The Mexican Revolution of 1910–1920

Central OregonAs part of the 2016–17 Speaker Exchange project funded by our Osher Capacity Grant, summer term begins with a special four-session course taught by Eugene member, Ilene O’Malley. The Mexican Revolution, which began on November 20, 1910, and continued for a decade, is recognized as the first major political, social, and cultural revolution of the 20th-century. It claimed between one and two million lives and radically transformed Mexican culture and government. We are familiar with the names Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa, but do we remember what they were fighting for? Ilene’s presentation of the history of the Revolution consists of four parts: Part 1, the factors contributing to the revolution, the rise of prodemocracy and agrarian reform movements that brought down the 30-year dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz; Part 2, the factionalization (roughly along class lines) of the seemingly united revolutionaries; Part 3, the leftward pressures from campesino-based movements (most famously those led by Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa) and counterrevolutionary pressures from foreign interests; and Part 4, the gradual consolidation of a new “revolutionary” state and the emergence of a new national cultural identity, 1920–1940. Ilene O’Malley has worked on labor advocacy issues and is a former migrant farmworker attorney. Ilene has a PhD in history from the University of Michigan with a specialization in Latin America. She lived and studied in Mexico on a Fulbright Scholarship.