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Mexican Revolution

Below are many of the Mexico City sites directly relevant to the Mexican Revolutionary Period between 1910 and 1920.

While we can't summarize such an extraordinary series of events in any detail,  we can try to provide a way to visit some of these places while familiarizing visitors with the basic timeline of events.

The Porfiriato

The Mexican Revolution is preceded by a thirty-year period call the Porfiriato. Porfirio Díaz  ruled, single-handed from 1876 until 1911.

In March of 1911, Emiliano Zapata leads an uprising of villagers south of Mexico City. Calling for land and water rights, he inspires armed revolts in many other parts of Mexico.

By May of 1911, Porfirio Díaz is finally forced into exile and leaves the country. In October Francisco Madero is elected President of Mexico, but the election is heavily contested.

Francisco Madero Administration 1911 - February 1913

Although Madero was elected, his brief rule was not successfully executed and many insurgents were dissatisfied. The newly freed press quickly turned on Madero, too.

Most historians agree that Madero simply failed to sufficiently reward those who'd fought to bring him to power.

The Ten Tragic Days and the Huerta Regime, 1913 - 1914

From February 9 to 19, 1912, Victoriano Huerta  bombards the city and has the president arrested. In the end, President Francisco I. Madero, and Vice President, José María Pino Suárez, are both assassinated outside of the Lecumberri Palace Prison.

It takes until 15 July 1914 for Huerta to bow to pressure. He resigns the presidency and flees the country. Pancho Villa forces, the famous Division del Norte, with some forces under Carranza and Obregón, re-enter Mexico City.

The Zapata / Villa Interim 1914-1916

On December 6, 1914, the forces of Emiliano Zapata enter Mexico City from the south, following a December 4 meeting with Villa in Xochimilco. But talks to support a constitution and a new system of government went nowhere until Villa was decisively beaten by the Constitutionalist Army under Carranza and Obregón in April of 1915.

Venustiano Carranza Period, 1917 - 1920

It then takes until the following October for Venustiano Carranza to be recognized internationally as provisional President of Mexico. The Constitution of 1917 is accepted in February of that year.

In April of 1919, Zapata is slain in an ambush by forces loyal to Carranza. Obregón announces his campaign for the presidency. The dispute now is over whether Carranza has any right to run for a full term after serving for several years as president. Carranza's support collapses and in May he too is murdered.

The following October, 1920 Obregón is elected President. He's sworn in on November 30, and begins enacting many of the promises made during the revolution, including to those who'd fought in the Zapatista army.

Sources cited on this page:

• Library of Congress: DISTANT NEIGHBORS: The U.S. and the Mexican Revolution Basic Timeline for the Mexican Revolution