U.S. Invasion of Mexico (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: United States involvement in Mexican politics. Result: Villa eludes capture and the United States further alienates Mexican citizens and politicians.
Upon assuming the presidency of the United States in 1912, Woodrow Wilson began to actively support liberal movements throughout Latin America. When Mexican general Victoriano Huerta ousted the liberal reformer Francisco Madero from the presidency in 1913, Wilson refused to recognize Huerta and directed U.S. naval units to halt arms shipments to his regime. Wilson’s policy led to a brief invasion of the Mexican city of Veracruz in 1914, further straining relations between the two neighbors.
Huerta was forced to resign in July, 1914, setting off a power struggle for the Mexican presidency. Pancho Villa had early U.S. support, but his battlefield losses led Wilson in October, 1915, to recognize the government of Venustiano Carranza, a former associate of Madero. Many Mexicans, including Villa, believed that recognition was part of a corrupt bargain that would make Mexico subservient to the United States. Villa revolted against Carranza early in 1916, pursuing a deliberate policy of provocation in order to show his contempt for the United States and to embroil Carranza in a war with Mexico’s northern neighbor. In January, Villa murdered eighteen Americans at Santa Isabel, and on March 9, he sacked and burned Columbus, New...
(The entire section is 671 words.)
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