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The term agrarian revolution refers to a period in the ancient time that marked the developments in the field of agriculture and its production. In the olden days, man was without the major practices that yield production of basic needs as food and clothing. There came a time when there was a need for man to improve from the old ways of living to those that are advanced. This was then referred to as revolution in the fields of agriculture. Moreover, technology was the main driving force in the evolution of the methods and schemes to be used in farming and other activities as concerns farming. It was a period that man began to embrace the need for modern methods of technology in faming. It was not an easy task given that the people had to learn and familiarize themselves with the skills that were not common to them. The major reputation of the revolution was the amazing methods used in farming. These methods date even to today as they are still in use. Moreover, there was improved production from the fields that had been left unused for long periods of time (Gordon 45-48).
The agrarian revolution basically began with the modification of the constitution that gave way for people to participate in developmental projects and activities. The constitution began to allow some of the activities that accelerated the activity of agrarianism. These were things like: the possibility to rent and buy or sell land by the peasant community that was known as the ejido community. Moreover, private investors were allowed into the field to do farming mainly among the communities who could not do much of the farming as was required. This marked a period where farming started to come up, with those who had the ability moving forward and developing the major methods and schemes of farming. The foreign investors were also allowed to get into the country and start doing farming among the soils of the land. The constitution then allowed the people to participate in farming practices without restrictions from its various arms. In the year 1915, there came the constitutional need to modernize on the methods of farming (Rippy 32-36).
With the need for modernization, this meant a lot to the peasant farmers who were using the traditional forms of farming. The idea was however applauded by those whose focus was mainly on business, the church, and those who voted for their rights. This was a big blow to the peasant farmers who were working in the farms and owning small pieces of land. There was thus anger and quarrels among the peasant farmers as they felt disillusionment coming to their ways. The idea of modernizing on the methods of farming was mainly geared to the development of the ejida community as it had been said by the Salinas’s government. The reforms however never worked well with the peasant farmers as they were deprived of their rights towards the land that they had. This led and contributed to the agrarian revolution that took place afterwards.
The Salinas government had allowed foreign investors to get into the economy of the country but this was not to the advantage of the local farmers. There was an intention to have the economy of the country grow and modernize before the twentieth century, where the government will specifically control the use of land as it would the economic conditions of the country. The constitution that had been developed for the sake of the local community, the ejidatarios, had proved to work well and had even led to a slight development between the period of 1936 and 1940. This was mainly concerned with the production of the home –used products that got a good market among the people of the place. Moreover, there was a subsidy that saw the modes of production reduce to the levels that people could afford and make use of with ease (Randall 124). This regime however declined with the coming up of the modern methods of farming. There came an idea that with the act of increasing the private and foreign investors in the country, there will be a good growth in the field of economy for the country, and would automatically improve the lives of the ejido people. It was also thought to improve the lives of the millions of the landless laborers in the rural areas. These ideas were however to come through as it had been done to the Porfrians before the coming up of the ejidos. The landlords and the capitalists who were now in the ownership of big pieces of land were in direct control of the economy of the country. It had not been the case and decision of the ejidos for these private owners to be introduced into the country. The capitalists and the landlords were in one way or the other serving their own personal interests when they claimed that the private ownership of the vast pieces of land was not doing well to their plans and schemes to improve the country economically. This was not long before the mistakes made over the privatization of land were out (Rippy 32-36).
The idea never contributed to the social and the economic well-being of the society. First and foremost, it was a total obstacle to the expected development and diversity of the country and its citizens. The state and the lives of the local laborers had been impoverished. This meant that they had failed in the development of the social and the economic state of the people. Land had been laid to waste worse than even before the introduction of the foreign ownership and management of the land. The devastated state that land had been put in was not of any benefit to the people of the country. It was therefore very clear that the people had been fighting for the right of their own land and that the government had failed in the management of the state of land in the country. The indigenous population had been dealt with brutally and without their consent in many situations. Apart from the fact that they had been made landless, they were also subjected to slavery of the highest order in the country. They therefore had nothing in particular to take home, and they had to result to revolution strategies (Bethell 45-51).
