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date: 22 August 2017

Ricardo Flores Magón and the Ongoing Revolution

Summary and Keywords

The political and cultural legacy of Ricardo Flores Magón (b. San Antonio Eloxochitlán, September 16, 1873; d. U.S. Penitentiary, Leavenworth, Kansas, November 21, 1922,) has become an integral component of the histories of the Mexican Revolution, Mexicans and Chicanos in the United States, and global social revolutions. Despite being deemed by historians and the Mexican state as a “precursor” of the national revolution, Flores Magón’s political activities preceded and surpassed the accepted chronology of the Revolution (1910–1920), as well as the borders of Mexico. While historical literature on the Revolution is extensive, the global and radical implications of the event as a social revolution are often underappreciated.

Through the Partido Liberal Mexicano (PLM, Mexican Liberal Party) and the newspaper Regeneración (Regeneration), Flores Magón mobilized a transnational social movement in 1906 and continued to inspire popular revolt through his writings on anarchism and revolution until his death in 1922. Many of the members of the PLM (often inaccurately referred to as ideological adherents to Flores Magón, or magonistas) continued to participate in revolutionary activity well after the organization disbanded. Even in death, Flores Magón continues to inspire revolutionary movements in Mexico, the United States, Latin America, and Europe. The history of Ricardo Flores Magón therefore intersects with various local and global histories of resistance throughout the 20th century.

Keywords: Ricardo Flores Magón, Partido Liberal Mexicano, Mexico, United States, Mexican Revolution, anarchism, borderlands, internationalism, labor

Early Life and Opposition to Porfirio Díaz

Ricardo Flores Magón was born on the sixty-third anniversary of Mexican independence—September 16, 1873—in San Antonio Eloxochitlán, Oaxaca. Along with his brothers, Enrique and Jesús, Ricardo was the son of prominent military commander Teodoro Flores, a close ally to General Porfirio Díaz, the nation’s future dictator. Despite the region’s largely Mazatec indigenous population, the Flores Magón family enjoyed a privileged social status in Oaxaca. After obtaining documents validating Flores’s military service, Ricardo’s family moved to Mexico City when he was three years old. Though their father’s military service under Porfirio Díaz provided the brothers’ access to the prestigious National Preparatory School and prospective careers in law, an ongoing conflict in recognizing his military service forced the youths to work as janitors to pay for their tuition.

In 1892, Ricardo and his brothers became active in the growing student movement against the reelection of President Porfirio Díaz. After ascending to the presidency in 1876, Díaz, a liberal military reformer who opposed the reelection of Benito Juárez and his chosen successor, Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada, had maintained control of the country for seven presidential terms. In May 1892, students organized widespread protests in the capital, condemning what they viewed as a betrayal of the nation’s long-standing liberal traditions. The student movement was quickly suppressed by police, and resulted in the first of many imprisonments for Ricardo Flores Magón and his brothers.1

Following their release from prison, the Flores Magón brothers became active in the oppositionist press against the Díaz regime. This medium of protest would become the Flores Magón brothers’ primary method of espousing their ideals, and subsequently, the primary method in which the government suppressed opposition. Their newspaper, El Democrata, was raided by Díaz’s police, which forced the brothers to become politically dormant for the rest of the decade. At the same time, opposition to Díaz was also developing outside of the nation’s capital. Porfirian economic policies promoted rapid industrial development funded by foreign business interests. U.S. and European investors invested in railroads, agroindustry, mining, and the petroleum industry, often seeking cheap, exploitable Mexican laborers on both sides of the U.S.–Mexico border.2 While the country experienced a significant economic boom, much of the benefits of these profits were not felt at the local level.

Unbeknownst to foreign employers, the discontent of workers quickly turned into a transnational revolutionary movement by the turn of the 20th century. The sentiments for such political mobilizations had roots in the grassroots insurgencies of the second half of the 19th century. Following the U.S.–Mexico War (1846–1848), a growing number of popular rebellions critiqued the premise of political and economic liberalism. The country’s liberal Constitution of 1857 sanctified individual property rights, forced the sale of lands acquired by the Catholic Church, promoted social equality under the law, guaranteed freedom of the press, and secured the right of individuals to bear arms. In practice, such reforms were nominally implemented and, when employed, largely benefited the nation’s ruling elites. The government’s goal of shifting the country away from communal land holdings, subsistence farming, and local artisanal economies nourished popular anxieties.

In response to the encroachment of the state policies and global economic markets, popular social movements emerged with the dissemination of anarchist literature in Mexico. Anarchism in this context is a broad political philosophy that opposes private property and hierarchical political power in exchange for a society based on egalitarianism, self-governance, and the abolition of the state. Anarchist peasant uprisings in the eastern Huasteca sierras in 1856 and the central Mexican valley in 1869 demanded the abolition of private property and wages, as well as women’s equality, community-organized childcare, expropriation of businesses, and mandatory military service by all able-bodied community members.3 The agrarian focus of anarcho-communism was especially attractive in Mexico. As seen in earlier popular rebellions, peasants and workers at the turn of the century began to respond to Díaz’s economic modernization through armed conflict as a means to preserve their economic and cultural traditions. In the sierra of Tomóchic, Chihuahua, a millenarian movement emerged in 1892, calling for the defense of local economic and religious practices against encroaching foreign capitalist interests. The insurrectionists refused to recognize any authority except God and called for the abolition of money in the region.4 For Mexico’s underclasses, the prospective shifts in local politics, economy, and culture forced them into a struggle against not only a largely absent state apparatus but also a global market based on transnational economic exploitation. This tempestuous environment tilled the ground in which Ricardo Flores Magón’s political ideas germinated.

Regeneración and the Partido Liberal Mexicano, 1900–1906

By 1900, Ricardo Flores Magón found himself actively embracing two major political movements—liberal reformists and popular social movements—that ultimately became the vehicles for revolution. Flores Magón was active among the urban intelligentsia who would become the primary architects of government reform following the overthrow of Porfirio Díaz in 1911. Their political vision, however, differed greatly from the growing discontent of peasants and workers. The nation’s middle class aimed to confront the country’s long tradition of authoritarian military rule while largely agreeing to the continuance of liberal capitalist modernization. In contrast, popular classes often opposed the growing socioeconomic and political disparities in wage labor. Although Flores Magón initially attempted to reconcile these differing political visions, his exposure to anarchist literature and the state’s persistent suppression of reforms induced a revolutionary response.5

Growing sentiment against the Díaz regime culminated into the formation of a liberal anti-reelectionist movement. Subsequently, liberal opposition to Díaz split largely along class lines, with Flores Magón representing the most militant proponent for a reimagining of Mexican social, cultural, political, and economic life. On August 7, 1900, Ricardo Flores Magón, Jesús Flores Magón, and Antonio Horcasitas published the first edition of Regeneración, a newspaper that would serve as the primary means of disseminating Ricardo’s political ideals. While Regeneración initially emerged as a periodical to publicize the constitutional violations of the Díaz regime, it quickly gained traction for its scathing critiques of regional political corruption. These criticisms quickly caught the attention of the Díaz administration and its political allies, leading to the arrest of Ricardo and Jesús Flores Magón on May 21, 1900. Although the first run of Regeneración lasted less than a year, its disdain for Díaz brought Flores Magón into the fold of the national oppositionist movement.

Divisions within the liberal oppositionist movement became apparent as early as the first Liberal Congress of 1901 in San Luis Potosí. Organized by the wealthy mining engineer Camilio Arriaga, the Congress was comprised of liberal leaders from around the country. Flores Magón represented the most radical sector of the participants, criticizing the Díaz regime as a “den of thieves” and called for its overthrow.6 At the same time, Díaz affirmed his rule through a mixture of reciprocity, corruption, and violence. Journalists, in particular, faced the brunt of the government’s wrath, and many were forced into exile. Intellectual dissidents were frequently the targets of extrajudicial imprisonment and executions, leaving self-imposed deportation as one of the few viable options for survival under the Díaz dictatorship.

