Reflections Week 8: The Mexican Revolution

Hello, all. Since there is no online lecture linked to this week’s material and classes, I will be commenting on an interview assigned to us, entitled “The Mexican Revolution”.

To start, I will comment on the claim “Revolution is a claim of ownership on history”. This is an interesting claim, but only partially true. Revolutions usually mean a social, economic or political break from the current course of history, which can be either violent or non-violent. Revolutions and revolutionary factions do not claim to own a certain part of history or try to change it, but rather want to change its current predicted trajectory. However, there have been revolutionary factions and movements which have seeked to re-write history in their image and dismiss the past histories written, such as was the case with the Chinese Cultural Revolution and its continuation to this day, as well as with the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, which tried to own history to rewrite it as well as change its trajectory.

Further, It is interesting to see how some of these historical dynamics from the Mexican Revolution still persist to this day. In fact, when mentioning Emiliano Zapato and his Zapatista revolutionaries, I was reminded of the trips I made last year to Chiapas, in Southern Mexico. An important chunk of the Chiapaneco territory is still claimed by Zapatista factions, after many violent clashes with the Mexican and state government. Also interesting to note is the fact that many people in the state see the Zapatistas and other Indigenous factions as the legitimate governors of the state, whereas they see the Mexican federal government as an illegitimate aggressor cracking down on their rights and sovereignty. This bears quite a lot of resemblance to the Quebec sovereigntist/independentist movement, which claims that the provincial government is the legitimate sovereign in the province, while the federal government is aggressing Quebecois peoples and ruling over them in an unconstitutional, undemocratic, or even fascist manner. They also claim that since the Quebecois peoples (the French and French Canadians, as well as the American Indian Peoples (Peuples Amérindiens du Québec) settled on Quebec land before the British and English Canadians did, they hold sovereignty over such land. The broader story of both of these sovereigntist revolutionary movements, as well as many other ones, is about local peoples trying to decentralize power and bring it into their hands in order to be able to decide their own history.


1 thought on “Reflections Week 8: The Mexican Revolution

  1. Daisy E Sessions

    I also find it to be really interesting to think about how revolutionary figures still impact present day politics and culture. Pancho Villa and Zapata not only speak to the official history of Mexico but they have been largely integrated into pop culture such as music. I think it speaks to how much of Mexican Nationalism is related to past figures such as Hidalgo, Zapata, Juarez, and Villa.


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