THE POLITICS OF THE PORFIRIATO

I. ORGANIZATION OF PRESENTATION:

A. SKETCH POLITICAL CAREER OF PORFIRIO DIAZ

B. ANALYZE STRUCTURE/CONTENT OF POLITICAL SYSTEM

C. SUGGEST WEAKNESSES OF SYSTEM

D. REJECT COMMON STEREOTYPES ABOUT DIAZ REGIME

II. THE PORFIRIATO:

A. PORFIRIO DIAZ GAVE NAME TO AN ERA (1876-1910)

1. PORFIRIATO WAS CRADLE FOR MODERN MEXICO, NOT 1910 REVOLUTION AS OFTEN ASSERTED

2. PORFIRIAN REGIME MADE LASTING IMPRESSION ON STRUCTURE OF MEXICAN SOCIETY, POLITY, ECONOMY

3. DIAZ MARKED TRANSITION FROM EXTREME INSTABILITY TO EXTREME STABILITY: LEFT PRESIDENTIAL CHAIR ONLY ONCE BETWEEN 1876-1910/NOT OVERTHROWN BY VIOLENCE UNTIL 1911

B. DIAZ MYTH REMAINS LARGER THAN LIFE

1. DURING PORFIRIATO, POSITIVE DISTORTIONS TO INFLUENCE FOREIGN INVESTORS

2. AFTERWARDS, NEGATIVE DISTORTIONS FOR REVOLUTIONARY PROPAGANDA/LEGITIMIZE POST-REVOLUTIONARY REGIMES

3. BLACK LEGEND:

a. Brutal, repressive dictator used power of army & police/beat down workers & peasants

b. CORRUPT POLITICIAN WHO STOLE FROM NATIONAL TREASURY AS WAS SELLING OUT MEXICO TO THE UNITED STATES

c. PERSONAL EXCESSES CAUSED MEXICAN REVOLUTION

C. BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH:

1. HUMBLE ORIGINS:

a. PART OF LIBERAL MESTIZO GROUP THAT USED POLITICS/MILITARY AS VEHICLE FOR UPWARD MOBILITY

b. TABLE MANNERS/DARK COMPLEXION

2. AUTHENTIC NATIONALIST HERO:

a. FOUGHT WITH ZARAGOZA AT 1ST BATTLE OF PUEBLA-MAY 5, 1862



b. ESCAPED CAPTURE AFTER MEXICAN FORCES DEFEATED IN 1863/CONTINUED TO BATTLE FRENCH/LED 1ST LIBERAL FORCE TO REOCCUPY MEXICO CITY AFTER FRENCH WITHDRAWAL

c. POWER STRUGGLE:

(1) BROKE WITH JUAREZ WHEN SOUGHT REELECTION

(2) UNSUCCESSFUL REVOLTS BEFORE PLAN DE TUXTEPEC (1876) SUCCEEDS/TAKES POWER

3. PRESIDENTIAL TENURE: 1876, 1884, 1892, 1896, 1900, 1904, 1910

III. PORFIRIAN POLITICS: CLIENTELISM/ JUXTAPOSITION/ PERSONALISM

A. CLIENTELISM:

1. EXCHANGE OF GOODS & SERVICES BETWEEN PERSONS OF UNEQUAL STATUS

2. ESSENTIAL SOCIAL PRINCIPLE/INTEGRATED SPANISH-AMERICAN SOCIETY

3. DIAZ TRANSFORMED IT INTO TOOL OF STATECRAFT (PAN Y PALO/STICK & CARROT):

a. COLLABORATORS REWARDED WITH PUBLIC OFFICE/SPECIAL PRIVILEGES/OPPORTUNITIES FOR WEALTH, STATUS, ETC.

b. REPRESSION OF OPPONENTS SELECTIVE:

(1) INCORRIGIBLE OPPOSITION DEALT WITH HARSHLY (LEY FUGA)

(2) STRATEGY COMBINED WITH ATTEMPT TO UNDERCUT POPULAR SUPPORT OF POLITICAL OPPOSITION

(3) FEW EXAMPLES SUFFICED TO DEMONSTRATE USEFULNESS OF COOPERATION: TRINIDAD GARCIA DE LA CADENA (1884)/ALBERTO SANTA FE

4. CLIENTELISM AT WORK:

a. BIG BUSINESS:

