Investigative Question

What were the causes and effects of the Mexican Revolution?

Although most Latin American nations were technically independent in this era, they often came under the influence of European nations and the United States after accepting large loans to help them develop transportation and communication networks. Latin American countries produced cash crops and mined raw materials in exchange for cheap goods, which disadvantaged local industries. The inequality produced between wealthy and poor states was mirrored by growing divisions between “haves” and “have nots” in many of these societies. 

 

These tensions led to revolutions in Mexico and elsewhere with leaders competing over liberal and Marxist visions for their nations. Given students’ close proximity to Mexico, they might wish to focus on Mexico’s experience during the era of imperialism and learn about its revolution in the context of colonization. Students can address the question What were the causes and effects of the Mexican Revolution? After teachers briefly review Spanish conquest, Mexican independence, and the decades-long leadership of Porfirio Diaz, with an emphasis on race and land ownership, students should learn about the high percentage of land and resources that were owned by foreign investors (mainly American) in the early twentieth century. 

 

Next, teachers might wish to explain the experience of the ordinary people like the campesinos and show art from the era such as Diego Rivera’s Repression. Teachers should divide the class into five groups that are each assigned a unique perspective and primary-source document from the period: (1) Porfirio Diaz; (2) moderates (represented by Madero, Huerta, and Carranza); (3) Emiliano Zapata and campesinos of the South; (4) Pancho Villa and the vaqueros of the North; (5) The United States. 

 

To locate the sources that represent each of these perspectives, teachers can search online for the “Plan de Ayala”; “Pancho Villa’s Dream”; and consult Lucia Nunez’s Episodes in the History of U.S.–Mexico Relations as well as John Guyatt’s The Mexican Revolution. After each group has identified the perspective and goals assigned to it, the whole class should discuss areas of agreement and disagreement between groups, while the teacher charts them on the board and students take notes. 

 

With so many competing interests in the revolution, students should come away with a sense that the extended conflict was a nationalist and socioeconomic revolution. After learning about the results and consequences of the revolution, students may write a paragraph expressing the perspective of the person they represented or make a brief speech about which leader in the revolution they would have supported and provide evidence for their position.

The Mexican Revolution is the defining event of modern Mexican history and has provided a touchstone for political and cultural life throughout the twentieth century. Deeply entrenched economic inequality and undemocratic institutions provided favorable conditions for a wide-scale revolt. Although Mexico became independent from Spain in 1821, a majority of Mexicans suffered during the nineteenth century as a result of political chaos and foreign intervention. The last decades witnessed the rise of Porfirio Dίaz. Dίaz’s plan was to modernize Mexico by promoting foreign investment and making the country produce for international markets. He thus granted concessions for land use and mining rights to wealthy landowners and entrepreneurs and to US and European companies. In the process, he confiscated communally held land from peasant communities (ejidos.) His corruption, favoritism, and dictatorial rule led to resentment by many upper- and middle-class Mexicans. They were educated, white or light-skinned landowners and professionals who resented the lack of democracy and opportunity, but considered themselves superior to the Indian and mestizo masses (Sources 1 and 3). Following the concept of the hierarchy of races, assumed by most intellectuals of the period, they believed that as white descendants of Europeans, they were the natural superiors of the Indians and mestizos. 

 

Francisco Madero (Sources 2 and 3) ran against Porfirio Díaz during the presidential election of 1910. Madero agreed with Díaz’s efforts to modernize the country but believed that Mexico was ready for a more democratic system (based on universal male suffrage.) Madero was a political liberal who belonged to one of Mexico’s richest families. Although Madero campaigned widely, Díaz ultimately jailed him and stole the election. Madero then fled to the United States and called for a revolution. Eventually, the revolution succeeded in toppling Díaz after 34 years in power. Although Madero instituted democratic reform as the new president, his program did not go far enough in the eyes of many who had supported him, especially in regard to land redistribution. 

