The Porfiriate

Who would have imagined that within the loyal and liberal Juarez's there was a future dictator? Controversial Porfirio Díaz was an important liberal activist that opposed Santa Anna´s dictatorshiphimself. He joined Juarez´s army during the Reform War

Who would have imagined that within the loyal and liberal Juarez's there was a future dictator? Controversial Porfirio Díaz was an important liberal activist that opposed Santa Anna´s dictatorship himself. He joined Juarez´s army during the Reform War while it took over the city of Oaxaca. His military carrer was quickly ascending and during famous May 5th battle in Puebla, as a Brigadier General, he was captured by the French army. He managed to escape right after.

His military actions were followed closely by both Maximilian and Juarez. Both offered him high rank positions that he rejected, accepting only that of Central Army Commander for the Republican Cause. Once the Republic was settled, Juarez and Diaz ran for presidency in the elections of 1867 and 1870. Diaz was defeated in both occasions, however he accused Juarez of fraud in the 1870 ones and he declared war.

When Juarez died, Diaz reluctently accepted Lerdo de Tejda´s interinate and he retired from political appearance although he managed to keep influence on the army. Later on he came back as congressman for the State of Veracruz and when Lerdo de Tejada tried to reelect, Diaz took up arms and won in 1876. Ever since he won elections with intimidated or practically inexistent opposition for 34 years, except for a short period when a frind of his from the army governed for him.

Diaz created an Office that he called "The scientifics" because they supported their political phylosopy in positivist theories. Thus, during his government the priority was to achieve a fast development of an industrial and commercial economy and the creation of a proletariat proven to have supported such development. Despite the progressive cover, that meant to import qualified european workers rather than educating natives, who eventually and gradually would be exterminated by the way.

Mexico seemed to be facing a progress and order era, where dependency on the U.S. was minimum. Paradoxically, Díaz supported the existence of ancient Haciendas (for being the source of a Mexican educated high class) and the exploitment of workers, censoring any kind of disidence by means of the army. The Porfiriate is regarded as one of the most obscure periods in the History of Mexico.

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