Talk:Benito Juárez

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Why so many Mexicans hate Juarez?[edit]

This is a very interesting phenomenon as foreigners don’t understand why Mexicans hate such an important person, and Mexicans don’t understand why he is so admired. My point of view is from a native Mexican who has lived half his life in the US.

You see, It is all about context, like everything in history. We all know that Mexican culture was almost erased after the Spanish conquest, in the late 1500s, but many forget that that was well before the Renaissance and Enlightenment. So the result was a typical medieval society, based on feudalism, the inquisition and a monarch.

So, either as slaves or free men, the indigenous people was forced to learn the way of life of the dark ages: either you were a slave, a peasant, a cleric, a soldier, or you were _born_ a royal. So, as an Indian, you are definitely not a Royal. I guess the key concept that many people forget is that, as indigenous America came to the Renaissance, it was subjugated to Hobbes’ Leviathan. By force we were made to believe in the heavenly powers of government and God, which we shall not doubt or challenge.

So, then the Enlightenment came, and the ideas of Rousseau, Luther, Smith, Ricardo and Locke resounded over the western world, announcing that we are all equal, free from the Church, capable of anything, and that free trade is the way, triggering all the revolutions and spelling the end of Monarchy as the primary way to govern by the late 1700s.

But that didn’t happen in Mexico. The Spanish forbid such teachings, and most indigenous people couldn’t read anyhow. So by the begging of 1800, with the USA and the industrial revolution well underway in the “Modern” world, Mexico was still in the dark ages. So it is not a secret that the “Independent movement”, which later led to the independence of Mexico, in reality was started as a way to return Ferdinand VIII to the crown, after he was forced to depose by Napoleon. Check the Spanish Wikipedia article; while Wikipedia’s English article is a complete loss, the Spanish article is surprisingly well researched: Note, top left of Hidalgo’s independence Guadalupe flag, the Royal Bourbonic Coat of Arms.

So it is incredible that in those days (1840s) an illiterate Zapotec Indian, who didn’t even know Spanish at first, went through all the hurdles to get an education and succeeded. And it is not only that he became president, but that albeit all the fog in the convoluted Mexican History, he was able to see a future of equality, freedom from the Church, from Monarchs and an with an economic system based on free trade. As indicate in the plan de Ayutla. In the 6th paragraph “… to protect free commerce, internal AND external…”. He was incarcerated once, was exiled, started a war, refused Maximiliam’s pardon, and stayed true to his vision until his death. A vision which we all take for granted today.

So how can Mexican’s forget that? When outside he is considered one of the greatest leaders of the World?? Well because, to this day, Mexico is not fully out of the middle Ages. It is still very common to hear archaisms in common day language. Words like “Vide”, “Aiga”, which many Mexicans take as simple bad Spanish, are in reality remnants of the Spanish Mexico, which are very well and alive today. So Mexicans still believe on the almighty government which shall provide everything and on their inability to self-govern and succeed as individuals. This is very compatible with Dictatorships, and that’s what we got all over Latin America for the past 100 years. Unfortunately, it is also very different from Juarez vision.

Modern Mexicans cannot understand free-trade, and the significance of private industry for the well-being of the country. Their ideas are more compatible with Communism and Socialism: they expect the government to take care of everything, and do not believe on the abilities of a single person. So, communism was naturally adopted by the 1920-30s, starting with President Cardenas. While thanks to some awakened part of Mexico, and with much intervention from the US, Mexico’s government has remained center-right in theory, in practice the population remains in love with socialism, lingering for a vision that has almost disappeared everywhere else. The governing party in Mexico City is the PRD, who succeeded the Mexico’s communist party. So, while from the outside, many people see Juarez at the level of Washington, or Xaoping, from inside many see him as just another Capitalist, who tried to help the Rich burgoise ( like if they were not Mexicans too), the US, and did nothing as father government for the “poor” Mexicans. This vision goes from indifference, to hate, as Mexico’s government, and Communism/Socialism keeps faltering. ...


It's obvious that you know next to nothing about modern Mexican society, and your patronizing views show it.

  • Benito Juárez isn't hated by most mexicans, but he should. He is in fact treated as nigh-deity in public History books. We don't celebrate the birth of any other hero except for Juárez's. To speak against this man in public forums, TV or what not is tantamount to being a traitor and one gains animosity because of it.
  • Juárez ability to surpass his own birth-limitations in a time when natives where so segregated is, indeed, nothing short of heroic. However he is FAR from the hero that mason and state-supported historians would have people believe.
  • His reforms, though ahead of their time, where incredibly badly received by the people because such liberal notions were unheard of at the time and collided with the national identity that New Spain and Mexico had held for over 300 years, this is the whole cause of the Reform War. It was only through securing U.S active support with the McLane-Ocampo treaty that Juárez was able to prevail (it was really the U.S forces that largely won the fight for Juárez). That treaty is an affront to mexican sovereignty, and is to this day, the most odious document in Mexican history. Anyone who has heard of the treaty (it's existence was denied and hidden by decades) has all the reasons they need to hate Juárez.
  • Juárez is mentioned as being a Saint, a Mexican Abe Lincoln, a president of the people. Yet, once in power, he didn't let go of the presidency until his death. After having defeated the Conservatives, he began acting without regard to the constitution or due process, exiling enemies wherever he saw them, so much that even his loyal supporters resigned their Juárez-appointed positions in government or became his political rivals. Not only this, but all of his reforms were contrary to what the people wanted. In resume, his rule wasn't democratic, wasn't constitutional and was, in fact, a dictatorship.

Juárez's case is the same as any other U.S intervention in Latin America: the will of the nation against the will of the U.S. The U.S supported Juárez and thus he came up winning, never mind what the mexican people actually wanted. All these details are ignored by state-appointed and official school grade history. While Juárez did some good things, he was far from the hero we are led to believe and there are many, many more figures in Mexican history far more deserving of the praise that Juárez gets, and whose only fault was that they weren't supportive of U.S intervention of Méxican affairs (Iturbide, Díaz, all the conservatives, even Santa Anna.), which is why they are remembered as villains while Juárez and other pro-yankee people are regarded as heroes. (talk) 21:19, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Dates in office[edit]

I believe that the official position would be that Juarez remained in office as President of the Republic during the period that Maximilian and the French were in control of Mexico City. I think the dates in the piece should reflect this. I suggest a wording like "served as President from 1861 to 1872. His presidency was interrupted by the French invasion that installed Maximilian as 'Emperor of Mexico.' Juarez continued to claim that he was SUCKING MY BA the legitimate president and led a resistance movement, which was eventually sucessful."

Incorrect (mirror) orientation of portrait in article[edit]

It is a very minor issue, but the image of Benito Juarez toward the end of the article, under Legacy, is flipped, a mirror image. The other images in the article show his hair parted on the left; the final one has the part on the right. Aesthetically more pleasing since he is not looking off the page, but factually incorrect. (talk) 20:54, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

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