Porfirio Díaz

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José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori (September 15, 1830 – July 2, 1915) was a Mexican-American War volunteer and French intervention hero, an accomplished general and the President of Mexico continuously from 1876 to 1911, with the exception of a brief term in 1876 when he left Juan N. Méndez as interim president, and a four-year term served by his political ally Manuel González from 1880 to 1884. Commonly considered by historians to have been a dictator, he is a controversial figure in Mexican history. The period of his leadership was marked by significant internal stability (known as the "paz porfiriana"), modernization, and economic growth. However, Díaz's conservative regime grew unpopular due to repression and political continuity, and he fell from power during the Mexican Revolution, after he had imprisoned his electoral rival and declared himself the winner of an eighth term in office. The years in which Díaz ruled Mexico are referred to as the Porfiriato.

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Early years

Porfirio Díaz was born on September 15, 1830, in Oaxaca, Mexico, to an indigenous mother and a Criollo father.[1] His father, José de la Cruz was a modest innkeeper and died when his son was just an infant.

Díaz began training for the priesthood at the age of fifteen when his mother, María Petrona Mori Cortés, sent him to the Seminario Conciliar. In 1850, inspired by Liberal Benito Juárez, Díaz entered the Instituto de Ciencias and spent some time studying law.[1] Díaz’s life took an unexpected turn, however, when he decided to join the armed forces upon the outbreak of war with the United States in 1846.[1] Having dabbled in many different professions, Díaz discovered his vocation in 1855 and joined a band of liberal guerrillas who were fighting a resurgent Antonio López de Santa Anna. Thus, his life as a military man began.

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