The aim of an agrarian reform is usually to obtain a fair land sharing, by expropriation of the big estates to the benefit of farmers having no cultivated land at all. Particularly important in Latino-America where the "latifundia" heritage of the colonial period was in favour, the agrarian reforms were of different kinds and were more or less successful. The Mexican agrarian reform with the invention of the "ejido" was undoubtly the most original and the longest in time.
This terminology applies to cultural and political groups of the Indian Americans, before the Discovery of America by the Europeans (the terminology of "pre-Columbian culture can be used as synonimous). The most brilliant civilizations (Olmec, Toltec, Maya, Aztec) spread in the "meso-American" part of the continent i.e. the Southern part of Mexico and Central America. The Northern populations were considered as "barbarous".
Means applied by public power to frame the economic and social developement of the rural community: laws, agreements, incentive actions, financial support.The agrarian politics can strongly interfer (as it was the case in Mexico where the "ejidal" system was maintained under government supervision, vote considerations being involved in) or on the contrary it can sacrifice to liberalism (as it is the case nowadays in most of the countries).
The latin root of the Mexican word is "exitus" which means the lands located " at the exit of the village"; This terminology was already in use in Spain and later in colonized Mexico with the meaning of "free grazing land" which could be used by everybody. With the law on the Ejidos dated 1920, the word takes a legal meaning for land usage, i.e. "the social property". The lands coming from the former big properties were dismantled and given in common to groups of peasants who asked for them, each family owning a transmittable right (for their children) but not possible to third parties . Private property remained, but the size of the land was controled. This basis of the Mexican agrarian reform was debated and ruled over by the new law "Nueva Ley Agraria" from 1992 which put an end to the distribution of cultivated lands and stopped the private right on "Ejidale land".
It means the change in the agricultural production conditions in terms of intensification, by the way of training to new techniques, offered to the Third-World (Developing Countries) from the years 1960 to 1970.
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Big land properties owned from the Spanish conquest when land was taken from the native populations. Some haciendas could be as large as 100 000 hectares. The average hacienda was self-sufficient provided to all the needs of the workers and was specialized in a commercial trade: haciendas ganaderas (livestock breeding), azucareras (sugar cane), pulqueras (agave).In the XIXth century such haciendas could add an industrial activity such as textile for instance.
A very big land property. The latin word "latifundium" included a pejorative meaning especially in Spanish. The "Latifundista" did not cultivate his land by himself but ran the land in an extensive way thus monopolizing the land. He was accused of wasting good lands wanted by "minifundios" which were too small and overpopulated farming units.
It started in 1910 with a popular uprising when Francisco Madero called the population against the political regime of General-President-Dictator Porfirio Diaz, who had been keeping the power for 35 years. The country then was in fire (with revolutionary confrontations by particularly famous emblematic characters as Emilio Zapata and Francisco Vila) up to the 1917 Constitution and the presidency of Venustiano Carranza. The reason for such a great social change was undoubtly the land property problem. After that a deep agrarian reform started. (we advise to read The Mexican Revolution by Jesus Silva Herzog, Maspero ed., Paris 1977).
(plural peones): litterally "a pawn" as on a chess board. He is a farming worker, daily paid, a farmer without any land. In the haciendas of pre-revolution time, such peones were at the mercy of the land owner by endebtment at the farmer's shop "la tienda de raya". The endebtment was transmitted from father to son and could never die.