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Mexican Revolution
–
1910
1940
I.
Causes of revolution
a.
Opposition to Porfirio Díaz’s dictatorship (1876
1911)
i.
People of Mexican suppressed and given few benefits
1.
workers experienced decline in real wages for a long period of time
(inflation
rate greater than
increase in wages)
2.
women were given inferior social and economic status, as they had lower
wages, abusive living conditions, and legal discrimination
3.
no land distribution
a.
The majority of the land was in the hands of 1000 Mexican families and
less than 200
families owned 25% of the land
with
2 families collectively
owned 24 million acres of land
i.
De la Garza hacienda in Coahuila was 11,115,000 acres and the Huller
estate in Baja, California was 13,325,650 acres in size
b.
The church owned 25% of land, in which
they rented out to people of faith
for money
c.
Foreigners owned 25% of the land
d.
95% of campesinos owned no land
e.
90% of ejidos owned no land
ii.
Foreign powers able to control the Mexican economy
1.
Foreigners had control over many mining sites, oilrigs, railroads
(
infrastructure), and many utilities
2.
Foreigners owned about 20% of Mexican land
3.
The Mexicans did not embrace foreign influence because this meant that
the
foreigners were making profits off of Mexican property and the Mexicans
did
not like this idea
b.
Crop fa
ilures and recessions between 1906 and 1908
i.
A result of lack of resources, causing huge unemployment since farmers
could not
work when there was recession and crop failures; workers could not work
without
raw materials
c.
Díaz announced in 1908 that he was op
en to having an opposition party, opening
Mexico for democracy
i.
Led to rise of Francisco Madero
1.
popular among the people and named candidate for opposition party
formed
in April 1910
a.
Díaz saw Madero’s popularity as a threat so Madero arrested on charges of
preparing an armed insurrection
b.
Díaz won election by unanimous vote on June 21
released Madero on
bail since he was no longer seen as a threat
2.
Upon release, Madero opted for an armed struggle since he didn’t think
Díaz
could be removed peacefully
a.
Went to
Texas on October 7, 1910 and announced Plan of San Luis Potosí
i.
Madero was allowed to organize his revolution on US soil without
having much interference by the authorities, showing US displeasure
with Diaz due to Diaz favoring Britain over US
ii.
Previous elec
tion in which Díaz “won” considered null and void
iii.
Madero provisional president until free elections could be held
iv.
Aimed to overthrow Díaz by use of violence
v.
Had vague agrarian policies and promised some land reform
II.
Course of revolution
a.
Madero’s return to M
exico
i.
Greeted by only 25 supporters when he returned, but soon gathered
momentum
and two major movements (one under Pascual Orozco and Pacho Villa in
Chihuahua, the other under Emiliano Zapata in Morelos) were influenced
by
Madero
b.
Complot de Tacubaya (Marc
h 1911)
i.
Some maderistas organized an urban revolt against Díaz that advocated a
revolutionary social agenda including protecting indigenous rights, agrarian
reform, 8
hour workday, equal pay for equal work, and equal access to education
ii.
Although quickly su
ppressed, it was successful in undermining Díaz’s confidence
in his ability to rule
seeking compromise with Madero shortly after
c.
Treaty of Ciudad Juárez (May 21, 1911)
i.
Cause: Zapatistas won two decisive victories in May
Díaz decided to reach an
agreeme
nt with Madero instead of face an invasion by Zapata
ii.
Provisions
1.
Díaz removed from power, but all existing institutions left
2.
nothing regarding social change involved
III.
Madero’s presidency (1911
-
1913)
a.
October 1911
–
elected president by overwhelming majority
b.
C
losely tied with old regime and had no sympathy with the revolution, as
attempts
were made to disband the revolutionary troops
c.
Díaz bureaucracy remained largely intact
d.
No fundamental solutions for social and economic problems (little change)
e.
Conception of
democracy was that masses had illusion of power while all decisions in
hands of elite
f.
Allowed organization of trade unions, strikes, and national workers’ center
g.
Answer to agrarian problem was an inadequate program of purchase of
land from
large landowners
and recovery of national land for distribution among the landless
peasants
i.
Failure of agrarian reform lost him trust and support from peasants
h.
Madero seen as incompetent, so Zapata attempted to overthrow him
i.
Plan of Ayala (November 28, 1911)
–
stated “the
lands, woods, and waters
usurped by the hacendados, científicos, or caciques through tyranny and
venal
justice” would be returned to their owners
ii.
