200th Year Anniversary of Mexican Independence from Spain

Today marks the 200th year anniversary of Mexico’s independence from Spain. On August 24, 1821, eleven years after the outbreak of the Mexican War of Independence, Spanish Viceroy Juan de O’Donojú signed the Treaty of Córdoba, which approved a plan to make Mexico an independent constitutional monarchy. For further reading about this historical event, check out these books listed below for deeper insight into Mexico’s history.

The Mexican Revolution, Volume 1: Porfirians, Liberals, and Peasants (Nebraska, 1990) by Alan Knight shows how urban liberals joined in uneasy alliance with agrarian interests to install Francisco Madero as president and how his attempts to bring constitutional democracy to Mexico were doomed by counter-revolutionary forces. The Mexican Revolution illuminates on all levels, local and national, the complex history of an era. 

The Mexican Revolution, Volume 2: Counter-revolution and Reconstruction (Nebraska, 1990) by Alan Knight begins with the army counter-revolution of 1913, which ended Francisco Madero’s liberal experiment and installed Victoriano Huerta’s military rule. After the overthrow of the brutal Huerta, Venustiano Carranza came to the forefront, but his provisional government was opposed by Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, who come powefully to life in Alan Knight’s book. Knight offers a fresh interpretation of the great schism of 1914-15, which divided the revolution in its moment of victory, and which led to the final bout of civil war between the forces of Villa and Carranza. 

Working Women, Entrepreneurs, and the Mexican Revolution: The Coffee Culture of Córdoba, Veracruz (Nebraska, 2013) by Heather Fowler-Salamini analyzes the interrelationships between the region’s immigrant entrepreneurs, workforce, labor movement, gender relations, and culture on the one hand, and social revolution, modernization, and the Atlantic community on the other between the 1890s and the 1960s. 

Bandit Nation: A History of Outlaws and Cultural Struggle in Mexico, 1810-1920 (Nebraska, 2008) by Chris Frazer is the first complete analysis of the cultural impact that banditry had on Mexico from the time of its independence to the Mexican Revolution. Chris Frazer focuses on the nature and role of foreign travel accounts, novels, and popular ballads, known as corridos, to analyze how and why Mexicans and Anglo-Saxon travelers created and used images of banditry to influence state formation, hegemony, and national identity.

Alcohol and Nationhood in Nineteenth-Century Mexico (Nebraska, 2015) by Deborah Toner examines the historical importance of drinking as both an important feature of Mexican social life and a persistent source of concern for Mexican intellectuals and politicians along with offering surprising insights into how the nation was constructed and deconstructed in the nineteenth century.

Mexico’s Crucial Century, 1810-1910: An Introduction (Nebraska, 2010) by Colin M. MacLachlan and William H. Beezley  guides the reader through a pivotal time in Mexican history, including such critical episodes as the reign of Santa Anna, the U.S.-Mexican War, and the Porfiriato. Colin M. MacLachlan and William H. Beezley recount how the century between Mexico’s independence and the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution had a lasting impact on the course of the nation’s history.

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