Class Notes 9/2/19

SUMMARY/QUESTIONS FOR CONSIDERATION: After completing the Map Quiz at the beginning of class we were given a brief presentation about the widespread death of bees (500 million in three months) in Brazil due to less strict pesticide laws within the country. We then broke into groups to discuss the following questions that are likely to be on an exam. The answers that follow the questions are some talking points that my group discussed.

What were the main causes of the Mexican Revolution?

Landowners and peasants alike were upset with the structure of Government. Demands like more voting/democratic rights or resource reallocation were brought front and center and the election of 1910 cascaded into war.

How did the leaders’ goals reflect regional differences in Mexico?

Although typically discussed as north vs south it was more urban vs rural as auto/technocratic elite of urban areas had different needs than those of landowners. The rural group wanted more extreme change while the urban group wanted lawful changes.

How does Wasserman’s interpretation of the Mexican revolution fit with Defronzo’s criteria for revolutions?

  1. Mass Frustration: Diaz is hated universally due to corrupt political system.
  2. Divisions among the elite: cientificos vs landowners
  3. Unifying Motive: All sides agree reform must occur for resource/wealth distribution
  4. Severe Political Crisis: Diaz ousted from power/Madero assassination.
  5. Tolerant World Context: The world had no response due to tensions in Europe and the eventual outbreak of WWI

Our time in groups was shorter than usual as we moved on to discuss the people behind the revolution in great detail in order to understand (people discussed are found in key terms).


Porfirio Diaz: Long time ruler of Mexico who was forced out of office in 1910 due to revolution. Surrounded himself with cientificos, the technocratic elite who Diaz used to modernize and control Mexico.

Francisco Madero: Educated elite from the north who sought to reform Mexico by restoring democracy. Was a revolutionary who believed change could only come through a lawful process.

Emiliano Zapata: Leader of a small village in southern Mexico where plantation agriculture was practiced and the people were mainly indigenous and poor. Fought for a more radical change in the redistribution of land.

Francisco “Pancho” Villa: Revolutionary raider from the north who was a member of the Conventionalist movement who called for radical change. Best known revolutionary in the US due to the US military chasing him in the desert.


  1. For better understanding of the people involved and the timeline of the revolution
  2. Better understanding of the causes of the Revolution
  3. Video Link for visual and audio aid


  1. What was the difference between the goals of the Constitutionalist and Conventionalist revolutionaries and how were those goals considered when drafting the 1917 constitution?
  2. What role did Madero’s assassination have in the revolution?
  3. If this revolution occurred after the success of the Bolshevik Revolution in October 1917 would the outside world considered the revolution a marxist revolution due to land/resource redistribution?