Madero failed to stop the revolt
i.
Loss of US support because he didn’t favor Americans
i.
February 12, 1913
–
Wil
son sent Madero a protest against the military operations
conduct in Mexico City since they threatened American life and property
ii.
February 14, 1913
–
Wilson invited other foreign diplomats to conference and it
was agreed that they would force Madero to res
ign
j.
February 18, 1913
–
some of Huerta’s troops arrested Madero and a few others
i.
Huerta headed provisional government; Félix Díaz (nephew) would be
given
chance once elections could be held
IV.
Huerta’s regime (1913
1914)
a.
“Proper” elimination of Madero
–
Huert
a obtained “voluntary” resignations from
Madero and his VP; the two were then murdered on February 22 on way to
penitentiary
b.
Seizure of power was greeted warmly by landed aristocracy, capitalists,
and church
c.
Biggest effort was to restore Díaz’s system of p
ersonal dictatorship
d.
Félix Díaz would never succeed Huerta
e.
Continued Madero’s labor policies, but later closed down Casa del Obrero
Mundial
when labors aligned themselves with the anti
Huerta movement
f.
Revolutionary wave grew even stronger with Madero’s mur
der and dictatorship
g.
Zapata intensified fight; anti
Huerta coalition formed in North
i.
Huerta’s campaigns against Zapatistas failed to gain any decisive victories
ii.
Zapata forced Huerta to commit a large amount of troops to south (where
he was
attacking), whic
h allowed northern revolutionary movement to succeed
h.
Favored Britain over US
US opposed Huerta
i.
Woodrow Wilson refused to recognize Huerta regime because he was
convinced
Huerta could not provide the stable political climate US interests required
ii.
November
1913
–
Wilson sent note to British officials basically stating that the
US “intends not merely to force Huerta from power, but also to exert every
influence it can exert to secure Mexico a better government under which all
contracts and business concessio
ns will be safer than they have been”
make
Mexico more US
friendly
iii.
Wilson obtained end of British support for Huerta in 1914 by yielding to
British
request for uniform rates on all goods shipped through the Panama Canal
Huerta’s financial position beca
me increasingly difficult
1.
Tried avoiding trouble by suspending payment on interest on national debt
for
6 months, but that only increased his difficulties
iv.
US lifted existing embargo on arms shipments to Carranza’s forces after
they
promised they would resp
ect foreign property rights
v.
Dolphin Incident
–
Dolphin
cruiser landed in restricted area of Tampico, and US
sailors aboard were arrested but quickly released with an apology
1.
commander of
Dolphin
demanded formal disavowal of actions and various
other things
that was the equivalent of political suicide
2.
fleet sent into Gulf of Mexico and on April 21, 1914, Wilson ordered seizure
of Veracruz after learning a German merchant ship with munitions was on
the
way
3.
Huerta’s forces evacuated; US occupied Veracruz
Mex
icans not too happy
vi.
Huerta fled for Europe on July 15, 1914 after Villa and Obregón seized
many
important cities
US had no pretext for continuing armed intervention, but
Wilson delayed evacuation of Veracruz as long as possible in hope of
securing
commit
ments from Carranza that would prevent any basic changes in Mexico’s
social and economic structure; Carranza rejected demands and insisted on
ending
military intervention
US evacuates on November 23, 1914 because they feared
revolutionary convention’s ra
dical threat to US economic interests (especially oil)
V.
Pancho Villa
a.
Pancho Villa, leader of the northern anti
Huerta movement, won control of
Chihuahua after capturing Chihuahua City
b.
Employed soldiers as civil militia and administrative staff to restore no
rmal life
c.
Reduced meat prices and distributed money, clothing, and other goods to
the poor
d.
Established about 50 new schools in Chihuahua City (very passionate
about
education)
e.
December 1913
–
announced expropriation without compensation of pro
Huerta
oliga
rchy holdings in Chihuahua
i.
These lands remained under state control until victory of revolution
ii.
Revenues from estates used to finance revolution and support
windows/orphans of
soldiers
iii.
Once victory achieved, used to pay pensions to windows/orphans, to comp
ensate
veterans, to restore village lands taken by hacendados, and pay taxes left
unpaid
iv.
