A friend of mine recently shared this with me and I thought it was a very fascinating way to reflect on the 100th anniversary of the start of the Mexican Revolution. On November 20th, 1910, prominent Mexican anti-reelectionist politician Francisco I. Madero escaped from prison where he had been imprisoned by ruling dictator Porfirio Díaz and called for national revolution. Fighting broke out first in the city of Puebla and then spread throughout the country.
The NYT had this take on those events and the possibility of revolution in the Republic of Mexico. Published November 21, 1910.
Over the next 10 to 20 years (depending on how you define the end of the Revolution), Mexico freed itself from dictatorship, went through a staggering number of rulers, and found itself with a new constitution guaranteeing, among other things, all Mexicans new labor and land rights. Francisco Villa led an army in the north and Emiliano Zapata organized the campesinado in the country’s central region.
The revolution was anything but organized–some say it is better described as a civil war–but it was also anything but “a petty political uprising.” Perhaps the “more potent, hidden influence” that was “working behind the movement” was the discontent of the millions of Mexicans for whom the (so-called) progress of Díaz’s regime had never arrived.
Sarah Farr is PhD student in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The views expressed in this blog and on this website are my own.