Radical Catholic resistance to the Mexican Revolution: the Cristero Rebellion and the Sinarquista Movement



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The Cristero Rebellion and the Sinarquista Movement were reactionary forces that opposed the progression of the Mexican Revolution in the first half of the twentieth century. This thesis compares the two movements, with particular emphasis on their ideologies. Both groups embodied Catholic resistance against an anticlerical and socialist Mexican government. The struggle between the church and state, which can be traced to colonial times, reached a zenith with the highly anticlerical Mexican Revolution of 1910. As revolutionary ideology was vigorously implemented by the Mexican state, Catholics rallied behind the church and sought recourse in violence. This culminated in the Cristero Rebellion of 1926-29, with disastrous results. In the 1930s, when the new threat of socialism emerged, Catholics abandoned the path of bloodshed and supported the Sinarquista Movement. These movements represented the ultimate expression in religious protest, yet little is written that compares the Sinarquistas with the Cristeros. Moreover, some historians contended that the two groups had little in common. In essence, present historiography views the movements as two separate events. This thesis argues that while a few differences exist, the Sinarquistas shared many of the goals, ideologies, and demographics of the Cristeros. Moreover, it concludes that the Sinarquista Movement was essentially a continuation of the Cristero struggle.