California State University, Long Beach

The Mexican Revolution


The Mexican Revolution began in 1910 and opponents of the regime of Porfirio Diaz organized in various parts of the country to fight, first against the Mexican Army, and later among themselves for control of the country and its government. In northern Mexico, adjacent to the United States, the various revolutionary factions sought the official support of the United States government and monetary and material support from private residents. So the border was a focus of fighting and organizing. Some of the narrators in this series spent time in that area and describe their experiences. The Revolution had a great impact outside of the border area as well. People who were already struggling to survive as a result of the policies of the Diaz regime found that their lives became even more precarious as revolutionary violence spread across Mexico. And since agriculture, transportation and manufacturing were expanding in the southwestern United States at the time, many Mexicans emigrated north to seek jobs and more opportunities than were available at home. The narrators in this series who fall into this category describe their experiences in Mexico and as they emigrated to the United States. Mexicans who were involved in the Revolution, who witnessed it, or who just lived in or near their country while it was going on, were anxious for news of the events that were sweeping across their country. Communications systems were not well developed and most of them relied on stories related by travelers, or printed stories and photographs that were written to appeal for support of popular revolutionary ideals or to interest in spectacular events rather than to provide objective information. This series of interviews were assembled from oral histories collected by students in several CSULB classes. Some are in Spanish and some in English, although all of the descriptions are in English.

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