Various reform movements, revolutions, as well as revolts have shaped American history in the twentieth century. These include the United States Civil Rights Movement, the Guatemalan Revolution, the Cuban Revolution, Populism in countries in Central and South America, the Mexican Revolution, feminist movements and labor movements in America. This paper will focus on the U.S Civil Rights Movement and the Mexican Revolution by establishing a comparison and contrast of the goals, achievements, and leadership of these two events. It will also establish the relationship of the events to capitalism, nationalism and democratic ideals.
Comparison and Contrast of The Goals, Achievements, And Leadership of The Mexican Revolution And U.S Civil Rights Movement
The Mexican Revolution began in 1910. It caused loss of lives as the revolution was marked by a bloody conflict that spanned two decades. The initial primary goal of the Revolution was to overthrow Porfirio Diaz Mori who ruled with dictatorship. However, the goal broadened into various social and political upheavals, which presaged the character of Mexico and America in the twentieth century (Ramos 89). In essence, the long struggle enabled the Mexican people to develop a sense of identity that unmatched other Latin American nations. By institutionalizing the goals, various reforms were introduced to serve as guidelines for Mexican policies in the future (Marchesi 1063). A range of leadership regimes marked the revolution. These began with Diaz who was to be overthrown. However, when Diaz agreed to resign, various revolutionary bands came into force and were against the military demobilization that was agreed upon previously. When Madero was elected the President in 1911, his new government withstood constant attacks that came from all corners.
Consequently, the attacks led to a large number of civilian casualties. However, when Victoriano Huerta, who was the commander of government forces came with his troops and joined the rebels, the war ended. As such, it led to the arrest of Madero and his vice President thereby giving an opportunity for Huerta to seize the presidency. (Ramos 92). As the President at that time, Huerta ordered the murder of Madero and Pino Suarez. Th killings rekindled revolutionary attacks as some people did not even recognize the president hence demanding for an election. Woodrow Wilson, who was the U.S President, organized troops to oust Huerta (Marchesi 1065). Most of the revolutionary leaders accepted the external intervention of the U.S government. After ousting Huerta, Obregon won the election but was not able to bring the war to its immediate end.
Conversely, with the implementation of a constitution under Obregon's administration, some important policies were implemented hence showing the achievements of the revolution. These comprised of setting up administrative machinery to facilitate distribution of land to the landless, as well as restoring communal holdings to the villages. The rural education program was also implemented.
In contrast, the goals of the U.S Civil Rights Movement was to free the African Americans from discrimination and injustices, to offer equal opportunity to the African Americans in employment, housing and education, the right to vote and equality in access to the public facilities. The African Americans wanted to enjoy equal opportunities as the whites (Gilmore 235). As opposed to the Mexican Revolution that involved violent attacks and murder, the civil rights movement used non-violent campaigns, which enabled it to secure recognition in the U.S federal law. The mass protest was meant to oppose racial segregation in the southern part of the United States. The movement began at a time when African Americans were treated as slaves. Even though there was the emancipation of slaves, the civil rights movement set particular rights to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the U.S. However, the struggles to ensure that the federal protection of the rights was secured continued even during the twentieth century.
Additionally, the non-violent protests broke the public facilities pattern that was segregated due to race. As such, the African Americans were able to achieve a breakthrough in legislation that promoted equal rights for all individuals. The non-violent protests that were used during the civil rights movement brought forth positive outcomes (Omi 21). For instance, African Americans are involved in the voting process. They have equal access to employment opportunities, education, as well as housing. The rate of racial segregation, discrimination and injustices have also reduced substantially. These are opposed to previously when the blacks were discriminated due to their color.
Comparison and Contrast of the Relationship of The Mexican Revolution And U.S Civil Rights Movement to Ideals of Democracy, Nationalism, And Capitalism
As the president of Mexico when the revolution began, Diaz worked ambitiously to industrialize and modernize the nation. He worked on the implementation of capitalist society by building roads, factories, as well as dams. However, the peasants and workers in rural areas suffered greatly (Marchesi 1069). During his reign, Diaz was a dictator and did not uphold democratic ideals. He bullied and intimidated the citizens to support him. Under his rule, there was no freedom of press hence causing adverse effects on civil liberties. The new land laws that were enforced also showed some sense of injustice. He allocated land belonging to the Mexicans to the United States as a means of strengthening ties between the two nations (Ramos 94). Due to the land laws, the Mexicans were not allowed to own land unless they possessed a legal title. As such, the small farmers became helpless and had no option of undertaking their farming activities properly. Concisely, when Diaz resigned, Francisco Madero took over, but his leadership was so weak that he could not implement the promised land reforms.
On the other hand, the U.S Civil Rights Movement aimed at promoting the democratic ideals and rights of African Americans like the voting rights. Before this movement came into force, the white working class oppressed the black workers. As the majority of voters in the U.S, the whites supported various policies of racial exclusion (Gilmore 237). Regarding the capitalist aspect, this movement offered equal opportunities of employment the blacks just like the whites. Therefore, people from both races would be absorbed into the job sector thereby facilitating the best economic outcomes. In essence, this would boost the activities that the government undertakes at the national level.
The Mexican Revolution and the U.S Civil Rights Movement have shaped American history in the twentieth century. The revolution is about a bloody conflict that led to the loss of lives of thousands of people. The movement aimed at doing away with the legalized racial segregation and discrimination and ensure that African Americans have equal rights and opportunities as their white counterparts. The revolution and movement make it easy to understand whatever different groups of people experience in the American system.
Gilmore, Glenda. ""The Reddest of the Blacks": History Across the Full Spectrum of Civil Rights Activism." American Communist History 14.3 (2015): 231-239.
Marchesi, Greta. "The other green revolution: Land epistemologies and the mexican revolutionary state." Antipode49.4 (2017): 1060-1078.
Omi, Michael, and Howard Winant. Racial formation in the United States. London: Routledge, 2014.
Ramos, Jose Luis. "The Impact of the Mexican Revolution in Inter-American Politics: US-Mexican Relations and US Foreign Policy at the Fifth Pan-American Conference of 1923." Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research 21.1 (2015): 87-101.
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