The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989 Page: 385
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dent Mexico. The book is essentially a political history that weaves so-
cial, institutional, and economic aspects into the narrative. Green ex-
amines the creation of the federal republic in 1824, the rise of mass
politics in 1825-1827, the triumph of the populists, and the conser-
vative reaction. He also includes two other chapters, one on institutions
and the other on society. The work is based on extensive use of primary
and secondary sources, and it is clearly written.
The Mexican Republic is the first attempt in English to interpret that
complex era. Normally one would welcome such an addition to the
literature. Unfortunately, Green embraces an outdated and erroneous
interpretation of Mexican experience. Despite his impressive research,
the author fails to utilize the extensive monographic work on the inde-
pendence and early national period carried out both in Mexico and
abroad during the last fifteen years. As a result, his work distorts reality
and perpetuates a number of myths about Mexico.
The new Mexican nation cannot be understood in isolation. There
are no easy dividing lines between colonial New Spain and indepen-
dent Mexico. The changes in the late colonial period led naturally to
the process of independence. And the protracted struggle for indepen-
dence had profound and direct effects in the new nation. Unfortu-
nately, Green has failed to realize that fact and demonstrates little
knowledge or comprehension of late eighteenth-century New Spain or
of the impact of the wars of independence.
The eleven-year struggle for independence (181o-1821) profoundly
affected the development of the new Mexican nation. The insurgency
and the counterinsurgency not only undermined the old social, politi-
cal, and economic structures, but in many instances destroyed them
while creating new interests as well as new antagonisms. The emer-
gence of regionalism was perhaps the most important result of the
struggle for independence. The history of the early Mexican nation is
dominated by regionalist politics in the states. Green seems barely to
realize this; he writes as though the national government controlled the
country. Similarly, the incessant and increasing demands for money
during the wars of independence alienated the Mexican elite, who re-
fused to support the new nation financially. The crisis of the national
government during the early years was primarily a fiscal crisis. Again,
Green has little understanding of these profound problems.
Because he fails to grasp the fundamental issues, he writes about
Mexico in a curiously naive fashion. He argues that National politics
were dominated by parties led by Lucas Alamin and Lorenzo de Zavala.
There is no evidence whatsoever for such a view. Although Alaman was
an important figure, he was never the leader of any group. And Zavala
was a marginal figure who attained influence for a brief period under
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989, periodical, 1989; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/m1/423/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.