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Nationalism and the Mexican Revolution

            The Mexican revolution exploded in 1910. Growing tensions over Porfirio Díaz' dictatorship had been building up from all sides of society. Leaders from different backgrounds such as Francisco I. Madero, Francisco 'Pancho' Villa and Venustiano Carranza came together with the common goal of overthrowing those in power, but with conflicting interests at heart. The years to follow are characterised by considerable violence and utter chaos. The revolution did lead to many drastic social, political and economic changes in Mexico, but not always necessarily for the better. The revolution was driven by the need for a better way of life for Mexico's people which lead to an unstoppable nationalistic frenzy. This essay will explain the different ways in which nationalism was most clearly present during the Mexican revolution with the help of 'The Mexico Reader', a collection of perspectives from politicians, to poets, to peasants. .
             A fierce patriotism sprung up during the Mexican revolution, there was a great sense of Mexicans fighting for their people and their land. Many national figures emerged as Mexican heroes. One such hero was Pancho Villa, a revolutionary leader. He came from nothing, the son of peons. At the tender age of 16, he killed a man and from then on was constantly on the run. He became a notorious bandit, murdering and stealing from the rich. His legends captivate the imagination, and we can only imagine the sense of pride he inspires among Mexicans. He became a sort of Mexican Robin Hood, looting from those in power and redistributing to the poor. These actions, although brutal and violent, gave him the image of a national hero. There are songs, poems and many romantic accounts about him and his adventures. He proved an effective guerrilla leader in the revolution and took over the government in Chihuahua. He had a socialistic view fighting for the redistribution of wealth and an agrarian reform.

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