After Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, it began the work of forging its identity as an independent nation, a process that would endure throughout the crucial nineteenth century. A weakened Mexico faced American territorial ambitions and economic pressure, and the U.S.-Mexican War threatened the fledgling nation's survival. In 1876 Porfirio Díaz became president of Mexico, bringing political stability to the troubled nation. Although Díaz initiated long-delayed economic development and laid the foundation of modern Mexico, his government was an oligarchy created at the expense of most Mexicans.
This accessible account guides the reader through a pivotal time in Mexican history, including such critical episodes as the reign of Santa Anna, the U.S.-Mexican War, and the Porfiriato. Colin M. MacLachlan and William H. Beezley recount how the century between Mexico's independence and the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution had a lasting impact on the course of the nation's history.
About the Author
Colin M. MacLachlan is the John Christie Barr Distinguished Professor of History at Tulane University. He has written numerous historical works, including Spain’s Empire in the New World: The Role of Ideas in Institutional and Social Change; Argentina: What Went Wrong; and (with William H. Beezley) Mexicans in Revolution, 1910–1946 (Nebraska 2009). William H. Beezley is a professor of history at the University of Arizona. He is the author or editor of many books, including Judas at the Jockey Club and Other Episodes of Porfirian Mexico (2nd ed.), available in a Bison Books edition, and The Oxford History of Mexico.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations viii
List of Maps viii
Introduction: The National Trauma 1
1 Spain and Its Empire in Crisis 7
2 Santa Anna's Era 53
3 Liberalism, Reform, and Napoleon III 77
4 The Restored Republic 105
5 Constructing the Porfiriato 145
6 The Socioeconomic Pyramid 169
7 Soft Diplomacy 201
8 Fatal Vulnerabilities 217
Conclusion: A Crucial Century Assessed 239
Suggested Readings in English 263