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The Mexican Revolution, Research Paper Example

Pages: 11

Words: 3005

Research Paper

Introduction

The Mexican Revolution of the 20th Century evolved as a unique opportunity to explore new economic boundaries to improve the lives of the Mexican people during this era. This revolution was fought on socioeconomic and land ownership grounds in order to accomplish unique and compelling objectives. From a historical perspective, many experts recorded the events that transpired during this war, and even though the focus was different from one source to the next and the key players had different perspectives, they each tell the story of socioeconomic freedom in a different context as based upon their own experiences and eras of growth and change. The following discussion will address the relevant issues surrounding socioeconomic matters during the Mexican Revolution and how these impacted greater outcomes for the people of Mexico. The resources to be examined address this revolution from various decades and capture a greater understanding of how the Mexican Revolution attempted to transform archaic ideas regarding land ownership and freedom for Mexican residents into real and tangible opportunities for growth and change.

Body

One example that is relevant to the discussion was written by author James Wilkie, who addressed the Mexican Revolution during 1967 in his book “The Mexican Revolution: Federal Expenditure and Social Change Since 1910.” His focus emphasized the economical, political, and social events that transpired during this period. From Wilkie’s perspective, the Revolution was intended to establish an ongoing precedent for Mexico and to ensure presidents who followed the revolution would have set aside the necessary revenues to provide support to the Mexican population for the foreseeable future. The effective utilization of revenues should have marked a critical turning point in the Mexican Revolution in order to accomplish the desired objectives and to promote social and political change, as well as the transformation of a new nation. In this context, the Mexican Revolution was intended to end corruption and eliminate malnutrition, poverty, and illiteracy, which plagued Mexico prior to the revolution (Wilkie). The author examines how scholars of social change from the repressed areas attempted to link increased economic growth to the modernization of political considerations. The period in which this article was written is relevant because it represents a changing shift in thought and freedom throughout the world, a new dawn of life and liberty for the Mexican people that had not been considered before. In addition, this period was also a calmer and more focused period than in years past. Therefore, Wilkie provided a different perspective regarding the Revolution than neither of the other two authors offered.

An examination of the Mexican Revolution by Knight demonstrated that there were significant factors that enabled generations beyond those who fought for freedom just during this era and continued their own pathway to success and freedom in future years. The essay explores the dimensions of economic opportunity versus a “moral economy” for the people of this nation (Knight 13). Under these circumstances, it was evident that the advancement of freedom and growth of the people of Mexico was most important during the Revolutionary era, and therefore, leaders sought to develop an economy in Mexico that could accommodate these needs in an effective manner (Knight 13). This essay provides further evidence that the Revolution was fought for many different reasons; however, socioeconomic opportunity continued to be a primary goal for the future of this population (Knight 13).

Knight’s article was written in the 21st Century, which not only represents the greatest amount of expressive freedom and creativity, but the article also explores the Revolution in a period when violence continues to prevail throughout Mexico–particularly in its larger metropolitan areas, where the safety and security of the people are at risk on a daily basis. The author’s intent was to create an environment that supported the perspectives of the modern era while reflecting on a historical period in Mexico. Compared to Wilkie, who seemed to romanticize the war as an intent to end corruption and eliminate malnutrition, poverty, and illiteracy through social change Knight’s ability of hindsight allows for much more insight into what were perhaps the true causes and effects of the Revolution as a whole.

From an economic point of view in the 21st Century, it was observed that the battles of the Mexican Revolution often emphasized the importance of balancing political interests with the distribution of land through centralization (Dell 1). The conflicts that took place during this revolution were also indicative of economic decline because conflicts are costly endeavors that may lead to many negative outcomes (Dell 1). Most importantly, the rights of property owners were on full display and demonstrated the economic impact of land ownership on the masses (Dell 3).

It was important to identify the different economic constraints that led to the decline of the Mexican state and the continued evaluation of different areas that led to turmoil and strife for many decades, much of which was attributed to land ownership and the power that this brought to the table (Dell 3). Similarly to Knight’s article, 21st Century politics in Mexico were challenged by the status quo and rebellion ensued, thereby enabling writers to explore a modern take on revolutionary political issues, as they were written afterwards. This article, written in the same time period as Knight’s, seems to give a very concurrent view of the Mexican Revolution.

Hector Aguilar Camin also addressed the Mexican Revolution in 1993 and discussed how Mexico was moving towards a new revolution from its old state of chaos during the period of 1910 – 1989. The primary objective of the Mexican Revolution was to promote change and freedom for the Mexican people, but there is a question as to whether that change actually occurred in the desired manner, given that the economy was of critical importance and value to the Mexican people in the form of land ownership and survival (Easterling).

