Porfirio Díaz

José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori (; 15 September 1830 – 2 July 1915) was a Mexican soldier and politician, who served seven terms as President of Mexico; a total of three and a half decades from 1876 to 1911. A veteran of the Reform War and the French intervention in Mexico, Díaz rose to the rank of General, leading republican troops against the French-imposed Emperor Maximilian. Seizing power in a coup in 1876, Díaz and his allies ruled Mexico for the next thirty-five years, a period known as the Porfiriato. Díaz is a controversial figure in Mexican history, with the status of villain among the revolutionaries who overthrew him, and something of a hero of capitalism in the business community. The Porfiriato was marked by significant internal stability (known as the „paz porfiriana”), modernization and national economic growth. This was in part due to heavy investment in mining and railways from American and British business. However, Díaz’s regime grew unpopular due to civil repression and political stagnation. His economic policies furthermore helped a few wealthy estate owning hacendados acquire huge areas of land, leaving rural campesinos unable to make a living; thus resulting in a shortage of jobs and depressingly low wages for the Mexican peasantry. This directly precipitated the Mexican Revolution, in which Díaz fell from power after he imprisoned his electoral rival and declared himself the winner of an eighth term in office. Díaz fled to France, where he died in exile four years later. He is buried in Montparnasse cemetery in Paris.

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