History of the Americas The Economic, Social, and Political causes of The Mexican Revolution 1840-1910 The Mexican Revolution is one of the most significant historical events in Mexican history. Without the revolution Mexico would not be the democratic country that it is today. “The Mexican Revolution is often seen as a standard bearer through which other subsequent Latin American revolutions are interpreted. “(Darity) There were several significant events spanning several years that led up to the unrest of the Mexican people resulting in a revolution.
For example, the Mexican-American War, nd The Reform War which was also a civil war really gave way to the people standing up for what they believed in and revolting. More people started to revolt under the rule of Porflrio Diaz. The Diaz government caused economic, social, and political issues, which helped fuel the revolution. During the years leading up to and including the Diaz regime the Mexican government was very unstable and corrupt, the economy didn’t prosper, and the order was deteriorating as the people become more and more enraged with the government. It would not be fair to say that most of
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Mexico’s problems started during the rule of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, because Mexico had many problems before Santa Anna’s rule. Santa Anna played an important role in the Mexican history, because during his rule is when the people started revolting. Also without him Benito Juarez would not have stepped up to become the great political figure that he was. Santa Anna was considered to be the most important political fgure during the years of 1821 to 1855. “He was in many ways a quintessential caudillo, one of the regional military leaders who played such mportant roles in nineteenth-century Latin America. (World History in Context). The Mexican people started to become tired of Santa Anna’s rule when he did something that most Mexican’s considered as betrayal, after the Spanish-American War Santa Anna sold the Mexican territories that are now Arizona and New Mexico to the United States for about $10 million dollars. This infuriated the Mexican people because they we were already upset from losing the Mexican-American War and felt that the Unites States did not deserve anymore of their land considering that they took half of it after the war.
After Santa Anna sold the territories the people ousted him from power in 1855. “Ultimately, though, his career was more a symptom of Mexico’s deeper political, social, and economic problems than the cause of them. “(World History in Context). Shortly after Santa Anna’s fall Ignacio Comonfort Stepped up and took over the presidency. During his presidency Comonfort established the Constitution of 1857 which really took a turn for Mexican Politics. Most of the Church and the military. They would let the military do whatever they wanted and allowed the church to be corrupt, caring more about money and power than God.
Comonfort took more of a liberal stand which had not really been seen in the Mexican government, this turned the conservative party against Comonfort and his new constitution. He wanted more equality for the lower and middle classes; he wanted to restrict the Catholic Church as well as the military. The Liberals on the other hand were very happy, with the enactment of The Constitution of 1857 and Comonfort until he changed and tried to make the conservatives happy. “The Constitution of 1857 called for indirect election of the president and Justices of the
Supreme Court, but direct election for members of Congress; the electorate was expanded to include all adult males. Reflecting the puro Liberal agenda, the constitution repealed many of the legal rights that had traditionally been preserved for members of the church, military, and nobility. It upheld the Reform Laws that abolished separate court systems for the church and military. Finally, in keeping with liberal philosophy that advocated education as a way to build a strong nation, the constitution secularized education, removing it from church control. (Leonard) With he conservatives and liberals pinned against each other it was not long before the Reform War broke out. The Reform War was a civil war between the Mexican people, the conservatives vs. the liberals. With the unhappy reaction of the liberals chaos broke out and Comonfort resigned and Benito Juarez became president. “Comonfort died in an ambush in 1863″(Biography in context) With Juarez President the Reform War ended. The liberals considered this a political victory over the conservatives, having one of their own in office. “Juarez would free Mexico from the most flagrant remnants of neocolonialism. Scholes) After the Liberals defeated the conservatives, President Juarez had more to worry about. Some European countries were very upset with Mexico and their unpaid debt with them. They sent troops to Mexico but, they all withdrew themselves when they saw that French dictator Napoleon was planning to overthrow Juarez’s government. The overthrow of the Juarez government started the French Intervention in Mexico in 1862. With the help of the United states Juarez managed to gain back control, he became a hero in the eyes of most liberal Mexican’s for not backing down and running out the French.