 

A major cause of the Mexican revolution was unequal distribution of land (Sources 1 and 9). Wealthy white landowners had owned vast estates since Spanish colonial times and increased their holdings during the Porfirian era. Foreign investors also came to control large estates. In the meantime, Indians and mestizos who had small plots of land, or who worked on communally held lands or ejidos, often lost their lands. By the early years of the twentieth century, most peasants (campesinos, or the more derogatory term, peons) were dependent on pitiful wages from wealthy landowners. The pressures of the growing international market economy meant that smaller peasant farms were increasingly unable to compete with the large estates, or haciendas, of the wealthy. When Dίaz began privatizing untitled lands and confiscating ejido land, popular resentment boiled over. Workers in the cities and towns, suffering also from low wages and harsh conditions, were similarly discontent. In 1910, popular uprisings spontaneously broke out in many parts of the country. Over the next ten years, peasant armies, led by Pancho Villa in the North and Emiliano Zapata in Morelos and the South, attacked wealthy landowners, destroyed haciendas, and redistributed land, defying the orders of the liberal governments of Madero, Carranza, and others. 

 

The differing perspectives of the major participating groups meant those who had mobilized against Díaz did not agree on the purpose of the revolution or on its policies on land. This set provides sources to analyze the perspectives of four major groups. The first group was the wealthy landowners who supported Díaz (Source 1). The second group was upper- and middle-class people (mostly light-skinned) who wanted liberal democratic political change and supported Madero, Carranza, and Obregón, but not the land confiscation and social revolution that Zapata advocated (Sources 2 and 3). A third group was Indian and mestizo cowboys and rural poor of northern Mexico who wanted land or access to wealth and power and supported Villa (Sources 4, 5, and 8). The final group was Indian and mestizo campesinos, or peasants, in the South, who wanted more ejidos for their communities and supported Zapata (Sources 9 and 10). Although this set does not include the shifting power rivalries between leaders, the role of the United States, or the role of urban laborers, it allows students to probe deeply into the intersection of race, class, and aspirations in revolutionary Mexico.

 

One effect of the revolution was a brutal extended war. Rival armies held different parts of the country and engaged in guerrilla warfare and occasional large battles against each other. The countryside was devastated, and almost 1 million Mexican people were killed (from a total population of 15 million.) Many others fled over the northern border into the United States. All of the major leaders, except Obregón, were assassinated. Writers mythologized Villa and Zapata as folk heroes (Sources 8 and 10).

 

Another effect is that large numbers of women, called soldaderas, joined the armies, and many fought as soldiers (Sources 6 and 7). The central importance of these women to the war effort is documented in corridos (popular songs) and in black-and-white photographs. Their political and military activities did not lead to increased rights for women, and their contributions were long ignored after the revolution. Nevertheless, documentation of these women’s participation attests to their involvement in the revolution as more than just victims.

 

Resistance from below forced political leaders to accept demands for genuine democracy, preservation of peasant communities, and land reform. The Constitution of 1917 (Source 11) authorized the redistribution of land and water from large estates to poor communities and created new ejidos of communal village holdings protected from alienation. It gave protections to workers that were revolutionary for the time and also granted extensive rights to trade unions. However, these ambitious goals were often not carried out; despite that, one of the enduring accomplishments of the revolution was stability. There has not been another large-scale social revolution in Mexico since. 

Literacy Support for Luis Cabrera, The Mexican Situation from a Mexican Point of View (Source 1) and the Constitution of 1917 (Source 11)

 

California English Language Development Standards for Grades 9 – 10

B. Interpretative

6. Read closely literary and informational texts and view multimedia to determine how meaning is conveyed explicitly and implicitly through language. 

8. Analyze how writers and speakers use vocabulary and other language resources for specific purposes (to explain, persuade, entertain, etc.) depending on modality, text type, purpose, audience, topic, and content area. 

