Mexican Revolution Timeline

The Mexican Revolution is a pivotal event in Latin American history, shaping Mexico’s socio-political landscape profoundly. In this article, we journey through its key phases, from the authoritarian rule of Porfirio Díaz to the rise of revolutionary leaders like Francisco I.

Madero, Emiliano Zapata, and Pancho Villa. We explore pivotal events such as the fall of Díaz, the presidency of Madero, and the power struggles that ensued, including the “Ten Tragic Days” and the establishment of Victoriano Huerta’s dictatorship.

We also examine the Convention of Aguascalientes, the presidency of Venustiano Carranza, and the drafting of the Mexican Constitution of 1917. Join us as we unravel the complexities of this transformative period in Mexican history.

Porfiriato (1876-1911)Porfirio Díaz comes to power in Mexico through a coup in 1876. Díaz implements policies favoring the wealthy elite and foreign investors, leading to growing discontent.
Pre-Revolutionary Stirrings1908: Publication of Regeneración begins spreading anti-Díaz sentiments. 1910: Francisco I. Madero publishes “The Presidential Succession of 1910,” denouncing Díaz’s dictatorship.
Outbreak of Revolution (1910-1911)Nov 20, 1910: Madero issues the Plan de San Luis Potosí, calling for armed uprising against Díaz. Fighting erupts, with rebel leaders like Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa gaining support.
Fall of Díaz and Madero PresidencyMay 25, 1911: Díaz resigns and goes into exile after Treaty of Ciudad Juárez. Nov 6, 1911: Madero elected president in Mexico’s first free elections.
Ten Tragic Days (Feb 9-19, 1913)General Victoriano Huerta orchestrates coup against Madero, leading to intense fighting. Feb 18, 1913: Madero and Vice President José María Pino Suárez are arrested and later assassinated.
Huerta Dictatorship (1913-1914)Huerta assumes power, facing opposition from revolutionary forces and foreign powers.
Constitutionalist Rebellion and Carranza’s Ascendancy (1913-1915)Venustiano Carranza leads Constitutionalist Army against Huerta’s forces. The United States withdraws support for Huerta, contributing to his downfall.
Convention of Aguascalientes (Oct-Nov 1914)Convention held to establish new government, but internal divisions lead to continued conflict.
Carranza Presidency and Consolidation of Power (1915-1920)Conflict continues with opposition from factions led by Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata. Carranza’s government drafts new constitution in 1917.
End of Armed Struggle and Institutionalization (1920)Álvaro Obregón leads forces against Carranza, leading to Carranza’s assassination in 1920. Armed phase of Mexican Revolution effectively ends, establishing a stable government. Political and social tensions persist despite end of armed conflict.

Timeline of the Mexican Revolution

Porfiriato (1876-1911)

Porfirio Díaz’s Rise to Power (1876): Porfirio Díaz, a military general, seized control of Mexico through a coup in 1876. This marked the beginning of the Porfiriato, a period characterized by Díaz’s authoritarian rule.

Policies and Economic Growth: During the Porfiriato, Díaz implemented policies that favored the wealthy elite and foreign investors. These policies led to significant economic growth, particularly in industries such as mining, agriculture, and infrastructure development.

However, the benefits of this growth were unevenly distributed, leading to widespread social inequality and discontent among the Mexican population.

Mexican Revolution

Opposition and Dissent: As Díaz’s rule persisted, opposition to his regime began to grow. Dissatisfaction with political repression, land dispossession, and labor exploitation fueled discontent among various segments of society.

Also Read: Facts About the Mexican Revolution

Intellectuals, journalists, and political activists began to organize and voice their opposition, laying the groundwork for the eventual outbreak of revolution.

Pre-Revolutionary Stirrings

Regeneración and Anti-Díaz Sentiments (1908): In 1908, the publication of Regeneración, a revolutionary newspaper founded by Ricardo Flores Magón and other activists, began spreading anti-Díaz sentiments. Regeneración played a crucial role in critiquing Díaz’s regime and advocating for social justice and political change.