By 1902, Ricardo and Enrique Flores Magón took over El Hijo del Ahuizote, a prominent satirical paper established in 1885. On the morning of February 5, 1903, Ricardo and Enrique Flores Magón and the editors of El Hijo del Ahuizote unfurled a banner from the paper’s Mexico City office announcing, “The Constitution Has Died.”7 The public act affirmed the journalists’ veneration of the liberal constitution but also alluded to the notion that it was debilitated by Díaz’s authoritarianism. In April 1903, Flores Magón joined the Club Redención, which demanded the ousting of Díaz and the end of presidential reelections during a protest in front of the National Palace.8 Like many journalists, the Flores Magón brothers faced the consequences of publicly defaming the government.9 By May, Ricardo and his brother Enrique had been imprisoned, and Díaz’s police had shut down El Hijo del Ahuizote. With few prospects left to continue their political activism, Ricardo and his brother went into self-imposed exile. In the United States, the Flores Magón brothers developed a political movement that initiated the first acts of revolutionary combat against the Díaz regime and compelled other communities to mobilize against the growing oppression of global capitalism.

Although dissent against Díaz and industrial capitalism were important aspects of popular politics at the turn of the 20th century, the prospects for social revolution remained largely embedded within local grievances. It was not until 1906 that the first calls for a national revolution arose from outside the borders of Mexico. Along with fellow revolutionaries Librado Rivera, Antonio I. Villarreal, Juan Sarabia, Manuel Sarabia, and Flores Magón’s brother Enrique, Ricardo Flores Magón established the organizing junta of the Partido Liberal Mexicano (Mexican Liberal Party, PLM). Unlike the various military factions that came to prominence throughout the country, the PLM focused on building radical dissent through the development of social movements and the dissemination of its newspaper, Regeneración. While the groundwork of popular rebellions was already established, the PLM provided an ideological program that reaffirmed the concerns and grievances of everyday citizens.

The junta members’ isolation in the United States made them vulnerable to arrest by local police and private detectives working with the Mexican and U.S. governments. Anarchists such as Emma Goldman and revolutionary syndicalists affiliated with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) helped Flores Magón and PLM members evade arrest while exiled in Texas. Furlong detective agents and Díaz’s secret police persistently attempted to kidnap the junta members and send them back to Mexico for treason.10 On June 1, 1906, Flores Magón the PLM junta published the “Manifesto of the Nation: The Plan of the Partido Liberal Manifesto,” the first document calling for a revolutionary transition of power in Mexico. The fifty-two-point program was compiled through correspondence between the junta leadership; Ricardo Flores Magón and Juan Sarabia had fled to Canada while on bail from prison, with Librado Rivera maintaining Regeneración back in St. Louis. Much of the program ultimately became the foundation of the Constitution of 1917. The program called for various constitutional reforms such as the establishment of a national assembly with state representatives determined at the municipal level (or ayuntiamentos), term limits for elected officials, restrictions on the Catholic Church, and mandatory naturalization for all foreigners who owned Mexican land. The 1906 program called for an eight-hour workday, domestic labor rights, the abolition of child labor, and the establishment of a rural banking system to provide campesinos credit for agricultural production. The program also called for the restitution of communal lands and the sovereignty of Mexico’s indigenous communities.11

Conflicts and Contradictions

Early studies of the PLM suggest that the program of 1906 was rooted in the ideological lineage of Mexican liberalism. Indeed, its very name suggested such affiliation, yet the group’s methods and ideals sought to bring about social change through an anti-capitalist social revolution.12 In a 1908 letter written to his brother Enrique and PLM junta member Práxedis Guerrero during a stint in the Los Angeles County jail, Ricardo Flores Magón described the underlying anarchist ideals that motivated much of the PLM leadership. He explained,

To obtain great benefits for the people, real benefits, it’s necessary to work as well-disguised anarchists, even from those who take us as their leaders. Everything boils down to a mere question of tactics. If from the start we would have called ourselves anarchists, no one, not even a few, would have listened. Without calling ourselves anarchists we’ve been placing in men’s minds thoughts of hate against the possessing class and against the governmental caste.13

The literature produced by the PLM, largely authored and edited by Flores Magón, was written within the context of fermenting anarchist ideals through the popularity of liberalism. Though the junta gradually eliminated its liberal tendencies, many popular bases had already shifted toward ardent anti-capitalist positions. As historian Colin MacLachlan has suggested, the PLM’s unwillingness to openly espouse its anarchist tendencies may have been a strategic error, as much of the country’s popular classes were already highly antagonized by government and economic exploitation.14 The ambiguity of ideological tendencies and power structure within the PLM led to deeper contentions within oppositionist movements.

While many members of the junta agreed with Flores Magón’s anarchist leanings, other members of the liberal opposition didn’t. When Flores Magón and PLM junta members made more explicit references to anarchism, leaders like Juan Sarabia, Manuel Sarabia, and Antonio I. Villareal left the group and joined other factions of the liberal opposition, including those run by Camilo Arriaga, Francisco I. Madero, and Jesús Flores Magón—Ricardo and Enrique’s oldest sibling. As in the case of Arriaga and other former PLM allies, Flores Magón was often brutally critical and quick to spread damning misinformation about those who opposed him. Flores Magón and the junta publicly condemned long-term PLM members Juana Belén Gutiérrez de Mendoza and Elisa Acuña for their homosexuality, a common critique within various anarchist circles of the time.15 Embedded in the political and social ideals of their time, the PLM reinforced many paradoxical political positions, including the aforementioned traditional interpretations of sexuality, as well as anti-Chinese and anti-Semitic sentiments.16 The divisions and contradictions of the PLM were largely a reflection of larger issues within both Mexican society and the opposition to Porfirio Díaz.

While these issues certainly affected the PLM’s influence in certain circles of the liberal opposition, their power was largely amalgamated in specific labor sectors and regions of the country. When assessed geographically, the prominence and influence of Flores Magón’s writings and the dissemination of Regeneración often emerged in sites of rapid industrialization. In ports, mines, and textile factories, as well as regions with large swaths of land owned by foreigners, workers gravitated toward Regeneración’s critiques of capitalist exploitation, foreign political and economic influence, and the complacency of the Catholic Church. As with the earlier anti-capitalist uprisings that predated Flores Magón, the popular mobilizations of the period emerged organically and often emphasized the local and global implications of their conflicts in relation to gender, race, and class. The significance of such antagonisms were based on conditions on the ground and varied in severity. Through such regional networks, the PLM created an international audience to engage with the local conflicts erupting throughout Mexico.

Forging Social Revolution, 1906–1911

By 1906, the PLM had over 350 cells established throughout Mexico and the United States. While the antagonisms that propelled workers to act came to fruition through conflicts between employers and landowners, the PLM’s 1906 program provided an ideological framework for prospective revolutionary insurgencies. Similar to the objectives of Flores Magón in his 1908 letter, many of these political mobilizations emerged out of the use of liberal clubs influenced by the PLM’s revolutionary rhetoric. By publicly situating themselves within the larger liberal opposition movement, PLM cells in industrial centers used local political and labor conflicts to antagonize communities toward rebellion. In contrast to the military campaign initiated in November 1910 by Francisco I. Madero—which has been firmly asserted by the national narrative and much of the historiography as the initiator of the Revolution—earlier uprisings initiated or influenced by the PLM invoked the first calls for social revolution.17

Three of the most well-studied PLM insurrections are the Cananea strike of 1906, the Río Blanco massacre of 1907, and the Baja California uprising of 1911. In all three instances, local PLM cells galvanized discontent against foreign business owners and the Díaz regime. In the mines of Cananea, Sonora, thousands of workers revolted against deplorable working conditions, social marginalization, and the dual-scale wage system that favored Anglo foremen over Mexican laborers. In collaboration with radical elements within the U.S.-based Western Federation of Miners (WFM) and the IWW, PLM organizers galvanized workers to strike against abuses levied by the U.S.-owned Greene Cananea Copper Company.18 The interrelation of class and racial inequality in the mining industry highlighted both Mexican workers’ antagonisms toward the government’s support of foreign business, but also influenced radical labor organizers affiliated with the WFM and the IWW to forge anti-racist organizing practices in the largely segregated U.S. labor movement.19 The Río Blanco strike in Veracruz, initiated by the PLM-inspired Gran Círculos de Obreros Libres, mobilized over six thousand workers at various textile factories throughout Veracruz, Tlaxcala, and Puebla before government troops massacred dozens of striking workers in January 1907.20 In both Cananea and Río Blanco, the influence of Regeneración and the PLM program compelled the call for the overthrow of the Díaz government. The anti-capitalist framing of the labor conflicts influenced a broader popular mobilization that politicized many of the bases that would serve as revolutionary centers well into the 1920s.

