The Mexican Revolution 1910–17

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Map Code: Ax00128

After its liberation from Spain in 1821, Mexico, replicated colonial rule through la encomienda, a quasi-feudal system confining power to a coterie of wealthy landowners. In the election of 1910, Porfirio Diaz, the strongman who had ruled uninterrupted since 1877, was challenged by a reformist, Francisco Madero. Diaz had Madero thrown into jail and brazenly rigged a ‘landslide ’victory. From jail, Madero issued the Plan de Luis Potosi calling for rebellion and demanding ‘free suffrage and no re-election’. Separate uprisings followed, led by Pancho Villa in the north, and Emiliano Zapata in the south. Diaz fled and Madero was elected President in 1911, only to be assassinated in a 1913 coup led by the army officer, Victoriano Huerta. The US then intervened, sending in marines who, together with the rebels, drove Huerta from power. In 1917, Venustiano Carranza gained election with the promise of massive land reform: he reneged and was assassinated in 1920

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