status and bring modernization to the country. However, ultimately the Revolution failed, because Mexico remained as divided as ever after the Revolution -- partly because the Revolutionaries themselves could not work together and agree on just what reforms they wanted and needed. Most Mexicans still see the Mexican Revolution as an almost "holy" occurrence in the country. That is why they usually capitalize the word when referring to the Revolution. It did bring some reforms to the country, but not nearly enough.

The Mexican Revolution began in 1910 with the initial idea of overthrowing President/dictator Porfirio Diaz. The poor people of Mexico resented the upper classes and their wealth and power. Even more, they resented the redistribution of lands that had given massive land grants to the wealthy and powerful, while stripping most peasants of their land, even though it may have been in the family for centuries. The initial instigator of the Revolution was Francisco I. Madero, who called for all Mexicans to rise up against Diaz and oust him from office (Miller 285). Diaz deserved ousting. He was a temperamental dictator who brought great modernization to the country but also used brutal tactics to ensure he would retain is iron rule over the Mexican people. For example, when Madero ran against Diaz for president in 1910, Diaz threw him in jail, which prevented him from winning the election. Diaz only supported those people who supported him and his dictatorship. Those who opposed him were punished or often simply "disappeared," never to be heard from again (Miller 260).

Diaz, released on bail, fled over the border to Texas and issued the "Plan of San Luis Potosi," which called for a new, legal election, the ousting of Diaz, and gave Madero the provisional presidency until elections were held. It also proposed to give back lands to those who had lost them when Diaz redistributed lands throughout the country (Miller 1986, p. 285-287). Mexicans rallied around the plan and hundreds of revolutionaries, bandits, and peasants took up the challenge. However, as the Revolution gained momentum, there was a big problem. No one person was in charge, and there were so many different ideas about reform and government that many revolutionaries could not agree on what they were fighting for and how it would be accomplished if they actually did take over the government. Historian Michael S. Werner notes "Each group sought to redress different grievances, and although the groups that joined in revolution shared nationalist sentiments, these sentiments derived from their particular and widely differing experiences" (Werner, 1997, p. 847). This lack of cohesion created chaos in the country.

A variety of other factors also came into play. Around the world, many countries were experiencing revolution and chaos -- Mexico was not alone. In addition, the Mexican economy was suffering. Many rural, agricultural jobs were being lost and people were moving to the cities, where there was little work. The poor in Mexico finally were fed up with their lack of opportunity and combined with an oppressive and dictatorial government; the time was ripe for revolution. The real warfare continued through 1920, but the Revolution had much farther-reaching effects on Mexico and her people.

The era had an incredibly lasting affect on the country and the people. Battles were fought all over the country, and at least a million people were killed. Very few towns escaped at least one battle. Culture and society were profoundly affected. One historian writes, "Art and high culture, for example, were clearly influenced by the Revolutionary experience [ ... ] Diego Rivera was a self-consciously Revolutionary painter" (Werner, 1997, p. 870). Rivera's revolutionary inspired murals still grace many buildings in the United States and Mexico. The Revolution created cultural folk heroes such as…

Sources Used in Document:


Macewan, A. (1991, November). Banishing the Mexican revolution. Monthly review, 43, 16+.

Miller, Robert Ryal. Mexico: A history. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986.

Werner, M.S. (Ed.). (1997). Encyclopedia of Mexico: History, society & culture (Vol. 2). Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers.

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