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The Mexican revolution of 1910 was a pivotal time in Mexican history. This conflict and its effects were paramount to all citizens in Mexico, both proletariat and bourgeoisie alike. Two important provisions in the Constitution, Articles 27 and 123, are the economic and social manifestations of these political forces. Article 27 outlined a program of "expropriation in the public interest," barring foreign ownership of many lands or subsoil resources (Weyl 56). It also mandated measures to ensure equitable distribution of land and aid growth of small and middle-sized farms in favor of the latifundia system previously in operation. Article 123 was, known as the "Magna Carta of labor" provided many rights for wage earners which were previously not guaranteed (Hart 331). The article provided for an eight hour day for workers and protected their rights to strike against the employer, while making employer lockouts much more difficult (Bazant 149-151). The subject, intent, and focus of both Article 27 and Article 123 of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 are ostensibly in response to the peasants involvement and response to social conditions. However, the motive behind these provisions is rather unclear. Many historians, such as professor Jan Bazant, argue that the goal of these land and labor reform provisions was to strengthen the villages, making them self-sufficient, and not reliant on the government or foreign investors for survival. This sort of nationalism, directed by a policy of "real politick," reflected the desires and biases of the politically repressed bourgeoisie. Many also take this argument further and suggest that the Constitution was written with the interest of the nation in mind, and it "owed something to the socialist doctrine" (Parkes 361). The sole cause of these philosophical and idealistic changes in Mexican domestic policy is not simply the good-natured ideals held by the policy makers in the Mexican Government. If this was so, the Constitution of 1857 would have been sufficient and many grievances of the peasantry would have not occurred. History professors Hector Camin and Lorenzo Meyer argue that the Revolution, followed by the Constitution, was the "only way out" for the millions of oppressed peasants who had no voice otherwise. It is the creation of the Revolution which helped apply force to the legislature and enact as well as enforce these policies (Camin and Meyer 112). The pressure forced on the government by revolutionaries such as Emiliano Zapata, they argue, was what forced the leaders to concede the measures enumerated in these two articles. For those who took the "socialistic" point of view on the issue of land and labor reform also supported these changes because of the increased stability it would create. Although this stability was important to the upper-class policy makers of the government, it was not the greatest concern. The view taken by many policy makers was that this improvement was not of dire importance, and unlike the political revolution, this was an economic evolution. Early in the Revolution, in a speech at Veracruz in 1911, President Fransisco Madero displayed the attitude which was the foundation of the opinions used to support the "socialistic" viewpoint by saying that although the political revolution was "radical and rapid," the economic reforms "cannot be brought on by a revolution, nor by laws, nor by decrees" (Cumberland 211). Historians generally agree that Madero did not regard social and economic reform as the "prime task" of his regime. Instead of focusing on the economic well being of his people, Madero held the political power of a representative government to be more important. This way, Madero figured, the peasants then had the power to "press their claims" to seek reform (Knight, Vol I, 417).Consequently, this resulted in the indirect, and possibly intentional, placement of the peasants needs below the desires of the government. It is also interesting to note the makeup of the committee assigned to study the needs of the agrarian community. Rather than appointing a group of agrarian leaders to report to the government about the conditions of the nation's farmers, the committee was made up of entirely upper-class citizens. Representing a rather conservative interest were three engineers, two lawyers, and four landowners. The makeup of this committee was simply another fact which indicated that the government did not view the problems of the individual farmer as pressing, and wanted to prolong any real solutions that could have been created. Not surprisingly, the committee, satisfied with the status quo, was bias towards the subject, and reported policies in the "Diaz tradition." (Cumberland 211-2). The problem was that this relatively small yet dominant social class, termed the "bourgeoisie in power" by Marxist historian Vincente Lombardo Toledano, was charged with making decisions which would affect all people in Mexico, and especially the working class (Millon 59). Many who believe that the force behind these social and economic improvements was indeed a strong force of peasants who were previously not given a voice in policy making have a strong case. It follows logically that those who have tremendous power would be unwilling at best to agree to a "solution" to a problem which they do not perceive exists. Those who believed in a "socialistic" reform policy, meant to aid the position of all people, did not account for the considerable stakes owned by the policy makers in the situation. The rather liberal laissez-faire policy aided the huge success of the capitalists and plantation owners who were, probably not by accident, members of the same social class as those who made the policies. The responsibility to enact change then lies in the hands of the lower class who must, presumably by force, convince the government that action must be taken. Zapata and his army of peasant farmers gained strength and violently resisted the policies of expropriation in the name of the state. These plans, they believed, were not in fact good for the society. Since the problems were analyzed and solutions were formulated by members not involved in the situation, and unable to truly understand the needs of the people, they were unfair to the peasants. Zapata and Madero, previously political allies, could not agree on the solution to the question of agrarian reform. In fact, contrary to Zapata's reformism ideals, Madero apparently "hardly considered the larger problem involved in aiding millions of landless peons." Shortly after the