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HIST 4360- Third Essay Assignment

Sep 14, 2023

‘The period covered by our second essay ended with the final years of the Porfiriato. For your final essay, please tell me what you have learned about Mexico in the three decades that followed.

Since we began our consideration of the events taking place from 1910 onward, we’ve discussed the military and political course of events in the 1910-1916 conflict, The height of the conflict came in 1916 when revolutionary Pancho Villa attacked the American border town of Columbus, New Mexico Mexican Border War (1910-1919) the political views of the leaders and factions involved in that conflict, the constitutional convention of 1916, the differences between that constitution and previous constitutions, the political structure emerging from that conflict, the effect of these developments on women’s rights and land ownership, the revolution and the Rio Grande Valley, the role of foreigners, the perceptions of this era and that change that did or did not occur in Mexican society

Third Essay Assignment


Mexican Independence is a revolutionary aspect of society. Moreover, this brought change to Mexican society; likewise, this happened to deal with the Constitutional development in 1917 that provided a separate civilization to all the people, as well as developing the society beyond any inequality. Thus, the Mexican Independence brought about changes to society, developing inspiration for them, giving rights to the labor class, and giving government ownership to the land holdings with a collaborative group. While Mexican politics revolved around a leadership personality and developing a charismatic belief to bring forth fixed ideologies. Lastly, this society brought an immense change to the position of women.

Military and Political course of events from 1910-1916 

The military and political conflict that took place in Mexico from the year 1910 to 1916 took place as a result of a phenomenon known as the Mexican Revolution. The Revolution was a Civil War, but various foreign entities like America played a significant role since the outcome of the Mexican political situation affected their ambitions and fortunes. The political action that initiated the Mexican Revolution was the forced resignation and exile of President Porfirio Díaz after the revolt by Madero (Kent Carrasco 1088). The military faction supporting Diaz failed miserably in suppressing the revolts. After the resignation of President Diaz, wealthy northern landowner Francisco I. Madero was elected as the President. 

Emiliano Zapata seeing the weakness of the military and the present regime, rose in revolt in order to accelerate action on agrarian reforms. The Political response provided by Madero was weak, and it led to further regional revolts against his regime. 1913 saw a coup’ d’état by Military Generals loyal to Diaz against Madero’s regime. Thereafter Madero and his Vice President Pino Suárez were assassinated by supporters of Victoriano Huerta. Later, Victoriano Huerta violently seized power and became President.

Huerta’s counter-revolutionary ideals were severely opposed by the Constitutionalist Army led by Governor of Coahuila Venustiano Carranza, a coalition of northerners and Zapata’s forces. Huerta was defeated as the Federal Army could not stand against the Revolutionary Army. Then, the Revolutionaries began fighting with each other. In 1915 the Constitutionalist faction under Carranza defeated the army of former ally Francisco “Pancho” Villa. In his effort to continue the fight, Villa attacked the American town of Columbus for resources. 

Attack on Columbus      

After garnering a series of humiliating defeats in his fight for power during the Mexican Revolution, Pancho Villa was decimated in a brutal manner. He only had 500 soldiers to support him in the struggle and was desperate for resources like food and weapons. Sam Ravel, to whom Villa provided money in exchange for weapons, did not provide him anything. Therefore, he decided to attack the town of Columbia. 

In regards to the reasoning behind the attack, Villa stated that he wanted revenge on Americans because they helped the Carrancistas. This motive of revenge did little to motivate Villa’s men. The thing that aroused them into raiding Columbus was the news that 20 Mexicans were arrested and then burnt with kerosene (Katz 4). This heinous act gave Villa’s men the courage and determination to go through with the plan.      

On March 9, 1916, Villa’s men entered the army barracks of Columbus taking the soldiers by surprise; then they began to shoot the houses killing anyone that they saw. During that time, Villa, along with some of his men, was staying on the Mexican side of the border. After the men’s pursuit for Sam Ravel did not produce any result, they entered into a hotel. Americans reciprocated by firing at them, and later, Mexicans sounded a retreat, going back to their country after collecting the wounded. After understanding the situation and knowing about the culprit, Americans entered Mexico and pursued Villa and his men for almost 5 miles. Though they killed many of his men, ultimately, the Americans failed in capturing Villa. This was a resounding victory for Villa after a series of humiliating defeats.

Mexican Border War    

This conflict resulted in the heightening of the ongoing Mexican Border war. Mexican Border War is the term that has been applied to the series of struggles that happened at the Mexican-American border during the Mexican Revolution (Levinson 10). As a result of World War I, Germany, during this time, persuaded Mexico to attack America and also involved themselves in struggles against America on the Mexican-American border. During the beginning of the Mexican Revolution, American authorities stationed their soldiers on the border and, in various instances, fought against the Mexican Rebels. This Border War came to a conclusion in 1920 at the close of the American frontier. As a reaction to Villa and his men’s raid, General John J. Pershing caused the ‘Punitive Expedition,’ where they killed many men of Villa, including his top two generals. Though they failed to capture Villa. The American Army continued to launch several small expeditions until they managed to achieve victory in the Battle of Ambos Nogales in August 1918. After this victory, a permanent border wall was created. Apart from Villas and his men, the American forces also fought with Maderistas, Carrancistas, Constitutionalistas, and Germans on the American border. During the Border War U.S. also attempted to monitor and control the flow of immigrants into their country. They also interfered with the war supplies by Germany to Mexico during World War I.

