A chronology of key events:
1910 November 20, 1910
The Mexican Revolution begins when Madero issues the Plan of San Luis Potosí, promising democracy, federalism, agrarian reform and worker’s rights and declaring war on the Díaz regime. By 1911, Díaz is forced to step aside and Madero is elected president, but conflict and violence continue for the better part of the nextdecade. Popular leaders like Emiliano Zapata in southern Mexico and Pancho Villa in the north emerge as the champions of the peasant and working class, refusing to submit to presidential authority.
1911 - Mexico's dictator, Porfirio Diaz, is overthrown. The new president is Francisco Madero, a liberal. Madero introduces land reform and labour legislation. Political unrest continues with Zapataleading a peasant revolt in the south.
1913 - In the wake of a series of bloody riots in the streets of Mexico City in February 1913, Madero is overthrown by a coup led by his own military chief, General Victoriano Huerta. Huerta declares himself dictator and has Madero murdered, but opposition from the supporters of Villa, Zapata and the former Díaz ally (but political moderate) Venustiano Carranzadrive Huerta to resign by 1914. Carranza takes power, and Zapata and Villa continue waging war against him. Various invasions by the United States--nervous about their unruly neighbor--further complicates matters, as Carranza struggles to hold power. Government forces led by General Álvaro Obregón finally defeat Villa’s northern guerrilla forces, leaving the rebel leader wounded but alive.
1914 -Huerta resigns. He is viewed with suspicion by the United States for his alleged pro-German sympathies. Huerta is succeeded by Venustiano Carranza.
1916 - US forces cross the border in pursuit of the guerrilla leader Francisco "Pancho" Villa.
1917 - US forces withdraw, having failed to kill Villa. A new constitution is adopted, which is designed to ensure permanent democracy in Mexico. 1917Mexico remains neutral throughout World War I, despite efforts by Germany to enlist the country as an ally. Despite the warring factions in Mexico, Carranza is able to oversee the creation of a new liberal Mexican constitution in 1917. In his efforts to maintain power, however, Carranza grows increasingly reactionary, ordering the ambush and murder of Zapata in 1919. Some of Zapata’s followersrefuse to believe their hero is dead, and his legend lives on to inspire many generations of social reformers. The following year, Obregón is overthrown and killed by a group of his more radical generals. They are led by Obregón, who is elected president and faces the task of reforming Mexico after ten years of devastating revolution.
1920 - Carranza is murdered. Civil war follows.
Afterthree years, the U.S. recognizes the Obregón government, only after the Mexican leader promises not to seize the holdings of American oil companies in Mexico. In domestic affairs, Obregón puts into place a serious of agrarian reforms, and gave official sanction to organizations of peasants and laborers. He also institutes a sweeping educational reform led by Jose Vasconcelos, enabling the Mexicancultural revolution that begins during this period--including astonishing work by such artists as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, the photographer Tina Modotti, the composer Carlos Chávez and the writers Martín Luis Guzmán and Juan Rulfo--to extend from the richest to the poorest segments of the population. After stepping down in 1924 to make way for another former general, Plutarco Calles, Obregón isreelected in 1928, but is killed this same year by a religious fanatic
1929 - The National Revolutionary Party is formed. In 1946 it is re-named the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.
1934 - Lázaro Cárdenas, another former revolutionary general, is elected president. He revives the revolutionary-era social revolution and carries out an extensive series of agrarian reforms,...