Diaz regime fell in May 1911, he made two public manifestos, completely avoiding the subject of land reform (Cumberland 209). Although Madero reportedly considered the Zapatistas to be "brothers-in-arms" against the tyrannical rule of Porfirio Diaz, he never did manage to create a solution that the two liberal forces could agree upon (Calvert 89). After the two could not agree upon successful solutions to this problem, Zapata took action. His army began using guerrilla tactics against the hacienda owners, and demanded reforms. As a representative of indigenous people, Zapata could not stand for such treachery. He ignored claims that his army was causing trouble. Many hacendados, or plantation owners, in the Mexican state of Morelos complained that Zapata's presence was very bothersome and his grievances could not be considered under such direct pressure. In fact, however, many historians agree that it is this extreme pressure applied by Zapata and his forces which was a driving force in enacting true reform for the peasants. Zapata rationalized his rather drastic actions by using the Plan de San Luis Protosi, published in October 1910 by his former political ally Fransisco Madero (Carey 17). In the Plan, Madero admitted that the former owners of the land taken from the expropriation plans were done a terrible injustice. He called the confiscation of Indian land "dispossessions" and deemed the actions of the Department of Public Improvement as acts which were "abuse[s] of law"(Cumberland 211). It seems ironic that something written by Madero in 1910 is used as the foundation of Zapata's forces, which were eventually pitted against those of Madero. Perhaps it was Madero's statement in Veracruz on September 1, 1911 defining the economic reform an "evolution" while Zapata wanted it to be a "revolution" following the course of political reform (Cumberland 211). After considering the sources consulted, it seems very logical that the actual reason behind these reforms is the introduction of force. The issues that the Zapata faction had with the current leaders definitely would not have been solved had he not placed pressure upon those in power. The socialistic viewpoint on the origins of the land reform issues seemed rather weak and unfounded. It does follow logically that through an equal distribution of arable land resources, the county's economy as a whole would improve, but the notion suggesting that this was the desired effect of the forces which were in power at the time definitely does not follow logically. As stated before, the elite members of the society were the only ones able to effect policy decisions, and influence the rules which governed their society. It seems clear from reading the speeches and decrees of leaders such as Madero, especially his separation of the political "revolution" from the economic and social "evolution," and the opinions of historians who analyzed this epoch that the theory of Mexican Socialism is dubious at best. The capitalistic overtones of the time period were illustrated by the nature of the latifundia and hacienda systems. The treatment of the land reform issue by the committee of bourgeoisie is also an example of the lack of concern for equitable distribution. Madero and his regime were not intent on giving up the established power base of the upper class in favor of a more equitable distribution of land. However, since a process of redistribution did in fact occur, then one must be lead to believe that there is a solid reason for this. Accepting the motives and viewpoints of the capitalistic bourgeoisie, then one must conclude that the force applied by Zapata was the true driving force of the reforms. The demand was great, and the popular support dictated this type of reevaluation in public policy. Zapata's tactic of guerrilla warfare made this force large enough to be bothered about, but too small for a government to pinpoint and destroy. The harassing nature of his offensives was the most effective way to get his point across. The desperation of the peasants, and their desire to improve their situation was perhaps best analyzed by Professors Lorenzo Meyer and Hector Camin. In an effort to create a textbook for students in Mexico, Meyer and Camin wrote about the plight of the working man. They built up the scene for an act of desperation. After writing about the struggles of hacienda servitude and a life of "feudal overtones," they showed the actions of the Zapatista regime to be a final call to action for the Mexican Government (Camin and Meyer 112). This is a much more believable and logical conclusion than the theory based on equitable distribution. The rather sketchy construction and development of the "philosophical and idealistic" theory also leads one to believe that perhaps it is not as strong as the "force" theory. There were many gaps in the logical progression of this theory. Perhaps most glaring was the complete omission of the exact foundation of the previous theory. All of the reforms proposed were done so by members of the highest social class, and those whom it effected were not consulted. In fact, in a 1916 convention concerning the legislation of reform measures, all who "were not followers of the First Chief [Carranza] were excluded." This, of course, meant that the Zapatistas and other peasant groups could not give input because of their disagreement with current official policy. This fact alone should lead one to conclude that the obvious exclusion of a large portion of the population translated into an ineffective policy. The policy, which was defended as a portion of the gradual economic "evolution" which was supposed to occur would be more accurately interpreted as nothing more than bureaucracy at its finest. The very fear of concealment which is inherent in the exclusion of the peasantry is proof enough that these decisions would never occurred had force not been directly applied by the revolutionary groups. The economic "revolution" desired by the Zapatista regime, as well as "most of the leaders," was one which was brought on by force (Cumberland 208). Zapata used his influence among the peasants to organize a regime which had clear motives and desires. Although they were previously underrepresented in the formulation and writing of some of the laws, there influence and strength was definitely known by the writers of the 1910 Constitution, when they did gain the reforms they needed to improve their lives.
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Mexican Revolution IB Extended Essay
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Mexican Revolution IB Extended Essay

