Emiliano Zapata

Emiliano Zapata
[1] By 1914 the Zapatistas in Southern Mexico occupied Mexico City in what appeared to be a victory for their revolutionary cause. The victory, however, proved to be short-lived. Historians have debated the reversal of fortunes as part of the larger debates about the process and meaning of the Mexican Revolution. Among the many issues they probe are the advantages and weaknesses of the Zapatista rebellion, which often focuses attention on the decisions and actions of Emiliano Zapata. Samuel Brunk, for example, clearly states that the purpose of his book is to illustrate that ?his choices and actions did have historical impact? (xvi). Brunk argues that while Zapata was successful on the local and regional level, he failed to secure state power because ?his leadership was less successful in the national arena? (xvi). Write an essay that examines to what extent we should see Brunk?s argument as valid. In consideration of its validity, you will need to explain his argument. You can take into consideration topics like the strengths and weaknesses of the Zapatista movement, the strategies deployed, the objectives of the movement, and/or the crucial decisions taken by Zapata. While the question brings a focus on 1914, keep in mind that your essay should be a comprehensive assessment of Burnk?s political biographry.
[2] Historians of the Mexican Revolution often concern themselves with two main lines of inquiry: what was the process of the Mexican Revolution and how do we interpret the meaning of the process. When discussing ?process,? historians are interested in knowing what were the causes of the revolution, and once it started what were the patterns that gave logic to the course of events. By ?process? historians are attempting to overcome the confusion in understanding what happened that comes with the chaos of revolutionary events. Interpretation, of course, depends greatly on how we understand the revolutionary process. Two significant interpretative schools dominate debates about the Mexican Revolution. The first understands the great event to be a true revolution, the first of many to come in the global history of the 20th century. Others argue that the Mexican Revolution was not a revolution. Instead, they see it as a civil war that ultimately resulted in very little change for Mexico. Write an essay that presents Brunk?s version of the ?logic of the revolution.? Your argument needs to focus on where we should place Brunk within the interpretative debate. To what extent does he see the Mexican Revolution as a revolution, and to what extent does he see it as a civil war that brought little change to Mexico?

Grading criteria
Selection of appropriate examples and evidence from the Brunk text in illustrating your argument.
Breadth and substance of evidence selected. Avoid selecting evidence form a narrow range of pages from the text.
Strength of central question, core themes, and argument presented.
Quality of writing, including grammar, mechanics, and organization.
Manifested understanding of the reading material and analysis we generated in class.