The Mexican Revolution came on the heels of the Latin American Revolutions that spread across the region after the American and French Revolutions. The enlightenment ideas of philosophers such as Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Beccaria, and Voltaire had become wildly popular within radical circles of Europe, eventually encouraging people around the world to fight for democracy and form constitutional republics. The Mexican people were tired of the wide gap between rich and poor, the exploitation of the poor workers, and the blatant political corruption and nepotism present in Mexican government.
The Mexican Revolution, beginning in 1910, ended the thirty-one-year long dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz in Mexico and ushered in a frantic power vacuum where many groups scrambled for power. Many populist revolutionaries, who gained their support from indigenous Mexican peasants, participated in the long and drawn out revolution, gaining support and attention to the plight of Mexican farmers. These revolutionaries included Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata.
Porfirio Diaz, an authoritarian Mexican dictator, came to power in 1880. An unpopular tyrant, Diaz killed all who opposed him and maintained his power through fear and intimidation. Here's a timeline of events that followed:
May 1911: Porfirio Diaz was ousted from power when Francisco Madero was elected president in February of 1911. Madero’s election results, however, were not honored by Diaz, who refused to leave his throne and hand it over to the new rightfully appointed leader.
February 1913: Francisco Madero was assassinated before he could claim his rightful position.
1913-1914: Victoriano Huerta overthrew Madero and takes his place, becoming president.
1913: Venustiano Carranza creates an alliance of Mexican Northerners under the Constitutionalist banner. The Constitutionalists defeat populist Pancho Villa in 1915 at the battle of Celaya.
1915: Carranza maintains his power as president.
1917: The Mexican constitution is ratified, and Mexico becomes a constitutional republic.
1919: Emiliano Zapata, populist leader of the indigenous farmers, is assassinated.
1920: Carranza is overthrown by a coup led by Sonoran generals Obregon, Plutarco Elias Calles, and Adolfo de la Huerta in the Plan of Aqua Prieta. Adolfo de la Huerto takes the position of president.
1923: Pancho Villa, populist leader of the farmers, is assassinated.
1924: The Laborist party takes control and creates elections using the new constitution.