On October 5, 1910, Francisco I. Madero released the Plan de San Luis Potosí, which called for the Mexican people to overthrow the Díaz government following his refusal to concede the presidency during that year’s presidential election. Madero, who ran against Díaz, was briefly imprisoned, along with thousands of other anti-reelectionist opponents. Unlike the PLM’s 1906 program, Madero’s call remained strictly focused on political reform rather than social revolution. Flores Magón condemned Madero’s proposal, calling for a revolution dedicated toward “tierra y libertad” (land and liberty), a slogan that would become prominently used by revolutionary figure Emiliano Zapata.21 While Madero’s movement slowly began to develop, the PLM began to mobilize the next stage of its social revolution.

On the morning of January 29, 1911, the PLM led two hundred militia members across the U.S.-Mexico border and occupied the border town of Mexicali, Baja California. John Kenneth Turner—whose book, Barbarous Mexico, had brought the exploitation of Mexicans under Díaz to a large U.S. audience—helped the PLM acquire arms and established various contacts for the insurrection.22 The militia was mostly compiled of Anglo, African American, Englishmen, Spanish, Russian, German, and Chinese radicals affiliated with the IWW, with less than half of the PLM insurrectionists being of Mexican descent. Prominent Wobblies (a colloquial term referring to IWW members) that joined the campaign included Joe Hill, a Swedish IWW labor organizer and songwriter, as well as Frank Little, who would go on to assist PLM members in establishing IWW branches throughout the U.S. Southwest.23 Since the organization moved to Los Angeles, the PLM had established strong ties to the IWW, with many PLM members joining the Mexican branch of the Wobblies. Bonds between the PLM and the IWW continued well into the 1930s.24 Interethnic solidarity between Mexican and immigrant communities was further forged through the publishing of English and Italian versions of Regeneración. At the paper’s peak, it distributed more than twenty thousand copies throughout the United States and Mexico. The paper was often publicly read aloud to the benefit of illiterate workers and onlookers. Many PLM meetings and fundraisers were held at the Italian Hall, located in the heart of the immigrant community of Sonoratown (now known as Plaza Olvera and presently a sector of Los Angeles’s Chinatown). The transnational makeup of the militia embodied the internationalist framework of the PLM’s ideals, as well as the global implications of the Revolution.

On April 3, 1911, the PLM published the “Manifesto to the Workers of the World,” called for international support of the Baja uprising, and condemned the political reforms proposed by Francisco I. Madero.25 Despite their call for support of the anarchist insurrection, U.S.-born soldiers of fortune quickly amassed to take advantage of the political upheaval, ultimately leading the PLM junta to revoke its support for the uprising. Francisco Madero’s troops, in collaboration with local U.S. business interests such as the owners of the Los Angeles Times, were permitted to use U.S. railways to launch a counterinsurgency against the PLM insurrection, and this led to the arrest of Flores Magón and the PLM junta in Los Angeles on June 14, 1911.26 While the junta’s arrest was not the sole reason for the Baja uprising’s tactical downfalls, transnational political suppression by state and capitalist interests certainly impacted the insurrection.27 In 1912, the Flores Magón brothers and the PLM junta were sentenced to two years at the McNeil Island Corrections Center. While the imprisonment severely affected the organization’s prospective insurrections in Mexico, Flores Magón and his comrades continued to promote international revolution through Regeneración.

Flores Magón’s Final Years, 1914–1922

Following the junta’s release from prison in 1914, the Revolution had spiraled into a chaotic battle of various military factions. Madero was assassinated in 1913 during a military coup initiated by General Victoriano Huerta. Following a counterinsurgency campaign led by Venustiano Carranza and the popular rebellions of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, Huerta fled Mexico in July 1914. Despite its leadership being imprisoned, the PLM continued to publish Regeneración, providing critical assessments of the various political shifts occurring throughout the country. Many PLM members joined the various insurgencies throughout the country, including Zapata’s peasant uprising and the Red Battalions of the anarcho-syndicalist labor federation, La Casa del Obrero Mundial (House of the World Worker).28

Back in Los Angeles, the women of the PLM sustained the organization. When the junta was arrested for violating neutrality laws during the Baja rebellion in June 1911, María Talavera Broussé, Ricardo’s partner, and other PLM women spoke at the kiosk located in Plaza Olvera on a daily basis to raise funds for the junta’s legal defense. Lucía Norman and Mercedes Figueroa (PLM leader Anselmo Figueroa’s daughter), who were sixteen and eighteen years old, respectively, led an insurrection of two thousand people through the streets of Los Angeles upon hearing the guilty verdict against the junta; the protesters chanted slogans such as “Down with [President Howard] Taft!” and “Down with the United States!”29 Following the raid of Regeneración in 1915, an all-women’s chapter of the PLM called Luz y Vida (Light and Life) emerged in November 1915 in an effort to reestablish the periodical. The women raised funds by selling tamales, sandwiches, and beverages at dances while the male leadership was in prison.30 As in the PLM, women frequently contributed to the intellectual and organizational formations of Mexico’s various revolutionary movements. Feminist-socialist schoolteacher Dolores Jiménez y Muro, along with the purged PLM member Juana Belén Gutiérrez de Mendoza, joined forces with Francisco I. Madero before dedicating themselves to the agrarian movement of Emiliano Zapata. In contrast to revolutionary figures such as Francisco “Pancho” Villa, Zapata openly supported their call for women’s rights.31 Nonetheless, the incorporation of women’s rights into the political demands of the Revolution frequently faltered when the proposals challenged popular notions of sexual and gender norms. Feminism and sexual liberation, in the PLM as well as other fronts, remained largely a mobilizing tool rather than a mechanism to critique inequality within Mexican society. However, without women’s participation and contributions, the longevity of the PLM and Regeneración would have been surely impacted.

While women’s participation became increasingly crucial during this time period, other networks became progressively strained. Due to the PLM’s anarchist affiliations, former allies such as socialist Eugene V. Debs and labor activist Mother Jones renounced their support of the organization. Flores Magón and the PLM became increasingly entangled into ideological and organizational debates with anti-capitalists from around the world, all of which were publicly aired out in the anarchist press.32 Despite these setbacks, Ricardo Flores Magón and the PLM continued to be politically active. Historian Devra Anne Weber asserts that the PLM maintained over 6,000 members in the United States in 1914 and Regeneración remained the most popular Spanish-language newspaper in Los Angeles, maintaining over 10,500 weekly readers.33

Following their release from jail, the junta moved to a commune in Edendale, a small rural sector of Los Angeles, where they continued to publish Regeneración. Elsewhere, the ideals of the PLM instigated prominent social upheavals. In Southern Texas, PLM activity was particularly strong among Mexican American small landholders, with 165 PLM clubs established in Cameron and Hidalgo counties alone.34 Between January and October of 1915, hundreds of Mexican Americans, Mexican immigrants, and white IWW members initiated an armed uprising following the release of the Plan de San Diego. The Plan called for the annexation of the U.S. South, the return of indigenous sovereign lands, and the establishment of a black republic for the region’s African American population. While the orchestrators of the rebellion contacted Flores Magón to make him aware of the insurrection, the PLM leader presumed the uprising was a ploy to divert energies from worker mobilizations. Nonetheless, the uprising led to much property damage and shook the white Southern social establishment to its core.35

Despite the Texas insurrection, the junta itself was exhausted by years of imprisonments, internal infighting, and health issues. On March 16, 1918, Flores Magón and Librado Rivera released their final proclamation toward international revolution. They exclaimed, “Comrades: the moment is solemn; this moment is the precursor of the greatest political and social cataclysm recorded in history: the insurrection of all the peoples against existing conditions.”36 Two days later, the Flores Magón brothers, Librado Rivera, and María Talavera were imprisoned and Regeneración ceased publication once and for all.

