The Mexican Revolution and the US Left

Socialism 2015

July 02, 2015

The Mexican Revolution of 1910 was one of the 20th century’s first great uprisings of the oppressed. Not only was a long-standing dictatorship toppled by mass revolt, the revolution also shook the foundations of U.S. empire and threatened to spread across the border. In the United States, organized labor and the radical left united in support of the revolution, but disagreed over its class character and divided over its support for rival revolutionary camps. These divisions reflected wider splits emerging between reformists and revolutionaries internationally. Nevertheless, this revolutionary moment showed the potential for the left to unify and collaborate across the U.S.-Mexico border. It also contains important lessons for understanding how and why these efforts ultimately failed, and what will be needed to rebuild genuine cross-border solidarity today.

Suggested Further Reading:
• No One Is Illegal: Fighting Racism and State Violence on the U.S.-Mexico Border by Justin Akers Chacon and Mike Davis
• Labor Rights Are Civil Rights: Mexican American Workers in Twentieth-Century America by Zaragosa Vargas
• Cannery Women, Cannery Lives: Mexican Women, Unionization, and the California Food Processing Industry, 1930-1950 by Vicki L. Ruiz

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