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              The Mexican revolution of 1910 was a pivotal time in Mexican history. This conflict and its effects were paramount to all citizens in Mexico, both proletariat and bourgeoisie alike. Two important provisions in the Constitution, Articles 27 and 123, are the economic and social manifestations of these political forces. Article 27 outlined a program of "expropriation in the public interest," barring foreign ownership of many lands or subsoil resources (Weyl 56). It also mandated measures to ensure equitable distribution of land and aid growth of small and middle-sized farms in favor of the latifundia system previously in operation. Article 123 was, known as the "Magna Carta of labor" provided many rights for wage earners which were previously not guaranteed (Hart 331). The article provided for an eight hour day for workers and protected their rights to strike against the employer, while making employer lockouts much more difficult (Bazant 149-151).
             
              The subject, intent, and focus of both Article 27 and Article 123 of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 are ostensibly in response to the peasants involvement and response to social conditions. However, the motive behind these provisions is rather unclear. Many historians, such as professor Jan Bazant, argue that the goal of these land and labor reform provisions was to strengthen the villages, making them self-sufficient, and not reliant on the government or foreign investors for survival. This sort of nationalism, directed by a policy of "real politick," reflected the desires and biases of the politically repressed bourgeoisie. Many also take this argument further and suggest that the Constitution was written with the interest of the nation in mind, and it "owed something to the socialist doctrine" (Parkes 361).
             
              The sole cause of these philosophical and idealistic changes in Mexican domestic policy is not simply the good-natured ideals held by the policy makers in the Mexican Government. If this was so, the Constitution of 1857 would have been sufficient and many grievances of the peasantry would have not occurred. History professors Hector Camin and Lorenzo Meyer argue that the Revolution, followed by the Constitution, was the "only way out" for the millions of oppressed peasants who had no voice otherwise. It is the creation of the Revolution which helped apply force to the legislature and enact as well as enforce these policies (Camin and Meyer 112). The pressure forced on the government by revolutionaries such as Emiliano Zapata, they argue, was what forced the leaders to concede the measures enumerated in these two articles.
             
              For those who took the "socialistic" point of view on the issue of land and labor reform also supported these changes because of the increased stability it would create. Although this stability was important to the upper-class policy makers of the government, it was not the greatest concern. The view taken by many policy makers was that this improvement was not of dire importance, and unlike the political revolution, this was an economic evolution. Early in the Revolution, in a speech at Veracruz in 1911, President Fransisco Madero displayed the attitude which was the foundation of the opinions used to support the "socialistic" viewpoint by saying that although the political revolution was "radical and rapid," the economic reforms "cannot be brought on by a revolution, nor by laws, nor by decrees" (Cumberland 211). Historians generally agree that Madero did not regard social and economic reform as the "prime task" of his regime. Instead of focusing on the economic well being of his people, Madero held the political power of a representative government to be more important. This way, Madero figured, the peasants then had the power to "press their claims" to seek reform (Knight, Vol I, 417). Consequently, this resulted in the indirect, and possibly intentional, placement of the peasants needs below the desires of the government.
             
