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What was the Mexican Revolution?

We explain everything about the Mexican revolution 1910. Causes, effects, and prominent figures of the revolution.

  1. What was the Mexican Revolution 1910?

The Mexican Revolution was an armed conflict that began in the Mexican nation of 1910 and culminated in 1920 , and is considered one of the most significant social and political events of the twentieth century in Latin America and the West. It consisted of a set of armed insurrections opposed to the successive governments that continued with the fall of the Porfirio Díaz dictatorship , known as the “Porfirato”, and that extended until the third decade of the 20th century, when a Mexican Constitution was proclaimed.

Initially the conflict confronted the troops loyal to the government of Porfirio Díaz against the insurrection led by Francisco Madero . This last one would expire in 1910, by means of the call Plan of San Luis, advancing from San Antonio (Texas). However, when in 1911 Madero himself was elected president, his discrepancies began with other revolutionary leaders such as Pascual Orozco and Emiliano Zapata, who rose up against their former allies.

A set of military, known as the “Ten Tragic” and led by Felix Diaz, Bernardo Reyes and Victoriano Huerta, seized the moment to strike a blow of State , killing the president and vice president, and put Huerta in power . This in turn unleashed the uprising of other revolutionary leaders such as Venustiano Carranza or Francisco “Pancho” Villa, who fought the Huerta government until 1912, when, far from achieving peace , a series of armed conflicts broke out between the various revolutionary factions .

The Mexican Revolution came to an end thanks to the Convention of Aguascalientes , where Eulalio Gutiérrez was appointed as president and the first steps towards peace were taken, although there would still be insurrections and intestinal fighting that would lead to the establishment of democracy and death of the revolutionary leaders: Zapata in 1919, Carranza in 1920, Villa in 1923 and Obregón in 1928.

  1. Mexican Revolution Causes

  • The crisis of the porfirato . Colonel Porfirio Díaz had ruled Mexico for 34 years, achieving economic expansion at the expense of the discomfort of the poorest classes. This led to a social, political, economic and cultural crisis that, when Diaz himself announced that he would retire at the end of his term, triggered the armed struggle.
  • The miserable rural situation . Mexico had 80% of the rural population , but the government’s social and economic laws and practices favored large landowners and landowners. The peasantry and the indigenous communities lived very badly, stripped of land and with nothing to lose.
  • Madero’s campaigns . Madero conducted three proselytizing campaigns against the re-election of the dictator, for which he was accused of inciting rebellion and sentenced to jail. He was later released, but without the right to leave the country or participate in the elections, in which Colonel Díaz was re-elected, breaking his promise.
  1. Effects of The Mexican Revolution

  • 3.4 million affected . There are no exact figures for the number of deaths during the Mexican Revolution, but it is estimated between one million and two million people. In addition, there was extensive emigration to other countries, famine, fall in the birth rate and a Spanish influenza pandemic in 1918.
  • New role of the State . The Revolution allowed the disadvantaged classes to enter the State and occupy bureaucratic and administrative functions. The army, which supported the Revolution, captured middle and lower class personnel, growing by 50 or 60%; all of which meant an important change in the distribution of wealth and an important migration from the fields to the cities .
  • Agrarian reform . Of the most significant changes of the time, it allowed the peasants to own the lands they worked. Even so, their quality of life did not improve much and many preferred the abusive work in the plantations, where they were better paid.
  • Artistic push . Many Mexican authors and artists documented in their works what happened between 1910 and 1917, and all that effort would bear fruit in Mexican culture later. Authors such as Mariano Azuela (with his novel Los de abajo , from 1916), José Vasconcelos, Rafael M. Muñoz, José Rubén Romero, Martín Luis Guzmán and others would start the “Revolutionary novel”. Something similar happened with cinema, plastic arts and photography.
  1. Mexican Revolution Leaders

  • Francisco “Pancho” Villa . Revolutionary leader of the northern ranks, nicknamed the “Centaur of the North”, considered a social hero in many popular corridos of the time, as he stole trains and landowners to give to the poorest.
  • Francisco Madero . One of those responsible for the beginning of the Revolution was a Mexican businessman and politician who fought hard against the porfirate and, when he became president, was overthrown in turn by the revolutionaries.
  • Emiliano Zapata . In command of the Liberating Army of the South, he was one of the most important military figures of the Mexican Revolution, a symbol of peasant resistance, known as the “Caudillo del Sur”.
  • Venustiano Carranza . Political, military and Mexican businessman, he was the First Chief of the Constitutionalist Army after the murder of Madero. He held power twice: 1914 and 1917.

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