Beginning of the Mexican Revolution (1910)
Mexico celebrates the Anniversary of its Revolution on November
20. This is date, in the year 1910 the revolutionary war to
overthrow the dictator Porfirio Díaz, began.
General Porfirio Díaz had been an important military figure
during the wars against the foreign invaders, and had tried to
overthrow President Benito Juarez in 1872. Then again, he
rebelled against President Lerdo de Tejada in 1876 and won.
Don Porfirio, as he was called, had been in power for more than
30 years (1876-1911). Under his rule, Mexico had political
stability and grew in many areas, creating new industries,
railroads, kilometers of railroad tracks as well as the increase
of foreign capital. Non-the less, this progress was not
translated into the peoples’ well being.
Soon there was political unrest. The unhappiest sectors of the
Mexican society were the peasants and labor workers. To defend
these two popular sectors, Ricardo Flores Magón founded the
Mexican Liberal Party. Flores Magón was obviously persecuted by
the Porfirist regime, and died in an American prison. In 1906
the army brutally repressed a strike of miners in the Cananea
mine in Sonora. As you can see, Díaz did every thing in his
power to crush any uprisings. The Cananea massacre is
historically considered the spark that finally ignited Mexico’s
Porfirio Díaz wasn’t oblivious to all this pressure, so in 1908
in an interview given to an American journalist, James Creelman,
"I have waited patiently for the day to come when the citizens
of the Mexican Republic will be prepared to elect and decide
their Government at every election without the danger of armed
revolutions and without injury to the national credit or
interference with national progress.
I believe that day has come. ...
"I welcome an opposition party in the Mexican Republic," he
said. "If it becomes a reality, I will regard it as a blessing,
not as an evil.”
early 1909 Francisco I. Madero founded the Anti-Reelectionist
Madero came from a wealthy family from Coahuila. He had studied
business in France as well as in the U.S. He vigorously fought
against reelection and for democracy and liberty in Mexico
through his political newspaper articles.
The Anti Reelectionist party designated him to run for President
in the elections of 1910.
Díaz was now under constant pressure, and on June 6th he
ordered the imprisonment of Madero, augmenting that he was
“inciting rebellion and offending the authorities”.
Francisco I. Madero was taken to a prison in San Luis Potosí,
where he awaited the results of the elections. There he learned
that through an electoral fraud Díaz declared himself President
of Mexico one more time!
Then and there Madero, who had always been a pacifist, decided
to flee from prison and call for a National Insurrection on
November 20 1910. He declared the electoral process invalid and
appointed provisional Governors. Immediately, uprising broke out
in several Mexican states. The first were Puebla, Coahuila,
Chihuahua and Sonora.
Ciudad Juárez , Chihuahua, was taken by the insurrectors:
Pascual Orozco and Francisco “Pancho” Villa. When the city
surrendered Madero set up his provisional government there. Díaz
was then forced to resign and had to abandon the country.
Some of the most important Revolutionaries were Pascual Orozco,
Francisco Villa in the northern states, and Emiliano Zapata in
New elections took place in 1911, and Madero was elected
President of Mexico. Unfortunately, peace was not to come to
this country for a while. Several Revolutionary leaders couldn’t
settle their differences. Madero wanted to work steadily and
patiently towards bettering the economic and social situation.
But many revolutionary commanders wanted immediate change, which
was impossible to accomplish. Pascual Orozco, for example, led
and lost a revolt against Madero.
Three Porfirist generals also attacked President Madero, who in
turn, appointed Victoriano Huerta to repress the offensive. A
fatal decision…. In time history would prove that Victoriano
Huerta was the utmost traitor of the Revolution. Francisco I.
Madero was captured and assassinated by Huerta’s accomplices.
The vice-president and a brother of Madero were also killed.
Huerta’s victory would be short-lived. A new Revolutionary
movement emerged with unprecedented force; it was called the
Constitutionalist Movement. Huerta had to flee the country in
1914. In 1917 the Constitution was reformed. Fighting among
revolutionary groups did not end until 1920.
The Revolution had at last triumphed!