Juárez and Díaz, 1855–1909
THIS CHAPTER CONSIDERS THE SECOND HALF-CENTURY of Mexico’s independent existence-a period which began tumultuously and then became all too stable. Early 1860s tumult resulted from a civil war which pitted modernizers vs. traditionalists. Later in the 1860s the French established an empire in Mexico. National icon Benito Juárez successfully led opposition to the empire. Then, following Juázez’s presidency, Porfirio Díaz became president, dominating Mexico from 1876 to 1911. The chapter then considers changes in Mexican society and economy as the nation industrialized and was knit together by the railroad. Finally, there is a description of how the United States inexorably increased influence over Mexico.