A Rich Land, a Poor People: Politics and Society in Modern by Thomas Benjamin

By Thomas Benjamin

Chiapas, a kingdom in southern Mexico, burst into foreign information in January 1994. a number of thousand insurgents, given a voice within the communiques of Subcomandante Marcos, took keep watch over of the capital and different key cities and held the Mexican military and govt at bay for weeks. Proclaiming themselves the Zapatista military of nationwide Liberation, they captured either land and headlines. all over the world, humans desired to comprehend the reply to 1 query: why had revolutionaries taken over a Mexican nation? No different examine of Chiapas solutions that query as completely as does this booklet. The rebellion and government's armed career of the kingdom are however the most up-to-date violent episodes in a sector that's now and has consistently been a wealthy land labored by way of negative humans. by way of learning the impoverishment of the laboring classification in Chiapas, Benjamin addresses how the Chiapan elite survived the Revolution of 1910 and stay answerable for the state's improvement and future. extra basically than a person else, Benjamin exhibits in his new ultimate bankruptcy that the modern agrarian rebellion is the legacy of Chiapan underdevelopment.

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Following law school Rabasa dabbled in Chiapanecan and Oaxacan politics. In 1881 he was elected to the Chiapas state legislature and one year later appointed professor of law at the State Institute of the Sciences. During the year 1885-86 Rabasa served as private secretary to Oaxaca's governor, Luis Miér y Terán. He moved to Mexico City in 1886 to take up an appointment as federal judge and to teach law. As a result of his talent, ambition, and influential friends he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Justice and shortly thereafter became attorney general of the Federal District.

State government revenues, according to Rabasa, doubled in two years, from 180,000 pesos in 1891 to 359,000 in 1894 (see figure 2). For the first time in Chiapas history, property taxes brought in more revenue than the highly regressive head tax. "44 The new fiscal order provided the resources for the state government to begin an ambitious program of public works, from roads to schools. Rabasa's favorite project was the construction of a network of roads and telegraph and telephone lines. 45 Earlier efforts to establish a network of roads by contracting the work to private companies had come to nothing.

25 Not unexpectedly, Rabasa's new political order encountered resistance. The transfer of the government to Tuxtla Gutiérrez elicited almost universal disapproval in San Cristóbal. 27 The transfer remained a constant source of discord within Chiapas until at least 1911, when a military effort to recover the capital for San Cristóbal was attempted. 45 46 Governor Rabasa's appointments of new jefes polÃ−ticos, customs officials, judges, tax collectors, and even office workers also encountered resistance.

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