Madero’s Call for Democratic Elections (1910): Francisco I. Madero, a liberal politician and landowner, published “The Presidential Succession of 1910,” denouncing Díaz’s dictatorship and calling for democratic elections.

Also Read: Emiliano Zapata Facts

Madero’s writings galvanized opposition to Díaz and provided a rallying point for dissatisfied Mexicans who sought political reform and an end to Díaz’s authoritarian rule.

Growing Unrest and Revolutionary Sentiment: By 1910, Mexico was ripe for revolution. Years of political repression, social injustice, and economic inequality had created a volatile environment. Madero’s call for change resonated with many Mexicans, and revolutionary sentiment began to spread across the country. The stage was set for the outbreak of revolution in Mexico.

Outbreak of Revolution (1910-1911)

Madero’s Plan de San Luis Potosí (Nov 1910): On November 20, 1910, Francisco I. Madero issued the Plan de San Luis Potosí, which called for an armed uprising against Díaz’s regime. The plan denounced the fraudulent elections and called for Mexicans to rise up in arms on November 20, 1910, to reclaim their democratic rights.

Fighting Erupts Across Mexico: Following the issuance of the Plan de San Luis Potosí, rebellion broke out in various parts of Mexico. Rebel leaders such as Emiliano Zapata in the south and Francisco “Pancho” Villa in the north mobilized their forces against Díaz’s government.

The revolutionary movement gained momentum as discontented Mexicans from diverse backgrounds joined the fight against Díaz’s dictatorship.

Mexican Revolution

Initial Victories and Escalating Conflict: The revolutionary forces achieved significant victories in their initial confrontations with Díaz’s army. Battles were fought, territories were won and lost, and the revolutionaries gradually gained control over large swathes of Mexican territory.

However, the conflict would escalate in the years to come, leading to further upheaval and profound changes in Mexican society and politics.

Fall of Díaz and Madero Presidency

Resignation of Díaz (May 1911): The pressure from the revolutionary forces, combined with international diplomatic efforts, forced Porfirio Díaz to resign from the presidency on May 25, 1911. He went into exile, ending over three decades of his authoritarian rule.

Madero’s Election (Nov 1911): In the aftermath of Díaz’s resignation, Mexico held its first free presidential elections. Francisco I. Madero emerged as the victor, assuming the presidency on November 6, 1911. His election marked a significant milestone in Mexico’s transition towards democracy.

Challenges to Madero’s Presidency: Despite Madero’s initial popularity and his efforts to implement reforms, his presidency faced numerous challenges. These included opposition from conservative factions, discontent among revolutionary leaders who felt marginalized, and continued social unrest due to unfulfilled expectations of change.

Ten Tragic Days (Feb 9-19, 1913)

Huerta’s Coup: General Victoriano Huerta, along with other conservative forces, orchestrated a coup against Madero’s government in February 1913. The coup sparked ten days of intense fighting in Mexico City, known as the “Ten Tragic Days.”

Arrest and Assassination of Madero: On February 18, 1913, Madero and his vice president, José María Pino Suárez, were arrested by Huerta’s forces. Despite assurances of their safety, both Madero and Pino Suárez were later assassinated, marking the end of Madero’s presidency and the consolidation of power by Huerta’s regime.

Mexican Revolution

Impact and Legacy: The Ten Tragic Days represented a turning point in the Mexican Revolution, leading to increased polarization and violence. Madero’s martyrdom further fueled revolutionary fervor, galvanizing opposition to Huerta’s dictatorship and laying the groundwork for the next phase of the revolution.

Huerta Dictatorship (1913-1914)

Establishment of Huerta’s Regime: With the downfall of Madero’s government, Victoriano Huerta seized power and established a military dictatorship. Huerta’s regime was characterized by repression, censorship, and human rights abuses, leading to widespread opposition and resistance.

