Week Eight

“In short, Latin Americans lived in a fragmentary world; one person’s boom was always another’s crisis.” says Alexander Dawson quite well. (p 141). This sentence sums up the events that followed the boom of modernity, using examples of the violent uprisings setting in countryside during the Mexican Revolution. A key concept in this chapter is that not everyone benefits from economic growth, to be honest a very small percentage of a population get benefits, usually the elites and owners. The crisis in the rural areas escalated quite quickly as elites began to control much of the land and political parties were controlled by a small oligarchy.

From this chapter I was intrigued by the Plan de Ayala a document written by Emiliano Zapata and villagers from the highlands of the Morelos. The fact that individuals who experience the very worst of the economy have a say in this document makes it more important. I find it very interesting that they actually set a “Liberation Plan”, usually many citizens will complain about  political leaders and if they fulfill their platform promises. But this group wrote this, denouncing the President Francisco I. Madero for his betrayal to the revolutionary concepts.

This document called on 15 key points but some of the main points were:

  1. Rejection of Madero’s rule and call for free elections.
  2. Pascuel Orozco as leader of revolution.
  3. The land and property owned by large “hacendados” be given to towns and citizens.
  4. Confirmation of agricultural nature of revolution.

As a result of an amendment, Zapata was put into a leadership role of the revolution. Zapata was able to overthrow Huerta with the help of allied northern revolutionary armies. This resulted in somewhat of an end to chaos in the country.

Mainly, a large concern is that this pattern continued in Latin America. Political leaders call for change and then they receive support from the people but do not come through with their promises. Another large factor it that there continuously is corruption and abuse of power. Authority and power differentiate by authority has the right to enforce power if needed but power can be used to force people to do something they wouldn’t usually do.

Imagine if these revolutions occurred without hidden agendas? or

How does one plan a successful revolution?

Looking forward to discussion in class!


2 thoughts on “Week Eight

  1. Emily Townsend

    I’m glad you mentioned Dawson’s quote, it also stood out to me. Not only is one person’s boom, another person’s crisis; but one’s increase in power, means even a further decrease in another’s rights (an ever-increasing inequality gap). This is really dangerous and detrimental because powers get accustomed to that good life, and therefore forever enhance it.

  2. Diane

    I thought you gave a really nice summary here of some of the key points of this chapter. I appreciated that! I think it’s a really interesting question you pose at the end: what would have happened if revolutions happened without hidden agendas. I would be interested to hear what you think would happen.


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