After Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, it began the work of forging its identity as an independent nation, a process that would endure throughout the crucial nineteenth century
A weakened Mexico faced American territorial ambitions and economic pressure, and the U.S.-Mexican War threatened the fledgling nation’s survival. In 1876 Porfirio Díaz became president of Mexico, bringing political stability to the troubled nation. Although Díaz initiated long-delayed economic development and laid the foundation of modern Mexico, his government was an oligarchy created at the expense of most Mexicans. This accessible account guides the reader through a pivotal time in Mexican history, including such critical episodes as the reign of Santa Anna, the U.S.-Mexican War, and the Porfiriato. Colin M. MacLachlan and William H. Beezley recount how the century between Mexico’s independence and the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution had a lasting impact on the course of the nation’s history.