Porfirio Diaz

(1830-1915)

By Leah Angelo

Porfirio Diaz was born on September 16, 1830.He was born in Oaxaca, an old Indian city in the mountains of Southern Mexico.Diaz was Mixtec Indian with a trace of Spanish blood.His father was a blacksmith and his mother owned a small inn. He learned how to make shoes in order to help his poor family. Diaz enlisted in the Mexican American War while at law school. The war ended before he had a chance to see any action.

Diaz was a Mexican statesman.He was known to some people as the hero of modern Mexico. Others considered him to be simply a dictator. His christened name was Jose de la Cruz Porfirio Diaz. Diaz served his country and Benito Juarez during the French Occupation. Later he ran against Juarez in the presidential elections. Losing to Benito Juarez in the presidential election of 1871 Diaz charged fraud and led a revolt against the government. Diaz lost once again in the presidential election of 1876, but he refused defeat and rose against Lerdo, which gained him presidency. He remained in power until 1911. He divided the rich and poor. He banned the poor from the cities so that the foreigners would not see them. He put matched interest groups against each other leaving the presidential elections a joke. Material prosperity grew while he was in the presidency.Roads, railroads, and telegraph lines greatly increased. Diaz was influenced by the belief in the triumph of science and in the scientific method. The discontent of the people grew quickly in the last decade of his rule. In 1909 he stated his ideas to restore democratic rule which started a revolution. In 1911 Diaz was forced to flee the country, and he died in exile.

 

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