Liberty in Mexico presents sixty-four essays and writings on liberty and liberalism, from the early republican period to the late twentieth century, from a variety of authors. The first period (1820–1840) comprises the founding of the republic and the early constitutional experiments. The most important authors in this creative and turbulent period were José María Luis Mora, Lorenzo de Zavala, Valentín Gómez Farías, and Lucas Alamán. During the era of liberal authority, in the third quarter of the century (1845–1876), the most significant figures included Mariano Otero, Ignacio Ramírez, Francisco Zarco, Ignacio Manuel Altamirano, Guillermo Prieto, José María Lafragua, and Benito Juárez. The rule of Porfirio Díaz (1876–1912) provided lively debates over the nature of the liberal legacy. The key authors for this period were Justo Sierra, José María Vigil, and Emilio Rabasa. Essays by Jorge Cuesta and Antonio Caso provide a twentieth-century viewpoint on the subject, and the three selections by Octavio Paz round out and summarize the discussions. The texts in this edition will refute commonly held notions that the liberal project in Latin America had no indigenous roots. The institutions of modern representative government and free-market capitalism were very much part of the founding of Mexico.
Liberty in Mexico offers direct access to primary sources that are not available to readers in English. This volume is a key primer to those interested in Latin American history, politics, and political theory.
José Antonio Aguilar Rivera is a Professor of Political Studies in the Division of Policy Studies department at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, A. C. (CIDE) in Mexico.