The Newberry Library Labor History Seminar, co-sponsored by the Chicago and Urbana campuses of the University of Illinois present:
"Agrarian Leaders and the Making of a Peasant 'Class' in Postrevolutionary Mexico"
University of Illinois at Chicago
This paper describes the process through which a movement of self-declared "revolutionary" peasants generated a class-like category of rural proletarian in Mexico known as "campesinos" in the years following 1910-1920 Mexican revolution. The agrarian movement in the state of Michoacan arose as rural people began to participate in the postrevolutionary land reform during the 1920's, but previous governors had either failed to control it or actively attempted to repress it. This paper explains the efforts of governor Lazaro Cardenas to discipline and institutionalizing the agrarian movement into a corporatist labor-union-like organization. The fact that Mexican peasants were defined in political and cultural terms as "campesinos," I argue, had enduring ramifications for the Mexican state as well as for rural people's cultural identities and political solidarities.
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Scholl Center for Family and Community History
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Chicago, IL 60610
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