Cattle on the lands sold to US for arms/ammunition for army, given to
urban
unemployed for food, or sold in markets
f.
in 1914, he seized Torreón (major railroad center),
Monterrey, Saltillo, Tampico, and
Zacatecas
leading to flight of Huerta
g.
after 1915, he ceased to exist as a major political and military factor
i.
forced out of Mexico City by Carranza (January 19, 1915)
ii.
attacked by Obregón in April 1915 in railroad center
of Celaya (first time Villa
suffered disastrous defeat)
iii.
by end of 1915, he was in Chihuahua; carried on guerrilla warfare for three
years
but nothing major
VI.
Emiliano Zapata
a.
Essentially took land from haciendas and distributed it to the peasants
b.
Plan of Aya
la (see III.h.i)
c.
Anarchist; never achieved presidency
VII.
Venustiano Carranza
a.
Landowner in Coahuila who served under Díaz but joined Madero in 1911
b.
March 26, 1913
–
announced Plan de Guadalupe
i.
Called for overthrow of Huerta and restoration of constitutional go
vernment
ii.
Did not mention anything on social reforms
c.
assumed title of first chief of the Constitutionalist Army
d.
able to recruit Villa and Alvaro Obregón, leader of anti
Huerta group in Sonora
e.
disproved of US action in Veracruz and demanded immediate evacuat
ion
f.
after flight of Huerta, hostility emerged between Carranza and Villa
i.
Carranza had no position on agrarian problem, role of church, and new
political
order
Villa proposed a clause which Carranza unwillingly agreed to
1.
defined the present conflict as a
struggle of poor against abuses of power
2.
implant democratic regime
3.
secure well
being of workers and emancipate peasants economically
4.
equitable land distribution and “whatever else is needed to solve the
agrarian
problem”
ii.
October 1914
–
meeting at Aguascali
entes to settle differences between
Villa/Carranza
1.
endorsed Plan of Ayala, assumed supreme authority, and called for
Carranza
resignation with General Eulalio Gutiérrez provisional president
2.
Carranza refused to resign
armies of Zapata and Villa advanced
to capital
and occupied it, forcing Carranza to flee to Veracruz
iii.
December 4, 1914
–
two came to agreement; decided Guitiérrez would have state
power since both were unskilled in politics
1.
Guitiérrez sabotaged Conventionist war effort and opened secret negot
iations
with Obregón
2.
convention unable to forge a clear national program of socioeconomic
reforms that could unite interests of peasantry, industrial workers, and
middle
class
3.
Constitutionalists (headed by Carranza) adopted a program of social
reforms
desi
gned to win the support of the peasants and workers
“Adiciones”
g.
“Adiciones” to the Plan of Guadalupe (December 1914)
i.
promised agrarian reform and improved conditions for industrial workers
ii.
January 6, 1915
–
restored lands usrped from the villages and exp
ropriated
additional needed land from haciendas while secretly promising
hacendados that
he would return land confiscated by revolutionary authorities, a promise he
kept
iii.
Gained labor support by promising minimum
wage law that applied to all
branches of ind
ustry and by affirming right to form trade unions and to strike
iv.
Appealed for women’s support
h.
Brought back Casa del Obrero Mundial after fall of Huerta
i.
Gained support of US
could exercise more power with less opposition
j.
Early 1915
–
captured Puebla and th
reatened the capital
Gutiérrez left the city and
shortly after submitted his resignation
i.
Pressured Villa and forced him to evacuate Mexico City on January 19
k.
October 1915
–
Wilson acknowledged Carranza’s presidency and placed arms
embargo on Carranza’s o
pponents
i.
US still wanted to have significant influence on the revolution, so a
memorandum
to Carranza dictated the conditions to be met before he could obtain de jure
recognition
ii.
Basically stated that US could determine Mexican policy in foreign
economic
rights, role of the church, elections, etc.
Carranza rejected
l.
US/Mexican relations deteriorated sharply in 1916
i.
Mexican federal/state authorities tried to regulate foreign oil company
operations
ii.
Villa raided Columbus, New Mexico because angered at arms e
mbargo
1.
US responded by sending General John Pershing to pursue Villa into
Mexico
2.
Carranza denounced invasion, demanded withdrawal, and prepared for war
3.
Wilson accepted offer to negotiate settlement after Pershing failed to get
Villa
m.
Constitution of 1917
VIII.
Al
varo Obregón
a.
IX.
Plutarco Elias Calles
a.
X.
Lazaro Cardenas
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