Local Liberalisms and National Liberalism in the Latter Nineteenth Century
The experiences of Oaxaca and Yucatán with liberalism suggest that there was no singular Mexican “liberalism” in the early nineteenth century, but rather many unique “liberalisms.” Nevertheless, liberalism produced common processes, albeit with no common outcomes. In the period between 1812 and 1857, the tenets of liberalism, developed and adopted first in Spain and then in Mexico, forced Mexicans to rethink the mutual obligations of states and citizens, which accounted for a fractured and universal Mexican liberalism in the early nineteenth century. Export-oriented capitalism expanded in Oaxaca and Yucatán due to the national politics of Porfirio Díaz. After independence, Oaxaca's political culture, in which the government and indigenous people (indígenas) worked together to facilitate basic governability, persisted into the twentieth century and limited the state's capitalist transformation. In contrast, political culture in Yucatán collapsed after independence, resulting in the state's near-complete transition to an export economy. However, the story of local liberalisms does not end with its persistence in Oaxaca and collapse in Yucatán. Local liberalisms disappeared only in the face of consolidation of national liberalism.
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