The porfiriato is the name given to a period in the History of Mexico between 1876 and 1911 and characterized by the authoritarian control of the military José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz.
More about the Porfiriato
The porfiriato spanned from November 28, 1876 to May 25, 1911. Porfirio Díaz ran in several elections in (1867 and 1871) against Benito Juarez, losing both times.
In 1876 Porfirio Díaz, influenced by a further defeat in the elections that same year and the discontent resulting from the Tuxtepec revolt, staged a coup d’état supported by the army that overthrew the government of Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada. The triumph of this coup initiated the period known as Porfiriato.
Porfirio Díaz promoted foreign investments, which generated a great development of economic sectors such as agriculture and mining. On the other hand, there was an increase in the differences between social classes and the slavery of native peoples.
On November 20, 1910 he was expelled from power by the Mexican revolutionaries. Finally, he was exiled to France in May 1911.
In the following article we will delve into this period of History showing a series of advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of the Porfiriato:
- Development of road infrastructure. The telegraph network was created. 19,000 kilometers of railroads were built thanks to foreign investment.
- Education. Education was established as free, secular and compulsory.
- Port Development. The naval school was founded, Mexican navigation companies were created and ports were conditioned by building lighthouses and beacons.
- Public spending was reduced. There was a strict control of income and investments.
- Strict control of income and investments.
- The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) was created. In addition, the arts were promoted, especially painting.
Desadvantages of the Porfiriato:
- Business for a few. During the Porfiriato only foreigners could do business. The industrialization of the country was in the hands of a few.
- Lack of political freedoms. Porfirio Díaz stayed in power for so many years thanks to electoral fraud, repression and corruption.
- Social polarization. During this period social differences increased. In front of a wealthy minority there were 13 million Mexicans in extreme poverty.
- Slavery and Expropriation. The expropriation of land from indigenous populations was established. Which resulted in massacres, the survivors were enslaved. Social unrest is an important factor in understanding the end of the Porfiriato and the beginning of the Mexican Revolution.