Mexico History: The Regime pf Porfirio Díaz

The regime that he established and which lasted until 1911 was characterized in particular by authoritarianism and favored foreign investments to the maximum, to the point of reducing Mexico, in a few years, to a privileged colony of international capital. The “porphyry” hid, behind the facade of order and progress, a real neo-colonialism. He adopted positivist thinking as a philosophy, but only to justify a regime of exploitation. The operating lever of the system was the government of the so-called “scientists” (científicos), that is, of that economic and financial aristocracy that Díaz called alongside him, around 1890, to manage the state. He placed José Ives Limantour at the head of the country, Minister of Finance. In its operational arc, the “porphyry” ensured the achievement of important results in terms of production indices, but concentrated wealth in the hands of a few, leaving the vast majority of the population in poverty. This happened in two ways: through concessions to foreign capital and through the accumulation of land ownership. US groups controlled three-quarters of the mines and more than half of the oil wells; they also owned sugar, coffee and cotton plantations and endless lands for pastures and livestock. British interests were invested in oil, mines, cotton and coffee plantations, public services. Textile production was controlled by the French. The Spaniards had a monopoly on the retail trade and had farms. In this situation, the life of the peasants and the humblest urban class took place dramatically. Thanks to his police apparatus, Díaz managed for years to prevent the organization of an opposition; but in 1900 a “liberal” force began to appear, which shortly after, following the pushes of two brothers from Oaxaca, Enrique and Ricardo Flores Magón, leaned towards socialism, expressing himself from the columns of the periodical Regeneración. In September 1905 the Flores Magón brothers set up an organizing committee of the Liberal Party; the following year they published the program of this party, with a manifesto to the nation: they demanded the non-re-election of Díaz and the establishment of a democratic system. In 1908, in an interview, Díaz declared that at the end of his mandate, in 1910, he would no longer stand in the elections. His words set the opponents in motion. In particular, in San Pedro Coahuila, a pamphlet entitled The presidential succession of 1910, which was authored by the liberal Francisco Madero, was published: according to ehistorylib, it was argued that Mexico had to get rid of the “porphyry”, to give itself a free and popular government. The reaction of the dictator was energetic: he withdrew his promise and in 1910 he reappeared as a candidate. Madero took refuge in San Antonio, Texas, and on October 5, 1910, making the town of San Luis Potosí appear as the issuing location, he spread a Plan (known precisely as the Plan of San Luis Potosí) which urged the Mexican people to armed insurrection. On the appointed day, November 20, it broke out. The guerrillas flared up almost everywhere: in the northern provinces the figures of Pascual Orozco, Francisco (“Pancho”) Villa, Abraham González, Pablo González, Venustiano Carranza, Cándido Aguilar were imposed; in the southern areas, Emiliano Zapata. After a series of bloody clashes, government representatives signed the surrender in Ciudad Juárez on May 21, 1911. On the 25th Díaz resigned and left for exile (he died in Paris in 1915).


Puebla, officially Puebla de Zaragoza [- sara g ɔ sa], capital of the state of Puebla, Mexico, on the Rio Atoyac, 2 160 m above sea level in the basin of Puebla-Tlaxcala, (2019) 1500000 residents.

Archbishopric; several universities, museums, Biblioteca Palafoxiana and other libraries; Industrial center, with automobile manufacture (VW de México), textile, shoe, glass, ceramic, wood, paper, cigarette, food and beverage industry, cement factory; Transport hub, international airport.

The city center (UNESCO World Heritage Site) has partly retained its colonial character with church and house facades made of red bricks and colorful azulejos, which were made in Puebla based on the Spanish model since the middle of the 16th century. Cathedral (1575-1649); San Francisco (Franciscan monastery church, 1551; monastery building 1531; facade 1743–67); Dominican monastery of Santo Domingo (consecrated 1611) with Capilla del Rosario (rosary chapel, around 1675–90); La Compañía (Jesuit Church, consecrated in 1767); Palais, among others the Casa del Alfeñique (18th century; now the State Museum) and the Casa del Deán (1588).

Puebla, 1531 by Spaniards as Puebla de los Ángeles [- a ŋ xeles] founded, was temporary capital of the Republic, 1862-63 center of resistance against the expeditionary army of Napoleon III.

The Regime pf Porfirio Díaz