Week 8

This week we discussed the Mexican Revolution and the “Plan de Ayala.” The revolution is a concept I was already familiar with so it was easy to follow what the video was saying about a complex topic like the Mexican revolution. In school I was taught the Mexican revolution was one of few where entire families participated in the revolution. This meant women and children were also allowed to fight, even though traditionally, only the men fought. I found this fact quite interesting and since then have wished to learn more about this historical moment. One question that came up while watching this video was why Pancho Villa and the Serrano Revolutionaries were a group that was “on their way out”? I understand that Pancho Villa was a caudillo and in the coming years after the revolution the country would increasingly get rid of caudillos as institutions were created. Even Pancho Villa himself, was aware of it and was partly the reason why he decided to no longer take part in politics once the revolution settled and Obregon took power. However, I think saying that he was on his “way out” is not totally accurate. Pancho Villa was a very powerful figure throughout the revolution and throughout the years that followed. He was largely responsible for the progress made in Northern Mexico and his policies (although violent) were largely beneficial to the lower class community. Even after he retired he was still considered a threat by Alvaro Obregon because Villa still had enough power to potentially restart another revolution (which he feared because the nation was not content with Obregon in power). So although caudillos were not as powerful after the revolution, saying Pancho Villa was on his way out undermines the significance and power that he still held after the revolution.

I had heard about the “Plan De Ayala” before but unfortunately I do not know much about it. This topic is something I would like to discuss in class. My question is, why is the making of this document so significant? Is this document relevant because of the Zapatista movement or was the movement made more significant because of this document? Furthermore, I found it really interesting that the EZLN was the first guerrilla to use the internet. It’s a clever way of distributing your message to a broader audience, however, it makes me wonder, are people that are part of this group really as involved as members of other guerrillas are? Is it less effective to not have a leader physically present at all times as opposed to other guerrillas?

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