The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976 Page: 2
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
improvement of Mexican livestock resulted in increased importation by the
United States. Between i906 and I909, for example, approximately
50,000ooo head of Mexican cattle entered the United States market. During
the early phases of the Mexican Revolution ( 19 1-1912 ) the United States
absorbed 95 percent of Mexico's exported cattle.'
Massive imports by United States cattlemen caused some consternation
among officials of various livestock organizations. In a speech before the
Texas Livestock Raisers Association in March, 191o, Ike T. Pryor, a Texas
pioneer cattleman, voiced apprehension over the possible free entry of
Mexican cattle. According to Pryor, this would only increase the cost of
feed to the cattleman and result in higher meat costs to the consumer.4
Pryor's reaction, however, seemed out of step with the reality of increased
importations from Mexican ranges.
The generally pleasant relationship between Mexican cattlemen and
United States buyers soon deteriorated. Revolution struck Mexico with a
force that paralyzed her cattle industry and made the United States suspi-
cious of anything Mexican. The decade of I9Io-I92o depleted Mexico's
livestock herds and left her ranges bare and unproductive, ravaged by revo-
lutionary and counterrevolutionary hordes that took cattle for food and for
sale in the United States as a means of procuring specie for the purchase
of war materiel.'
Revolutionary upheaval in Mexico centered initially around the problem
of political succession. Yet the forces unleashed by Francisco Madero in
191 o sought greater social changes than they did political reforms. A major
impulse in the Revolution was the demand for equitable distribution of
land. Intermeshed with the desire for land was a hatred of foreign com-
panies that possessed vast holdings.6
Northern hacendados and their livestock became primary targets of
(Washington, D.C., 19o2), 15-16; Donald D. Brand, "The Early History of the Range
Cattle Industry in Northern Mexico," Agricultural History, XXXV (July, 1961), 132-
3"El cr6dito a la ganaderia en Mexico," Revista de economia continental, II (January,
1947), I8; Emilio Alanis Patifio, "La industria de la carne en M6xico," Problemas agri-
colas e industriales de Mixico, IV (July-September, 1952), 245.
4Ike T. Pryor, "Is Beef on the Hoof Too High When Compared to the Cost of Pro-
duction?" Speeches of Ike T. Pryor of San Antonio, Texas, 1899-1923, Ike T. Pryor
Papers (Archives, University of Texas Library, Austin), 45-46.
5Diego G. L6pez Rosado, Historia y pensamiento econ6mico de Mdxico: agricultura y
ganaderia. la propriedad de la tierra (3 vols.; Mexico City, 1968), I, 141; Florence C.
Lister and Robert H. Lister, Chihuahua: Storehouse of Storms (Albuquerque, I966), 265.
6An excellent study of the background and the major decade of revolutionary upheaval
in Mexico can be found in Ronald Atkin, Revolution! Mexico, 1gro-g92o (New York,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976, periodical, 1975/1976; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101203/m1/20/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.