Mexican Revolution of 1910–17

Mexican Revolution of 1910–17


a bourgeois-democratic revolution directed against feudal vestiges, the terrorist regime, and the yoke of foreign monopolies.

The causes of the revolution lay in the despotic tyranny of P. Díaz, his policy of plundering the national resources, increased exploitation of the masses, and the ruin of the peasants and their transformation into peons. The most important tasks of the impending revolution were to resolve the agrarian question and to avert imperialism’s threat to Mexico’s sovereignty. As the revolutionary situation intensified and the inevitability of a profound social revolution became obvious, the liberal-bourgeois opposition headed by F. Madero also became active. In November 1910 armed outbreaks against the Diaz dictatorship occurred in many parts of the country. Under the onslaught of the revolutionary-minded masses the reactionary government of Diaz was overthrown in May 1911, and Madero’s national-bourgeois government came to power, lasting to February 1913. The growing acuteness of the class struggle, the broad-based peasant movement for land, and the attempt by Mexican reactionaries to restore the old regime led to a counterrevolutionary coup, planned with the active participation of H. Wilson, the US ambassador to Mexico, and to the seizure of power by General V. Huerta. The efforts to restore a dictatorial regime were opposed by the popular masses—the peasantry led by F. Villa and E. Zapata and the working class—and by the liberal landowners and bourgeoisie headed by V. Carranza, who called for an uprising to restore a constitutional government. Under the onslaught of these forces, with the decisive role being played by the revolutionary armies of Villa and Zapata, the Huerta dictatorship collapsed in July 1914.

Frightened by the revolution’s scope, which threatened foreign monopolies, the US twice (in 1914 and 1916) sent armed forces into Mexico to suppress the revolution, but without success. With the coming to power of Carranza’s government (1914–20), the revolutionary camp broke up into several factions over Carranza’s program, which did not provide for social reforms and avoided the agrarian question. A bloody civil war ensued. Carranza succeeded in inflicting a number of major defeats on the armies of Zapata and Villa, which determined the outcome of the civil war in favor of the bourgeoisie. After strengthening its position, the Carranza government initiated repressions against the working class and the peasantry. Continued armed struggle led to the convening of the Constituent Assembly in Queretaro in December 1916 and January 1917. Under pressure from the masses, the assembly adopted a bourgeois-democratic constitution that was progressive for the time.

The adoption of the constitution was the culmination of the revolution. The constitution created the preconditions for carrying out agrarian and other progressive reforms (see), which cleared the way for the development of capitalism in Mexico. It became the legal basis for nationalizing the property of foreign companies and strengthening Mexico’s position in the struggle against foreign monopolies.


Al’perovich, M., and B. Rudenko. Meksikanskaia revoliutsiia 1910–1917 gg. i politika SShA. Moscow, 1958.
Lavrov, N. M. Meksikanskaia revoliutsiia 1910–1917gg. Moscow, 1972.
Ochoa Campos, M. La revolutión mexicana, vols. 1–3. Mexico City, 1966–67.
Valadés, José C. Historia general de la revolutión mexicana, vols. 1–8.
Mexico City, 1963–67.