 

Teacher Background: This literacy strategy explains the concept of land reform, or redistribution of land, which was central to the Mexican Revolution. The terms land reform and redistribution of land are examples of nominalization, a common linguistic pattern of history and the social sciences. Nominalization refers to the pattern of making a single noun or noun phrase stand for an entire complex process. To the historian, use of the term triggers a whole series of associations and understandings. It’s quite useful for teachers to point out to English learners how nominalization works and help them unpack the complex process behind a simple nominalization. This strategy is designed to help English learners and those who read below grade level comprehend the meaning of complicated passages from the first and last sources that explain the associations and understandings related to the terms land reform and redistribution of land.

 

Directions:

1. Divide students into groups. Have the groups read the background information.

2. As a whole class, ask students to explain how historians use single nouns or noun phrases such as revolution. You might give them an oral example of another nominalization, such as industrialization.

3. Have the groups do the activities in Part I, discuss the final question, and record their answer.

4. Have the groups share out their answers. You might record them on the board and discuss the differences. You can model adding details to their sentences to make them more complete, or joining two answers together in a complex sentence. 

5. Have the groups do the activities for Part II, discuss the final question, and record their answer.*

6. Have the groups share out. Discuss their answers, paying special attention to including the situation that makes land reform necessary (i.e., Part I) in an economical way.

 

* Since steps 1 through 4 relate to Source 1 and steps 5 through 6 relate to Source 9, you may wish to do these steps separately. In that case, when you return to the activity, have a discussion with students to remind them of their conclusions from Part I.

 

 

Student Handout 10.4b Luis Cabrera, The Mexican Situation from a Mexican Point of View (Source 1) and the Constitution of 1917 (Source 11)

 

Background: Historians, other social scientists, and politicians often use a single noun or a noun phrase, like land reform or redistribution of land, to mean a very complicated process. Then they don’t have to explain the whole process in many sentences because their readers will think of the process when they read the noun phrase. For example, consider the noun revolution. The historian writes, “There was a revolution in Mexico. …” She means: “People were angry at the government, some people were so poor that they were desperate and would do anything to have a better life, the politicians made lots of speeches against the government, people started marching in a demonstration in the streets of Mexico City, someone read a newspaper article out to some peasants in Morelos and then those who heard it told other peasants about it, they discussed it for hours and talked to their families about how unfair the government was and it was time to do something about it, and then the peasants gathered together and attacked, …” and on, and on, and on. Just the noun revolution carries all those associations. When you read a noun phrase like the revolution in Mexico, you should think about the larger process of people and events behind it. This activity unpacks the noun phrases land reform and redistribution of land. These two noun phrases both mean the same thing, the same complex process. 

 

Part I. Luis Cabrera, The Mexican Situation from a Mexican Point of View (Source 1)

 

Introduction: These paragraphs from The Mexican Situation from a Mexican Point of View by Luis Cabrera (Source 1) explain the need for land reform to a US audience in 1913. Notice that Cabrera starts with the Spanish colony, which began 400 years before, in the 1500s. Then he describes the changes over time up to 1910, when the revolution began. 

 

Directions 

  1. Read the paragraph from the source.

  2. Underline the word land (or property, a synonym for land) and its modifiers wherever they appear.

  3. Draw a circle around all groups of people who are wealthy, privileged, and probably light-skinned (that is, they would look white or European, although they might be mestizo).

  4. Draw a triangle around all groups of people who are poor, Indian, or mestizo.

  5. Answer the questions under each paragraph.

  6. Read the introduction to the chart and fill in the chart.

 

The Mexican problems have been and still are chiefly economic. The colonial policies of Spain in Mexico contributed in a large measure to create privileged classes. Large tracts of land were granted to settlers or conquerors and to the Church, and thousands of Indians were compelled to live upon the tracts of the land so granted.* The Indian was kept practically in a state of slavery. 

 

* The Spanish colonial government also forced the Indians to work for the white landowners for little or no pay.

