The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 248
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
politics and government, labor, agrarian problem, church, and
education tells how Mexico came to be what it is sociologically,
politically, economically, and psychologically. In short, this is an-
other and more up-to-date interpretation of Mexico, designed,
I presume, to supplement the author's Peace by Revolution
(published in 1933), which in fact bore the sub-title, "An Inter-
pretation of Mexico."
Just why this volume should be represented as a background
for better understanding of our diplomatic controversy with Mex-
ico is not clear. Why not claim for it the larger purpose of culti-
vating our better understanding of Mexico? This would be a
fair claim, for the author succeeds quite well in clarifying the
Mexican position. Particularly helpful to a better understanding
of the Mexican agrarian legislation is his chapter, "A Theory of
Property." This does not mean, however, that this reviewer is in
complete agreement with Dr. Tannenbaum's assertion that "a
revolution in the ownership and use of land had been written
into the law, and private real property now disappeared, to give
place to a limited right of usufruct" (p. 10o6). Private property
is limited now, as in the past, by a capricious state, but this can
hardly be called the disappearance of private property. Although
ownership of property has become conditional, subject to use
and to the requirements of public interest, it nevertheless re-
mains private property. In fact the author contradicts himself
by admitting that "the principle of private property has not been
abolished" (p. ix 1), although it has been greatly modified.
Nor can the reviewer accept the author's assertion that the
implicit meaning of Article 27 of the Constitution of 1917 was
the destruction of private landholding and the substitution of
communal village ownership as the dominating pattern. The con-
stitution in fact contemplated a dual system of landholding: the
communal and the small private holding. The states are obligated
under constitutional mandate to break up the large haciendas
and limit their size. According to Lucio Mendieta y Nufiez, the
Mexican authority on agrarian law, the only forms of property
which have legal recognition within Article 27 of the Constitu-
tion are the small holding and the ejido.
Although very sympathetic toward Mexico, Dr. Tannenbaum
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/324/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.