Durango is composed of the former Mexican provinces of Sonora, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Mexico, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Durango, Zacatecas and Jalisco. Durango became the State of Durango after the State of Jefferson united with the Republic of Mexico as the United States of Mexico in 1820.
Durango was ruled through an alliance of Anglo and Hispano politicians, who dominated the state's Mexicano peasantry. Durango, along with Chiapas and Mexico del Norte, gave the Catholic Church special rights under the state charter. A poverty stricken and segregated state, Governor Alberto Rias attempted to introduce cotton agriculture to the state with limited success and encouraged Jeffersonian immigration, which brought Negro slavery into the state.
Heading into the 1830's the future of Durango's mineral resources were being considered and with the rise of Tampico, Durango became a far wealthier state in the 1830's. The silver mines of Durango, were even responsible for the Mexican adoption of paper money in 1829.
In the 1870s, Monte Benedict, head of Petroleum of Mexico, became convinced that petroleum deposits were located along the Gulf Coast of Durango. In 1880, his suspicions were borne out when oil was discovered near Tampico and along the coast south of Reynosa. Many Mexicano peasants became instantly wealthy from the oil concessions they received for their land.
Sobel's sources for Durango include Charles Winslow's Peasants in Brocade: The Oil Millionaires of Chiapas and Durango (New York 1962).
|States of the U.S.M.|
|Alaska • Arizona • California • Capital District • Chiapas • Durango • Hawaii • Jefferson • Mexico del Norte|