Lerdo pursued more railroad construction, overseeing the building of more than 16,000 kilometers of lines in his four-year tenure. Construction of a railroad connecting Mexico City with the U.S. border began under a joint contract between Mexico and Great Britain. As with the construction of the route from Veracruz to the capital, the British played an increasingly prominent role in Mexico's transportation development. With the creation of a reliable internal transportation network, other British capitalists moved in.

Not all funds went to the development of Mexico's infrastructure, however. As had been initiated under Juárez, more schools were built in hopes that the construction and hiring of more teachers would attract more students. Even though Lerdo boasted that his government more than doubled the number of schools, the number of students increased only by about 5 percent per year. Of those students eligible to attend school, only 22 percent were female.

Given the direction of political change in Mexico, particularly with Lerdo's drift toward the centralist camp and the growing presence of foreign capitalists, Lerdo faced criticism from both liberals and conservatives. When it became clear that he was going to ignore the idea of "no reelection" and seek a second term, the position that Diaz had raised against Juárez (a president who enjoyed greater popularity than Lerdo), Diaz pronounced against Lerdo with the Plan de Tuxtepec in March 1876. What began as a political move to defend the liberal goals enunciated in the 1857 constitution was, in reality, the return of a caudillo to Mexico.


NOTES
1
Frank Safford, "Politics, Ideology and Society", in Spanish America after Independence, c. 1820-c. 1870, ed. Leslie Bethell ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 72-76.
2
Jan Bazant, "The Aftermath of Independence", in Mexico Since Independence, ed. Leslie Bethell ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 4.
3
James D. Cockcroft, Mexico: Class Formation, Capital Accumulation, and the State ( New York: Monthly Review Press, 1990), 65.
4
Frank Tannenbaum, The Struggle for Peace and Bread ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1954), 43.
5
Howard Zinn, The People's History of the United States, 1492-Present ( New York: Harper Perennial, 1995), 149.

-110-

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The History of Mexico
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Advisory Board ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Foreword vii
  • Preface xi
  • Timeline of Historical Events xiii
  • 1 - Mexico Today 1
  • 2 - Mexico's Early Inhabitants 13
  • Notes 30
  • 3 - The Conquest 31
  • Notes 46
  • 4 - The Colonial Era, 1521-1821 47
  • Notes 72
  • 5 - The Wars of Mexican Independence, 1808-1821 75
  • Notes 88
  • 6 - The Aftermath of Independence, 1821-1876 89
  • Notes 110
  • 7 - The Porfiriato, 1876-1911 113
  • Notes 128
  • 8 - The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1920 131
  • Notes 153
  • 9 - Consolidation of the Revolution 155
  • Notes 172
  • 10 - The Revolution Moves to the Right, 1940-1970 175
  • Notes 191
  • 11 - The Search for Stability, 1970-1999 193
  • Notes 213
  • Notable People in the History of Mexico 215
  • Bibliographic Essay 227
  • Index 235
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