              It is also interesting to note the makeup of the committee assigned to study the needs of the agrarian community. Rather than appointing a group of agrarian leaders to report to the government about the conditions of the nation's farmers, the committee was made up of entirely upper-class citizens. Representing a rather conservative interest were three engineers, two lawyers, and four landowners. The makeup of this committee was simply another fact which indicated that the government did not view the problems of the individual farmer as pressing, and wanted to prolong any real solutions that could have been created. Not surprisingly, the committee, satisfied with the status quo, was bias towards the subject, and reported policies in the "Diaz tradition. " (Cumberland 211-2). The problem was that this relatively small yet dominant social class, termed the "bourgeoisie in power" by Marxist historian Vincente Lombardo Toledano, was charged with making decisions which would affect all people in Mexico, and especially the working class (Millon 59).
             
              Many who believe that the force behind these social and economic improvements was indeed a strong force of peasants who were previously not given a voice in policy making have a strong case. It follows logically that those who have tremendous power would be unwilling at best to agree to a "solution" to a problem which they do not perceive exists. Those who believed in a "socialistic" reform policy, meant to aid the position of all people, did not account for the considerable stakes owned by the policy makers in the situation. The rather liberal laissez-faire policy aided the huge success of the capitalists and plantation owners who were, probably not by accident, members of the same social class as those who made the policies. The responsibility to enact change then lies in the hands of the lower class who must, presumably by force, convince the government that action must be taken.
             
              Zapata and his army of peasant farmers gained strength and violently resisted the policies of expropriation in the name of the state. These plans, they believed, were not in fact good for the society. Since the problems were analyzed and solutions were formulated by members not involved in the situation, and unable to truly understand the needs of the people, they were unfair to the peasants.
             
              Zapata and Madero, previously political allies, could not agree on the solution to the question of agrarian reform. In fact, contrary to Zapata's reformism ideals, Madero apparently "hardly considered the larger problem involved in aiding millions of landless peons. " Shortly after the Diaz regime fell in May 1911, he made two public manifestos, completely avoiding the subject of land reform (Cumberland 209). Although Madero reportedly considered the Zapatistas to be "brothers-in-arms" against the tyrannical rule of Porfirio Diaz, he never did manage to create a solution that the two liberal forces could agree upon (Calvert 89). After the two could not agree upon successful solutions to this problem, Zapata took action. His army began using guerrilla tactics against the hacienda owners, and demanded reforms. As a representative of indigenous people, Zapata could not stand for such treachery. He ignored claims that his army was causing trouble. Many hacendados, or plantation owners, in the Mexican state of Morelos complained that Zapata's presence was very bothersome and his grievances could not be considered under such direct pressure.
             
              In fact, however, many historians agree that it is this extreme pressure applied by Zapata and his forces which was a driving force in enacting true reform for the peasants. Zapata rationalized his rather drastic actions by using the Plan de San Luis Protosi, published in October 1910 by his former political ally Fransisco Madero (Carey 17). In the Plan, Madero admitted that the former owners of the land taken from the expropriation plans were done a terrible injustice. He called the confiscation of Indian land "dispossessions" and deemed the actions of the Department of Public Improvement as acts which were "abuse[s] of law"(Cumberland 211). It seems ironic that something written by Madero in 1910 is used as the foundation of Zapata's forces, which were eventually pitted against those of Madero. Perhaps it was Madero's statement in Veracruz on September 1, 1911 defining the economic reform an "evolution" while Zapata wanted it to be a "revolution" following the course of political reform (Cumberland 211).
             
