Agrarian Radicalism in Veracruz, 1920-38by Heather Fowler Salamini
Inequitable land-tenure patterns and a radical labor movement organized and headed by foreign anarcho-syndicalist leaders created conditions conducive to peasant mobilization in the state of Veracruz during the Mexican Revolution. This study traces the course of the Veracruz peasant movement from its origins in the pre-Revolutionary regime of Porfirio Díaz.
Not until 1920, when the radical revolutionary Adalberto Tejeda assumed the governorship, did a favorable political environment emerge for the creation of the League of Agrarian Communities and Peasant Syndicates of the State of Veracruz. During the 1920s, under the patronage of Tejeda and the Communist party, the League grew into a strong power base for the governor. A peasant guerilla force was created to protect the rights of the peasantry, and the League gradually assumed predominance in all branches of state government. The height of the League's power coincided with Tejeda's second term in office (1928-32); under his administration socialist programs were implemented to improve the economic and social status of the rural and urban lower classes.
By 1932, when the tejedista movement had become a challenge to the national revolutionary leadership, the central government launched a campaign to disarm and split it. Finally, six years later, the League was forced to merge into the political structure of the official party at the behest of Lázaro Cárdenas.
One of the first in-depth analyses of peasant movements at the state level, this study focuses on the dynamics of peasant organization and examines the changing nature of peasant leadership over a fifty-year period. In comparing types of organizational techniques used by state and national peasant caudillos, the author views Tejeda and Cárdenas in a new historical light.
Heather Fowler Salamini, who is an associate professor of history at Bradley University, holds advanced degrees from the University of Toronto (M.A., 1963) and the American University (Ph.D., 1970). Her articles have appeared in Historia Mexicana and Contemporary Mexico (1976).
- UNP - Nebraska
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- 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)
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