Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Program

History

Date of Award

5-2012

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Daniel Newcomer

Committee Members

Brian J. Maxson, Steven Nash

Abstract

I will analyze the posthumous one-hundredth birthday celebration of former Mexican president and national hero, Benito Juárez, in 1906 Oaxaca City, Mexico. The Juárez celebration took place during the lengthy presidency of fellow Oaxaca native and former political rival Pofirio Díaz (1876-1911). Even though the two men experienced an antagonistic relationship, Díaz embraced the celebration and emphasized his connection to Juárez and, by extension, liberalism, the dominant political ideology. By all accounts, people enthusiastically took part in this official commemoration. But the festivities hid three years of contentious preparations whereby people questioned the political legacy of both men and even liberalism itself. Numerous historians of Mexico have argued that Díaz, a veritable dictator, used national celebrations and civic ceremonies throughout his presidency to foster nationalism among the populace. As such, this celebration provides an important entryway into the debates among historians over hegemony and state formation in Mexico.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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