(1) DIAZ RELIED UPON LOBBYISTS/LAWYERS FOR FOREIGN CORPORATIONS TO ARRANGE SPECIALDEALS FOR POLITICAL FRIENDS/FAMILY

(2) IN RETURN, DIAZ INCLINED TO FAVOR NEEDS OF CORPORATE LAWYERS LIKE PABLO MARTINEZ DEL RIO

b. ORGANIZED LABOR:

(1) PROVIDED FUNDS/FACILITIES FOR ORGANIZATIONS/PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT/OFFICE FOR LABOR LEADERS

(2) IN RETURN, ORGANIZATIONS & LEADERS MOBILIZED POPULAR SUPPORT FOR DIAZ/POLICED LABOR MOVEMENT FROM WITHIN

(3) EXAMPLES OF PEDRO ORDOÑEZ/JOSE MARíA GONZALEZ



c. POLITICIANS/CIVIL SERVANTS:

(1) DIAZ ENDORSEMENT ASSURED APPOINTMENTS OR ELECTIONS FOR CANDIDATES AT ALL LEVELS

(2) IN RETURN, OFFICIALS PROVIDE LOYAL SUPPORT/EFFECTIVE INTELLIGENCE AT ALL LEVELS

B. JUXTAPOSITION:

1. CHURCH V. ANTI-CLERICALS:

a. LITANY OF ANTI-CLERICALISM MIXED WITH ACQUIESENCE TO SOCIAL REHABILITATION OF CHURCH IN MEXICAN SOCIETY

b. ANTI-CLERICAL LIBERALS RELIED ON DIAZ TO CONTAIN CHURCH/CHURCH RELIED ON DIAZ NOT TO ENFORCE LIBERAL LEGISLATION PROSCRIBING CHURCH ROLES IN EDUCATION, ETC.

2. POLITICAL "INS" V. POLITICAL "OUTS"

a. DIAZ PURGED JUAREZ/LERDO SUPPORTERS BY 1884 & REPLACED STATE GOVERNORS, HIGH FEDERAL OFFICIALS, SENIOR ARMY OFFICERS WITH TRUSTED CRONIES

b. ENCOURAGED "OUTS" TO DEVELOP CAREERS IN BUSINESS, AGRICULTURE, ETC.:

1) EXAMPLE OF EVARISTO MADERO IN COAHUILA/MAYTORENA FAMILY IN SONORA

(2) ECONOMIC PROSPERITY MADE POSSIBLE NON-POLITICAL UPWARD MOBILITY

c. "OUTS" NEEDED DIAZ TO PROTECT FROM PERSECUTION/ABUSE BY NEW POLITICAL APPOINTEES

d. "INS" NEEDED DIAZ POLITICAL SUPPORT TO REMAIN IN POWER SINCE HAD NO LOCAL BASE OF SUPPORT

3. CRONIES V. TECHNOCRATS:

a. ARMY CRONIES IN HIGH POST MUST COMPETE FOR POSITION WITH PROFESSIONALLY-TRAINEDTECHNOCRATS (CIENTIFICOS) LIKE JOSE YVES LIMANTOUR

b. BOTH GROUPS DESPISE OTHERS/CURRY DIAZ FAVOR/NEED DIAZ SUPPORT TO STAY IN OFFICE/SHAPE POLICIES FOR PROFIT

4. WORKERS V. BOSSES/PEASANTS V. LANDOWNERS/FOREIGN INVESTORS V. LOCAL POLITICIANS/ETC.

C. PERSONALISM:

1. KEY TO DIAZ'S LONGEVITY IN OFFICE:

a. MADE SELF INDISPENSABLE

b. DIAZ MAKES ALL CONSEQUENTIAL DECISIONS/MUST APPROVE ACTIONS OF SUBORDINATES

2. AVOIDED SUCCESSOR/CHALLENGER:

a. NO VICE-PRESIDENT BEFORE 1904

b. WHEN HAD TO CHOOSE, CHOSE RAMON CORRAL/"PROMOTED" BERNARDO REYES OUT OF COUNTRY



III. PROBLEMS OF PORFIRIAN POLITICS:

A. LIMITATIONS OF PERSONALISM/FAILURE TO INSTITUTIONALIZE

1. REGIME AGED BADLY/ALONG WITH DIAZ

2. MEXICO OUTGREW CAPACITY OF ANY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL TO PERSONALLY CONTROL/POP. GROWTH/GNP INCREASED/SHIFT FROM RURAL AGRICULTURAL ECONOMY/NEW CLASSES