Shortly after Juarez Porfirio Diaz stepped into the presidency, no one knowing that he was going to be stepping into neither the presidency for 31 years nor that those 31 years would take a serious toll on Mexico’s economy and society. “The Mexican people had no power to express their opinions or select their public officials. Wealth was likewise concentrated in the hands of the few, and injustice was everywhere, in the cities and the countryside alike. “(Mexico History) Diaz was very much a dictator, he controlled the election for 31 years, not letting anyone else step into the presidency.
Diaz was a towering figure in Mexican History'(Daily Life through History) Diaz had a conservative stand, which meant that the government was going back to everything being about the church and military instead of the people. The liberals had lost their battle for the next 31 years, but they would get their pay out soon. His dictatorship really put the Mexican people over the edge and gave way for the Mexican Revolution. The Mexican Economy never really skyrocketed, because of the political instability. ” From 1821-1860 Mexico had the revolution the amount of poverty in Mexico was unimaginable.
Before the revolution Mexico was very dependent on the loans from foreign countries, mostly from Europe. Britain made big investments in the construction of the Mexican railroads. Although industrialization was not the only area where foreign investors were putting their money, many foreign investors were putting their money in Mexico’s agriculture. The foreign investments were both good and bad for the Mexican government, Mexico gained railroads and good mineral mines and not to mention the amount of Jobs created. The mineral mining was very profitable, but when it fell it fell badly.
It left everything in ruins. Mexico lacked a workable transportation system which was a serious obstacle to the economic integration. “The gains of the foreign investors were more than matched by the gains to Mexico. The notion that because the foreign investors gained Mexico did not gain is sophomoric if not moronic. “(Watkins) “After the reform war Mexico was broke and heavily in debt. “(Watkins) Having borrowed so much money from Britain, Spain, France and not being able to pay it back President Benito Juarez declared a moratorium. This did not make Britain, Spain, or France too happy with Mexico.
Not only did it cause the invasion of France in Mexico but it also made countries not want to give Mexico money knowing their reputation with paying it back. Without any money of their own and not having the help from other governments, this caused Mexico’s economy to decline even more and the poverty to rise. Diaz’s “trade policy was highly protectionist. “(Leonard) It restricted what could be imported which also hurt the economy, because it made everything more expensive considering companies could not import as much because it was more expensive.
The Diaz government really put strain on the social structure of Mexico. Mexico’s independence war had a direct effect in the Mexican social structure. The Mexican government expelled all of the Spaniards from Mexico. This began Mexico’s struggle with social classes. By expelling the Spaniards it took away Mexico’s upper class and major source of capital. Porfirio Diaz created a lot of tension between separating classes. The government and the injustice in politics was a big reason the Mexican people got mad and revolted, but Mexico’s social structure was also a big reason for the anger.
The lower class was reated very badly; they were paid very badly and could not really leave their Jobs because there were not many Jobs at the time. There were no new Jobs being created and people big investors took advantage of the lower class because they have nothing. “Mexican Revolution of 1910. ” World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2013. Web. 29 July 2013. Smith, Peter H. “Mexico the Taming of a Revolution. ” Modern Latin America. By Thomas E. Skidmore. Sixth ed. New York: Oxford UP, 2005. 254-95. Print. Warren, Richard. “Santa Anna, Antonio Lopez de (1794-1876). ” Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture.
Ed. Jay Kinsbruner and Erick D. Langer. 2nd ed. Vol. 5. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2008. 730-733. World History In Context. Web. 30 July 2013 “Mexican Constitution of 1857. ” In Thomas M. Leonard, ed. Encyclopedia of Latin America: Search for National Identity, vol. 3. New York: Facts On File, Inc. , 2010. Modern World History Online. Facts On File, Inc. Watkins, Thayer. “The Economic History of Mexico. ” The Economic History of Mexico. N. p. , n. d. web. 06 Aug. 2013. “Ignacio Comonfort. ” Merriam Webster’s Biographical Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1995. Biography In Context.
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