BROWNSVILLE, Texas — We go back into the history between Brownsville and Matamoros, the United States and Mexico in a very dear proportion. It was the Mexican revolution. You have what is called the “hermanas gemelas” or the twin sisters of Matamoros and Brownsville. Whatever happened over there was felt over here and the Mexican revolution was a very good example.
What is important when analyzing the Mexican Revolution do not take it in the terms of the 21st century. It occurred in 1910 all the way up to about 1919. At that time you must consider that the world was far different than it is today. You had various governments that were monarchies such as England, Spain, Norway, and Italy. They all were under the power of a monarchy structure.
The American Revolution was the first what you would call a new form of democratic government that occurred up until modern times. Then you had the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, and then the Mexican Revolution. One particular element of supreme importance in this whole picture is that you must consider the transition period that Porfirio Diaz was entering into. In the 30 years that he was in power, he actually reigned as a supreme monarch.
There were problems trying to equate that with what modern society is all about. It is difficult because back in those days it was not really the popular way of thinking. To educate the masses that you wanted to give all the bells and whistles to the entire society. Because if the thought prevailed “they” would come up and grab you by the throat.
Well unfortunately that is what happened in Mexico. The first six years of that conflict were bound in anarchy and that is what affected us on this side of the border, and it affected Mexico as well. Federal troops were called in and the cavalry was called in in 1916 and that pretty well abated the majority of the problems that we were having over here.
There were refugees coming over to this side of the river. The ties that were formed back during those first six years in particular of the Mexican revolution were very important and they remained in the hearts of the people from Matamoros and Brownsville because we saw that we came to each other’s aid during a time of crisis. There is so much that is written on the books about what you would call the experiment of that revolution and the participation from this side and the other side.