5807 - Transborder Lives: The "Sonoran Dynasty," revolutionary Mexico, and the United States, 1911-1946

This paper will examine the transborder lives of the four principal members of the "Sonoran Dynasty," which ruled revolutionary Mexico between 1920 and 1934, all presidents of the country at one time or another: Adolfo de la Huerta (1920), Alvaro Obregon (1920-1924), Plutarco Elias Calles (1924-1928), and Abelardo Rodriguez (1932-1934). Based on the private papers of these four revolutionary leaders, the paper will argue that the Sonoran Dynasty was the first Mexican ruling faction that led a genuinely transborder existence. Three of the four leaders spent extended periods of time in the United States (two of them in exile); even more importantly, the paper traces their involvement in the economies of Arizona and California as well as the careers of their children, many of whom built their careers north of the border. Finally, U.S. political, economic, and cultural models helped frame their ideas for reforming Mexico, even as all four of these leaders displayed revolutionary nationalism and sought to limit U.S. influence in 1920s and 1930s Mexico. In a field that has favored the study of popular movements—so often, the “losers” in Mexican history—over that of the victorious elites, historians have not expressed much interest in the Sonorenses. While Villismo and Zapatismo, in particular, have elicited a plethora of scholarship, both in Mexico and abroad, studies of the Sonorans remain few and far between. Yet an understanding of the Sonoran alliance, and particularly its political and economic dynamics, remains crucial for an evaluation of the reconstruction of the national government during the 1920s and early 1930s

Keywords: Mexico, transborder, transnational, United States, Sonora

Author: Buchenau, Jurgen (UNC Charlotte, Ud States of Am / USA)


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