An outstanding event in the national-liberation movement of Latin America was the Mexican revolution against imperialist expansion and the vestiges of feudalism. In the revolution were involved millions of peasants and laborers, as well as other segments of the population, who started an armed struggle for democratic and social transformations. It was a struggle against dictatorships, against the political dominance of financial-oligarchical elites. The revolutionaries sought to agrarian reform, the elimination of latifundia in the country, the elimination of pre-capitalist remnants in the agricultural sector, for giving land to peasants, etc. (Beezley 2009)
A special place in this historic event played revolutionaries, ideologists and leaders of the revolution.
Struggle of the peasants in the north was led by former peon Francisco Villa. In 1912, during the counter-revolutionary rebellion, Villa formed a cavalry which became the basis of his future army, and took part in suppressing the rebellion with government troops. The actions of his guerrilla group covered a vast area of Koauily to Sinaloa. Pancho Villa was a very effective revolutionary leader, he successfully, was winning battle after battle during the next several years. Villa began to revolt against the government and organized the Northern Division, which operated in Chihuahua and Coahuila. Later, Villa started the fight against the government of Carranza in alliance with the Villa Emiliano Zapata, the leader of the peasant army in the province of Morelos. And in 1916, Villa led a struggle against both the government of Carranza and American interventionists. Villa was a storm for the rich and the hope to the poor. (Krauze 1997)
Another prominent leader of the peasant farmers was the leader of the south Emiliano Zapata. He was born in a poor peasant family in the state of Morelos, and chose the path of struggle. As well as Villa, Zapata was a partisan, and soon led the peasants in Morelos. Emiliano Zapata led a peasant movement in the center and south of the country. The revolutionary group under his leadership has developed a program of struggle for the resolution of the agrarian question, known as “Plan of Ayala” (included the elimination of large estates for the purchase of land and the granting of the peasants). For the implementation of this plan Zapata fought throughout the Revolution. With his outstanding military skills, Zapata as the revolutionary leader played important role in the overthrow of the counterrevolutionary government of Victoriano Huerta. (Krauze 1997)
The third outstanding leader was Francisco Madero Indalecio, who became the “mastermind” of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, and the president of Mexico in 1910-1913.
Since 1905, Madero was the head of the National Liberals, who opposed the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz’s reaction, and wanted to awaken the consciousness of the nation. Madero was a convinced Democrat and organized the Anti-reelection movement, which opposed to Diaz’s reelection. Madero called for a return of the Liberal 1857 Constitution of Mexico and proposed organizing a Democratic Party under the slogan Sufragio efectivo, no reelección (“Valid Suffrage, No Reelection”). (Krauze 1997)
In his “Plan of San Luis Potosi” Madero denounced the dictatorship of Diaz and urged the Mexican people for an armed uprising, which was scheduled for November 20, 1910. Contrary to expectations of Madero, because of the lack of organization of revolutionaries, the general uprising failed, and some riots in the capital, Puebla and other cities were suppressed. But Madero did not lose heart. In February 1911 he joined the rebel in the state of Chihuahua, who fought under the command of Pascual Orozco. As a result, the government of Diaz was overthrown, he was forced to negotiate with Madero and accept its conditions. Under the agreement signed in May 1911, Porfirio Diaz resigned and left Mexico, and November 11, 1911 Madero was elected as the President. (Krauze 1997)
In conclusion it is necessary to say that revolution in Mexico was an armed struggle for democratic and social transformation, in which took part millions of peasants and laborers, led by strong leaders and ideologues, such as Francisco Villa, Emiliano Zapata and Francisco Indalecio Madera. Revolutionaries fought against dictatorships, against the political dominance of financial-oligarchical elite. The leaders of the revolution inspired people to fight for their rights, democratic reforms, the creation of a legal constitutional state based on civil rights and political freedoms, for the solution of social problems, for social justice. (Beezley 2009)
The revolutionary war in the country continued for six years, and as a result was destroyed the 35-year dictatorship of General Porfirio Diaz, the political rule of the landlord-bourgeois oligarchy. Revolutionaries fight for adoption of a democratic constitution, agrarian reforms, the development of progressive labor legislation, protection of national resources and sovereignty of the country. Many of these goals were achieved, and a huge role in the success of the revolution was played by its great leaders.
Beezley William H. & Colin M. MacLachlan. Mexicans in Revolution, 1910-1946: an Introduction. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2009.
Krauze, Enrique. Mexico: Biography of Power. A History of Modern Mexico, 1810-1996. . New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1997.