Week Ten
The Mexican Revolution

The Mexican Revolution was the first of three epic revolutions of the twentieth century (China 1911, Russia 1917).

It was the ONLY ONE in which a multi-class alliance successfully removed a regime dominated by ruling political and economic elites.


I. Origins and immediate causes

A. Economic depression 1907-09 →

less patronage, unemployment, urban workers returning to countryside, middle class resentment

B. Extreme concentration of landed wealth →

Porfiriato had produced a huge landless peasantry + collapse of subsistence farming

C. Succession crisis →

splits in political elite over who will succeed Díaz

II. The Military Phase (1910-17)

1910 –

- Francisco Madero issues Plan de San Luís Potosí
- revolution begins in Chihuahua

1911 –

- Díaz resigns and goes into exile
- Madero wins elections to presidency
- Emiliano Zapata (Morelos) issues Plan de Ayala

1913 –

- Madero assassinated
- Victoriano Huerta becomes president
- Two fronts against Huerta:

in the south: Zapata
in the north: the "Constitutionalists":

Pancho Villa (Chihuahua)
Venustiano Carranza (governor of Coahuila)
Alvaro Obregón (Sonora)

1914 –

- U.S. invades Veracruz and Tampico, Huerta resigns
- Convention of Aguascalientes

1915 –

- Battle of Celaya
- Carranza becomes president
- Villa + Zapata keep fighting
- soldaderas

1917 –

- Constitution of 1917
- Carranza elected president
- Zimmerman telegram

1918 –

- founding of Confederación Regional Obrera Mexicana (CROM), supporting Carranza

1919 –

- fighting in Morelos
- Zapata assassinated

1920 –

- Villa makes peace with Carranza
- Carranza and Obregón split
- Carranza assassinated by Obregón soldiers
- Obregón elected president


Around 2 million people died in the Mexican Revolution