The Mexican Revolution (Spanish: Revolución Mexicana) or Mexican Civil War (Spanish: Guerra Civil Mexicana) was a major armed struggle that broke out in 19l0 when the decades-old rule of President Porfirio Díaz was challenged by Francisco I. Madero, a reformist writer and politician. When Díaz refused to allow clean elections, Madero's calls for revolution were answered by Pascual Orozco and Francisco “Pancho” Villa who led troops in the north and Emiliano Zapata who led troops of campesinos (peasant farmers) to the cry of "Tierra y Libertad!" (Land and Freedom!) in the South.
Díaz was deposed in 1911, but the revolution was just beginning. This internal war lasted for the better part of a decade until around 1920. Over time the revolution changed from a revolt against the established order to a multi-sided civil war with frequently shifting power struggles. By the time the revolution was over, hundreds of thousands had died as rival politicians and warlords fought each other over the cities and regions of Mexico. This armed conflict is often categorized as the most important sociopolitical event in Mexico and one of the greatest upheavals of the 20th century.
Primary Causes of the Mexican Revolution:
- The dictatorship-like rule of Porfirio Diaz for over 30 years
- Exploitation and poor treatment of workers
- Great disparity between rich and poor
In the southern state of Morelos, Madero's call was answered by peasant leader Emiliano Zapata who hoped a revolution would lead to land reform. In the north, muleteer Pascual Orozco and bandit chieftain Pancho Villa also took up arms. All three rallied thousands of men to their rebel armies.
In the south, Zapata attacked large ranches called haciendas giving back land which had been illegally and systematically stolen from peasant villages under the rule of Diaz. In the north, Villa and Orozco's massive armies attacked federal garrisons building up impressive arsenals and attracting thousands of new recruits.Villa truly believed in reform and wanted to see a new, less corrupted Mexico. Orozco was more of an opportunist who saw a chance to get in on the ground floor of a movement. He was confident that the movement would succeed thus securing himself a position of power for himself with the new regime.
Female Zapatista soldiers
By 1920 the revolutionary general Alvaro Obregón had risen to the presidency primarily by outliving his main rivals. Most historians feel that this event marks the end of the revolution although the violence continued well into the 1920's.
After prolonged struggles and bloodshed, the Mexican Constitution of 1917 was created during Venustiano Carranza's term as President. The Constitution of Mexico which is formally called the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States (Spanish: Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos) is the current constitution of Mexico . It was drafted in Santiago de Queretaro, in the state of Queretaro, by a constitutional convention during the Mexican Revolution.
The current Constitution of 1917 is the first such document in the world to set out social rights. The constitution is founded on seven fundamental ideals:
- A declaration of rights
- Sovereignty of the nation
- Separation of powers
- Representative government
- A federal system
- Constitutional remedy
- Supremacy of the state over the Church
The flag of Mexico (Spanish: Bandera de México) is a vertical tricolor of green, white, and red with the national coat of arms in the center of the white stripe. The coat of arms has an eagle holding a serpent in its beak and talon and is perched on top of a prickly pear cactus growing out of rocks in the middle of a lake. A wreath of oak and laurel tied with a ribbon in the national green-white-red colors is below the eagle. Viva Mexico!
Link to Francisco "Pancho" Villa: PANCHO VILLA
Link to Emiliano Zapata: EMILIANO ZAPATA
Link to Pascual Orozco: PASCUAL OROZCO
REVOLUTION DAY PHOTOGRAPHS
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