 

Vocabulary 

policies: government laws and projects

in a large measure: greatly

privileged classes: social groups that have special rights that ordinary classes don’t have

compelled: forced

tracts: pieces of land, usually used for farming or ranching

 

Questions: Who owned the land? __________________  Who worked on the land? __________________

 

The independence in 1810 did not materially change the condition of the masses. After the religious struggles in 1860, the Church lost its property, but great land areas owned by wealthy families still remained as mainmort, and are at present responsible for Mexico's crisis.

Vocabulary

mainmort: a type of inheritance where the land cannot be sold; the correct term is actually mortmain, from the Latin words for “dead hand”

 

Questions: Who owned the land? __________________  Who worked on the land? __________________

 

The communal lands formerly owned by the towns,** and which were called ejidos, were, since about 1860, divided and apportioned among the inhabitants for the purpose of creating small agricultural properties, but through ignorance those lands were almost immediately resold to the large land owners whose properties were adjacent. This resulted in strengthening the oppressive monopoly exercised by the large land owners, as the small properties were unable to withstand the competition.

 

** Indians and mestizos lived in these towns (pueblos). These communities had few privileges and were very poor. 

 

Vocabulary

communal lands: farming and ranching land that is owned by a whole community, whose members then divide it up among the families in the community. Families and individuals cannot sell communal land; they can only use it.

apportioned: divided up

agricultural: farming

adjacent: next door or nearby

oppressive monopoly exercised: the large landowners had special privileges, controlled the market for farm and ranch products, and made rules that kept the poor Indians and mestizos poor

withstand: resist, do well in spite of

 

Questions: According to Cabrera, why did the Indian and mestizo inhabitants sell their land to the large landowners? ________________________________________

 

What other reasons might have caused the Indians and mestizos to sell their land? ____________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________________

 

What does this tell us about Cabrera’s perspective? Which social group do you think he belonged to? ______________________________________________________________________________________

 

Chart Introduction: These paragraphs follow two text structures: chronology and cause and effect. On the chart, fill in the blank boxes. List a cause or effect for each of the numbers in the box. The first one is done for you.

 

Time Period 

Cause(s)

Effect(s)

Colonial period (1521 – 1810)

Colonial policies of Spain

1. created privileged classes

2. granted lots of land to Spanish settlers and conquerors and the Church

3. forced Indians to live and work on Spanish-owned land

1810 – 1860

1.

2.

  1. condition of masses did not change

  2. the Church lost its land

  3. wealthy families still owned much land

  4. ejidos were divided up among Indian and mestizo inhabitants, but they sold the lands to large landowners

1910 – 1913 (“present”)

Indian and mestizo inhabitants sold the lands to large landowners

  1.  

 

Question: In your own words, explain who owned the land, why that was unfair, and why there was a need for land reform or redistribution of land in Mexico. __________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Vocabulary 

reform: change

redistribution: taking all or some of the land back from the current owners and giving the land out again 

 

Part II: The Constitution of 1917 (Source 9)

Introduction: This article from the Constitution of 1917 describes the solution part of land reform. Because it is a law, the language is very complicated and precise. Fill in the blanks as you follow the process and then answer the question below the chart.

Directions

  1. Read the paragraph from the source.

  2. Underline the word land (or property, a synonym for land) and its modifiers wherever they appear.

  3. Draw a circle around all groups of people who are wealthy, privileged, and probably light-skinned.

  4. Draw a triangle around all groups of people who are poor, Indian, or mestizo.

  5. Answer the questions under each paragraph.

  6. Read the introduction to the chart and fill in the chart.

 

Article 27: … The Nation shall at all times have the right to impose on private property such limitations as the public interest may demand … in order to conserve them and to ensure a more equitable distribution of public wealth. 

Vocabulary

impose: put

ensure: in this case, to make

equitable: equal, fair

public wealth: in this case, land

Questions: What right does the government (“the Nation”) claim? __________________________________ 

“Impose limitations on private property” means to limit the amount of land that individual people can own. Whose land would the government limit? ______________________________________________________

Why would the government make these limits? _________________________________________________ 

 

With this end in view, necessary measures shall be taken to divide up large landed estates; to develop small landed holdings in operation; to create new agricultural centers,* with necessary lands and waters … 

* The lands for these “agricultural centers” and “centers of population” were called ejidos. In both communities, the inhabitants would be poor Indians and mestizos.

