Northern Illinois University Press

Agrarian Warlord

Saturnino Cedillo and the Mexican Revolution in San Luis Potosí

Dudley Ankerson

The Mexican Revolution was the first of the major social and political upheavals that have marked the world's history in the twentieth century. Spearheaded by an upper- and middle-class revolt against the increasingly stultifying dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz, and fueled by popular discontent in the countryside over the disruption caused by the rapid expansion of large-scale commercial agriculture, the Revolution laid the foundations for the country's present system of government and economic development.

Saturnino Cedillo, the subject of Dudley Ankerson's work, was one of the leading figures of the Revolution. The son of a smallholder from San Luis Potosí, he entered the Revolution in 1912 under the banner of agrarian reform. As a guerrilla chief, he settled his followers in military colonies and acted as a political broker between the local peasantry and the authorities in Mexico City, promoting further land redistribution in exchange for military service whenever the central governmenet required it of him. By 1930 he was one of the most powerful warlords in the country. After playing a crucial role in securing and preserving the presidency for Lázaro Cárdenas, he gradually became estranged from the president, and in May 1938 Cárdenas forced Cedillo into a revolt that ended in the latter's death early the following year. Widely mourned by the local peasantry—who still revere his memory—Cedillo was Mexico's last traditional rural caudillo.

(1985) 320 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-101-8
cloth $38.50

Table of Contents

List of Appendices
List of Maps
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1: The Background
Chapter 2: The Revolution
Chapter 3: The Rebel Chief
Chapter 4: The Rise of Cedillo
Chapter 5: The Cristero Interlude
Chapter 6: The Cedillista Regime
Chapter 7: Cedillo and Cárdenas
Chapter 8: The Overthrow of Cedillo
Chapter 9: Conclusion

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-101-8
cloth $38.50