Mexican Revolution of 1910 Essay

Mexican Revolution of 1910 Essay

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In November 1910 the first great social revolution of the 20th century began in Mexico. The Revolution brought forth a number of different leaders pursuing different goals. Early Revolutionary presidents—Francisco Madero and Venustiano Carranza—emphasized the need for political reform. The two most famous military leaders—Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata—responded to the growing demands of the peasants and urban workers for major social and economic reforms. There were also demands for curbs on the social control and political influence exercised by the Roman Catholic Church. Almost all of the Revolutionaries reflected a growing sense of nationalism and called for a reduction in the important role played by foreigners in the economy. For many, the Revolution did not involve the pursuit of long-term national goals; the chaos of the Revolution was simply a chance for personal advancement. Almost a decade of fighting and civil war took place before the fundamental goals of the Revolution were set down in the Mexican Constitution of 1917. It would take another two decades for the Constitution to be fully implemented.

The immediate target of the Revolution was General Porfirio Díaz, who had dominated national politics since the 1870s. After leading a revolution of his own in 1876, he became president in 1877, emphasizing the principal of no reelection. Díaz originally honored his no-reelection pledge by stepping down from the presidency when his term expired in 1880 but was later reelected in 1884, 1888, 1892, 1896, 1900, 1904, and 1910. Díaz justified his continued power by citing the political stability and economic development experienced by Mexico under his administration.

There was no denying that Mexico needed political s...

... middle of paper ... that the Revolution was dead as Mexico embarked on a new era of modernization and industrialization. Political and economic reforms in the 1980s signaled an end to the pursuit of the traditional themes of the Revolution: agrarian reform, anticlericalism, labor, and antiforeign sentiment.

Various political groups and parties have attempted to appropriate the Revolution of 1910 as their own. The "official party"—the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI—has both claimed credit for implementing the ideals of the Revolution as well as received constant criticism for abandoning them. The Revolution was always an idea as much as it was a historical process. The "idea" of the Revolution is still very much at the center of Mexican politics today.

Works Cited

Coerver, Don M. "Mexican Revolution of 1910." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Web. 2 Feb. 2012.

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