Challenges to Huerta’s Rule: Despite initially consolidating power, Huerta faced significant challenges to his rule. These included internal dissent, with revolutionary forces continuing to resist his government, as well as external pressure from the United States, which refused to recognize Huerta’s regime and supported his opponents.

Deterioration of Huerta’s Authority: Huerta’s grip on power began to weaken as his regime faced mounting opposition and internal divisions. The refusal of many Mexicans to accept his rule, combined with diplomatic isolation and military setbacks, ultimately contributed to the downfall of Huerta’s dictatorship.

Constitutionalist Rebellion and Carranza’s Ascendancy (1913-1915)

Carranza’s Challenge to Huerta: Venustiano Carranza, a revolutionary leader from the northern state of Coahuila, emerged as a prominent opponent of Huerta’s dictatorship. Carranza led the Constitutionalist rebellion against Huerta’s regime, advocating for the restoration of constitutional government and the rule of law.

Alliance Building: Carranza formed alliances with other revolutionary leaders, including Álvaro Obregón, Pancho Villa, and Emiliano Zapata, to oppose Huerta’s government. Together, they united under the banner of the Constitutionalist Army and fought against Huerta’s forces.

Military Campaigns and Victories: The Constitutionalist Army launched military campaigns against Huerta’s troops, achieving significant victories in key battles such as the Battle of Celaya and the Battle of Zacatecas. These successes bolstered Carranza’s credibility and strengthened his position as a leader of the revolution.

History of the Mexican Revolution

Convention of Aguascalientes (Oct-Nov 1914)

Purpose and Participants: The Convention of Aguascalientes was convened in October 1914 with the aim of establishing a unified revolutionary government and resolving internal disputes among the various factions. Representatives from different revolutionary groups, including Carranza, Villa, and Zapata, attended the convention.

Internal Divisions: Despite initial hopes for unity, the Convention of Aguascalientes failed to achieve its objectives due to deep-seated divisions and ideological differences among the revolutionary leaders. Disputes over issues such as land reform, political power, and military command led to further fragmentation and conflict.

Legacy: The failure of the Convention of Aguascalientes exacerbated divisions within the revolutionary movement and prolonged the period of instability and violence in Mexico. It underscored the challenges of achieving consensus and cooperation among disparate revolutionary factions.

Carranza Presidency and Consolidation of Power (1915-1920)

Assumption of Presidency: Following Huerta’s ousting, Carranza assumed the presidency of Mexico in 1915. His government sought to establish stability and consolidate power in the aftermath of years of revolution and upheaval.

Challenges and Opposition: Carranza’s presidency faced challenges from various quarters, including continued resistance from rebel leaders like Villa and Zapata, as well as opposition from conservative factions and foreign interests. The Carranza government also encountered difficulties in implementing reforms and addressing the social and economic demands of the population.

Drafting of the Constitution: Despite the challenges, Carranza’s government succeeded in drafting a new constitution for Mexico, which was promulgated in 1917. The Constitution of 1917 remains a cornerstone of Mexican governance, enshrining principles of land reform, labor rights, and social justice.

End of Armed Struggle and Institutionalization (1920)

Obregón’s Challenge: Álvaro Obregón, a former ally of Carranza turned opponent, led a rebellion against Carranza’s government in 1920. Obregón’s forces gained momentum, posing a significant threat to Carranza’s regime.

Carranza’s Assassination: Faced with mounting pressure, Carranza attempted to flee the capital but was pursued and ultimately killed by Obregón’s forces in May 1920. Carranza’s assassination marked the end of his presidency and the beginning of a new phase in Mexican politics.

Transition to Stability: With Carranza’s downfall, Obregón emerged as a dominant figure in Mexican politics. His victory signaled the end of the armed phase of the Mexican Revolution and paved the way for a period of relative stability and institutionalization.

Despite ongoing political and social challenges, Mexico entered a new era of governance characterized by the consolidation of revolutionary ideals and the establishment of institutional frameworks.