The Mexican Revolution has long been considered a revolution of peasants. But Aurora Gómez-Galvarriato's investigation of the mill towns of the Orizaba Valley reveals that industrial workers played a neglected but essential role in shaping the Revolution. By tracing the introduction of mechanized industry into the valley, she connects the social and economic upheaval unleashed by new communication, transportation, and production technologies to the political unrest of the revolutionary decade. Industry and Revolution makes a convincing argument that the Mexican Revolution cannot be understood apart from the changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution, and thus provides a fresh perspective on both transformations.
By organizing collectively on a wide scale, the spinners and weavers of the Orizaba Valley, along with other factory workers throughout Mexico, substantially improved their living and working conditions and fought to secure social and civil rights and reforms. Their campaigns fed the imaginations of the masses. The Constitution of 1917, which embodied the core ideals of the Mexican Revolution, bore the stamp of the industrial workers' influence. Their organizations grew powerful enough to recast the relationship between labor and capital, not only in the towns of the valley, but throughout the entire nation.
The story of the Orizaba Valley offers insight into the interconnections between the social, political, and economic history of modern Mexico. The forces unleashed by the Mexican and the Industrial Revolutions remade the face of the nation and, as Gómez-Galvarriato shows, their consequences proved to be enduring.
About the Author
Aurora Gómez-Galvarriato is Professor of Economic History at CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas) and head of the Archivo General de la Nación de México, Mexico’s national public records office.
Table of Contents
1 The Mexican Textile Industry: An Overview 5
2 CIVSA: The Nature of the Firm 39
3 The Nature of the Labor Force 65
4 Labor Organization during the Porfiriato 87
5 Textile Workers and the Mexican Revolution 116
6 Labor and the First Postrevolutionary Regimes 149
7 A Revolution in Work: Real Wages and Working Hours 178
8 A Revolution in Daily Life: Community and Living Conditions in the Mill Towns 200
9 The Impact of the Mexican Revolution on CIVSA's Performance 233
Archives and Periodicals Consulted 335