Librado Rivera and the Flores Magón brothers were sentenced to twenty-one years in a federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas, for violating the Trading with the Enemy Act by sending the 1918 manifesto to anarchists in Peru and Cuba. Following the first Red Scare (1917–1920) and the passing of the Federal Espionage and Sedition Acts in 1917 and 1918, two thousand dissidents were sent to Leavenworth to serve their sentences. Inmates included conscientious objectors and war dissenters imprisoned for refusing to be drafted into World War I, radical labor organizers (particularly immigrants organizing in the IWW), and black organizers opposing Jim Crow segregation practices. Ricardo Flores Magón worked in the prison’s library, where he befriended Bengali anti-imperialist revolutionary Taraknath Das, Wobbly Ralph Chaplin, and conscientious objector Brent Dow Allinson.37 The mix of anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist prisoners established a radical newspaper (Enrique Flores Magón was a regular contributor), provided language tutorials and occupational training courses, and conducted debates between the various marxist and anarchist contingencies of the prison on everything from poetry to revolutionary theory. As Christina Heatherton notes, the prison celebrated May Day in 1919 with a march, parading images of Vladimir Lenin and Abraham Lincoln; holding daylong lectures, and singing “The Internationale” and “The Marseillaise” together.38 As throughout his time in exile, Flores Magón continued to exude his internationalist politics while imprisoned in Leavenworth.

On the morning of November 21, 1922, Ricardo Flores Magón was found dead in his cell by Leavenworth guards. Although fellow inmate and PLM leader Librado Rivera accused the police of murdering Ricardo, recent scholarship suggests that Flores Magón died from malnourishment and persistent health problems.39 Socialist leader Eugene V. Debs, who had a tempestuous relationship with Flores Magón, published an article in the New York Call proclaiming that the prison slowly murdered the revolutionary through mistreatment and abuse.40 Flores Magón’s body was returned to his partner, María, in Los Angeles. Former PLM member Antonio Soto Díaz y Gama, then a member of the chamber of deputies in the Mexican Congress, requested that Flores Magón’s remains be returned to Mexico and that his family receive a government pension for his service to the Revolution. His family refused, with Enrique Flores Magón proclaiming, “We will not turn Ricardo’s body in to any government, only to the workers.” Following a brief interment in Los Angeles, Ricardo’s body was returned to Mexico through funds raised by labor unions. On January 15, 1923, a second funeral for Flores Magón was held to a massive crowd in Mexico City. Following Enrique Flores Magón’s return to Mexico and later collaboration with the government, Ricardo’s body was exhumed in 1945 and reconfirmed in the Rotonda de las Personas Ilustres (Rotunda of Illustrious Persons), where he was interred with other prominent figures of the Revolution.41

Ricardo Flores Magón’s Global Legacy

Even in death, Flores Magón’s legacy echoed throughout radical social movements in Mexico and around the world. In his home country, Flores Magón’s legacy remained emboldened within the various radical movements of the 20th century. Popular revolutionary movements led by Rubén Jaramillo, Lucio Cabañas, and the student movement of 1968 all placed themselves within the political legacy of Flores Magón, not the Mexican state’s institutionalized revolutionary heritage.42 Even the newspaper Regeneración continued to live on in Mexico long after Flores Magón’s death. In the 1930s, Spanish anarchist exiles in Mexico named their newspaper Regeneración, in honor of the fallen Flores Magón. The paper provided the country’s leftist community with details of the social revolution being fought for in the midst of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939).43 The Mexican Anarchist Federation also reinvigorated the paper in the 1950s to promote anti-authoritarian politics.44 Even in the nation’s most recent mass mobilization, the Zapatista struggle in Chiapas, the politics of Flores Magón remained influential and have led to a continue interest in his legacy.

He has also left a mark on various struggles in Latin America. Nicaraguan revolutionary Augusto Sandino was inspired by Flores Magón’s writings while working in the oil refineries of Tampico, Tamaulipas, during the 1920s. He returned to his home country in 1926 and mobilized a national revolution against U.S. imperialism and called for social reforms.45 Peruvian marxist José Carlos Mariátegui acknowledged Flores Magón’s contribution to injecting “socialist ideology” into Mexico in his analysis on the Revolution.46 In Chile, anarchists and leftists frequently read anarchist literature from around the world, and even sang songs written by the Flores Magón brothers and the Mexican national anthem during protests.47 In Argentina, various anarchists contributed to the global dissemination of various PLM writings throughout the 1920s, including texts written by María Talavera Broussé, Flores Magón’s partner.48 Talavera remained in contact with various labor and political organizations during this time period, regularly corresponding with a variety of anarchist publications in the Southern Cone.

Among Mexican communities in the United States, the ideals of the Partido Liberal Mexicano lived on in the various labor and political mobilizations of the 1920s and 1930s. Much in the vein of earlier campaigns instigated by the PLM and the IWW along the U.S.–Mexico border, the remaining PLM militants aimed to interrelate the expansion of industrial capitalism to its exploitation of a global working class. In conjunction with new U.S. restrictions on Asian migrant laborers encapsulated in the Immigration Acts of 1921 and 1924, capitalists aligned with the California Farm Bureau Federation and the American Farm Bureau Federation utilized a long history of racist stereotypes regarding the docility and inferiority of Mexicans to justify the hiring of Mexican immigrants as a solution to the U.S. agricultural industry’s need for cheap, temporary labor.49 Excluded from labor unions affiliated with the American Federation of Labor due to their race, Mexicans organized in various political spaces and labor fronts, including the IWW, the Communist Party USA, the Confederación de Uniónes de Campesinos y Obreros Mexicanos (Mexican Campesinos and Workers Union Confederation, CUCOM), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), El Congreso de Pueblos de Hablan Española (Spanish-Speaking People’s Congress, or El Congreso), and the Cannery Agricultural Workers Industrial Union (CAWIU). PLM militants such as Guillermo Vellarde were seminal in the development of agricultural strikes throughout California and the Northwest. Similar to earlier PLM mobilizations, these labor disputes were mobilized through interethnic coalitions of white working class and Filipino agricultural workers.50

Interest in Flores Magón resurfaced during the Chicana/o Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Following the precedents of the nationwide civil rights movement, in particular the Black Power and anti-Vietnam war movements, Mexican American youths looked to the Mexican Revolution for political and cultural affirmation. Many Chicana/os found the writings of Ricardo Flores Magón and the various PLM uprisings as the historical predecessors of their contemporary revolutionary struggles in the United States and Latin America.51 Flores Magón’s writings influenced various Chicana/o political organizations and artists, such as the feminist collective Las Hijas de Cuauhtémoc (The Daughters of Cuauhtémoc) in Long Beach, California, and the Asco Collective (Nausea Collective) in East Los Angeles. The latter group collaborated with local Chicana/o activists, including Las Hijas de Cuauhtémoc cofounder Anna Nieto-Gomez to publish the journal, Regeneración, in 1970. In homage to Flores Magón, Asco’s Regeneración provided a medium for local Chicana feminists to present critical assessments of the Chicana/o movement and its revolutionary possibilities.52 Flores Magón’s writings on the struggles of radicals who were socially, culturally, and politically situated between Mexico and the United States provided a radical historical legacy for Chicana/o activists.

Discussion of the Literature

Since Ricardo Flores Magón’s death, assessments of his impact on the Revolution were produced for both academic and popular audiences. Much of the early historical literature on Ricardo Flores Magón emerged within various anarchist circles around the world. Early studies such as Diego Abad de Santillán’s Ricardo Flores Magón: el apóstol de la revolución social mexicana (1925), Max Nettlau’s series of historical writings from 1925 to 1938 (republished in 2008 as Actividad anarquista en México), and José C. Valadés’s El joven Ricardo Flores Magón (1942) persistently asserted Flores Magón’s significance in the onset and continuing Revolution. These works were distributed by anarchist and communist groups and frequently show up in the book lists of anti-capitalist newspapers throughout Mexico, Latin America, and Europe.

