The politics of Porfirian Chiapas, 1870–1914

Sarah Washbrook

in Producing Modernity in Mexico

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780197264973
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754128 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monographs

The politics of Porfirian Chiapas, 1870–1914

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This chapter traces the political developments in Chiapas from 1870 to 1914. Until 1891 central state authority remained weak in Chiapas and the state was divided into a number of powerful cacicazgos dominated by military leaders from the Reform, who owed their position to adherence to Porfirio Díaz's Plan of Tuxtepec of 1876. After Díaz's re-election in 1884 there was a gradual alteration in the management of politics away from a strategy of loyalty to the camarilla (political clique) associated with Tuxtepec and towards one of playing competing factions off against one another in order to increase central authority and the power of the national patriarch, namely Díaz. In Chiapas, the first governor charged with implementing the centralizing measures that would undermine the influence of local caudillos was the comiteco Manuel Carrascosa, who took office in 1888. In 1891, Díaz had decided to replace Carrascosa with young Chiapanecan lawyer and científico Emilio Rabasa in the governorship of Chiapas. In 1895 the Oaxacan Colonel Francisco León was chosen by the president to continue Emilio Rabasa's programme of modernization in Chiapas. The most controversial task that he faced during his term in office was labour reform, specifically the issue of debt servitude, which came to be seen by some politicians and investors as contributing to labour shortages in the export sector.

Keywords: Porfirio Díaz; Manuel Carrascosa; Emilio Rabasa; Francisco León; labour reform

Chapter.  11854 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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