The Mexican State of Chiapas Essay

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The Mexican State of Chiapas

Historically, the preservation of culture and the progress of development have been conflicting ambitions. Mexico, in particular, has been a frequent witness to the violent clash of the Old and New Worlds ever since European explorers set foot on American soil in 1492. In particular, the Mexican state of Chiapas has resisted the desecration of Mayan culture for the past 500 years, culminating in the Zapatista Revolution that began on New Year’s Eve of 1994. This paper seeks to explore both the chronology of the Mayan fight for political and educational autonomy, as well as detail the historic reformation of the past decade.

Mayan culture is one of the most ancient in the world, with origins reaching
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Chiapas, in particular, was fertile ground for the growth of coffee beans and sugar cane, and the Spanish set up an administrative city in San Cristobal in order to better tax and control the Mayan population.

Resistance and revolution has long been a part of Indian life since the early days of foreign invasion.

The resistance of the Aztec-Mexicas of Tenochtitlán, the island-state that is today Mexico City, vibrates throughout all of Mexico’s history.
When Cuauhtémoc (“the Descending Eagle”), the brave nephew of the third Moctezuma, was finally captured on August 13th, 1521, the
Tlaxcaltecas marked in their histories that ‘the end of the Mexicans has come’.

Heroic efforts such as this are memorialized by the indigenous peoples of Mexico through ceremonies, festivals, and the continued promise to resist foreign invasion and preserve the Indian culture. Revolution resurfaced in the early 1900s with the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1919, which saw more than a million indigenous Indians rebel against the Mexican army in an effort recapture taken lands.

Among those revolutionaries who organized resistance in southern Mexico was Emiliano Zapata, for whom the Zapatistas named their 1994 revolution. The rebel rallied the Indians with his declaration “It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees”. Though Zapata and many others were assassinated during the

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