The legacy of Flores Magón has become feverishly debated in national histories of the Revolution. Adolfo Gilly’s La revolución interrumpida: México, 1910–1920: una guerra campesina por la tierra y el poder (1971) situates the Revolution’s chronology with the anarchist agrarian uprisings of the 1870s, with Flores Magón and Zapata being their ideological heirs.53 John Mason Hart’s seminal study, Anarchism and the Mexican Working Class, 1860–1931 (1978), also affirmed the anti-authoritarian foundations of the Revolution.54

In the Anglophone historiography, however, Flores Magón’s influence has been far more disputed. Prominent studies on the “precursors” of the Revolution demonstrate the varying conclusions as to the national upheaval’s ideological roots. James Cockroft’s Intellectual Precursors of the Mexican Revolution (1968) situated Flores Magón and the PLM at the center of the working class’s revolutionary influences, whereas Rodney Anderson’s Outcasts in their Own Land: Mexican Industrial Workers, 1906–1911 (1976) deemphasizes the anarchist’s influence in contrast to the popularity of Francisco I. Madero. The positions have been reaffirmed in subsequent studies of the Revolution, with Alan Knight favoring Anderson’s analysis in his two-volume study, The Mexican Revolution (1986), and John Mason Hart reaffirming Cockroft’s arguments in his monograph, Revolutionary Mexico: The Coming and Process of the Mexican Revolution (1987).55

Regional studies of the Revolution have contributed greatly to the local impact of Flores Magón and the PLM. Some of the most seminal works include Alfonso Torúa Cienfuegos’s El magonismo en Sonora, 1906–1908 (2003) and Josefina Moguel Flores’s El magonismo en Coahuila (2006). The U.S. historiography has also provided important insights to the PLM’s regional influence throughout the Southwest of the United States. Studies on Texas include James Sandos’s Rebellion in the Borderlands: Anarchism and the Plan of San Diego, 1904–1923 (1992), Emilio Zamora’s The World of the Mexican Worker in Texas (1993), and Benjamin Herber Johnson’s Revolution in Texas: How a Forgotten Rebellion and its Bloody Suppression Turned Mexicans into Americans (2003). Studies on California include Devra Anne Weber’s Dark Sweat, White Gold: California Farm Workers, Cotton, and the New Deal (1994); Edward J. Escobar’s Race, Police, and the Making of A Political Identity: Mexican Americans and the Los Angeles Police Department, 1900–1945 (1999); and David Struthers’s article, “‘The Boss Has No Color Line’: Race, Solidarity, and a Culture of Affinity in Los Angeles and the Borderlands, 1907–1915” (2013). These works provide insights into interethnic class solidarity and transnational state suppression of popular anti-capitalist movements.56

Recent studies on women’s roles in Mexican anarchist movements have provided some of the most innovative research on the PLM. Through interdisciplinary assessments of historical archives, literature, poetry, and the popular press, feminist scholars have written women into the history of the PLM. Studies such as Emma Pérez’s The Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas into History (1999), Sonia Hernández’s Working Women into the Borderlands (2014), and Christina Deveraux Ramírez’s chapter, “Rompiendo barreras: Juana Belén Gutiérrez de Mendoza’s Revolutionary Rhetoric” (2015) have provided insights into feminist critiques of the PLM, as well as women’s persistent revolutionary organizing.57 Along with Claudio Lomnitz’s recent study, The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón (2014), assessments of the relationships, camaraderie, and betrayals of Flores Magón have deepened the study of this larger-than-life, often mythicized revolutionary figure.58 In order to counteract the long-standing deification of revolutionary figures, local and transnational studies on Ricardo Flores Magón’s politics and networks can offer more nuanced and expansive assessments of the Revolution’s trajectory beyond temporal and geographical boundaries.

Primary Sources

Extensive archival materials on Ricardo Flores Magón and the Partido Liberal Mexicano are available at the Archivo General de la Nación; the Centro de Estudios del Movimiento Obrero y Socialista A.C.; the Ethel Duffy Turner collections at the Biblioteca Nacional de Antropología e Historia and the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley; the Bureau of Prisons and Record Group 74 of General Records in the U. S. Department of Justice; and Record Group 59 of General Records in the U. S. Department of State. The International Institute for Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, has a vast collection of Mexican and Latin American anarchist materials, including dozens of newspapers with references to Ricardo Flores Magón. The IISH also includes the Diego Abad de Santillán and Max Nettlau Papers, which include extensive materials relating to Ricardo Flores Magón and the PLM.

Much of Ricardo Flores Magón’s writings have been extensively published in Spanish and in English. In 1989, Jacinto Barrera Bassols compiled an extensive collection of Flores Magón’s letters in Correspondencia de Ricardo Flores Magón.59 Between 2000 and 2015, Barrera Bassols published eighteen volumes of Flores Magón’s complete works in collaboration with the Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes—Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (CONACULTA-INAH).60 In 2005, Mitchell Verter and Chaz Bufe translated, annotated, and compiled an English-language anthology of Ricardo Flores Magón’s works entitled Dreams of Freedom: A Ricardo Flores Magón Reader.61 The reader includes a biographical sketch of Flores Magón’s political life as well as translations of most of the PLM’s manifestos, numerous letters to various PLM members and allies, and some of Regeneración’s most prominent articles.

A number of memoirs written by PLM members and allies have also been published. These works explain some of the personal narratives of how the organization functioned and provide insights on Ricardo Flores Magón’s work, as well as their own takes on the Revolution. Enrique Flores Magón’s dictated autobiography, Peleamos contra la justicia (1960), is an often unused but valuable resource on the life and ideas of the revolutionary and his brother Ricardo. Some of the most valuable of memoirs of PLM members include Antonio Díaz Soto y Gama’s La revolución agraria del Sur y Emiliano Zapata, su caudillo (1960), Nicolás T. Bernal’s Memorias (1982), and Ricardo Treviño’s El movimiento obrero en México (1948). While the members of the PLM often took very different paths following the organization’s decline, including many taking positions in the various “post-revolutionary” governments, they are useful in their display of the wide array of motivations and perspectives within the PLM. Similarly, various historical works written by participants either directly or indirectly in collaboration with the PLM are helpful in describing the political environment which Ricardo Flores Magón encountered. Such works include the Ricardo Flores Magón y el Partido Liberal Mexicano (1960) and Revolution in Baja California (1981) by Ethel Duffy Turner, a close friend of Flores Magón and active member of Regeneración’s editorial board; Orígenes e historia del movimiento obrero en México (1974) by Jacinto Huitron, cofounder of La Casa del Obrero Mundial; and Memorias de un joven rebelde (vols. 1–2, 1984) by José C. Valadés, a historian and prominent member of the Communist Youth and the Confederación General de Trabajadores throughout the 1920s.62

The most valuable digital collection of materials relating to Ricardo Flores Magón is Archivo Magón. The database includes letters; a virtual tour of Flores Magón’s travels through North America; and digitized copies of Regeneración (1900–1918), Revolución (1907–1908), and the Italian publication of Regeneración (1911).

Antorcha.net hosts a variety of primary sources relating to Ricardo Flores Magón and the Mexican anarchist movement. A copy of Asco’s feminist newspaper, Regeneración, has also been digitalized by California State University, Channel Islands. The full collection of the 1970s edition of Regeneración can be found in the special collections library of University of California, Santa Barbara.

La Casa de El Hijo del Ahuizote, a cultural center and archive run by Enrique Flores Magón’s great-grandson, Diego Flores Magón, houses Enrique’s personal archive and other materials relating to the PLM.

The Max Nettlau Papers at the IISH include archival sources relating to Ricardo Flores Magón as well as extensive correspondence with PLM organizer Nicolás T. Bernal, communist historian José C. Valadés, and anarchist historian Diego Abad de Santillán. They wrote the first historical studies on Ricardo Flores Magón and Mexican anarchist history.

The Bancroft library’s Oral History Center has also uploaded Ethel Duffy Turner’s 1966 audio testimony as well as its printed transcript.

Public historians have also begun the arduous process of mapping the spaces in which Ricardo Flores Magón and the PLM were active. In Los Angeles, the Black Rose Historical Mutual Aid Society, a public history project run by the Los Angeles branch of the Anarchist Black Cross Federation, puts on regular walking tours through parts of Los Angeles frequented by the Mexican revolutionaries. In collaboration with the public mapping website Radicali, Black Rose provides brief descriptions of various sites of Los Angeles’s vibrant anarchist history on a digitalized map of Los Angeles. In conjunction with Archivo Magón’s Ruta Magón, new prospects are emerging in relation to the digital history of Ricardo Flores Magón and the PLM.