It was during the time of upheavals among the peasant farmers that there came another section of the pro-reforms in the country. This group saw the state of the undertaking s in the country as a way to improve the state of the country (Tannenbaum 70-78). They resolved that the steps that had been taken were for the benefit of the developments that were to be experienced in the country as soon they were implemented. They saw it as a step that will uplift the economical state of the country and the peasant people. One of the things that were clear is that the peasant people were the ones who were suffering and being discriminated by the government and the leadership that was in place. They therefore had the role of being in control of the government in order to protect the interests of the country. The pro-reform came to power in 1930 but showed little to the expectations that it had put on people. This was another major blow to the peasant farmers in the rural areas. The reform was more influential in its limitations as had been experienced by the peasant people, than it was for the development of the state. First and foremost, it did a great deal in stifling the revolts of the peasant farmers. It was not an easy task for the peasant farmers as they had been subjected to a lot of torture by every government that came to power in the country (Gordon 45-48). They had to really fight for their lives and the lives of the future generations that were to come. The state of the revolution was intensified unlike the case as had been proposed by the splinter group of the post-Porfirian bureaucrcy. Secondly, there was the limitation over the issue of land tenure and its relationships. People were in a state of hate for the capitalists who were in the ownership of the pieces of land. A state of insecurity was always looming over the injustices that had been done to the peasant and the poor in the community. The land and tenure relationships were thereby modified and complicated by the new state of government.
The institutionalization of the new and better regime had taken firm establishment because of the state of bureaucracy that was in the country. It was like the people had been subjected to deceitful schemes that could benefit those who were in the forefront in the government and the country at large. It was therefore clear that the regime had acted in a masquerading way to the people of the country. The other main issue was that of the land to tiller aspect. This issue had raised a lot of controversies and tensions among the activists and those who were in the ownership of the land. It was among the great aspirations that the peasant farmers had been longing for a long period of time. The main problem had been posed by the bourgeois leaders, who had violently oppressed the people of the country as they tried to fight for their own rights and the rights of the ownership of land.
One of the major building blocks of the society is the reformations that are made for the respect and preservation of the people’s lives. There were a number of failures that the reforms as concern land had been ineffective (Randall 124). First and foremost, the reform failed to reveal the misunderstandings and controversies that had been brought by the traditions of the capitalism. Capitalistic existence in the country had worked against the wishes and aspirations of the people. There was a crucial concern to have the misdeeds be revealed for the sake of the future lives of the Mexicans, especially those who had been reduced to peasant farmers in the rural parts of the country. Secondly, the reform agendas had failed in establishing a developmental perspective that will work towards improving the economic state of the country. It had to prosper the poor state of the rural parts of the country and raise the living standards of the peasant farmers in the location.
Due to the above limitations and failures in the regime, there were a number of varied aspects of inhumanity that had continued to take place in the country. Inequality was the major undoing among the Mexican people. The peasant farmers had been treated lowly by the capitalists without being given even a single of the rights that they were suppose to be at their disposal. Moreover, there were cases of violence among the individual peasant farmers and the capitalists. There were still scores of protection of the people of the bourgeois class with their property taken care of. The regime had thus failed in the elimination of the notorious practices of the Porfirian hacienda (Tannenbaum 70-78).
There were moreover issues concerning the ownership of land among the capitalists and the ejidas in the country. More pieces of land had been awarded to the small proprietors who were being protected and preserved by the government. They practiced masquerading in the ownership of land as concerns the aspirations of the ejidas. One of the tricks they used was the ownership of the forces in their fight of the land reforms. They could therefore not allow the reforms that had been passed to take control over the issues that surrounded the ownership and the use of land (Gordon 45-48).