The Revolution was a complex myriad of faces, names, conflicts, and turmoil; all of which demonstrated the important necessity for change and progress within this complex nation, particularly from an economic point of view (Easterling). Unfortunately, the battles would continue for many years and demonstrated the sheer vulnerability of different social classes and support systems in their efforts to achieve greater freedom and opportunity for their people (Easterling). This approach demonstrates the impact of the Revolution on the economy of Mexico because it supported the development of freedom to promote land ownership and other opportunities for residents who had not received them in the past. The 1990s were a unique period in recent history and often represent unrest and turmoil in different forms. The author’s take on the Mexican Revolution supports this premise and engages the reader in the context of new perspectives and opportunities for growth and change from a creative and expressive point of view, and seems to support Wilkie’s romanticized view.

Scott Sherman wrote of the Mexican Revolution in 2000 and focused on one of the most important the influences of the war, Poncho Villa. Poncho was one of the most prominent Mexican Revolutionary Generals who seized land and distributed it to soldiers and peasants, while also robbing many individuals to pay for his cause. Sherman notes that “Mexico is not a happy place, and Villa’s was an impossible dream. Eventually he got his colony, but it was an ephemeral victory: in 1923, in one of the innumerable acts of fratricide that propelled the Mexican Revolution, he was gunned down in one of the dusty streets of Chihuahua, the sprawling border state where he spent most of his life.”

As with many other authors, Sherman describes the Revolution through the eyes of the biggest contributors, and Villa and Zapatas were two of the greatest leaders in this change initiative. The revolution did not come without a price, as it was a bloodbath to promote change for Mexican society. During this battle, forcing the people were relocated from their land, and furthermore the challenges associated with an environment that supported economic survival was of the most important decisions to be made. In the 2000s, there were significant factors to consider with the modernization of Mexico in many forms, which was in stark contrast to age-old traditions and other frameworks that Mexico was built upon. In using a creative and exploratory approach, the author was able to utilize freedom of expression in conveying his beliefs regarding the Revolution in new ways. This better supports the thesis’ of both Knight and Dell, but instead described the rebuilding necessary.

With the Mexican Revolution, Flores argues The Constitution of 1917 approached “democracy not only as a legal structure and a political regimen, but as a system of life founded on a constant economic, social, and cultural betterment of the people” (1). In this context, the author notes that there were considerable circumstances to consider in the development of a democratic state that would enable residents to achieve greater lives for themselves (Flores 1). The citizens of Mexico did not possess an understanding of the true nature of freedom and their culture, and this was evident because they did not fully understand the impact of their own artistic expression in shaping their own economic wellbeing: “Other artists, such as Gabriel Fernández Ledesma, promoted folk traditions as the most relevant expressions of art in Mexico and those most likely to reach a wide audience. He and a group of contemporaries were leading advocates for alternative centers of art education – such as the Open Air Schools of Painting and Popular Painting Centers – aimed to take artistic instruction to all sectors of the population, from the rural peasantry to urban workers” (Flores 1). In this context, the author sought to convey that economic freedom and opportunity did not only come in the form of land ownership, because there were other means of achieving this freedom, including artistic expression and growth to enable the people of Mexico to reach new heights in their own economic growth. This article utilizes the era of artistic freedom and expression to explore this element of the Revolution to convey the importance of this freedom on economic growth. This era also demonstrates the importance of different perspectives in achieving cultural awareness and identity at optimal levels. This moves a step beyond Sherman, stating Mexico did not have the knowledge.

Finally, an article by Skocopol written in 1988 addresses the Mexican Revolution from the perspective of different areas of influence, such as culture, that impact the Revolution in different ways: “Most third-world social revolutions have been played out as military struggles among leaderships contending to create or redefine the missions of national states. And these revolutions have happened in settings so penetrated by foreign influences- economic, military, and cultural- that social-revolutionary transformations have been as much about the definition of autonomous identities on the international scene as they have been about the forging of new political ties be- tween indigenous revolutionaries and their mass constituents” (Skocopol 158). Under these conditions, the Mexican Revolution represented a different approach to economic improvement and advancement that was grounded in success and growth for the people of Mexico, while also considering their strengths and weaknesses in order to accomplish the desired objectives of the fight for freedom (Skocopol 158). In this manner, the ability to unify the Mexican people in a unifying manner on the basis of their freedom and economic stability was of the utmost importance during the era of the Mexican Revolution so that they could achieve greatness and other experiences that would never have been considered in the past (Skocopol 158). The 1980s were a complex decade with continued unrest in parts of Mexico; therefore, the author is able to reflect on these conditions in his writing and how the Mexican people continue to fight for their freedom in different ways–namely through attempts at unity, and their unwavering will to fight. Overall, Skocopol sees the War for what it was–both positive and negative.

Conclusion

The authors that have been examined demonstrate the impact of the Mexican Revolution on the nation’s economy and its ability to not only survive disaster, but to change as needed to enable residents to experience their own sense of economic freedom. From a writer’s point of view, each stylistic representation demonstrates that there were significant challenges for the people of Mexico during the Revolution, but that if they were provided with the tools that were necessary to obtain freedom, then economic change and opportunity would follow. This was an important and meaningful contribution to the Revolution and its impact on the people of Mexico.

