MEXICANREVOLUTIONSocial Studies for 9th E.G.B.Teacher: Mauricio Torres
BACKGROUND After the independence of many territories and colonies in Latin America, things stayed pretty much the same: the poor were still poor and the aristocracy were the only ones with privileges. In the early 1900s, the economy was booming because of exports: plentiful natural resources and cash crops were sold to industrialized countries. These resources were controlled by foreign investors. The tiny ruling classes kept economic benefits for themselves. These inequalities troubled many countries in Latin America (LA) and in Mexico, the situation led to an explosive revolution.
THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION By 1910, the dictator Porfírio Diaz had ruled Mexico for almost 35 years, winning reelection again and again. Mexico enjoyed apparent peace and economic growth: Foreign investors developed mines, built railroads and drilled for oil. These benefits only reached a small group of people. The rest of the country lived in poverty.
ROAD TO REVOLUTION Mexican society X-ray: Most of the peasants worked on haciendas, mines or factories, earning meager wages. They represented the oppressed. The middle class wanted democracy. The elite resented the power of foreign companies. In 1910, unrest boiled when Francisco Madero called for general elections, and Diaz resigned.
VIVA LA REVOLUCIÓN! Fighting raged across Mexico for over a decade. Peasants, small farmers, urban workers and ranchers were drawn into a violent struggle.
TIERRA Y LIBERTAD! 1.- Faced with rebellion, Diaz resigned after 30 years. 2.- Madero, a liberal reformer, was elected president in 1911. He was assassinated by one of his generals, Victoriano Huerta, after two years. 3.- Huerta set up his own dictatorship. 4.- Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata and Venustiano Carranza formed a coalition against Huerta. Zapata and villa were peasants and wanted change. Carranza, a rich landowner disagreed. 5.- After defeating Huerta, Carranza turned on his allies and defeated them. 6.- Carranza became president of Mexico in 1917, with a new constitution, but reforms were slow to materialize.
THE PRICE OF REFORM When it ended, the economy was in shambles and more than one million people were dead.
ASK YOURSELF Sequence: Describe the events of the Mexican Revolution Explain: Explain the economic inequality that existed in Latin American Countries. Discuss: Which were the groups that were unhappy with Diaz’s regime and list each group’s interest in the revolution.
BRIEF EXCERCISE Write down two paragraphs explaining what you understand from the slogan “Tierra y Libertad”. Try to put yourself in the average Mexican’s shoes to show your feelings. Do this in a separate sheet of paper, and hand it in at the end of the class.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Ellis, E. G., & Esler, A. (2009). World History. (P. Hall, Ed.) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, US: Pearson Education INC. Images taken from www.google.com