              After considering the sources consulted, it seems very logical that the actual reason behind these reforms is the introduction of force. The issues that the Zapata faction had with the current leaders definitely would not have been solved had he not placed pressure upon those in power. The socialistic viewpoint on the origins of the land reform issues seemed rather weak and unfounded. It does follow logically that through an equal distribution of arable land resources, the county's economy as a whole would improve, but the notion suggesting that this was the desired effect of the forces which were in power at the time definitely does not follow logically. As stated before, the elite members of the society were the only ones able to effect policy decisions, and influence the rules which governed their society. It seems clear from reading the speeches and decrees of leaders such as Madero, especially his separation of the political "revolution" from the economic and social "evolution," and the opinions of historians who analyzed this epoch that the theory of Mexican Socialism is dubious at best.
             
              The capitalistic overtones of the time period were illustrated by the nature of the latifundia and hacienda systems. The treatment of the land reform issue by the committee of bourgeoisie is also an example of the lack of concern for equitable distribution. Madero and his regime were not intent on giving up the established power base of the upper class in favor of a more equitable distribution of land.
             
              However, since a process of redistribution did in fact occur, then one must be lead to believe that there is a solid reason for this. Accepting the motives and viewpoints of the capitalistic bourgeoisie, then one must conclude that the force applied by Zapata was the true driving force of the reforms. The demand was great, and the popular support dictated this type of reevaluation in public policy. Zapata's tactic of guerrilla warfare made this force large enough to be bothered about, but too small for a government to pinpoint and destroy. The harassing nature of his offensives was the most effective way to get his point across. The desperation of the peasants, and their desire to improve their situation was perhaps best analyzed by Professors Lorenzo Meyer and Hector Camin. In an effort to create a textbook for students in Mexico, Meyer and Camin wrote about the plight of the working man. They built up the scene for an act of desperation. After writing about the struggles of hacienda servitude and a life of "feudal overtones," they showed the actions of the Zapatista regime to be a final call to action for the Mexican Government (Camin and Meyer 112). This is a much more believable and logical conclusion than the theory based on equitable distribution.
             
              The rather sketchy construction and development of the "philosophical and idealistic" theory also leads one to believe that perhaps it is not as strong as the "force" theory. There were many gaps in the logical progression of this theory. Perhaps most glaring was the complete omission of the exact foundation of the previous theory. All of the reforms proposed were done so by members of the highest social class, and those whom it effected were not consulted. In fact, in a 1916 convention concerning the legislation of reform measures, all who "were not followers of the First Chief [Carranza] were excluded. " This, of course, meant that the Zapatistas and other peasant groups could not give input because of their disagreement with current official policy.
             
              This fact alone should lead one to conclude that the obvious exclusion of a large portion of the population translated into an ineffective policy. The policy, which was defended as a portion of the gradual economic "evolution" which was supposed to occur would be more accurately interpreted as nothing more than bureaucracy at its finest. The very fear of concealment which is inherent in the exclusion of the peasantry is proof enough that these decisions would never occurred had force not been directly applied by the revolutionary groups.
             
              The economic "revolution" desired by the Zapatista regime, as well as "most of the leaders," was one which was brought on by force (Cumberland 208). Zapata used his influence among the peasants to organize a regime which had clear motives and desires. Although they were previously underrepresented in the formulation and writing of some of the laws, there influence and strength was definitely known by the writers of the 1910 Constitution, when they did gain the reforms they needed to improve their lives.
Extended Essay War Essay 
Bazant, Jan. A Concise History of Mexico. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977.

Brandenburg, Frank. The Making of Modern Mexico. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1964.

Calvert, Peter. The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1914. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968.

Carey, James C. The Mexican Revolution in the Yucatan 1915-1924. Boulder: Westview Press, 1984.

Camin, Hector A. and Lorenzo Meyer. In the Shadow of the Mexican Revolution: Contemporary Mexican History, 1910-1989. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1993.

Cumberland, Charles C. Mexican Revolution: Genesis Under Madero. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1952.

Hart, John Mason. Revolutionary Mexico. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.

Knight, Alan. The Mexican Revolution: Volume 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Knight, Alan. The Mexican Revolution: Volume 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Millon, Robert Paul. Mexican Marxist: Vincente Lomabardo Toledano. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1966.

Parkes, Henry Bamford. A History of Mexico. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1960.

Sierra, Justo. the Political Evolution of the Mexican People. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1969.

Weyl, Nathaniel and Sylvia. The Reconquest of Mexico. New York: Oxford University Press, 1939.
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