The Mexican Revolution (1910) was an armed insurrection that took place in Mexico, of a liberal and popular character, formed by government dissidents, peasants and indigenous people.
It also brought together socialist, liberal and anarchist leaders in the struggle for agrarian reform, nationalization of North American multinationals and for electoral reforms.
Historical Context of the Mexican Revolution
Between 1876 and 1911, President Porfirio Díaz (1830 - 1915) maintained a military dictatorship in Mexico, thanks to patronage and a series of electoral fraud.
The last one was held in 1910, when Díaz was reelected for the last time and caused dissent among the national political elites.
On the other hand, the popular ills were aggravated by the economic crisis of 1907. Likewise, the "Lei dos Baldios", of 1893-1902, favored the concentration of land, as it made it possible to take indigenous properties and pass them on to landowners and foreign investors. .
Thus, in 1910, Francisco Ignácio Madero González (1873-1913), presidential candidate defeated in rigged elections, rose up against the government.
To gain popular support, Madero promises to carry out Agrarian Reform. With the support of the revolutionary armies of Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa, Madero was elected president in October 1911.
However, as he does not fulfill his promise to carry out Agrarian Reform, Zapata breaks up with him. Later, Zapata returns to the south and starts the “Plan de Ayala”, to divide 1/3 of the land among the peasants.
With no other option but to continue the Revolution, Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa begin a new military offensive against Madero.
Likewise, the conservatives, led by General Victoriano Huerta, are against the president. Huerta carries out a coup d'état in 1913, rising to power after assassinating then-President Francisco I. Madero and his vice president.
However, Huerta also suffered from armed uprisings against his government. The governor of the north, Carranza, teamed up with Emiliano Zapata, of the south, to defeat him. They also had the support of the United States Marines, who took the port of Vera Cruz.
Huerta is defeated and deposed in June 1914, when Pancho Villa and Zapata took the Government Palace and elected Carranza as the new President. In 1917, the new Constitution was promulgated, which is still in force in Mexico.
Finally, Zapata is assassinated in an ambush in 1919, and Pancho Villa is killed in 1923. With the death of the popular leaders of the Revolution, the Revolution weakens and power returns to the Mexican bourgeoisie.See also:Agrarian Reform
Causes of the Mexican Revolution
The main causes of the Mexican Revolution are linked to capitalist exploitation and the social injustices that resulted from it.
In effect, the rural aristocracy held control of agricultural production (3% of the population owned the best land in Mexico). For its part, foreign capital exploited mines, ports and oil extraction.
This situation was worsened with Porfirio Díaz, as his government intensified the exploitation of the less favored population. Likewise, he opened the country to foreign capital, provoking discontent on the part of the nationalist elites who supported him.See also:Capitalism
Consequences of the Mexican Revolution
The main consequence of the Mexican Revolution was the promulgation of the Constitution of 1917, where it is foreseen:
- the right to expropriate land by the State for the purposes of Agrarian Reform;
- the recognition of indigenous rights over ancestral lands;
- the creation of the minimum wage and the eight-hour working day;
- the definitive separation of State and Church.
Another indirect consequence of this movement was the weakening of caudillismo in Mexico.
Despite all the achievements, many peasants lost their land after the Revolution. Unable to compete with the production made on the large estates, several had to sell them to large landowners.See also:Mexico
Emiliano Zapata and Zapatism
Emiliano Zapata Salazar (1879-1919) was born in the village of San Miguel Anenecuilco and was the main leader of the Liberation Army of the South, with more than thirty thousand soldiers. He is considered the great hero of the Revolution.
Nevertheless, Zapata was one of the most radical figures in the revolutionary movement, due to the desire to carry out agrarian reform and lack of ambition for power. Proof of this is that he didn't want to be president in 1914, even when he had this possibility.
Zapata's ideas survived and inspired Zapatismo, and the creation of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, which fights to reform the Mexican political system.See also:Emiliano Zapata
Fun facts about the Mexican Revolution
- The Mexican Revolution was one of the main themes of the art movement called "Mexican Muralism".
- From the 1930s onwards, political elites crystallized revolutionary ideals in the Institutional Revolutionary Party.
- To this day, Emiliano Zapata is one of the best known Mexicans inside and outside the country.
Mexican Revolution, a popular revolution . Documentary. Consulted on 05.29.2020.
Mexican Revolution; 109 years ago, one of the greatest revolutions of the 20th century began . Adventures in History. Published on 11/19/2019.
Comment la révolution mexicaine a-t-elle répondu aux désirs de changement? . Documentary. Consulted on 05.29.2019.