Short Research Assignment

Creelman, James. “Porfirio Diaz, Hero of the Americas”. Pearson’s Magazine (1908). 14 Nov. 2016

In the article provided by Dawson, the James Creelman interviews Porfirio Diaz, the Mexican President who oversaw modernity in his country. Diaz talks about retiring and is often hypocritical in some of the statements he gives. For example, Diaz declares that he would “welcome an opposition party in the Mexican Republic”, however, he ends up jailing and then exiling his staunchest rival, Francisco Madero. Additionally, Diaz speaks of some of the great feats he has accomplished, like the “nineteen thousand miles of railways”, “cheap, safe and fairly rapid mail service throughout the country”, and more than “forty-five thousand miles of telegraph wires in operation”. In addition, at the end of the article, Diaz is praised by American Secretary of State Elihu Root, who states that Diaz is “one of the great men to be held up for the hero-worship of mankind”. This article aids our project because it gives us the perspective and thoughts of a journalist who saw Diaz as the “Hero of the Americas”, even when a lot of his own people disagreed. It is an interesting article to study because Creelman seemed to turn a blind eye towards many of Diaz’s ills and only focussed on the positives that Diaz created.

Cavendish, Richard. “The Ousting of Porfirio Diaz”. History Today 61.5 (2011). Web. 14 Nov. 2016

Cavendish gives his readers background information to the life of Diaz from when he was born all the way to his death. Cavendish goes on to summarize that Diaz was born to a poor mestizo family and originally intended to become a priest, but, he ultimately decided to join the army instead, where he climbed the ranks to eventually become a general. Diaz began his rule through a military coup after he declared his unhappiness against Sebastian Lerdo’s regime. Diaz was then able to maintain this power by “a mixture of bribery and rigged elections” and his opposition was “held in check by the police and army”. To modernize his country, Diaz attracted foreign investment, which in turn allowed Diaz to develop many industries. However, only the rich flourished while the poor toiled under low wages and many peasants were “reduced almost to slavery in the cause of modernizing agriculture”. Additionally, Cavendish claims that the Creelman interview was for “foreign consumption only”, and was leaked to a Mexico City newspaper. This article is important for our project because it is a complete contrast to the Creelman interview. While Creelman and Root praise Diaz, Cavendish is less bias and more honest in describing how Diaz maintained control.








Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *