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This article explores the causes of the Zapatista rebellion in the state of Chiapas, Mexico on January 1st 1994. The commentary since the upÂ-rising has defined the Zapatistas in a myriad of ways. Many conflate the original rebellion with the social movement that followed. This paper brings the analysis back down to the level of the peasant in Chiapas, while still considering national and international influences in the region. It performs a dual-level comparative analysis in order to ascertain plausible causes of the rebellion. It first contrasts the states of Chiapas and neighboring Oaxaca. It then turns to regions within Chiapas that supported the Zapatistas and compares them to those that did not. The paper looks to differences between the states and regions as plausible causes of the rebellion. It concludes that the Chiapañecan peasantry's lack of economic options and autonomy to organize independent of coercive forces likely caused the rebellion. In sum, the causes of the Zapatista rebellion differ little from the causes of "traditional" peasant rebellions in many other parts of the world.