Further Reading

Albro, Ward. Always a Rebel: Ricardo Flores Magón and the Mexican Revolution. Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1992.Find this resource:

Albro, Ward. To Die on Your Feet: The Life, Times, and Writings of Práxedis G. Guerrero. Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1996.Find this resource:

Basurto, Jorge. El proletariado industrial en México, 1850–1930. México, D.F.: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1975.Find this resource:

Blaisdell, Lowell L.The Desert Revolution: Baja California, 1911. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1962.Find this resource:

Carr, Barry. Marxism & Communism in Twentieth-Century Mexico. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992.Find this resource:

Estrada, William David. The Los Angeles Plaza: Sacred and Contested Space. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2008.Find this resource:

Flores Magón, Ricardo. Dreams of Freedom: A Ricardo Flores Magón Reader. Edited by Chaz Bufe and Mitchell Cowen Verter. Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2005.Find this resource:

Gilly, Adolfo. The Mexican Revolution. Translated by Patrick Camiller. London: Verso, 1983.Find this resource:

Gómez-Galvarriato, Aurora. Industry and Revolution: Social and Economic Change in the Orizaba Valley, Mexico. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013.Find this resource:

Gómez-Quiñones, Juan. Sembradores, Ricardo Flores Magón y El Partido Liberal Mexicano: A Eulogy and Critique. Los Angeles: Aztlán Publications, 1973.Find this resource:

Hart, John Mason. Anarchism and the Mexican Working Class, 1860–1931. Rev. ed. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1987.Find this resource:

Heatheron, Christina. “University of Radicalism: Ricardo Flores Magón and Leavenworth Penitentiary.” American Quarterly 66.3 (September 2014): 557–581.Find this resource:

Hodges, Donald C.Anarchism after the Mexican Revolution. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1995.Find this resource:

Knight, Alan. “The Working Class and the Mexican Revolution, 1900–1920.” Journal of Latin American Studies 1.1 (May 1984): 51–79.Find this resource:

Lomnitz, Claudio. The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón. New York: Zone Books, 2014.Find this resource:

Pérez, Emma. The Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas into History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999.Find this resource:

Raat, W. Dirk. Revoltosos: Mexico’s Rebels in the United States, 1903–1923. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1981.Find this resource:

Saka, Mark Saad. For God and Revolution: Priest, Peasant, and Agrarian Socialism in the Mexican Huasteca. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2013.Find this resource:

Sandos, James. Rebellion in the Borderlands: Anarchism and the Plan of San Diego, 1904–1923. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992.Find this resource:

Santagio, Myrna I.The Ecology of Oil: Environment, Labor, and the Mexican Revolution, 1900–1938. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2006.Find this resource:

Spenser, Daniela. “Radical Mexico: Limits to the Impact of Soviet Communism.” Translated by Richard Stoller. Latin American Perspectives 35.2 (March 2008): 57–70.Find this resource:

Struthers, David. “‘The Boss Has No Color Line’: Race, Solidarity, and a Culture of Affinity in Los Angeles and the Borderlands, 1907–1915.” Journal for the Study of Radicalism 7.2 (2013): 61–92.Find this resource:

Valadés, José, C.El socialismo libertario mexicano, siglo XIX. México, D.F.: Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, 1984.Find this resource:

Weber, Devra Anne. Dark Sweat, White Gold: California Farm Workers, Cotton, and the New Deal. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.Find this resource:

Weber, Devra Anne. “Wobblies of the Partido Liberal Mexicano: Reenvisioning Internationalist and Transnationalist Movements through Mexican Lenses.” Pacific Historical Review 85.2 (2016): 188–216.Find this resource:

Notes:

(1.) For more on Ricardo Flores Magón’s early life, see Diego Abad de Santillán, Historia de la Revolución Mexicana (México, D.F.: Frente de Afirmación Hispanista, A.C., 1992), 118–125, and Claudio Lomnitz, The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón (New York: Zone Books, 2014), 41–65.

(2.) For more on economic development during the Porfirian era, see John H. Coatsworth, Growth against Development: The Economic Impact of Railroads in Porfirian Mexico (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1981); Jonathan C. Brown, Oil and Revolution in Mexico (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992); Richard Weiner, Race, Nation, and Market: Economic Culture in Porfirian Mexico (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2004); Myrna I. Santiago, The Ecology of Oil: Environment, Labor, and the Mexican Revolution, 1900–1938 (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2006); and Samuel Truett, Fugitive Landscapes: The Forgotten History of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006).

(3.) For more on early anarchist uprisings, see Adolfo Gilly, The Mexican Revolution (London: Verso, 1983), 17–19; José C. Valadés, El socialismo libertario mexicano, siglo XIX (México: Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, 1984); John Mason Hart, Anarchism and the Mexican Working Class (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1987), 33–42; Clara E. Lida and Carlos Illades, “El anarquismo europeo y sus primeras influencias en México después de la Comuna de París, 1871–1881,” Historia Mexicana 51.1 (July–September 2001): 103–149; Hugo Marcelo Sandoval Vargas, La configuración del pensamiento anarquista en México: horizonte libertario de La Social y el Partido Liberal Mexicano (México, D.F.: Grietas Editores, 2011), 69–106, 177–178; and Mark Saad Saka, For God and Revolution: Priest, Peasant, and Agrarian Socialism in the Mexican Huasteca (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2013).

(4.) Paul Vanderwood, The Power of God against the Guns of Government: Religious Upheaval in Mexico at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1998); Ana María Alonso, Thread of Blood: Colonialism, Revolution, and Gender on Mexico’s Northern Frontier (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1995).

(5.) Diego Abad de Santillán, Ricardo Flores Magón: El apóstol de la revolución social mexicana (México, D.F.: Grupo Cultural “Ricardo Flores Magón,” 1925), 7–8.

(6.) Ward Albro, Always a Rebel: Ricardo Flores Magón and the Mexican Revolution (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1992), 13.

(7.) Albro, Always a Rebel, 19.

(8.) For more on the 1892 student movement, see Diego Abad de Santillán, Historia de la Revolución Mexicana (México, D.F.: Frente de Afirmación Hispanista, A.C., 1992), 118–125; Lomnitz, The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón, 52–65.

(9.) Javier MacGrégor, “Dos casos de persecución periodística durante el Porfiriato,” Estudios de Historia Moderna y Contemporánea de México 52 (July–December 2016): 65–84.

(10.) Salvatore Salermo, Red November, Black November: Cultural and Community in the Industrial Workers of the World (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1989), 83.

(11.) “Programa del Partido Liberal Mexicano,” Regeneración (St. Louis, MO), June 1, 1906. For more on the 1906 program, see Albro, Always a Rebel, 44–56.

(12.) Charles C. Cumberland, “An Analysis of the Program of the Mexican Liberal Party, 1906,” The Americas 4.3 (January 1948): 294–301.

(13.) For the original Spanish correspondence, see Ricardo Flores Magón to Enrique Flores Magón and Práxedis G. Guerrero (June 13, 1908). For an English translation of the letter, see Ricardo Flores Magón, Dreams of Freedom: A Ricardo Flores Magón Reader, ed. Chaz Bufe and Mitchell Cowen Verter (Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2005), 111.

(14.) Colin MacLachlan, Anarchism and the Mexican Revolution: The Political Trials of Ricardo Flores Magón in the United States (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991), 32.

(15.) “Juana B. Gutiérrez de Mendoza,” Regeneración (St. Louis, MO), June 15, 1906; Emma Pérez, The Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas into History (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999), 60–67; Lomnitz, The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón, 203–204.

(16.) “La muerte de Díaz preocupa a las sanguijuelas de Wall Street,” Revolución (Los Angeles, CA), June 1, 1906. For more on xenophobia in the Mexican Revolution, see Evelyn Hu-DeHart, “Immigrants to a Developing Society: The Chinese in Northern Mexico, 1875–1932,” The Journal of Arizona History 21.3 (Autumn 1980): 275–312; Dong Jingshen, “Chinese Emigration to Mexico and the Sino-Mexico Relations Before 1910,” Estudios Internacionales 38.152 (January–March 2006): 75–88; Truett, Fugitive Landscapes, 121; Claudio Lomnitz, “Anti-Semitism and the Ideology of the Mexican Revolution,” Representations 110.1 (Spring 2010): 1–28; Robert Chao Romero, The Chinese in Mexico, 1882–1940 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2012); Grace Delgado, Making the Chinese Mexican: Global Migration, Localism, and Exclusion in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013); Elliot Young, Alien Nation: Chinese Migration in the Americans from the Coolie Era through World War II (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014); and Robert M. Buffington, A Sentimental Education for the Working Man: The Mexico City Penny Press, 1900–1910 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015), 109–118.

