Dios, Patria y mis Derechos: The Secularization of Patriotism and Popular Legal Culture in Revolutionary Mexico, 1917-1929
Contributor(s)Beezley, William H.
Beezley, William H.
Barickman, Bert J.
Sturman, Janet L.
Intellectual and Legal History
Mexican Revolution & Cristero Rebellion
Popular Legal Culture
Film and Music
Church & State
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AbstractAlthough secularization has early antecedents in Mexico's history, the generation who embodied the Constitutionalist faction of the 1910 Revolution undertook an unprecedented campaign to achieve it. Strong anticlerical provisions proclaimed in the 1917 Constitution were implemented and gradually escalated in intensity by the administrations of Presidents Álvaro Obregón and Plutarco Elias Calles. This ignited an armed uprising known as the Cristero Rebellion that arose in rural Mexico in 1926. Beyond the armed conflict, this dissertation analyzes the cultural effects caused by the implementation of such a legal and institutional agenda that reveal a substantial confrontation in the public sphere between two opposed concepts of society-religious and non-religious. As a result, society became highly polarized while the government pushed its secularization aims to the extreme as never before. New laws intervened more intensely on private rights, transforming people's everyday ideas about religion, nation, law, justice and citizenship. By looking at citizens' experiences with such law enforcement, this work elucidates how the state finally neutralized radical Catholicism by stigmatizing it as non-patriotic in the public sphere. This phenomenon that happened between 1917 and 1929 can be conceptualized as the secularization of patriotism and the transformation of people's notions of the legal system- defined as the legal popular culture- that was central to Mexico's social and cultural Revolution.