Vocabulary

large landed estates: haciendas, large farms and ranches

small landed holdings: small farms and ranches

Questions: What are the three necessary measures that the government will take? _______________________________________________________________________________________

Who would lose land? _______________________________ Who would gain land? ____________________

Besides land, what else would the agricultural centers get? ___________________________________

Centers of population** which at present either have no lands or water or which do not possess them in sufficient quantities for the needs of their inhabitants, shall be entitled to grants thereof, which shall be taken from adjacent properties, the rights of small landed holdings in operation being respected at all times. …

** The lands for these “agricultural centers” and “centers of population” were called ejidos. In both communities, the inhabitants would be poor Indians and mestizos.

Vocabulary

sufficient: enough

thereof: of them

Questions: Who lived in “centers of population” that had either no or few lands or water? _______________ 

“Shall be entitled to grants thereof” means that the government would give them land and ______________. 

From whom would the government take the land and water? Who owned the “adjacent properties” that were not “small landed holdings”? ______________________________________________________________

Who would lose land? ____________________________ Who would gain land? ______________________

Chart Introduction: The authors wrote this law in a cause-and-effect text structure. The authors sometimes stated the effect before the cause. Using the exact words from the source, fill in the empty boxes in the first three columns, unless they are shaded in gray. The words in bold are signal words for causes and effects. If a blank line appears in parentheses after a pronoun, write down what noun or nouns that pronoun refers to. When you are finished, discuss with your group what the government was doing and write down the answer in your own words. The first one is done for you.

Effect

Cause

Effect

What did the government do? (in your own words)

The Nation shall at all times have the right to impose on private property such limitations as the public interest may demand 

in order to conserve them and to ensure a more equitable distribution of public wealth. 

 

claimed the right to limit the amount of land individuals could own

With this end in view,

 

to divide up large landed estates; to develop small landed holdings in operation; to create new agricultural centers, with necessary lands and waters

1.

2.

3.

 





shall be entitled to grants thereof,

 
   

which ( __________) shall be taken from adjacent properties, the rights of small landed holdings in operation being respected at all times

 

 

Question: In your own words, describe the solution of land reform, or redistribution of land, in the Constitution of 1917.

 

Student Handout 10.4b Key

Part I. Luis Cabrera, The Mexican Situation from a Mexican Point of View (Source 1)

 

Introduction: These paragraphs from The Mexican Situation from a Mexican Point of View by Luis Cabrera (Source 1) explain the need for land reform to a US audience in 1913. Notice that Cabrera starts with the Spanish colony, which began 400 years before, in the 1500s. Then he describes the changes over time. 

 

Directions 

  1. Read the paragraph from the source.

  2. Underline the word land (or property, a synonym for land) and its modifiers wherever they appear.

  3. Draw a circle around all groups of people who are wealthy, privileged, and probably light-skinned (these people would look white or European). On this key, those groups are marked by green text.

  4. Draw a triangle around all groups of people who are poor, Indian, or mestizo. On this key, those groups are marked by blue text.

  5. Answer the questions under each paragraph.

  6. Read the introduction to the chart and fill in the chart.

 

The Mexican problems have been and still are chiefly economic. The colonial policies of Spain in Mexico contributed in a large measure to create privileged classes. Large tracts of land were granted to settlers or conquerors and to the Church, and thousands of Indians were compelled to live upon the tracts of the land so granted.* The Indian was kept practically in a state of slavery. 

 

* The Spanish colonial government also forced the Indians to work for the white landowners for little or no pay.

