This article examines the insertion of Basque immigrants from the Baztan Valley, in the province of Navarre, into the wheat-flour-bread complex of late-nineteenth century Mexico City. Additionally, it describes labor conditions in the bakeries they owned and analyzes the place of workers in the Mexico of Porfi rio Díaz. In contrast to the historiographical tendency to present immigrant entrepreneurs, and the Porfirian state, as forces of capitalist modernization, the article shows that, with important exceptions, bakeries remained archaic and pre-capitalist in order to permit the integration of the constant stream of nephews that linked Mexico City and the Baztán Valley. It also argues that the bakery workers, who suffered terrible conditions in the bakery workshops, pushed for a labor regime more in line with capitalism, which, according to popular notions of liberalism, would acknowledge their basic rights as citizens.
Revista de Estudios Sociales
Bakeries; Basque immigrants; Workers' movement; Porfiriato
Place of Publication
Universidad de los Andes
Weis, Robert, "Panaderías en la Ciudad de México de Porfirio Díaz: Los Empresarios Vasco-navarros y la Movilización Obrera" (2008). Department of History Faculty Publications. Paper 2.