(17.) For more on the PLM cells prior to 1910 and their contrasts to Francisco I. Madero’s political platform, see John Mason Hart, Revolutionary Mexico: The Coming and Process of the Mexican Revolution, 10th anniv. ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 94–104.

(18.) For more on the Cananea strike of 1906, see James D. Cockroft, Intellectual Precursors of the Mexican Revolution, 1900–1913 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968), 134–156; Rodney D. Anderson, “Mexican Workers and the Politics of Revolution, 1906–1911,” Hispanic American Historical Review 54.1 (February 1974): 94–113; W. Dirk Raat, Revoltosos: Mexico’s Rebels in the United States, 1903–1923 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1981); Alan Knight, “The Working Class and the Mexican Revolution, 1900–1910,” Journal of Latin American Studies 16.1 (May 1984): 69–71; Salvador Hernández Padilla, El magonismo: historia de una passion libertaria, 1900–1922 (México, D.F.: Ediciones Era, 1984); Ramón Eduardo Ruíz, The People of Sonora and Yankee Capitalists (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1988); Phil Mellinger, “‘The Men Have Become Organizers’: Labor Conflict and Unionization in the Mexican Mining communities of Arizona, 1900–1915,” Western Historical Quarterly 23.3 (August 1992): 323–347; Michael J. Gonzales, “U.S. Copper Companies, the Mine Workers’ Movement, and the Mexican Revolution, 1910–1920,” Hispanic American Historical Review 76.3 (August 1996): 503–534; Nicolás Cárdenas García, “La huelga de Cananea en 1906. Una reinterpretación,” Estudios Sociológicos 16.46 (January–April 1998): 117–146.

(19.) Mellinger, “‘The Men Have Become Organizers.’”

(20.) For more on the Río Blanco strike of 1907, see Paul Vanderwood, Disorder and Progress: Bandits, Police, and Mexican Development (Wilmington, DE: SR Books, 1992), 139–147; Karl B. Roth, “‘Not a Mutiny but a Revolution’: The Río Blanco Labour Dispute, 1906–1907,” Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 18.35 (1993): 39–65; Karl B. Koth, Waking the Dictator: Veracruz, The Struggle for Federalism, and the Mexican Revolution, 1870–1927 (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2002), 41–78; and Aurora Gómez-Galvarriato, Industry and Revolution: Social and Economic Change in the Orizaba Valley, Mexico (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013). Ward Albro, To Die on Your Feet: The Life, Times, and Writings of Práxedis G. Guerrero (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1996), 66.

(21.) “Tierra,” Regeneración, October 1, 1910; Albro, Always a Rebel, 121–122.

(22.) John Kenneth Turner, Barbarous Mexico (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1969); Raat, Revoltosos, 54.

(23.) For more on the Baja California Revolution of 1911, see Lowell L. Blaisdell, The Desert Revolution: Baja California, 1911 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1962); Roger C. Owen, “Indians and Revolution: The 1911 Invasion of Baja California, Mexico,” Ethnohistory 10.4 (Autumn 1963): 373–395; Ethel Duffy Turner, Revolution in Baja California: Ricardo Flores Magón’s High Noon (Detroit: Blaine Ethridge Books, 1981); Lowell L. Blaisdell, “Was It Revolution or Filibustering? The Mystery of the Flores Magón Revolt in Baja California,” Pacific Historical Review 23.2 (May 1954): 147–164; Lawrence Douglas Taylor Hansen, “¿Charlatán o filibuster peligroso? El papel de Richard ‘Dick’ Ferris en la revuelta magonista de 1911 en Baja California,” Historia Mexicana 44.4 (April–June 1995): 581–616; Flores Magón, Dreams of Freedom, 81; Maia Ramnath, Haj to Utopia: How the Ghadar Movement Chartered Global Radicalism and Attempted to Overthrow the British Empire (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011), 66–67; and Kenyon Zimmer, Immigrants against the State: Yiddish and Italian Anarchism in America (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2015), 111–135.

(24.) George J. Sánchez, Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture, and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900–1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 230–231; David Struthers, “‘The Boss Has No Color Line’: Race, Solidarity, and a Culture of Affinity in Los Angeles and the Borderlands, 1907–1915,” Journal for the Study of Radicalism 7.2 (2013): 61–92; Devra Anne Weber, “Wobblies of the Partido Liberal Mexicano: Reenvisioning Internationalist and Transnationalist Movements through Mexican Lenses,” Pacific Historical Review 85.2 (2016): 188–216.

(25.) “Manifesto a los trabajadores de todo el mundo,” Regeneración, April 8, 1911 (circulated on April 3, 1911).

(26.) Duffy Turner, Revolution in Baja California, 40; Evan Ward, “The Twentieth-Century Ghosts of William Walker: Conquest of Land and Water as Central Themes in the History of the Colorado River Delta,” Pacific Historical Review 70.3 (August 2001): 359–385.

(27.) Juan Gómez-Quiñones, Sembradores: Ricardo Flores Magón y el Partido Liberal Mexicano: A Eulogy and Critique (Los Angeles: Aztlán Publications, 1973), 46–52; Edward J. Escobar, Race, Police, and the Making of a Political Identity: Mexican Americans and the Los Angeles Police Department, 1900–1945 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), 53–76.

(28.) John Womack, Zapata and the Mexican Revolution (New York: Vintage Books, 1970), 193–194; Gilbert M. Joseph, Revolution from Without: Yucatán, Mexico, and the United States, 1880–1924 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1988), 192; Norman Caulfield, “Wobblies and Mexican Workers in Mining and Petroleum, 1905–1924,” International Review of Social History 40 (1995): 57; John Lear, Workers, Neighbors, and Citizens: The Revolution in Mexico City (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001), 161–162; Weber, “Wobblies of the Partido Liberal Mexicano,” 223.

(29.) William Estrada, The Los Angeles Plaza: Sacred and Contested Space (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2008), 145–147.

(30.) For more on women’s participation in the PLM, see Angeles Mendieta Alatorre, Juana Belén Gutiérrez de Mendoza, 1875–1942, extraordinaria precursora de la Revolución Mexicana (Cuernavaca: Impresores de Morelos, 1983); Alicia Villaneda, Justicia y libertad: Juana Belén Gutiérrez de Mendoza, 1875–1942 (México, D.F.: Documentación y Estudios de Mujeres, 1994); Emma Pérez, The Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas into History (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999); Clara Lomas, “Transborder Discourse: The Articulation of Gender in the Borderlands in the Early Twentieth Century,” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 23.4 (2003): 51–74; Cristina Devereaux Ramírez, “Rompiendo barreras: Juana Belén Gutiérrez de Mendoza’s Revolutionary Rhetoric,” in The Mestiza Rhetorics of Mexican Women Journalists and Activists, 1875–1942 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2015), 132–160; and Pilar Melero, Mythological Constructs of Mexican Femininity (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

(31.) For more on women’s participation in the Revolution, see Anna Macias, “Women and the Mexican Revolution, 1910–1920,” The Americas 37.1 (July 1980): 53–82; and Elena Poniatowska, Las soldaderas: Women of the Mexican Revolution (El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press, 2006).

(32.) For more on these disputes and their international implications, see Kenyon Zimmer, Immigrants against the State, 111–135; and Kirk Shaffer, “Tropical Anarchists: Anarchist Movements and Networks in the Caribbean, South America, the United States, and Mexico, 1890s–1920s,” in Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870–1940, ed. Steven Hirsch and Lucien van der Walt (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2010), 306–309.

(33.) Devra Anne Weber, Dark Sweat, White Gold: California Farm Workers, Cotton, and the New Deal (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), 86.

(34.) Shaffer, “Tropical Anarchists,” 309–310.

(35.) The broader implications of the Plan de San Diego have been extensively researched but remain highly contested. Whereas James Sandos, Emilio Zamora, and Benjamin Heber Johnson highlight the racial and class tensions that incited the uprising, a recent study by Charles H. Harris and Louis R. Sadler emphasizes Mexican president Venustiano Carranza’s use of the vitriolic manifesto as a means to obtain the United States’s recognition of him as the official leader of the Mexican government. For more on the Plan de San Diego, see James Sandos, Rebellion in the Borderlands: Anarchism and the Plan of San Diego, 1904–1923 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992); Emilio Zamora, The World of the Mexican Worker in Texas (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1993); Benjamin Heber Johnson, Revolution in Texas: How a Forgotten Rebellion and Its Bloody Suppression Turned Mexicans into Americans (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005); and Charles H. Harris and Louis R. Sadler, The Plan de San Diego: Tejano Rebellion, Mexican Intrigue (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2013).

