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Transcript of American-Mexican Imperialism
Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States served in office from 1913-193.
As one of the greatest presidents, Wilson is most famous for leading the US through World War I.
Although Wilson wanted the US to maintain neutrality during World War I, he promptly declared war on Germany in 1917 after Germany delivered illegal weapons to the Mexican president, who Wilson did not support.
In 1917, the United States could no longer avoid being dragged into the European War so Wilson withdrew all forces from Mexico. A message from Arthur Zimmermann is then intercepted and it stated that Germany would propose an alliance with Mexico against the United States if Germany and America went to war. If America were to lose the war Mexico would regain New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, and California. The public had seen and heard about the note and the citizens of America were anti-Germany even though the offer was never given to Mexico.
In 1910, the Mexican Revolution began when Francisco I. Madero led an uprising against autocrat Profirio Diaz. The revolution lasted about 10 years and transformed into a civil war. The Revolution finally ended when the Mexican Constitution was created in 1917
Change in Mexican Government
Pirfirio Diaz was dictator of Mexico who ruled the country with a heavy hand from 1884-1911.
Most Mexicans remained poor, while a handful of landowners, businesspeople, and foreign investors grew very rich. Americans were among the chief investors.
By 1910, U.S. businesses had invested around $2 billion in Mexico, buying up land, banks, mines, and other properties.
In 1910, revolution was brewing and Francisco Madero attempted to lead a revolt, but failed to gain enough support.
Then in 1911 another uprising ousted Diaz and Madero took power, but could not control the country. He later was overthrown by one of his generals, Victoriano Huerta, who had Madero killed.
Other countries recognized the Huerta government and American business interests wanted President Wilson to do the same.
Wilson was horrified by Madero's murder and wanted to promote democracy in Mexico and refused to recognize what he called "a government of butchers."
Instead, Wilson backed Huerta's chief opponent, General Venustiano Carranza, who he hoped would support democratic reform.
US Military Involvement
America made a decision prior to the Mexican Revolution that the US military was only going to aid civil authorities in enforcing the neutrality laws.
Secretary of war Jacob Dickson warned Mexico about the actions that would be taken if any American lives and property were threatened.
The US had no intentions of getting involved.
Between the War for Independence and Operation Iraqi Freedom, the armed forces of the US have participated in 21 principal wars and in numerous smaller conflicts and operations.
In each of these American men and women have paid a high price for the nation's freedom, selflessly sacrificing life or limb for an honorable cause.
The first U.S. troops sent into Mexico during the revolution were in 1914 due to the Ypiranga incident. The United States intelligence agents discovered that a German merchant ship, the Ypiranga, was carrying illegal weapons to the Mexican President, Victoriano Huerta. The U.S. sent forces to Veracruz to stop the ship from docking. The Ypiranga managed to dock at another port which angered President Wilson.
Porfirio Diaz was first recognized after the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
After a failing attempt to get elected president Diaz seized power in a coup during 1876.
In 1907 there was an economic downturn. This caused citizens form lower, middle and even upper class to turn on him.
In 1910 Francisco Madero challenged Diaz to a presidential race.
Diaz jailed Madero when he realized the popularity Madero was gaining.
Madero was eventually freed and when he was, he called for a rise against the Mexican government on November 20, 1910.
By May 1911, Diaz resigned and fled to France.
Madero became president in November 1911.
Fighting continued in Mexico.
Madero had tasked General Victoriano Huerta with putting down the uprising, Huerta switched sides and killed Madero.
Mexican Revolution (1910-1917)
On April 9, 1914, Mexican officials in Tampico, Tamaulipas, arrested a group of U.S. sailors. After failing to meet U.S. terms, the U.S. navy invaded Veracruz and occupied it for seven months. Some people believe that Woodrow WIlson's motivation of this invasion was to overthrow Huerta and it succeeded by encouraging rebels. The U.S. troops eventually left but it only made things worse between Mexico and America
Pancho Villa Intervention and Border Clashes
There were many incidents on the border of America and Mexico in 1916. On March 8, 1916 some Mexicans invaded Columbus, New Mexico. The invasion was led by Francisco (Pancho) Villa and 500 to 1,000 men burned army barracks and robbed stores. The U.S. soldiers defeated Villa and his men but 14 soldiers and 10 civilians were killed.
General John J. Pershing
President Wilson sent General John J. Pershing into Mexico to capture Pancho Villa. Pershing's attacks consisted of small battles and killing of Mexican Army units. America's regular army and National Guard were involved and they would have declared war had there not already been one in Europe. Pancho Villa was able to escape Pershing by hiding in the mountains of Northern Mexico. Pershing was forced to abandon his search and the troops were withdrawn from Mexico by February 1917. There were minor border clashes from 1917 to 1919 but the Zimmermann Telegram affair of January 1917 helped to relieve tension between the two countries.