For the authors that have been addressed from different eras, there are a wide range of perspectives to consider in regards to the Mexican Revolution and its impact on the people of this great nation. During the 20th Century when circumstances were difficult and there was no real chance of freedom for its people, some of the most outspoken members of the Mexican community took a stand and made their presence known to assume leadership and make sense of the chaos and turmoil that was taking place. At the same time, many of these leaders wreaked havoc of their own in accordance with their ambitions; therefore, the growth of the Mexican population suffered in the process. It became important for historians of the Mexican Revolution to emphasize some of the more important aspects of this journey in an effort to produce successful outcomes and freedom for the people of Mexico, even when there were difficulties that led leaders astray and towards power and narcissism over the greater good of the people. In addition, the authors sought to convey an understanding of the historical nature of the economy of Mexico and how it was negatively impacted for many decades by turmoil and strife, and how these circumstances were turned around through the development of new perspectives and approaches to the people and their critical needs.

For example, Camin’s argument is supported by Mexican history that took place during the years of 1910-1989. This information depicted how the current president did not offer an option for the people to consider a change, and instead left them under the rule of a dictatorship and did not provide any real room for growth or personal freedom. Under these conditions, it was impossible to survive or flourish under this mentality for a long period of time. Camin demonstrates that throughout the decades, there has been a continuous progression that has improved since the Mexican Revolution. All authors argued against different parts of the Mexican Revolution, and this information was told in the manner that was believed to be most important. However, the bottom line was that freedom is not actually free, and that the Mexican Revolution was a way for the people to fight for what they believed in, whether that was right or wrong. The characters and their positions were very different, but they all believed in a different life that had not been experienced in the past. The leaders in this revolution were for their own personal agendas, with some good and others bad. No matter what, they believed that different rights should be provided to those who deserved it, as dictatorship was not for everyone. Each author had different opinions regarding this matter and included political, economic, and personal agendas.

Each author brought evidence to the table for evaluation in association with the Mexican Revolution. One author, Wilkie, addressed the economic situation in terms of the federal revenue, linking poverty directly to the modernization of politics. Womack focused on a character of favor, one who sacrificed his own life for the betterment of a nation. In spite of the excess corruption that took place in Mexico during the revolution, there were successful individuals who fought for the rights of the people. Camin addressed Mexico during the revolution and after, and his findings demonstrated that the progression that the revolution had intended did not take place in the same manner as many believed. Decades actually passed before favorable conditions began to flourish. Finally, Smith addresses how a misleading journalistic impression may lead an entire country to view the revolution in a misrepresented manner. Smith was on the front line in the War and reported his experiences and how they represent the interest of Mexico in order to obtain the support of the United States.

In this examination, each author under consideration brought a different perspective to the table to allow the reader to see all potential sides of the war, both good and bad. The war was a long time coming and was inevitable; however, the key players evolved with the circumstances. Each author has developed a valid argument that led to the same end result, whereby Mexico needed a change for the social, economic, and political wellbeing of the country to ensure that the people of Mexico could achieve their own independence and freedom of their own choosing. This was a complex and challenging set of circumstances that sought to better convey the importance of the different aspects of the economy that struggled during the Mexican Revolution. Each of the authors brought its own perspective to the discussion and provided additional support for the belief that the economy of Mexico during and after the Mexican Revolution sought to expand the freedom and opportunity for all residents.

References

Camin, Hector Aguilar. “In the Shadow of the Revolution: Contemporary Mexican History: 1910-1989.” The University of Texas Press, 1993. Print.

Dell, Melissa, 2012. “Path dependence in development: evidence from the Mexican Revolution.” 23 April 2013: http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/dell/files/revolutiondraft.pdf

Easterling, Stuart. “Mexico’s revolution: a look back in the centennial year.” ISR 74(November 2010). 23 April 2013: http://www.isreview.org/issues/74/feat-mexicanrevolution.shtml

Knight, Alan. “Interpreting the Mexican Revolution.” University of Texas at Austin, 23 April 2013: http://lanic.utexas.edu/project/etext/llilas/tpla/8802.pdf

Sherman, Scott. “Living La Vida Grande.” Dissent 1(2000):109. Web. 15 Apr. 2013.

Skoepol, T. “Social revolutions and mass military mobilization.” World Politics 40.2(1988): 47-168.

Smith, M, Michael. “Gringo Propagandist: George F. Weeks and the Mexican

Revolution.” Journalism History 1(1999):2.Web. 15 Apr. 2013.

Wilkie, James W. “The Mexican Revolution: Federal Expenditure and Social Change Since1910.” The University of California Press, Ltd. London, England, 1967. Print.

Womack, John. “Zapata and the Mexican Revolution.” Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. New York, NY, 1968. Print.

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