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Video Clip: Revolución Mexicana

Crank up the volume and get yourself in the mood for the Mexican Revolution!

More Faces of the Mexican Revolution

Gildardo Magaña

Genovevo de la O

Francisco León de la Barra

Otilio E. Montaño

Pablo Escandón y Barrón

Pascual Orozco

Pablo González Garza

Felipe Angeles

Henry Lane Wilson


Mexican Revolution Timeline

Mexican Revolution Timeline 1910

Mexican Revolution Timeline 1911

Mexican Revolution Timeline 1912

Mexican Revolution Timeline 1913

Mexican Revolution Timeline 1914

Mexican Revolution Timeline 1915

Mexican Revolution Timeline 1916

Mexican Revolution Timeline 1917

Mexican Revolution Timeline 1918

Mexican Revolution Timeline 1919

Mexican Revolution Timeline 1920

Mexican Revolution Documents

Plan of San Luis Potosí

Plan of Ayala

Mexican Presidents 1910-1920
This chart actually covers the years 1876-1924, for those of you who prefer the slightly bigger picture.


November 29, 1876 - December 6, 1876

Porfirio Díaz


December 6, 1876 - February 17, 1877

Juan N. Méndez


February 17, 1877 - November 30, 1880

Porfirio Díaz


December 1, 1880 - November 30, 1884

Manuel González


December 1, 1884 - May 25, 1911

Porfirio Díaz


May 25, 1911 - November 5, 1911

Francisco León de la Barra (interim)


November 6, 1911 - February 18, 1913

Francisco I. Madero


February 18, 1913

Pedro Lascuráin (interim)


February 18, 1913 - July 15, 1914

Victoriano Huerta


July 15, 1914 - August 13, 1914

Francisco S. Carvajal (interim)






Eulalio Gutiérrez (interim)
November 6, 1914 - January 16, 1915

Venustiano Carranza


Roque González Garza
January 16, 1915 - June 10, 1915



Francisco Lagos Chazaro
June 10, 1915 - October 10, 1915



May 1, 1917 - May 21, 1920

Venustiano Carranza (now constitutional president)


June 1, 1920 - November 30, 1920

Adolfo de la Huerta (interim)


December 1, 1920 - November 30, 1924

Alvaro Obregón


Mexican Revolution Maps

Mexico - The Constitutionalist Revolution, 1910-1920
Click map to enlarge

Mexican Revolution - Major Battles
Mexican Revolution - Major Battles
Click map to enlarge

Historical Map of the Mexican State (estado) of Morelos, around 1910
Morelos State, Mexico
Click map to enlarge

Mexico and the State Morelos
Click map to enlarge

Mexico's Railway System 1910 - 1920
Click map to enlarge

Mexican Revolution Movies
More or less authentic. Excellent Western Classics!

Viva Zapata! 1952
Viva Zapata! 1952

A Bullet for the General, 1966
A Bullet for the General, 1966

The Professionals, 1966
The Professionals, 1966

Run, Man, Run, 1968
RUN, MAN, RUN, 1968

The Wild Bunch, 1969
The Wild Bunch, 1969

Companeros, 1970
Companeros, 1970

Duck You Sucker aka A Fistful of Dynamite, 1971
Duck You Sucker, 1971
aka A Fistful of Dynamite



The Ancient Greeks in a Nutshell


About Mata Hari


Famous Animals in History


All Things Nixon


American Timeline 1492-Today



Rebel Soldiers, Chihuahua - The Mexican Revolution
1910 - 1920

From Dictatorship to Constitutional Republic

The original idea behind the Mexican Revolution was to overthrow the Diaz Regime.

However, things spun totally out of control.

Historian John Womack, Jr. sums up the chaos of the Mexican Revolution in his book Zapata and the Mexican Revolution,

"The revolutionaries won. The question was:
Which revolutionaries?"


It follows a brief summary of the Mexican Revolution:

The Mexican Revolution in a Nutshell

In 1911, Francisco I. Madero overthrew longtime Mexican dictator  Porfirio Díaz.

