Is This A Revolution?

Our Latin American Revolutions class has spent the past semester debating the criteria needed to have revolution.  Based on these ideas, can the Mexican Revolution be considered a true revolution?

I. Leadership

            a. Madero was known for his democratic ideals.  Wanting to help the people as much as possible, he set-up his government to provide for the betterment of all the citizens under his jurisdiction.

            b. Zapata encouraged agrarian and land reform.  On November 25, 1911, he launched a Plan of Ayala, which became a landmark document, seeking agrarian reform.

            c. Nationalism is attributed to Carranza, not completely during the time of the Revolution but extending out to other decades.

            d. There is not a real coherent ideology because there are so many people taking over the same position in the short amount of time. 

            e. Other articles in the Constitution include: 127: Agrarian reform, 128: Labor Code, 3 & 130: Anti-clericalism which removed the church from the government.


II. Oppression

            a. Promises were made about better water and water supply as well as other conveniences but they were never followed through.

            b. Progress was made for everyone but the peasants.

            c. The Diaz dictatorship proved to be brutal and very oppressive.


III. Resources

            a. The revolutionaries have plenty of people on their side to help with fighting.

            b. The U.S. blockaded the port, allowing weapons to be given to the revolutionaries.


IV. Charismatic Leaders

            a. There was definitely an overabundance of leadership.

            b. Madero, Carranza, etc.


V. Opposition

            a. When Diaz was taken out of power, he and his nephew caused many problems for Madero in particular.

            b. Huerta fought against Zapata and Villa even though he was no longer in power anymore.  Huerta also proved to be a problem under the Madero regime because he was constantly trying to plan how to get Madero out of office.


It is difficult to determine whether the Mexican Revolution from 1910-1920 was actually a revolution or whether it turned into a civil war.  There was obvious signs of an unleashing of power that was unexpected and unseen previously.