1910: Francisco Madero calls for an uprising against Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz. Francisco "Pancho" Villa joins the revolution.
1911: Emiliano Zapata leads a separate revolt, and more uprisings occur throughout Mexico. Díaz is removed from office, and Francisco Madero is elected President of Mexico.
1912: General Victoriano Huerta begins his opposition against Madero and arrests Pancho Villa.
1913: Díaz is executed. Venustiano Carranza, with the aid of Villa, Zapata, and Alvaro Obregón, revolts against Huerta.
1914: Huerta is forced to resign as President of Mexico and flees the country.
1915: The United States recognizes Carranza as the Provisional President of Mexico, but Villa opposes him and becomes a hunted fugitive.
1917-1918: The search for Villa is in vain.
1919: Zapata is killed by his enemies
1920: Obregón openly announces his revolt against Carranza, Carranza’s support is substantially weakened, and he is murdered. Obregón is elected President, and the Revolution comes to an end. Three years later, Villa is assassinated.
The Mexican Revolution is too complex to be covered in a brief timeline assignment, but I present here some highlights to give some continuity. Like all wars, the Mexican Revolution was largely focused on money and power. In the early part of the twentieth century, the rapid urbanization of much of Latin America, including Mexico, created economic tension. Throughout Mexico, working conditions were atrocious, and the working class demanded higher wages along with improved labor conditions. The widespread loss of lands by peasants to railroad corporations and wealthy property holders brought the populace to the brink of revolution.
By 1910, tensions reached their peak. Mexican President Porfirio Díaz had become a dictator and favored the wealthy class of landholders and industrialists. Francisco Madero emerged as the leader of the working class, and with the help of rural leaders like Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, he revolted against the harsh economic policies imposed by Díaz. Following a successful but bloody campaign, Díaz was forced out of office and Madero assumed the Mexican presidency.
Madero’s regime did not last long, because he failed to restore the land to the Indian populations as promised. Many of his former supporters, including Zapata, turned on him, and Victoriano Huerta assumed the presidency. Soon after being deposed, Díaz was assassinated. Unfortunately for the Mexican people, Huerta also became a despot. As a result, an alliance was formed, which included Alvaro Obregón, Venustiano Carranza, and Pancho Villa, and Huerta was forced out of office and into exile.
When the United States recognized Carranza as interim President of Mexico, Villa opposed him and became a fugitive sought by Carranza’s forces as well as the United States. The search was unsuccessful. However, Zapata was subsequently killed by his enemies. At the same time, Obregón revolted against Carranza, who was ultimately killed, Obregón was elected President, and the Mexican Revolution ended.