B. MATERIAL REQUIREMENTS OF CLIENTELISM:

1. REQUIRED CONSTANT MATERIAL PROGRESS/ECONOMIC PROSPERITY TO PRODUCE GOODS/SERVICES TO SATISFY CLIENTS

2. ECONOMIC SETBACKS AFTER 1900 HAVE SERIOUS IMPACT ON POLITICAL SYSTEM:

a. INABILITIY TO SIMULTANEOUSLY SATISFY WORKING CLASS/CAPITALIST CLIENTS AFTER 1906

b. ECONOMIC PRESSURES THREATEN WELL-BEING OF "OUTS"--MOVE BACK INTO POLITICS TO SEEK REMEDIES

V. POLITICAL MYTHS ABOUT DIAZ THAT SHOULD BE DISCARDED:

A. THAT DIAZ WAS CRUDE, CORRUPT DICTATOR WITH PENCHANT FOR GRATUITOUS VIOLENCE:

1. DIAZ WAS PERSONALLY HONEST, DID NOT USE OFFICE FOR SELF-ENRICHMENT

2. QUANTITATIVELY USED LESS VIOLENCE THAN EITHER PREDECESSORS OR SUCCESSORS:

a. SYSTEM FUNCTIONED SO WELL THAT NEEDED LITTLE FORCE--STATE BUREAUCRACY, ARMY SHRANK TO SMALLEST RELATIVE SIZE IN MEXICAN HISTORY (LEGEND OF POLITICAL TERRORISM LARGELY PR HYPE FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS/REVOLUTIONARY PROPAGANDA)

b. ELECTIONS RELATIVELY FREE FROM FRAUD BEFORE 1910/GENUINELY POPULAR PRESIDENT

c. AS MUCH OR MORE POLITICAL FREEDOM, LESS PRESS CENSORSHIP THAN CONTEMPORARY MEXICO

B. THAT DIAZ DESTROYED MEXICAN LIBERALISM

1. MEXICAN LIBERALISM WAS STILL-BORN/A SHAM

2. STRONGMAN RULE/CENTRALIZED STATE CHARACTERISTIC OF JUAREZ'S REGIME

3. AUTHORITARIANISM LARGELY IMPERSONAL CONSEQUENCE OF PROGRAM OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: CONTENT OF POLITICS WOULD BE SAME FOR ANY REGIME WITH SIMILAR GOALS (I.E. CONTEMPORARY MEXICO)

C. THAT DIAZ 'SOLD OUT' MEXICO TO FOREIGNERS

1. DIAZ WAS AUTHENTIC NATIONALIST WHO BELIEVED (ERRONEOUSLY) THAT

a. ONLY ROAD TO RAPID ECO. DEVELOPMENT WAS BY BORROWING FOREIGN CAPITAL & TECHNOLOGY

b. PROPER ROLE OF STATE TO CREATE ENVIRONMENT CONDUCIVE TO FOREIGN INVESTMENT

2. DIAZ TRIED TO COUNTER-ACT AMERICAN ECONOMICINFLUENCE/RETAIN MEXICAN AUTONOMY/CONTROL

a. GRANTED FAVORS/CONCESSIONS TO EUROPEAN INVESTORS IN PREFERENCE TO AMERICANS

b. JUXTAPOSED AMERICANS V. EUROPEAN CAPITALISTS

c. NATIONALISM HELPED BRING ABOUT FALL: TAFT GOVT. TRIED TO PRESSURE DIAZ INTO MAKING CONCESSIONS TO FAVOR AMERICAN CAPITAL IN 1910