 

Vocabulary 

policies: government laws and projects

in a large measure: greatly

privileged classes: social groups that have special rights that ordinary people don’t have

compelled: forced

tracts: pieces of land, usually used for farming or ranching

 

Questions: Who owned the land? __wealthy creoles______ Who worked on the land? __Indians (and poor mestizos)________

 

The independence in 1810 did not materially change the condition of the masses. After the religious struggles in 1860, the Church lost its property, but great land areas owned by wealthy families still remained as mainmort, and are at present responsible for Mexico's crisis.

Vocabulary

Mainmort: a type of inheritance where the land cannot be sold; the correct term is actually mortmain, from the Latin words for “dead hand”

 

Questions: Who owned the land? __wealthy creoles______ Who worked on the land? __Indians (and poor mestizos)________



The communal lands formerly owned by the towns,** and which were called ejidos, were, since about 1860, divided and apportioned among the inhabitants for the purpose of creating small agricultural properties, but through ignorance those lands were almost immediately resold to the large land owners whose properties were adjacent. This resulted in strengthening the oppressive monopoly exercised by the large land owners, as the small properties were unable to withstand the competition.

 

** Indians and mestizos lived in these towns. These communities had few privileges and were very poor. 

 

Vocabulary

communal lands: farming and ranching land that is owned by a whole community, whose members then divide it up among the families in the community. Individuals cannot sell communal land; they can only use it.

apportioned: divided up

agricultural: farming

adjacent: next door or nearby

oppressive monopoly exercised: the large landowners had special privileges, controlled the market for farm and ranch products and made rules that kept the poor Indians and mestizos poor

withstand: resist, do well in spite of

 

Questions: According to Cabrera, why did the Indian and mestizo inhabitants sell their land to the large landowners? __They were ignorant.______________________________________

 

What other reasons might have caused the Indians and mestizos to sell their land? _Answers will vary, but might include poverty, bad harvests, overwhelming debts, desire for a better life.___________________



What does this tell us about Cabrera’s perspective? Which social group do you think he belonged to? __Cabrera shows contempt for the poor Indians and mestizos by characterizing them as ignorant. His words show a lack of understanding about their lives. On the other hand, he also criticizes the wealthy landowners. Cabrera came from a middle-class creole family ____________________________________________

 

Chart Introduction: These paragraphs follow two text structures: chronology and cause and effect. On the chart, fill in the blank boxes. List a cause or effect for each of the numbers in the box. The first one is done for you.

 

Time Period 

Cause(s)

Effect(s)

Colonial period (1521 – 1810)

Colonial policies of Spain

1. created privileged classes

2. granted lots of land to Spanish settlers and conquerors and the Church

3. forced Indians to live & work on Spanish-owned land

1810 – 1860

  1. independence in 1810

  2. religious struggle in 1860

  1. condition of masses did not change

  2. the Church lost its land

  3. wealthy families still owned much land

  4. ejidos were divided up among Indian and mestizo inhabitants, but they sold the lands to large landowners

1910 – 1913 (“present”)

Indian and mestizo inhabitants sold the lands to large landowners

  1. the control of large landowners over the market grew stronger and it was harder for small landowners and the town inhabitants to compete

 

Question: In your own words, explain who owned the land, why that was unfair, and why there was a need for land reform or redistribution of land in Mexico. __Answers will vary, but should include that Spanish and creole wealthy families owned most of the land; it was unfair because the Spanish took away property from the original owners and kept the Indians as slave labor; there was a need for land reform because a small white, wealthy minority owned most of the land, and there were many poor Indians and mestizos who needed more land to feed their families. ____________________________________________________

Vocabulary 

reform: change

redistribution: taking all or some of the land back from the current owners and giving the land out again

 

Part II: The Constitution of 1917 (Source 9)

Introduction: This article from the Constitution of 1917 describes the solution part of land reform. Because it is a law, the language is very complicated and precise. Fill in the blanks as you follow the process and then answer the question below the chart.

