What was the Mexican Revolution?

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What Does Mexican Revolution Mean

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



Initially, the conflict pitted troops loyal to the Porfirio Díaz government against the insurrection led by Francisco Madero . The latter would expire in 1910, through the so-called San Luis Plan, advancing from San Antonio (Texas). However, when Madero himself was elected president in 1911, his disagreements began with other revolutionary leaders such as Pascual Orozco and Emiliano Zapata, who rose up against his 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 Aguascalientes Convention , where Eulalio Gutiérrez was appointed as president and the first steps towards peace were taken, although there would still be insurrections and internal battles 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.

See also: Cuban Revolution

Causes of the Mexican Revolution

  • The crisis of the porfirate. Colonel Porfirio Díaz had ruled Mexico for 34 years, achieving economic expansion at the cost of the malaise of the poorer classes. This led to a social, political, economic and cultural crisis that, when Díaz himself announced that he would retire at the end of his term, triggered the armed struggle.
  • The miserable rural situation. Mexico had 80% rural population , but the laws and social and economic practices of the government favored large landowners and landowners. The peasantry and indigenous communities lived very badly, bereft of land and with nothing to lose.
  • Madero's campaigns. Madero carried out three proselytizing campaigns against the reelection 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.

Consequences 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 widespread emigration to other countries, famine, a falling birth rate, and a Spanish flu pandemic in 1918.
  • New role of the State. The Revolution allowed the underprivileged classes to enter the State and occupy bureaucratic and administrative functions. The army, which supported the Revolution, recruited personnel from the middle and lower classes, 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. One of the most significant changes of the time, it allowed peasants to own the lands they worked. Even so, their quality of life did not improve much and many preferred abusive work on 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 pay off in Mexican culture later. Authors such as Mariano Azuela (with his novel Los debajo , from 1916), José Vasconcelos, Rafael M. Muñoz, José Rubén Romero, Martín Luis Guzmán and others would start the “Revolutionary Novel”. Something similar happened with the cinema , the plastic arts and photography .

Characters of the Mexican Revolution

  • Francisco "Pancho" Villa. Revolutionary leader of the ranks of the north, nicknamed the "Centauro del Norte", 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 in turn overthrown by the revolutionaries.
  • Emiliano Zapata. At the command of the Liberation 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. A Mexican politician, military and businessman, he was the First Chief of the Constitutionalist Army after Madero's assassination. He held power twice: 1914 and 1917.
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