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US and the Mexican Revolution


US and Mexican Revolution: The major events of the Mexican Revolution (1910 - 1919) spanned the presidencies of William Taft (March 4, 1909 to March 4, 1913) and Woodrow Wilson (March 4, 1913 to March 4, 1921).

Definition and Summary of the US and Mexican Revolution
Summary and definition:
The 1910 Mexican Revolution was triggered by unrest amongst Mexican peasants, and led by revolutionaries including Emiliano Zapata Salazar, Francisco "Pancho" Villa and Pascual Orozco against Mexico's dictator, Porfirio Diaz. During the course of the revolution, violence in Mexico spilled into raids and border skirmishes on the United States requiring military intervention by America.

Twice during the Mexican Revolution, the United States were forced to send troops into Mexico. The Tampico Affair and the Ypiranga Incident led to the United States occupation of Veracruz, beginning with the Battle of Veracruz.

US and Mexican Revolution: Fast Fact Sheet of Causes
Fast, fun facts and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) for kids about the causes of the Mexican Revolution.

When was the Mexican Revolution? The Mexican Revolution was fought from 1910 to 1920.

What were the causes of the Mexican Revolution? The causes of the Mexican Revolution were:

Dictatorship and opposition to long term president Porfirio Diaz (30 years in office)

Huge disparity between rich and poor Mexicans

Working and middle class Mexicans not allowed to own land and property. Mexican leaders sold the country’s resources and land to foreign investors

Exploitation and poor treatment of peasant workers

Political Instability. The poor had no constitution, no power to express their opinions or select public officials, no freedom of the press

Facts about US and Mexican Revolution
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on US and Mexican Revolution.

The 1819 Adams Onis Treaty set out a boundary between the United States and Mexico

The Mexican-American War (1846-1848) erupted over unresolved border disputes.

Mexico was forced to sell Alta California and New Mexico to the US for $15 million under the terms of the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and recognized the Rio Grande as America’s southern boundary

In 1910 the Mexican Revolution begins, led by Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata (see above for Causes of the Mexican Revolution). Zapata leads the peasant revolt in the south and Panch Villa leads the revolutionaries in the north of Mexico.

Mexico's dictator, President Porfirio Diaz, was overthrown in 1911.

Francisco Madero becomes the new president of Mexico and introduces land reform and labor legislation

President William Taft (March 4, 1909 to March 4, 1913) warns Mexico that US military action would take place if the lives and property of Americans living in Mexico were endangered.

Americans owned 43% of the land in Mexico. Over 50,000 Americans owned property and lived in Mexico.

American investment in Mexico was well over a billion dollars, including investments in railroads, oil and mines. Americans called for protection from the U.S. government.

President Taft sent about 16,000 troops to Texas for "war games" on the US-Mexico border in April 1911, but did not allow them to intervene in the conflict in Mexico. The troops were withdrawn in August.

Civil unrest and violence continued. On November, 28, 1911 Emiliano Zapata issued the Plan de Ayala denouncing President Madero for his perceived betrayal of the revolutionary ideals. The Plan de Ayala also includes his ideas of land reform

The Ten Tragic Days: President Francisco Madero is assassinated on February 22, 1913 in Mexico City when Victoriano Huerta launched a coup, known as the Ten Tragic Days, with the support of Félix Díaz, the nephew of deposed president Porfirio Díaz.

General Victoriano Huerta becomes president of Mexico in February 1913,

Woodrow Wilson becomes President of the United States on March 4, 1913

The Tampico Affair: The American investors supported Huerta, but President Wilson did not. In April 1914, nine American sailors from USS Dolphin were arrested and detained for an hour and a half for allegedly entering a prohibited zone in Tampico which became known as the "Tampico Affair".

The arrest of the American sailors in the Tampico Affair gave President Wilson an excuse to invade Mexico when no apology was given to the US by President Huerta.

President Wilson sent a fleet to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Ypiranga Incident: The Ypiranga Incident occurred on April 21, 1914, at the port of Veracruz. President Wilson received a report that the SS Ypiranga, a German steamer, had been commissioned to transport arms and munitions to the Mexican federal government at Veracruz under President Huerta.

The Ypiranga Incident: The report  prompted President Wilson to order the port of Veracruz to be seized by U.S. Marines which led to the Battle of Veracruz and the US occupation of the town (although the arms aboard the SS Ypiranga did reach Huerta to avoid a diplomatic incident with Germany).

The Battle of Veracruz and the occupation lasted from April 21,1914 - November 14, 1914. The U.S. troops prevented further arms from reaching Huerta and helped with the removal of Huerta from office by supplying the revolutionary forces of Venustiano Carranza with arms.

The Battle of Veracruz: American Casualties in the 1914 Battle and Occupation of Vera Cruz numbered 22 killed in action and 70 were injured.

By July 1914, the forces under Venustiano Carranza were able to take over the Mexican government, and Huerta was forced into exile. On November 14, 1914 the U.S. Marines were withdrawn from Veracruz.

World War 1 (1914 - 1918) breaks out in Europe July 28, 1914 but the United States does not enter WW1 by declaring war on Germany until April 6, 1917 - Refer to American Entry into WW1.

Venustiano Carranza and his 'Constitutionalist Army' takes over as President of Mexico but revolutionary leaders reject Carranza and the joint armies of Villa and Emiliano Zapata take Mexico City, forcing Carranza to flee to Veracruz

The Battle of Columbus - March 9, 1916:  The Battle of Columbus began as a raid conducted by Pancho Villa's Division of the North on the small US border town of Columbus, New Mexico. Eight soldiers and 10 civilians were killed and 6 soldiers and 2 civilians were wounded. The United States government wasted no time in responding.

The attack infuriated Americans and President Wilson ordered the Pancho Villa Expedition in which the US Army invaded Mexico in an attempt to capture Panch Villa.

President Carranza gave the U.S. permission to send troops, led by General John Pershing, into Mexican territory to hunt Pancho Villa down but General Pershing’s troops were never able to locate the revolutionary leader. (Pancho Villa was eventually assassinated on July 20, 1923 in Parral, Mexico)

The Zimmermann Telegram: At this time Mexico became center stage in the scandalous diplomatic incident known as the Zimmermann Telegram. Germany attempted to draw Mexico into the WW1 arena with proposals in the Zimmermann Telegram by which the Germans would provide Mexico with arms and supplies to re-conquer Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. (Mexican President Carranza formally declined the proposal on April 14, 1917)

The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917 and entered into WW1 and the punitive  Pancho Villa Expedition was withdrawn from Mexico.

On April 10, 1919 Zapata was killed in an ambush arranged by President Carranza.

Alvaro Obregon supported by Zapatistas, Villistas, and other revolutionary groups overthrow and kill President Venustiano Carranza on 21 May 1920.

Alvaro Obregon becomes President of Mexico and the Mexican Revolution ends.

As a result of the political instability and violence of the revolution in Mexico, a huge influx of Mexican immigrants fled to the United States - refer to Mexican Migration.

US American History
1881-1913: Maturation Era

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