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Transcript of Mexican Revolution
The first revolution of the 20th Century
After leaving jail in San Luis Potosí and escaping to San Antonio, Texas, Francisco I. Madero wrote de Plan de San Luis in which he declared the election illegal (he and the Antirreleeccionistas had been imprisoned in the last moment of the campaign) and called for all towns to rise in arms on November the 20th.
Some days before, in Puebla, the Serdán family was attacked by the police accused of possessing arms in their house. The Mexican Revolution had begun.
The reasons to back Madero's proposition could be diverse. There were the Magonistas, the Maderistas, people who simply wanted to fight hacendados or the foreign capitalist. What was clear was that the objective: to overthrow the Díaz regime.
The conflict spread through many states of Mexico. Díaz managed to stop some of it. However in Chihuahua, Pascual Orozco and Pancho Villa kept the war going. Although Madero was afraid of getting the U.S. into the struggle by attacking Ciudad Juárez, Orozco disobeyed Madero and captured the city.
Decena trágica and overthrow of Madero
Félix Díaz convinced some generals in Veracruz to fight against Madero for his disloyal decision on not supporting competent career officers as key leaders. The revolt was stopped by forces loyal to Madero and Díaz was jailed. However, in jail he plotted with Bernardo Reyes a plan to overthrow Madero.
On Februray 9, 1913 General Mondragón released Reyes and Díaz and marched on the National Palace. Reyes died right away and Díaz took charge. He positioned the rebel troops in the Ciudadela and during the next 10 days there was a non-stop fire exchange. This conflict is known as the Decena Trágica. Commercial establishments were closed and goods became scarce. On February 17, all of a sudden Huerta decided to change sides and dispatched General Blanquet to arrest the president.
Huerta had met with Díaz and the American ambassador Henry Lane Wilson. After the resignations of Madero an Pino Suárez, the vice-president (later assassinated), Huerta arranged an unusual evening session of the Congress. After accepting the resignations, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Pedro Lascuráin was declared president and 44 minutes later he had appointed Huerta as the new Secretary and submitted his own resignation.
Victoriano Huerta's dictatorship
Although Huerta had gained support from some of the state governors and formed an interesting cabinet among which were some intellectuals peace would not last for long.
Coahuila Governor Venustiano Carranza stated that he would not recognize the new regime. Villa in Chihuahua and Obregón in Sonora supported him. The three states signed the Plan de Guadalupe which backed Carranza, the First Chief of the Constitutionalist Army as an interim president upon Huerta's defeat.
Zapata didn't back Huerta and stood as a rebel by his own.
Pacification was unachievable. Huerta thought that it could happen by dedicating all sorts of efforts to combating the rebels. He increased the federal army by sending to the field thousands of people with a minimum training.
And he became a dictator. Jails were crowded with political prisoners, editors were removed from their posts, opponents were killed. The most famous case is the one of Senator Belisario Domínguez.
However, he stimulated education in rural communities, restored some lands to the Yaqui and Mayo Indians in Sonora among other domestic programs.
Constitucionalistas vs Villistas
Álvaro Obregón, Adolfo de la Huerta and Plutarco Elías Calles promuglated the Plan de Agua Prieta and opposed Carranza.
Carranza was killed by one of his guards (an obregonista) and Obregón was eventually elected as president.
A new era began in which worker and peasant unions became the center of political life. After Obregón, Calles became president and the modern Mexican State was born.
During the following decades a national party would be established and the main decisions were taken from its center.
The new Constitution gave plenty power to the president and the era of presidencialismo would mark the 20th Century, even though alliances with key sectors of society would be crucial.
Could the Mexican Revolution be considered a single social movement as a whole?
Where the people who began fighting for some specific reasons the ones benefited by the social structure established during the 20's?
Have the problems that caused the struggle been solved in the beginning of the 21st Century?
Interim Presidency and Democracy
Once Díaz realized that there wasn't a way back, he sent a team to negotiate with Madero. Díaz would resign before May 1911 and his ancient secretary of foreign affairs, Francisco León de la Barra would be the interim president until new elections could be held.
Elections had place in November and Madero won with almost no opposition. However his administration failed to achieve the ambitious goal that pretended. Besides, some of the revolutionaries like Zapata considered he had betrayed the Revolution. So he promulgated the Plan de Ayala, stating that lands, woods and water should be restored to villages immediately. An armed conflicted started in Morelos and spread to the neighboring states: Guerrero, Tlaxcala, Puebla, México and the capital.
Rebellions also started in the North. First the Reyistas (with Bernardo Reyes) and later on Pascual Orozco who had helped Madero to gain Ciudad Juárez. The Plan Orozquista proposed a series of reforms including nationalization of railroads besides criticizing Madero's nepotist strategies having his family among the main charges of his administration. General Victoriano Huerta faced the Orozquistas in the North and saved Madero's government. However, the real menace was yet to come...
During the Spring of 1914 there was an incident with the U.S. that precipitated the fall of Huerta.
An American ship stopped in Tampico and there was a confusion that led to an attack when the U.S. consul in Veracruz told Washington that a German ship was sending arms to Huerta.
Marines took Veracruz an people in Mexico City and Monterrey stated their indignation. The Constitutionalists didn't approve the intervention either.
Huerta sent troops to Veracruz and the Constitutionalists moved to the military vacuums. By the summer, Villa's capture of Zacatecas had cleared out the winning of their army.
Huerta resigned on July 1914.
A Convention was held in Aguascalientes to establish order. Differences between the rural and the constitutionalist became evident and since then a new civil war started. Eulalio Gutiérrez was named provisional president while Carranza moved to Veracruz to establish a Constitutional government.
Carranza and Obregón faced Zapata and Villa during the next years in a chaotic war with several fronts. The Celaya battles in the Bajío region were decisive to Obregón's army.
Carranza gained force and recognition in Mexico City while Villa attacked the Colombus in the U.S. nearly causing a new international conflict.
A Congress was then formed in the beginning of 1917 in Querétaro to create the Constitution and give an institutional basis to the Revolution.
The main articles qere the 3rd, (Education), the 27th (Agricultural Property) and the 123 (Worker's rights).
Right after this, Carranza was elected and began some transformations. He finally liquidated Zapata who was still unhappy with the government.