ABSTRACT

As we have noted, the Valladolid movement was premature and nearly sterile as compared to what reform leaders had hoped for in the way of a popular rebellion. While segments of northern Mexico first began to follow Francisco Madero in revolt, the real rulers of Yucatán were willing to let the rest of the world go by as long as somebody out there continued to purchase henequen. When the old order started to crumble in Mexico City and elsewhere it was inevitable that considerable confusion and bloodshed would erupt over much of Mexico wherever vested interests defended the status quo, but only gradually did a bitter struggle emerge in the Peninsula. The old dictatorship via the "Fifty Kings" held a firmer grip there--and to some extent, the chaos in the north only encouraged separatism in the minds of those Yucatecos in power. Madero's preference for José María Pino Suárez, first as Governor of Yucatán and later as his Vice Presidential candidate, did, of course, prod revolutionary politics in the Southeast. Ultimately the maderista movement in Yucatán sharpened the issues and widened the gap between left and right. But this split in itself did not inject the Revolution into Mayaland. Leading Yucatecos had long been familiar with political games involving políticos and the type of warlords who linked up in strange political combinations and involved themselves in anarchy and petty warfare. This disorder had been customary from 1821 to 1875, only to be succeeded by orderly government favoring civilian rule which facilitated the return of social fossilization. Until almost 1915, the top of the pyramid of Yucatecan politics reflected attempts to adjust to new governments in Mexico City as long as those governments did not threaten to bring about deep changes in the hearts and minds of the Yucatecan population.