(36.) “Manifesto a los miembros del partido, a las anarquistas de todo el mundo y a las trabajadores en general,” Regeneración (Los Angeles, CA), March 16, 1918. For English translation, see Flores Magón, Dreams of Freedom, 145–147.

(37.) MacLachlan, Anarchism and the Mexican Revolution, 101; Albro, Always a Rebel, 149.

(38.) Christina Heatherton, “University of Radicalism: Ricardo Flores Magón and Leavenworth Penitentiary,” American Quarterly 66.3 (September 2014): 557–581.

(39.) Andrew Grant Wood, “Death of a Political Prisoner: Revisiting the Case of Ricardo Flores Magón,” A contra corriente 3.1 (Fall 2005): 38–66; Lomnitz, The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón, 486–494, 508–511.

(40.) Heatherton, “University of Radicalism,” 573.

(41.) Lomnitz, The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón, 495–508.

(42.) Donald C. Hodges, Anarchism after the Mexican Revolution (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1995), 55; Tanalís Padilla, Rural Resistance in the Land of Zapata: The Jaramillista Movement and the Myth of the Pax Priísta, 1940–1962 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008), 158–159, 206; Alexander Aviña, Specters of Revolution: Peasant Guerrillas in the Cold War Mexican Countryside (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014) 139; Gladys I. McCormick, The Logic of Compromise in Mexico: How the Countryside Was Key to the Emergence of Authoritarianism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016), 56.

(43.) Copies of the Spanish anarchist periodical Regeneración are located at the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

(44.) Hodges, Anarchism after the Mexican Revolution, 50.

(45.) Donald C. Hodges, Intellectual Foundations of the Nicaraguan Revolution (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986).

(46.) José Carlos Maríategui, José Carlos Mariátegui: An Anthology, ed. and trans. Harry E. Vanden and Marc Becker (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2011), 452.

(47.) Sergio Grez Toso, “Resistencia cultural anarquista: poesía, canto y dramaturgia en Chile, 1895–1918,” in Cultura y política del anarquismo en España e Iberoamérica, ed. Clara E. Lida and Pablo Yankelevich (México, D.F.: El Colegio de México, 2012), 274.

(48.) For more on PLM activities in Argentina, see Pablo Yankelevich, “Los magonistas en La Protesta. Lecturas rioplatenses del anarquismo en México, 1906–1929,” Estudios de Historia Moderna y Contemporánea de México 19.19 (2000): 53–83; James A. Baer, Anarchist Immigrants in Spain and Argentina (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2015), 110.

(49.) For more on U.S. perceptions of Mexican immigrant laborers, see Joon Kim, “California’s Agribusiness and the Farm Labor Question: The Transition from Asian to Mexican Labor, 1919–1939,” Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies 37.2 (Fall 2012): 43–72; and Alexandra Filandra, “The Emergence of the ‘Temporary Mexican’: American Agriculture, the U.S. Congress, and the 1920 Hearings on the Temporary Admission of Illiterate Mexican Laborers,” Latin American Research Review 49.3 (2014): 85–102.

(50.) For more on PLM and radical Mexican labor organizing in the 1920s and 1930s, see Stuart Marshall Jamieson, Labor Unionism in American Agriculture (New York: Arno Press, 1976); Juan Gómez-Quiñones, Mexican American Labor, 1790–1990 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1994), 63–150; Gilbert González, Labor and Community: Mexican Citrus Worker Villages in a Southern California county, 1900–1950 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994), 135–160; Weber, Dark Sweat, White Gold, 79–111; David G. Gutiérrez, Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the Politics of Ethnicity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 91–104; Gilbert G. González, Mexican Consuls and Labor Organizing: Imperial Politics in the American Southwest (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1999); Kim, “California’s Agribusiness and the Farm Labor Question”; and Sonia Hernández, Working Women into the Borderlands (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2014), 116.

(51.) Dylan A. T. Miner, Creating Aztlán: Chicana/o Art, Radical Politics, and Indigenous Utopianism (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2014), 160–161; Alan Eladio Gómez, The Revolutionary Imaginations of Greater Mexico: Chicana/o Radicalism, Solidarity Politics, and Latin American Social Movements (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2016).

(52.) Chon A. Noriega, “Your Art Disgusts Me: Early Asco, 1971–1975,” Afterall: A Journal of Art, Context, and Enquiry 19 (Autumn/Winter 2008): 109–121; Maylei Blackwell, ¡Chicana Power!: Contested Histories of Feminism in the Chicano Movement (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011); Colin Gunckel, “‘We Were Drawing and Drawn Into Each Other’: Asco’s Collaboration through Regeneración,” in Asco: Elite of the Obscure, A Retrospective, 1972–1987, ed. C. Ondine Chavoya and Rita Gonzalez (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2011).

(53.) Adolfo Gilly, La revolución interrumpida: México, 1910–1920: una guerra campesina por la tierra y el poder (México, D.F.: Ediciones El Caballito, 1971).

(54.) Hart, Anarchism & the Mexican Working Class, 1860–1931.

(55.) Rodney D. Anderson, Outcasts in Their Own Land: Mexican Industrial Workers, 1906–1911 (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1976); Cockroft, Intellectual Precursors of the Mexican Revolution, 1900–1913; John Mason Hart, Revolutionary Mexico: The Coming and Process of the Mexican Revolution (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987); Alan Knight, The Mexican Revolution, Vols. 1 & 2 (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1986).

(56.) Escobar, Race, Police, and the Making of a Political Identity: Mexican Americans and the Los Angeles Police Department, 1900–1945; Johnson, Revolution in Texas; Josefina Moguel Flores, El magonismo en Coahuila (Coahuila: Gobierno del Estado de Coahuila, 2006); Struthers, “‘The Boss Has No Color Line’” Alfonso Torúa Cienfuego, El magonismo en Sonora, 1906–1908: Historia de una persecución (Hermosillo, Mexico: Universidad de Sonora, 2003); Weber, Dark Sweat, White Gold: California Farm Workers, Cotton, and the New Deal; Zamora, The World of the Mexican Worker in Texas.

(57.) Hernández, Working Women into the Borderlands; Pérez, The Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas Into History; Ramírez, “Rompiendo barreras: Juana Belén Gutiérrez de Mendoza’s Revolutionary Rhetoric.”

(58.) Lomnitz, The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón.

(59.) Ricardo Flores Magón, Correspondencia de Ricardo Flores Magón (1904–1912), ed. Jacinto Barrera Bassols (Puebla, Mexico: Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, 1989).

(60.) Ricardo Flores Magón, Obras completas, Vols. I–XVI, ed. Jacinto Barrera Bassols (México, D.F.: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 2000–2015).

(61.) Flores Magón, Dreams of Freedom: A Ricardo Flores Magón Reader.

(62.) Nicolás T. Bernal, Memorias (México, D.F.: Centro de Estudios Históricos del Movimiento Obrero Mexicano, 1982); Antonio Díaz Soto y Gama, La revolución agraria del Sur y Emiliano Zapata, su caudillo (México, D.F.: Policromia, 1960); Enrique Flores Magón, Peleamos contra la injusticia: Enrique Flores Magón, precursor de la revolución mexicana, cuenta su historia a Samuel Kaplan, Tomos 1–2 (México, D.F.: Libro Mex Editores, 1960); Jacinto Huitro, Orígenes e historia del movimiento obrero en México (México, D.F.: Editores Mexicanos Unidos, S.A., 1974); Ricardo Treviño, El movimiento obrero en México: su evolución ideological (México, D.F.: s.n., 1948); Ethel Duffy Turner, Ricardo Flores Magón y el Partido Liberal Mexicano (Michoacán: Editorial Erandi del Gobierno del Estado, 1960); Duffy Turner, Revolution in Baja California; José C. Valadés, Memorias de un joven rebelde: mis confesiones, tomos 1–2 (México: Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, 1986.