John Mason Hart's Revolutionary Mexico

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According to historian Paul Vanderwood, the main argument and original contribution of John Mason Hart’s Revolutionary Mexico is that the revolution was very socio-economically influence. Foreign interest, primarily from the United States, was a major issue Mexico dealt with economically. Hart also views the revolution as that of a Marxist movement. Along with Hart, historian Alan Knight does agree that this was a revolution, but not a nationalistic one. Knights main argument and original contribution to his writing for Vanderwood was that he brings in this element of Eurocentrism. Knight also contributes by expanding on the type of rural people that played a role in the revolution. He mentions the Agraistas who were Zapatistas, who were of …show more content…
Vanderwood states, “Francois-Xavier Guerra emphasizes a profound cultural conflict founded in the contradictions inherent in Mexican society and aggravated by the imposition of modern ideas and practices on a largely traditional society.” (Vanderwood, 155-6). Guerra also mentions the moment where Madero’s administration comes in and challenges the Porfiriato administration. Vanderwood also states that because Guerra drew on the public sources he uses some mistakes in the original text go to the study and they are brought into his own analysis. Guerra explains the value of his “prosopography” in Le Mexique de l’Ancien Regime a la Revolution as something that offers beyond biographical ‘dry’ data, which sheds light on the social and political events that were emerging locally during that era through individual memoirs, biographies, and histories. His outlook on the Mexican Revolution is more of a micro to macro scope. Guerra draws on biographical data of 7000+ people in Mexico, who were not in a unified group which makes the information very diverse, from the period of 1857-1911. He looks at the moment where Madero comes in and challenges the Porfiriato as well as the Late colonial Era (Bourbon Reform). The value of the division that he brings in with all these sources is …show more content…
Hart “disagrees with Knight on the degree of economic nationalism during the revolution, the amount of U.S. economic penetration during the Porfiriato, the extent ofU.S. losses, and the importance of the nationalizations during the 1930s.” (Hart, 372). The most positive legacy that Knight identifies about Hart’s Revolutionary Mexico is when he compare the revolution to those of Iran, China, and Russia. He finds the global comparison very interesting because they are a response to capitalist and imperialist penetration. He does clarify that the class struggles in each revolt were different but in totality, the analysis between them was very significant. The most offensive review to Alan Knight in Vanderwood’s review of his work was that Vanderwood accuses Knight of undermining his own thesis. Vanderwood says that “popular forces were, at best, the instruments of manipulative caciques, of aspiring bourgeois or petty bourgeois leaders.” (Knight, 162). Knight argues how Vanderwood misinterpreted his work and read the opposite of his argument of the Mexican Revolution. Vanderwood also stated that Knight used more secondary sources than primary, which Knight argues as not true. “I used thirteen primary source collections in five different Mexican archives; seventeen collections in five U.S. archives; and six collections in five

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