Madero was not able to create stability and was himself ousted by counterrevolutionary general  Victoriano Huerta in 1913.

Huerta's regime only lasted until 1914, when Huerta was exiled.

Venustiano Carranza emerged as the new leader, desperately trying to fight all other revolutionaries, i.e.  Francisco Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, off his back.

Carranza was the new Mexican president in 1917 and got himself shot in 1920.

Things finally calmed down a bit when  Álvaro Obregón became president in 1920.



Go here for the Timeline of the Mexican Revolution

And if you are looking for something that will help your students understand how the Mexican Revolution got started, the movie Viva Zapata (1952) might be for them.


The Mexican Revolution — When Did It Start? When Did It End?

The Mexican Revolution officially started on November 20, 1910, although fighting broke out earlier than that. However, November 20 it is because this date was chosen by Francisco Madero in his Plan of San Luis Potosí.

Today, the beginning of the Mexican Revolution is commemorated as a public Mexican holiday. See The Mexican Revolution and Public Holidays.

Historians disagree when it comes to its ending point. Commonly used is the year 1920 but some say it was in 1917, a few others even favor the year 1940.

What is the Number of Casualties of the Mexican Revolution?

Hard to say. Historians estimate that approx. 1,000,000 people died during the Mexican Revolution. Some even say it was more than 2,000,000 people.

On top of that we have another approx. 300,000 people who died during the flu epidemic in 1918.

All agree on one fact, the human cost of the Mexican Revolution was massive.

What Were the Causes of the Mexican Revolution?

Much simplified, there were two main reasons for discontent in Mexico. One was dictator Porfirio Díaz. The other was the plantations owners.

Of course, a revolution is never that simple. But let's have a closer look at these two causes of the Mexican Revolution.

Causes of the Revolution — Dictator Porfirio Díaz

After having been president for 20 years, Porfirio Díaz told an American journalist that he was looking forward to retire and that he would welcome to see an opposition party emerge. This was the Creelman Interview and stirred the entire nation.

There were two options: Either Díaz spoke the truth or not.

Knowing Díaz, this could have been a trick to detect and filter out his opponents. But it was equally scary if he was indeed speaking the truth. How come?

Because Díaz had such a tight grip on all governmental affairs and nobody else had been trained up to rule the country.

Causes of the Revolution — The Plantation Owners

The industrial revolution brought about newer and better milling machines. Hence, sugar, rum, and rice plantations grew in size and importance until the plantation owners owned pretty much every bit of land that had been up for sale.

The hacienderos still wanted more but couldn't get the peasants to sell their land because it was their livelihood. So the hacienda owners started to trick, pressure, bribe, and blackmail the peasants off their lands.

Entire villages disappeared and the haciendas became huge.

What options did José Doe have in those days?

a) He could try to find other legal sources of revenue (very limited option.)

b) He could become fully dependent on the haciendas, which would eventually suck him dry. Typically, people first signed on as laborer, then they moved in with their bosses on the hacienda as a gente de casa, aka serf.

c) He could become a criminal, which might or might not beat becoming the slave of a plantation owner.

People had their backs against the wall — the fundamental requirement for any revolution.


Mexico - Rebels flagging train
Mexico - Rebels flagging train
Library of Congress

Who fought the Mexican Revolution? Here are some of the revolutionary forces, main combatants of the Mexican Revolution and their armies:


The Revolutionary Forces — División del Norte

Pancho Villa and his men were fighting in the Mexican state Chihuahua, and generally the northern part of Mexico. Pancho Villa's army was called the  División del Norte, the Division of the North.

Chihuahua has the lime green border on the map below.


The Revolutionary Forces — Ejército Libertador del Sur

Emiliano Zapata, based in the Mexican state Morelos, led the  Ejército Libertador del Sur, which was the Liberation Army of the South.

Morelos has the yellow border on the map below.


The Revolutionary Forces — Ejército Constitucionalista

Venustiano Carranza, hailing from the Mexican state Coahuila, was leader of the powerful  Ejército Constitucionalista, the Constitutionalist Army.

Coahuila has the blue border on the map below.