As concerns the role of ethnicity, the Spaniards were the first people to explore into the country of Mexico. They did a number of things in their aim to change the history of the world. They fought with the Indians and as a result, they were able to overcome them and imposed religious and social orders among the native people. Moreover, they took part in the setting up of the civilization strategies among the Mexican and other Indian people. They later embraced the ideas of the native people and thus intermarried and worked together with them as the Indians and the Mexicans. This helped in the revolutions that took place in the field of agriculture. There were also some classes that classified people according to their nativity and the nature of wealth that one had. The classes served to fulfill the aspirations of some of the people while others were just overwhelming to the living standards of the people. The classes enabled developments to be rapid and explosive in the entire Mexican country, especially that which concerned the field of agriculture (Tannenbaum 70-78).
The Indian entrepreneurs served in various sectors in the agricultural fields and in search for other properties as gold and other minerals. They were the ones who were greatly used in the fields of agriculture as they possessed exemplary skills and expertise that had not been seen by the people in the country. They therefore played a great role in the agrarian revolution among the Mexican people. They worked closely with the indigenous peasants who had to fight for their rights of being mistreated in the farms (Rippy 32-36).
As initially discussed, reforms by the Mexican government were aimed at restructuring the tenure system of the country so as to achieve a harmonized financial, social and political objectives. The possibility of these objectives required the commitment of both the state through legal bodies and the citizens. Any change achieved at that point could represent the basic aspects of political decisions that were aimed at establishing frameworks that would regulate such reforms. To achieve these reforms was not an easy task because the Mexican society was not homogenous at all. It constituted the various categories of people in terms of ethnicity and classes. There were various communities and this included the Spaniards and Indians while classes were made up of peasants, entrepreneurs among others. Therefore, to customize the views of each category of people so as to achieve the goal by the state proved to be hard and this led to the failure of the intended reforms rather than a success. (Ochoa 59)
The revolution officially began in 1915 when a law was issued but this was preceded by severe historical injustices that later sparked social movements and struggles. The issue of ethnicity is one of the factors that contributed to the reforms being less effective. The social objectives of the government were to obtain free and fair distribution of land but that was no to be the case. It is stated that ancient land had been illegally and unjustly by the Spaniards during their colonial conquest. This left most of the Indians landless while they on the other hand had large estates and this generated conflict. In fact, before 1910, land distributions to the Indians in the rural areas was very unfair and unjust and even the judicial and political actions that came in place at that time could not help much in trying to redistribute the property (Cotter 111).
The existing problems of unfair land distribution reached its peak when Porfirio was in power and the plundering and quelling the Indian tribes due to the social and economic unfairness in which land was confined to the hands of the Spaniards. This sparked armed movement in 1910 which demanded that the land should be returned to the Indians and the large estates to be divided to help those people who did not have anything to support themselves. When Porfirio was overthrown, it was expected that the end of his dictatorial rule could bring more hopes of better reforms but that was not the case since the groups who were leading the revolution began to struggle within themselves until those who were better armed led by Emiliano won the battle and instituted the Agrarian reform.
The agrarian reforms were to be facilitated by the establishment of agrarian law which was to guide the way in which equitable distribution of resources and lands were to be carried out. Some noticeable characteristics of the law include that; establishment of the nation as the original owner of land and water within Mexico, that the nation had the right to impose anything at anytime on private property as dictated by the public, and that the estates exceeding the limits prescribed by this law were to be taken by the nation. In addition to this, special institutions were to be formed to foresee the success of achieving these reforms. In this law, property would be recognized in any of the three ways as private property, land of the nation or community land. At the end of the reform period, it was expected that the distribution of rural land would have achieved and that mercantile companies were not to be allowed of any owners through bonds or stock. There was to be autonomy in the ownership of communal lands and this would be possible only through the dedication of the leaders. (Ochoa 69)
It was now time for the realization of these agrarian reforms but there existed challenge among them is ethnicity and class. The main ethnic groups that existed during that time in Mexico were the Spaniards and the Indians and given the act that Spaniards were the colonial masters, they held large tracts of land. Most Indians had been confined to the rural areas where live was hard and the productivity was poor. This would spark conflicts periodically. With emerging the emerging capitalism, it proved hard to achieve such reforms since people would want to be compensated for the property that they had at hand. The government had no such money to compensate since the other side of the population was languishing in poverty (Markiewicz 28). Such people could not be justified for any compensation since their mode of land acquisition was not legal. People of this category often rejected such reforms because the always knew that they would lose power and fame if their property was to be taken. The law was therefore suitable to foresee the transfer of land from such owners of large tract pieces of land to the nation and to the general public.