Political Views of the Leaders involved in the conflict           

Venustiano Carranza was supported by liberals and intellectuals. His political views adhered to the ideals of democracy. He and his faction desired a constitution that had laws and rules that would be followed by Mexicans irrespective of class (Harris 280). His supporters were known as Constitutionalists or Carrancistas. 

Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata led a faction in the Revolution known as Conventionists. Firstly they were allied with Carranza against the Federal Army and later on went against them after the Federal Army suffered a defeat in the Mexican Revolution. Zapata was raised in Rebellion in order to bring speedy agrarian reforms. The faction of Conventionalists specifically Villa and Zapata, desired radical and immediate land reforms. They also wanted to redistribute the land in accordance with the plan developed by Emiliano Zapata. They also desired a form of government that was decentralized. They desired state autonomy in the power structure of the government. As a result of these core ideals, which were rooted in the benefits of the agrarian class, a large number of supporters garnered by Villa and Zapata in the Mexican Revolution were from the rural countryside. These people wanted reform in their lives through the ideals supported by Villa Zapata.        

Another notable faction was the Federales. This faction was in power before the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution. This faction consisted of many senior officials who served in conflicts that happened long ago. They wanted the political system of President Porfirio Díaz to remain, which was a de-facto dictatorship, with the aid of the military. The policies of this regime were not at all beneficial for peasants.  

The political factors involved in the conflicts 

Mexican Revolution, spanning a decade from 1910 to 1920 with a struggle related to political, economic, and social reform. Political reformists mainly gained related power based on military action to speak about the skills and work of an activist. The factors involved in the conflicts were reliable about the proposed blueprint related to the Independence that called out to the Plan De Iguala. This plan mainly guarantees the preservation of the Catholic Church and its status, the Independence of Mexico as a Constitutional monarchy and the equality of the Spaniards and criollos. The political factors mainly involve the document that is justified by the Rebellion that dwells on the goals to explain the Revolution brought forth by the necessary reforms. Yet, after the Revolution, Mexico became an intriguing area that was intensified with explosive political conditions. These factors mainly relied upon the notion that determined the Mexican Independence with a prolonged conflict that originated based on inequality, while this happened to exist between the social classes that developed the nation at a specified time, with inclusion to as well as the caste system which is based on hierarchal order of the country (Carey 20). Indeed this led to make the establishment of Bourbon reforms, Patriotism, and conflict.

The Constitutional Convention of 1916 

The Constitutional Convention of 1916, was mainly established the radical nature of the society; rather, this incorporated the reforms based on the 1916 to 1917 basis. This is mainly focused on the consequent controversy that has the tendency to obscure the constitution-making Assembly (Niemeyer 226). Therefore, these are often created in the venture to the reform, which appeared to be mainly working in the scenario to work for the Assembly since this relied upon the Mexican Revolution that began in the year 1910 without any program to bring forth a social reform without any leaders based on the school theory as well as they have been practicing the Social Revolution. The Difference between the Constitution and the Previous Constitution Previously, Mexican society was undertaken by inequality, as they used to find the society deprived of food shortage, no equal places, or justice given to the people in the society. Therefore, the food shortage took place mainly due to the growing population as well as a severe drought that happened in the year 1785, and the other was in the year 1808. Moreover, none was there to support the spine of Mexican society. Likewise, they used to face severe difficulties. Yet, later, the Constitution dealt with Mexico’s Constitution presented with new facts and startling new interpretations. While the Mexican Revolution brought a change to society with a repressive and wealthy regime under political security, specific economic support was given to the government. Instead of analyzing how this Constitution brought a Revolution’s successes, Niemeyer mainly concentrates on an eighth week’s ferment at Querétaro in 1916 and 1917. This convention accelerated the delegates who wrote about the remarkable charter. Likewise, this is the process undertaken by Niemeyer to discuss the nature of the Mexican Revolution.