Mexican States and Capitals
Click to enlarge


Other Revolutionary Fractions — The Figueroa Brothers

Ambrosio Figueroa and his brother Francisco Figueroa were rebel leaders in the Mexican state Guerrero. They fought for Madero but against Diaz, Huerta, and Zapata.

Manuel Asúnsulo was also a rebel leader in the state of Guerrero. He is described as a courteous and young aristocrat, a trained mining engineer, who was educated in the States.

Guerrero has the pink border on the map above.

Women in the Mexican Revolution

Many women traveled with the revolutionary armies and helped out with the routine work in the camp.

But quite a few women also participated in the fighting. Just as their male comrades, some of these soldaderas had lost their families and homes, others were in it out of conviction, and again others were in it just for the heck of it.

Soldaderas fighting in the Mexican Revolution
Left: Soldadera around 1915 photo taken by Agustin Victor Casasola
Right: Archivo Histórico, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Women in the Mexican Revolution
Source unknown

Source unknown

And to cite the great Manny Ozorio,

"Many women were support for the troops, but some women, regardless of their beauty or lack thereof, just jumped into the fun - a number of them really setting an example on what heroism should be."

Here is La Adelita, a Mexican corrido stemming from the Mexican Revolution.



The Battles of the Mexican Revolution

February 4 and 5, 1911

First Battle of Bauche



February 7, 1911

Battle of Smelter View



March 6, 1911

Battle of Casas Grandes



April 9, 1911

Second Battle of Bauche



April 13, 1911

Battle of Agua Prieta



May 8 - 10, 1911

First Battle of Juárez



March 23, 1912

First Battle of Rellano



May 23, 1912

Second Battle of Rellano



February 9 - 18, 1913

Ten Tragic Days



March 13, 1913

Battle of Nogales



April 17 - 18, 1913

Battle of Jonacatepec



April 23, 1913

Siege of Cuautla



September 25, 1913

Battle of Aviles



September 29 - October 1, 1913

First Battle of Torreón



November 12, 1913

Second Battle of Juarez



November 22 - 25, 1913

Battle of Tierra Blanca



January 1 - 4, 1914

Battle of Ojinaga



March 22 - 26, 1914

Battle of Gómez Palacio



March 26 - April 2, 1914

Second Battle of Torreón



April 21 - November 14, 1914

Veracruz Incident



June 23, 1914

Battle of Zacatecas



April 4 - 10, 1915

First Battle of Celaya



April 13 - 15, 1915

Second Battle of Celaya



End of April - June 3, 1915

Battle of León


January 10, 1916

Massacre at Santa Isabel


March 8 - 9, 1916

Raid on Columbus, NM


June 21, 1916

Battle of Carrizal


July 16, 1916

Battle of Tlayacapa


October 4, 1916

Battle of Xochimilco


June 15 - 16, 1919

Third Battle of Juárez


Map: Major Battles of the Mexican Revolution
Click to enlarge


The Mexican Revolution and Public Holidays

Two of the 7 annual public holidays in Mexico today stem from the Mexican Revolution:

Constitution Day - February 5
Día de la Constitución. Observed on the first Monday of February. Commemorates the Constitution of 1917, announced by Venustiano Carranza on February 5, 1917.

Check this event in the Timeline of the Mexican Revolution.

Revolution Day - November 20

Día de la Revolución. Observed on the third Monday of November. Commemorates the official beginning of the Mexican Revolution in 1910.

Furthermore, a huge centennial celebration was in order when Mexico commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution in 2010. This festivity took place shortly after the bicentennial celebrations of the  Mexican Independence.

Check this event in the Timeline of the Mexican Revolution.


Mexican Revolution — Trivia

Franklin Lee Cleavenger moved from Kansas to Chihuahua to work for the Chihuahuan phone company. During the Mexican Revolution, he had his hands full repairing the lines between El Paso and Chihuahua City. Franklin Lee also took many photos, using coated glass plates (dry plates,) some of which you can examine on the Franklin Lee Cleavenger Collection site.

See also
Mexican Governments.

And this link is for you if you want to dig deeper:
500 años de México en Documentos




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