This issue of ethnicity elicited a controversy when it dawned to the Indians that autonomy was yet to exist because people who were dealing with the issuance of title deeds for the communal lands were Spaniards. A lot of bureaucracy existed and those who were recognized as genuine land owners were required to have documents from the Spanish Crown. Conflicts always arose when the measurements of land in some communities were being done and this favored the Spaniards thus making the achievement of the reforms a dream. Since the government was still establishing itself, these injustices existed and some point, the Spaniards chiefs in the rural areas had the ability to doctor the documents to suit their own interests (Cotter 111).This therefore made the dream of achieving the reforms a mirage than a reality because those who were to see the execution of the laws were the same people who had large tracts of land and there is no way one could let his land to be taken.
This kind of selfishness extended to the individual ethnic groups depending on the classes of people in that community. There were the elites who had advanced in education and the entrepreneurs who had enough money and they had the ability to purchase large pieces of land and were more informed about the modalities involved in the acquisition of land. To facilitate this, agrarian courts were established to resolve cases that arose due to the valid mechanisms of identifying communal lands. In the long run, agrarian courts were established to foresee the cases that arose due to such injustices in order to make the reforms more real. This clearly shows how the injustices made it hard for Mexico to achieve its reform in the earliest time that people needed real change (Ochoa 64).
The establishment of the courts became the true agent of change of achieving the needed reforms. It is important to note that resolving the issue of ethnicity and disparity in classes was not enough to provide reforms in Mexico. Politics needed to be reformed too and this is what resulted in total reformation in the late 1990s. The articles in agrarian legislation facilitated the achievements of the reforms and are credited for having the following strengths. It provided additional incentive for entrepreneurs who had enough money to make their operations commercial (Markiewicz 29). They would later be taxed and the money used to elevate the standards of those who were not able to obtain land. This mostly happened in the rural areas where most of the communities were poor and could not afford anything. It further offered the peasants the ability to obtain land that they were able to rather than leaving them in a miserable state. Most of them could have gone to the urban areas where they could just remain unemployed. In addition to this the reforms ensured that the dignity of the peasants was developed and enhanced when they were given the ability to control resources on their own. This was not possible before the initiation of the reforms and it is this injustice that always generated conflict among the Indians and Spaniards and also among the individuals in the ethnic groups.
In conclusion, the Mexican agrarian revolution took a long time mainly due to the changing regimes that were in place. The reforms that were established had moreover participated in thwarting the rate of revolution in the country. There are various classes that were established and they played great roles in the pursuit for revolution among Mexicans and other people who were in the land as the Spaniards and the Indians. Ethnicity was the main feature that explored the nature and perspective of revolution that took place in the Mexican soil. It is during the facilitation of agrarian reforms that saw Mexico empower their supporters with the ability to control the resources of their own country and this enabled them to control and develop their own economy. For the first time in the history of Mexico, nearly all citizens could feel the meaning of the phrase, equitable distribution of resources. In addition, they were able they became staple producers of their own food and this enabled them to avoid problems like hunger (Markiewicz 28).
However, with the intention to equitably distribute the resources, there was environmental destruction of marginal lands which had natural resources and a lot of funds were required to restore the land into its initial form. The other problem that is associated with the reform is the governments’ pace that was slow in giving out the title deeds for the farms. This also involved poor delivery of technical assistance to the farmers and this at some point left farmers who were new in the farming sector with no hopes. It is also recorded that some landlords who had large pieces of land were not evicted because of their connections to the large governments’ offices (Cotter 111).This is what resulted in the slow pace of achieving its reforms in this what caused political unrest most of the time. It is clear that for the government to achieve maximum reforms it had to diversify it viewpoints beyond ethnicity alone as a stumbling block.
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