The effects of these developments on women’s rights and land ownership

The Mexican Revolution brought changes to the lives of women. This fetched both positive and negative impacts on the lives of women, even during the war. Women after the Mexican Revolution hunted for their positions as they were influential and got hold of prominent positions to build their careers and escape from all the abuse that they faced throughout their lives. Perhaps, this is true that females were allies discriminated against by the leading society, as it was learned that they were the only ones who were oriented to do household work (Escandón 90). Moreover, the Mexican Independence has brought an enormous change to the society related to bringing change in the status of women in society. Moreover, women had the [priority to work, as well as they were not discriminated against the society. Apart from this, Mexican Independence yields some fruit to the women, even in getting ownership of the land. In the year 1915, the Mexican woman obtained the right to divorce and get relief from domestic violence or sexual attacks. Thus, this was explained later, which included the rights to their alimony and even to get child custody. By the year 1916, women were mainly granted permission which stated that convene the Feminist Congress or Primer Congreso Femista. Moreover, with the prominence of the Mexican Revolution, attempts to relevant silence in progress to women’s lives in order to provide an ineffective long run. Therefore, the Mexican Revolution mainly revealed women’s strength, bravery, intelligence, and capabilities to be prominent leaders. This Mexican Revolution Also combines them to earn a position, rightly to get land ownership.  

The Revolution and the Rio Grande Valley

Therefore, in order to discover the central theme of the Mexican Revolution, this was identified that Mexican Independence was like a prolonged conflict. The Mexican Revolution, an element of hope for Mexicans, served as a catalyst for Mexican Americans, the South Texas, who mainly felt abused and they were oppressed by Anglo-Americans, which gave rise to and can confront the dominant element. Yet, it originated due to the inequality taking place in the society and related to the existence of the social classes that developed the nation. The Anglo-Americans actually came to the Rio Grande Valley in the 19th century, which was imposed on the conservations and the traditionalism of the area that had an impact on the Mexican Revolution. Indeed this inclusion was based on the so-called caste system or a standard hierarchical order followed by the people of the country (Alvarez, 54). Yet, this was based on establishing the Bourbon reforms, Patriotism and that seemed to have no connection with any of the events, instead in the case of the Independence that happened in the United States. On the other hand, Rio Grande Valley plays a significant role because this valley has seen all the alleys take place in society. Apart from this, this is a coalition of various prominent citizens based in the Rio Grande Valley that helped the Villa faction acquire its supplies. As a result, the Rio Grande Valley played a vital role in the Mexican-American War, as it played the border to the skirmish; along with this, it started off the fighting that followed a series of U.S. Victories. Thus, this was projected to the witness of the crime that took place and how the entire valley was polluted by the war and witness humanity at that stature.

Role of Foreigners in the Mexican Revolution      

Due to both countries sharing the same border, America had a lot of interest in the happenings of the Mexican Revolution. Since anti-Huerta leader Venustiano Carranza refused to sign their agreements, Americans allowed the sale of their weapons to revolutionaries. After the conflict of 1916, Americans mobilized their forces on the border in order to prevent more mindless violence. Through diplomatic discussions, the escalating tensions subsided. Thereafter, American troops focussed on preventing any more similar incidents like Columbus.       

Germany also had a vested interest in the Mexican Revolution. In order to protect itself, Germany wanted America and Mexico to be caught in a war. They wanted to use the Border conflicts of the Mexican Revolution to help them in achieving their goals. In order to do so, Germany sent a plan to Mexico to get involved in a conflict that would ultimately help them get their lost lands back. This message was intercepted, and ultimately Mexico chose to not go down that path. 


The Mexican Revolution, in many ways, was a battle of ideologies. It was evident that the present system prevalent in the society was no longer viable, and a new ideology needed to come in the position of authority. The central conflict was between Democratic and radicalistic ideals. Ultimately, the Democratic ideals prevailed, but the conflict had long-reaching effects on Mexican society and its various elements. It made people realize that through determination and willpower, they can make political authorities listen to their demands. It also transformed the relationship shared by Mexico as a country with America and Germany. The Mexican Revolution transformed Mexico as a country for eternity.

Works Cited

Alvarez, C. J. “2 THE BORDER AND THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION.” Border Land, Border Water. University of Texas Press, 2021. 53-94.

Carey, James C. The Mexican Revolution in Yucatán, 1915-1924. Routledge, 2019.

Escandón, Carmen Ramos. “Women and power in Mexico: the forgotten heritage, 1880–1954.” Women’s Participation in Mexican Political Life. Routledge, 2019. 87-102.

Harris, Fred R. “Mexico: Historical Foundations.” Latin America, its Problems and its Promise. Routledge, 2019. 277-297.

Katz, Friedrich. “Pancho Villa and the United States.” CONFIGURATIONS OF POWER: 281.

Kent Carrasco, Daniel. “Breath of revolution: Ghadar anti-colonial radicalism in North America and the Mexican revolution.” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 43.6 (2020): 1077-1092.

Levinson, Irving W. “The Other Constitutional Convention: Border Delegates at the Mexican Constitutional Convention of 1916-1917.” Journal of South Texas 33.1 (2019): 8.

Niemeyer, E. V. “8. In Retrospect.” Revolution at Querétaro. University of Texas Press, 2021. 225-234.

Wilkie, James W. “The Mexican Revolution.” The Mexican Revolution. University of California Press, 2020.

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