Porfirio Diaz, President of Mexico (1876-1880 and 1884-1911) dominated his country during a crucial phase of its development into a modern nation. The political rule of Porfirio Diaz has mostly been viewed from the perspective of the Mexican Revolution which finally toppled him from power - holding that he was the cause of, and deserved, his own downfall. But Diaz has recently come to be seen in a rather different and less damning light. Nineteenth-century Latin American history shows the problem of promoting wider political participation and economic development whilst maintaining order and stability, and the difficulty in implementing liberal policies in societies with strong colonial traditions. In Mexico, Diaz oversaw real material achievements and successfully avoided serious domestic conflict, but sank into repressive tactics as his regime became progressively impotent. A comprehensive biography of Diaz, this text is an account of political survival and demise.
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