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Mexican Revolution
(Revolución mexicana)
Collage revolución mexicana.jpg
Collage of the Mexican Revolution
Date 20 November 1910 – 21 May 1920
(9 years, 6 months and 1 day)
Location Mexico
Result Revolutionary victory
  • Porfirio Díaz ousted from power and exiled in France, May 1911.
  • Francisco I. Madero elected president of Mexico, 1911, assassinated February 1913.
  • Victoriano Huerta overthrows Madero and assumes the presidency 1913–1914.
  • Venustiano Carranza creates an alliance of Northerners under the Constitutionalist banner 1913.
  • Convention of Aguascalientes between revolutionary leaders, 1914.
  • Carranza's Constitutionalist Army defeats Pancho Villa at the Battle of Celaya 1915
  • Carranza consolidates his position as president of Mexico 1915
  • Mexican Constitution of 1917 enacted.
  • Successive assassinations of revolutionary leaders Madero (1913), Zapata (1919), Venustiano Carranza (1920), Pancho Villa (1923), Álvaro Obregón (1928).
Participants
Mexico Counter-revolutionary forces:

1910–1911:
Federal troops led by Porfirio Díaz

Mexico Revolutionary forces:

1910–1911:
Maderistas
Orozquistas
Magonistas
Zapatistas

1911–1913:
Forces led by Bernardo Reyes
Forces led by Félix Díaz
Orozquistas
Magonistas
Zapatistas
1911–1913:
Maderistas
1913–1914:
Forces led by Victoriano Huerta
1913–1914:
Carrancistas
Villistas
Zapatistas
1914–1919:
Villistas
Zapatistas
Forces led by Félix Díaz
Forces led by Aureliano Blanquet
1914–1919:
Carrancistas
Seditionistas
1920:
Forces led by Álvaro Obregón
Remaining Zapatista forces

Supported by
 United States (1910–1913)
 German Empire (c.1913–1918)

1920:
Carrancistas

Supported by
 United States (1913–1918)
 British Empire (1916–1918)

Commanders and leaders
1910–1911:
Porfirio Díaz
Ramón Corral
José Yves Limantour
Manuel Mondragón
1911–1913:
Pascual Orozco (Fought own revolution after Díaz was overthrown and later sided with Huerta after Huerta took power.)
Bernardo Reyes  (Led own revolution until his death in 1913.)
Félix Díaz (sided with Reyes and later Huerta after Reyes died in 1913.)
Emiliano Zapata (Sided with Orozco until Huerta took power.)
Ricardo Flores Magón (POW)
1913–1914:
Victoriano Huerta
Aureliano Blanquet
Pascual Orozco (  in 1915)
Manuel Mondragón (Until June 1913)
Francisco León de la Barra
Francisco S. Carvajal
1914–1919:
Pancho Villa
Emiliano Zapata 
Félix Díaz
Aureliano Blanquet 
1920:
Álvaro Obregón
1910–1911:
Francisco I. Madero
Pascual Orozco
Bernardo Reyes
Pancho Villa
Emiliano Zapata
Ricardo Flores Magón
1911–1913:
Francisco I. Madero 
José María Pino Suárez 
Pancho Villa
Venustiano Carranza
Victoriano Huerta (Secretly sided with Reyes against Madero until Reyes died in 1913. After Reyes died, Huerta launched his own revolution.)
Aureliano Blanquet (Also secretly sided with Reyes until his death.)
1913–1914:
Venustiano Carranza
Pancho Villa
Emiliano Zapata
Álvaro Obregón
Plutarco Elías Calles
1914–1919:
Venustiano Carranza
Álvaro Obregón
1920:
Venustiano Carranza 
Strength
Mexico Counter-revolutionary forces:
250,000 – 300,000
Mexico Revolutionary forces:
255,000 – 290,000
Casualties and losses
German Empire 2 Germans killed United States 500 Americans killed
Mexico 1.3? to 2? million Mexican deaths (civilian and military)
700,000 to 1,375,000 civilian dead (using 2 million figure)

The Mexican Revolution was brought on by a major armed struggle that started in 1911, among other factors, with an uprising led by Francisco I. Madero against longtime autocrat Porfirio Díaz. The Revolution was characterized by several socialist, liberal, anarchist, populist, and agrarianist movements. Over time the Revolution changed from a revolt against the established order to a multi-sided civil war.

There was less fighting after 1920, when Álvaro Obregón, the most important revolutionary leader still alive, became President.

During that span, power was concentrated in the hands of a select few; the people had no power to express their opinions or select their public officials. Wealth was likewise concentrated in the hands of the few, and injustice was everywhere, in the cities and the countryside alike.

Overview of the Mexican Revolution

The origins of the conflict were broadly based in opposition to the Díaz regime, with the 1910 election becoming the catalyst for the outbreak of political rebellion. The revolution was begun by elements of the Mexican elite hostile to Díaz, led by Madero and Pancho Villa; it expanded to the middle class, the peasantry in some regions, and organized labor. In October 1911, Madero was overwhelmingly elected in a free and fair election. Opposition to his regime then grew from both the conservatives, who saw him as too weak and too liberal, and from former revolutionary fighters and the dispossessed, who saw him as too conservative.

Madero and his vice president Pino Suárez were forced to resign in February 1913, and were assassinated. The counter-revolutionary regime of General Victoriano Huerta came to power, backed by business interests and other supporters of the old order. Huerta remained in power from February 1913 until July 1914, when he was forced out by a coalition of different regional revolutionary forces. When the revolutionaries' attempt to reach political agreement failed, Mexico plunged into a civil war (1914–1915). The Constitutionalist faction under wealthy landowner Venustiano Carranza emerged as the victor in 1915, defeating the revolutionary forces of former Constitutionalist Pancho Villa and forcing revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata back to guerrilla warfare. Zapata was assassinated in 1919 by agents of President Carranza.

The armed conflict lasted for the better part of a decade, until around 1920, and had several distinct phases. Over time the Revolution changed from a revolt against the established order under Díaz to a multi-sided civil war in particular regions, with frequently shifting power struggles among factions in the Mexican Revolution. One major result of the revolution was the dissolution of the Federal Army in 1914, which Francisco Madero had kept intact when he was elected in 1911 and General Huerta used to oust Madero. Revolutionary forces unified against Huerta's reactionary regime defeated the Federal forces. Although the conflict was primarily a civil war, foreign powers that had important economic and strategic interests in Mexico figured in the outcome of Mexico's power struggles. The United States played an especially significant role. Out of Mexico's population of 15 million, the losses were high, but numerical estimates vary a great deal. Perhaps 1.5 million people died; nearly 200,000 refugees fled abroad, especially to the United States.

Many scholars consider the promulgation of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 as the end point of the armed conflict. "Economic and social conditions improved in accordance with revolutionary policies, so that the new society took shape within a framework of official revolutionary institutions", with the constitution providing that framework. The period 1920–1940 is often considered to be a phase of the Revolution, as government power was consolidated, the Catholic clergy and institutions were attacked in the 1920s, and the revolutionary constitution of 1917 was implemented.

This armed conflict is often characterized as the most important sociopolitical event in Mexico and one of the greatest upheavals of the 20th century; it resulted in an important program of experimentation and reform in social organization. The revolution committed the resulting political regime with "social justice", until Mexico underwent a neoliberal reform process that started in the 1980s.

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