This week we looked at the political unrest that ensued after the publishing of Creelman’s interview with Diaz. In the interview, Diaz declares that he would not run for re-election, yet he ends up running and fraudulently winning, igniting the Mexican Revolution. This lasted for over a decade, claimed around a million lives and saw many aggrieved groups make claims for land, liberty, or a return to the pre-modern ways. The documents from this week’s readings were an interesting look at the perspectives of different groups during this time and are all in stark contrast to the positive and optimistic nature of Creelman’s interview. Instead, they describe the anger, grievance and unrest that lead to revolution.
What fascinated me about this week’s material was the examination of how the revolution began. The reading’s discussed how before modernization, countless rural rebellions took place but they were really unable to have a national effect. As a side-effect of modernization, now urban rebellions did have the power to turn the tides. Using the new technology for communication and transportation really enabled the revolution to take place, recruit masses of people and have national political and social effects. It wasn’t as though the injustices they were protesting were new, but technology provided them a means to communicate and mobilize and Diaz’s fixed re-election provided the right timing.
Another thing that fascinated me was Dr. Dawson’s discussion of how some people say the revolution never really ended and how it really isn’t the beginning and the end that are important but rather the why and how and who. He discusses how even after Mexico had implemented a relatively stable government post-revolution, there is still a lot of political unrest with leaders being ousted and assassinated. He also discusses how there really wasn’t a “winner” of the revolution per say. However, the Constitutionalists were able to pass the 1917 constitution which enshrined the returning of land to Indians but this wasn’t enacted until the 30’s.
My discussion question for this week is what drives and enables revolution? How do today’s revolutions compare and has anything really changed?