The private business of Porfirio Díaz and the early modernization of Mexico, 1876–1911

Jorge Humberto Jimenez-Munoz, University of Texas at El Paso


Porfirio Díaz came to power in 1876 and ruled Mexico for over three decades. This period has been known as the Porfiriato. Mexico's economy became part of the modern global market and the country experienced a process of industrialization, the rise of foreign trade, the expansion of communications, and the emergence of new social classes. These series of economic and social transformations have been linked with the country's early modernization. My dissertation contributes new insights into Mexico's process of modernization and shows how this transformation brought the rise of an entrepreneurial class under Porfirio Díaz guidance and leadership. My dissertation lends transparency to the role of Porfirio Díaz as an entrepreneur, and examines the diversified enterprises that Díaz promoted, founded and developed while in power. My work details the incorporation of Díaz companies and partnerships, and lays out a system of corruption with conflicts of interest, the use of privileged information for personal gain, the privatization of policymaking and quid pro quo arrangements that bolstered Díaz's entrepreneurial career. My dissertation shows that Díaz used and abused power for personal gain, concentrating power in the presidency, manipulating legislation to his favor, facilitating the emergence of a hierarchical, loyal and privileged elite, and expanding foreign businesses in the country .

Subject Area

Latin American history|Entrepreneurship|Management|Economic history|Political science|Social structure

Recommended Citation

Jimenez-Munoz, Jorge Humberto, "The private business of Porfirio Díaz and the early modernization of Mexico, 1876–1911" (2012). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3525727.