Francisco Madero

 

    Francisco Ignacio Madero was born on October 30, 1873 at Hacienda de El Roario in Parras de la Fuente, Coahuila to Mercedes González Trevino and Francisco Madero Hernández, who was an industrialist and businessman.[1]  Mixed with Jewish and Portuguese blood, his family concentrated on expanding their fortune monetarily and in property, instead of being involved in politics.  Though very weak physically, Madero was known for his courage, and his enthusiasm and belief in what he was doing.[2]  He studied business at Mt. Saint Mary in Baltimore, Maryland and Liceo de Versailles and the Higher Business School in Paris, France.  He continued to the Technical Agricultural School at University of California – Berkeley.  With this knowledge, he founded a business school in San Pedro de las Colonias.  He created a family business, practiced homeopathic medicine, and was a landowner.  He married Sara Pérez Romero.[3] 

     It was during the five years Madero spent in France and the United States that he began to develop a  political consciousness  His liberal views formed as he was caught up in the spirit and excitement of democracy and he was continuously giving his allowance to the poor.  Once he arrived back at the hacienda his family gave him, he began making changes to help those who worked on his land.  Amongst other changes, he increased wages, improved living conditions, and established schools with teachers who he paid for.  By the time he married, he decided to take on the role of being “the father to the oppressed millions of Mexico.”[4]

     In January 1909, Madero published a book discussing the political situation in Mexico.  The book caught the attention of the masses who were literate because, though it didn’t condemn the regime or put down Díaz, it “emphasised the need for freedom of suffrage and abolition of re-election.”[5]  As the years went on, Madero hoped that Díaz and his supporters could be taken out of office peacefully but the election on July 10, 1909, when Madero received only 196 votes and Díaz was placed back in office, he realized Díaz would have to be driven out by force.[6]  On November 20, 1910, Madero led the most successful revolution against Díaz.[7]

      One of the first mistakes made by Madero, however, following the Revolution, was placing Francisco de la Barra in the office of provisional government because de la Barre had been one of Díaz’s supporters.  De la Barre, though having represented Mexico numerous times internationally, was more concerned about his personal appearance than the country.[8]  The next few months were spent with the people and the military unhappy about de la Barre’s decisions but Madero would do nothing about it because de la Barre was the authority.[9]   After the election for Presidency in 1911, Mexico was in such turmoil that the swearing-in ceremony was brought forward to November to place Madero into office as soon as possible.[10]  His adversaries, including Victoriano Huerta who had been chosen by Madero to defend the country against those who had rebelled previously, including Félix Díaz and General Manuel Mondragón, forced Madero’s resignation.  Madero was not liked by the United States either because his philosophy created disaster for U.S. interests.[11]

    He was killed on February 22, 1913 under the orders of Huerta, who became the next President of Mexico.[12]     

 

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    [1] Roderic A. Camp, Mexican Political Biographies, 1884-1935 (Austin: University  of Texas Press, 1991), 127.

    [2] Ronald Atkin, Revolution! Mexican Revolution 1910-1920 (New York: John Day  Company, 1969), 44.

    [3] Camp, 127.

    [4] Atkin, 44-45.

    [5] Ibid., 45.

    [6] Ibid., 49.

    [7] Charles Cumberland, Mexican Revolution: The Constitutionalist Years (Austin and London: University of Texas Press, 1972), 9.

    [8] Atkin, 84.

    [9] Ibid., 85.

    [10] Ibid., 88.

    [11] Cumberland, 9.

    [12] Ibid.