History ETDs


Julian Dodson

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Fanaticos, Exiles and the Mexico-United States Border: Episodes of Mexican State Reconstruction, 1923-1929,' examines the major challenges to state reconstruction in Mexico in the wake of its decade of revolutionary violence, 1910-1920. The Mexican state, since the beginning of the revolution, found that the best way to deal with political dissent was to exile its malcontents. By the 1920s, this practice had conjured the necessity for an expanding external surveillance apparatus, as it also created the conditions by which dangerous alliances could be made between Catholic dissidents, and the more politically ambitious exiles from both before and after the revolution. The 1920s witnessed the de la Huerta and Cristero rebellions, but also smaller rebellions along the border that well-connected exiles led and funded. For those exiles that had been in the United States for almost a decade, the significance of the Cristero rebellion of 1926 was tremendous. It generated three years of social, military, and political instability, and many of the most dangerous exiles were determined to take advantage of the chaos. The fledgling revolutionary state faced internal and external threats throughout the decade of the 1920s. This project seeks to understand how it survived in this tumultuous period and why the counterrevolutionaries across the border failed to affect political change in Mexico over the course of the decade. The Calles government's focus on defending its border, utilizing a network of consular officials and confidential agents, held the most dangerous counterrevolutionaries at bay long enough to move forward with the reconstruction of the Mexican state. As such, these agents on the border became tools of state reconstruction by way of defending the nation from exile threats. My work highlights the importance of the Mexican exile community in the United States, in fueling these conflagrations with money, arms, and ammunition, but also the significance of the Mexican agencies developed to protect the border.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Bieber, Judy

Second Committee Member

Hutchison, Elizabeth

Third Committee Member

Truett, Samuel

Fourth Committee Member

Buchenau, Jurgen



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