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Comparison Between Porfirio Diaz And Rafael Trujillo History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

In the following essay I will discuss similarities and differences between the governments of Trujillo and Porfirio Diaz. I will also compare their backgrounds, for example, how they became president and the fall of their power. Another comparison I think is very important is the way they treated their opponents and the repercussions of their actions. These two political figures were considered dictators and they both ruled Latin-American countries. Obviously they were not from the same era. But I think that Diaz inspired Trujillo. They were both dictators who were defeated by revolutions and they used almost the same process to become president.

It is also important to compare and contrast these two political figures. First because Diaz is part of our Mexican history and I think it is important to know about the political process that has created our country. This is related to that old saying that talks about the errors of the past and that if we do not learn from them we are doomed to commit them once again. In Mexico this is a vicious circle we can not break.

Second, we should also learn about other countries, the process that the Dominican Republic lived is similar to what happened to us in Mexico. The books that I will use to support my ideas are The Underdogs and In The Time of The Butterflies. These novels are representative because they talk about what the revolutionaries were passing through during these hard periods of time. In the underdogs we find out what was happening, but this is thanks to Demetrio Macias, the story narrates what was happening to the revolutionaries

Demetrio Macías is the protagonist of The Underdogs he leads a group of men who fight against the government. In his journey he encounters with many poor people who complain about the revolution and its consequences. The men have to leave their homes and their wives have to take responsibilities which were attributed to their husbands.

In the Time of the Butterflies is a similar novel because the Mirabel sisters narrated what they were living through and what their country was passing through. The Mirabel sisters were in touch with people who were in jail because of Trujillo´s dictatorship. Thanks to this we know more about the inside of the revolution. This novel is basically a description of the lives of the four sisters.

Porfirio Diaz (1830-1915) born in Oaxaca, he grew up poor, had a catholic education and enrolled in a seminary. But religion was something that was not meant for him. Later on he decided to change his studies and become a lawyer; he was inspired by Benito Juarez and his commitment to justice. He becomes involved with Juarez’s cause and fought in the Battle of 5 de mayo.

He was involved in military actions and become a general. “He staged a rebellion and crafted the “Plan of Tuxtepec”, a plan of governance that mainly rested upon the principle of a one-term presidential office with reelection forbidden.” [1] “From 1884 to 1911 Porfirio Diaz ruled Mexico as a dictator. He quenched all opposition through violence and intimidation. His reign of office is known as the “Porfiriato”. Porfirio Diaz is credited with the establishment of the “rurales”, bandits that the president heavily armed so that they could carry out his orders. [2] ” This form of repression is like as if he had his own secret police. These police controlled the voice of the people because freedom of speech was not tolerated.

The people who suffered the most were the indigenous and the poor. He took lands away from people, and only helped the rich become richer. But not everything was bad because Diaz brought modernization to Mexico, he brought the railways and some of Europe’s culture. Diaz was exiled from Mexico consequence of the Mexican revolution. He went to France where he lived his last days.

Victor Trujillo has a background similar to Diaz; they were both politically involved in their countries before they won the presidential chair. In 1918 Trujillo joined the Dominican National Guard which was formed by the U.S.A. “Trujillo joined it in 1918 and rose quickly through the ranks as he and the Guard helped US troops crush a Dominican resistance movement. When the US left the country in 1924 it placed Trujillo in charge of the Guard. He solidified his power over the next several years and ran for president in the 1930 election”2. He progressed quickly and became the chief of the National Guard in the Dominican Republic.

In 1930 Trujillo rigged the election and won the presidential chair. After his triumphant he formed a secret police which tortured and murdered the opposition. Trujillo used his political influences to obtain his personal interests. Trujillo had a great relation with the United States, but when United States become aware of his unpopularity they decided to remove Trujillo from power. Rafael Trujillo was assassinated on 30th May 1961 [3] .

As we can see there is not much difference between these two dictators. They both came from poor background. But when they got power they lost their heads and only wanted to benefit themselves and their families. They betrayed the essence of what they had fought for. Diaz staged the Plan of Tuxtepec in which he talked about not being able to rule the country longer. But at the end he was the one that ruled the country for more time then he established. On an occasion he used one of his friends as a puppet. Even though his friend was the President, Diaz made all the decisions.

Both of them are cruel dictators, who did not rule with justice, they assassinated many people just because they did not agree with the decisions they were taking. Diaz is famous for killing many people in the Strike of Cananea; he did not tolerate that people disobeyed his orders. He was famous for his saying “Agarralos en fraganti y matalos en caliente” this saying meant that if you catch someone doing something bad, kill that person without thinking about it.

They both had a secret police which informed them what people were saying about them and these police was also in charge of killing their opponents or rigging elections so they could keep control of their countries. They also had a great relation with The United States, with this relation they benefited the rich and mad the poor poorer. They brought factories which made workers work for little pay.

Trujillo did do some good for the country just like Diaz his government has positive and negative aspects.”The quality of life in general improved for the average Dominican. He completely paid off all the foreign debt which was very substantial and the currency stayed stable. There was still poverty but the economy grew. There was a new road system built and public works services expanded. The port facilities; airports and public buildings were constructed or improved. While the public education system grew illiteracy declined. He fortified the armies and fighting forces of the country”.

Diaz was also a dictator but like Trujillo he brought many advances to our country, he brought economical solvency. Economically Mexico and the Dominican Republic were financial good and both countries had good relation with a foreign country. This foreign country was the United States and therefore this meant foreign investments in Mexico and in the Dominican Republic.

But from them Trujillo had a tragic end because he was killed and betrayed. Basically he was left with nothing. But Porfirio Diaz left the country and went into exile in France. He took all the money he had stole and had a happy ending. Something odd is that both dictators were buried in France.

Looking back at history these two men are considered one of the most despotic authoritarian and corrupted presidents. Unfortunately they are mainly remembered for their bad actions and not for the good things they brought to their countries.


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