Liberty in Mexico: Writings on Liberalism from the Early Republican Period to the Second Half of the Twentieth Century

Liberty in Mexico: Writings on Liberalism from the Early Republican Period to the Second Half of the Twentieth Century

by Jose Antonio Aguilar Rivera, Janet Burke, Ted Humphrey
     
 

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In the English-speaking academic world, scholars of Latin America have long dismissed the idea that liberalism and liberal thought were indigenous to Latin America, much less that these were essential elements of the region's political history. On the contrary, it has been usual to consider the region the land of caudillismo, dictatorship, and authoritarianism. The

Overview

In the English-speaking academic world, scholars of Latin America have long dismissed the idea that liberalism and liberal thought were indigenous to Latin America, much less that these were essential elements of the region's political history. On the contrary, it has been usual to consider the region the land of caudillismo, dictatorship, and authoritarianism. The predominant interpretations of liberalism in nineteenth-century Latin America have been variations on the theme of the inability of liberal institutions and values to break with the colonial past. Liberalism, in this view, was an "exotic" import, a foreign ideology of limitation of powers and individual rights unable to take root in a cultural and social milieu dominated by the principles of the centralist corporate state inherited from Spain. The adoption of liberalism was seen as part of an obsessive attitude of imitation of everything foreign that characterized Latin American elites in the aftermath of independence.

Liberty in Mexico presents sixty-four essays and writings on liberty and liberalism, from the early republican period to the late twentieth century, that counter the traditional view. The first period (1820-1840) comprises the founding of the republic and the early constitutional experiments. The most important authors in this creative and turbulent period were José María Luis Mora, Lorenzo de Zavala, Valentín Gómez Farías, and Lucas Alamán. During the era of liberal authority, in the third quarter of the century (1845- 1876), the most significant figures included Mariano Otero, Ignacio Ramírez, Francisco Zarco, Ignacio Manuel Altamirano, Guillermo Prieto, José María Lafragua, and Benito Juárez. The rule of Porfirio Díaz (1876-1912) provided lively debates over the nature of the liberal legacy. The key authors for this period were Justo Sierra, José María Vigil, and Emilio Rabasa. Essays by Jorge Cuesta and Antonio Caso provide a twentieth-century viewpoint on the subject, and the three selections by Octavio Paz round out and summarize the discussions. The texts in this edition will refute commonly held notions that the liberal project in Latin America had no indigenous roots. The institutions of modern representative government and free-market capitalism were very much part of the founding of Mexico.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780865978423
Publisher:
Liberty Fund, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/14/2012
Pages:
728
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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