Directions

  1. Read the paragraph from the source.

  2. Underline the word land (or property, a synonym for land) and its modifiers wherever they appear.

  3. Draw a circle around all groups of people who are wealthy, privileged, and probably light-skinned. This excerpt does not name them directly, but the writers used the words highlighted in green to target this group.

  1. Draw a triangle around all groups of people who are poor, Indian, or mestizo. This excerpt does not name them directly, but the writers used the words highlighted in blue to target this group.

  2. Answer the questions under each paragraph.

  3. Read the introduction to the chart and fill in the chart.

 

Article 27: … The Nation shall at all times have the right to impose on private property such limitations as the public interest may demand … in order to conserve them and to ensure a more equitable distribution of public wealth. 

Vocabulary

impose: put

ensure: in this case, to make

equitable: equal, fair

public wealth: in this case, land

Questions: What right does the government (“the Nation”) claim? __the right to limit private property ______

“Impose limitations on private property” means to limit the amount of land that individual people can own. Whose land would the government limit? __large landowners ___________________________________________

Why would the government make these limits? __to distribute public wealth more equally________________

 

With this end in view, necessary measures shall be taken to divide up large landed estates; to develop small landed holdings in operation; to create new agricultural centers,* with necessary lands and waters … 

* The lands for these “agricultural centers” and “centers of population” were called ejidos. In both communities, the inhabitants would be poor Indians and mestizos.

Vocabulary

large landed estates: large farms and ranches

small landed holdings: small farms and ranches

Questions: What are the three necessary measures that the government will take? __divide up large farms and ranches; develop small farms and ranches; create new agricultural centers ___________________

Who would lose land? _wealthy light-skinned landowners______ Who would gain land? __poor Indian and mestizo campesinos/peasants_

Besides land, what else would the agricultural centers get? __waters (access to water sources)________

Centers of population** which at present either have no lands or water or which do not possess them in sufficient quantities for the needs of their inhabitants, shall be entitled to grants thereof, which shall be taken from adjacent properties, the rights of small landed holdings in operation being respected at all times. …

Vocabulary

sufficient: enough

thereof: of them

Questions: Who lived in “centers of population” that had either no or few lands or water? _poor Indian and mestizo campesinos/peasants______________ 

“Shall be entitled to grants thereof” means that the government would give them land and __water_________. 

From whom would the government take the land and water? Who owned the “adjacent properties” that were not “small landed holdings”? __wealthy landowners ______________________________________________

Who would lose land? __wealthy light-skinned landowners _____ Who would gain land? __poor Indian and mestizo campesinos/peasants______________ 

Chart Introduction: The authors wrote this law in a cause-and-effect text structure. Often the authors stated the effect before the cause. Using the exact words from the source, fill in the empty boxes in the first three columns, unless they are shaded in gray. The words in bold are signal words for causes and effects. If a blank line appears in parentheses after a pronoun, write down what noun or nouns that pronoun refers to. When you are finished, discuss with your group what the government was doing and write down the answer in your own words. The first one is done for you.

 

Effect

Cause

Effect

What did the government do? (in your own words)

The Nation shall at all times have the right to impose on private property such limitations as the public interest may demand 

in order to conserve them and to ensure a more equitable distribution of public wealth. 

 

claimed the right to limit the amount of land individuals could own

With this end in view,

necessary measures shall be taken 

to divide up large landed estates; to develop small landed holdings in operation; to create new agricultural centers, with necessary lands and waters

take land away from large properties 

help small properties

create ejidos in poor Indian and mestizo communities

 

Centers of population which at present either have no lands or water or which do not possess them in sufficient quantities for the needs of their inhabitants, 

shall be entitled to grants thereof,

give land and water to poor communities

   

which ( _lands and water_) shall be taken from adjacent properties, the rights of small landed holdings in operation being respected at all times

take the land and water from nearby large estates

 

Question: In your own words, describe the solution of land reform, or redistribution of land, in the Constitution of 1917. 

 

Answers will vary but should include taking land  and water rights away from large landowners, creating more eijdos and giving land and water to poor Indian and mestizo communities.