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which was marked with strife and confusion, many problems were worked out and an excellent constitution and code of reform laws adopted. The thirty-four years of absolutism under Diaz was not, by any means, a complete relapse. By covering the country with a network of railroads and telegraph the land was unified and preparation was made for a greater development of its many natural resources; the national credit was restored and carried forward to an enviable position; considerable advance was made in the line of economic and industrial enlargement; illiteracy was sensibly diminished; and the people were made familiar with at least the forms of law. It is to be deplored that, during that time, office was made a matter of official favoritism rather than of popular choice; graft was unchecked; the poor were taught little of either letters or morals; confidence in legal processes for the righting of wrongs was well nigh destroyed, and loyalty to the existing government as an essential element of true patriotism was almost unknown. When to all this is added the fact that by the revolution the worst instincts of the most vicious elements of society were awakened and battened by the looting of cities and farms, the only cause for wonder is that the confusion was not greater when the iron hand was suddenly relaxed and withdrawn. Unfortunately, the man who had the faith and the courage to initiate the revolution and who came into power on the crest of an immense wave of popular enthusiasm was pitiably lacking in the qualities that were necessary for meeting the situation, and was carried down in the vortex whose destructiveness his efforts only seemed to increase. The tragedy of his removal increased the disturbance. To the already numerous groups of bandits were added new bands, some of whom are doubtless moved by the instinct of patriotism to resist the government. To an empty treasury; to the depredation of lawless bands that avail themselves of mountain fastnesses and great stretches of nearly impassable desert and not merely take for themselves money, food, arms and horses, but who kill, rob and ruthlessly destroy the property of individuals, of the nation, and sometimes of foreigners; to private and political plots; to the difficulty of placing confidence in anyone in the

general slump of fidelity; to all this have been added the insidious influence of great combinations of capital, mostly of foreigners, interested in valuable concessions; and the shameless intrigue of individuals who have so far lost all that made man the image of his Creator that, just for private gain, they would deliberately embroil two friendly nations in a war that would be disastrous and unfruitful for both.

In spite of all this, democracy still lives in Mexico, not merely enshrined in the hearts of its people, but as a vital force. When present conditions have been worked out, the great body of sane, thoughtful Mexican patriots will bring their idolized country back to her rightful position of respect and confidence. If others will give Mexico intelligent and sympathetic coöperation instead of misunderstanding, misinterpretation and suspicion, or if they will even let her alone, she will successfully work out her own salvation. In doing so she will give to the world a new proof of the tremendous power of democratic principles, not merely to survive under the most untoward conditions, but ultimately to triumph over every obstacle.


By Leslie C. Wells, Professor of French and Spanish
at Clark College

Profirio Díaz, great and wonderful as certain of his accomplishments were, gave Mexico a very lop-sided administration. Her development under him was almost entirely economic in character. He paid little attention to the social uplift of his people, his widely advertised solicitude for education having been strangely exaggerated; he made almost no attempt to reform the structure of society, which for a large part of the people is that of feudalism; he denied them even the slightest opportunity for political training; and promoted injustice rather than justice.

His methods may have proceeded from good motives, but the statement well made by someone that he "mistook the wealth of the country for its well-being" is at best a charitable judgment of his rule. To his all-consuming desire of setting the wheels of industry in motion and giving his treasury a favorable standing in foreign money markets, he subordinated everything else. He sought to get the natural resources of the country used, but cared little who used them. The quickest way to accomplish this was, or appeared to be, to give all encouragement to capitalists, native and foreign, and to promote the concentration of wealth. The national blessings to be derived from a fair distribution of the rewards of labor, he seems hardly to have dreamed of. In some cases, even, willing employers were officially discouraged from raising the wages of their help. The land was more monopolized at the end of his rule than at its beginning. His administration made for the exploitation of the Mexican nation rather than for its development.

No country can enjoy true progress under such one-sided government, and injustice patiently endured never made a

nation great. Sufficient proof that the methods of Díaz were not those which Mexico needed, at least in the last decade of his rule, is furnished by the deplorable condition to which they have brought her.

When the reaction came in 1910 it was natural that the pendulum should swing too far. Madero was extravagant in his promises, and the people were too impatient in their demand for immediate reforms. But Madero had prepared his downfall in the very moment of his victory over Díaz. He then, to stop bloodshed and perhaps for other reasons, made a compromise with the old régime that delayed and made difficult the consummation of his reforms. If, as may be true, he himself, when President, became somewhat shaken also in his plans, the purpose of the Mexican people remained steady. The earlier revolts against Madero, as well as those of Félix Díaz, were perhaps led by selfish men; but they were largely supported by peons who, however vague their understanding of their own desires, were insistent that the revolution should not be abortive in its results.

It was this division of the great progressive element that gave the reactionary party under Félix Díaz and General Huerta its chance to overthrow the government. Their victory was at bottom more significant of the intense desire of the nation for a new era of justice than it was of dissatisfaction with the experiment in democracy, which was far too short to afford any real test whatsoever.

At this point mention may well be made of an erroneous statement which of late has appeared in American newspapers, and which should be corrected; the statement that when Madero was elected President he polled only 20,000 votes. Presidential elections in Mexico are indirect, and the mistake has arisen through a confusion of the popular vote with the electoral vote. For the purpose of national elections, under the electoral law in force until December, 1911, the country was divided into "sections" of 500 inhabitants each, one member of the electoral college being chosen from each section.1 As there is a Mexican population of

1In this particular the new law is virtually the same.

15,000,000 people, there existed theoretically about 30,000 electoral sections. Actually there were only about 20,000 in which polls were held at the time of Madero's election. Approximately 95 per cent of the presidential electors from these 20,000 sections cast their votes for Madero.

Of the 500 inhabitants of a section, the normal number of voters is from 80 to 100. On the average, probably from 20 to 25 per cent of these went to the polls. It might be impossible to obtain authentic figures, but it seems safe to say that the 19,000 electors who cast their votes for Madero were chosen by the ballots of 350,000 Mexicans. Even this number is a small portion of those entitled to the suffrage; but, under the circumstances, it is reasonable to consider their choice as fairly representative of the will of the Mexican people.

The purpose of bringing Mexico into a new era, which they failed to accomplish through that election, they will seek new agencies to fulfill. Its chief exponents at present are the Constitutionalists. The leaders may be expected to profit from Madero's mistakes, and to accept no compromises that are likely to defeat their ends. The results of past compromises will explain General Carranza's unwillingness for mediation. If he treats with Huerta, it will probably be when Huerta's control is so far gone that Carranza will be able practically to dictate the terms. He must feel sure that the man who may be selected for provisional President is one in whose democracy the people will have entire confidence. They have been so accustomed to elections determined by official power that otherwise they would not vote freely in the polling for a permanent president. The result might be a choice not at all representative of the will of the nation, and the revolution would remain to be fought over again.

Foreign governments, therefore, desiring to end the disorder, should beware of forcing a compromise. They should give little heed to capitalists who are more interested in securing present returns from their Mexican investments, even through an iron-handed and cruelly oppressive

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