Was the Mexican Revolution more revolutionary

Mexican revolution

Short history of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920)

Political classification

In the political literature, the characterization of the revolutionary events in Mexico is different:

  • Conservatives see the revolution as a mere elite conflict between various factions of the agrarian oligarchy and the bourgeoisie.
  • Moderate-liberals describe them as a bourgeois revolution in which the way of the agrarian reform was struggled and which aimed at the establishment of a democratic system.
  • Leftists see it more as an "unfinished" or "interrupted" revolution in which the interests of the mobilized workers and peasants exerted the decisive pressure, but in the end could not prevail.

Whatever characterization, decisive for the intensity and course of this revolution was the mobilization of the peasant population in particular and their intervention in political events. This mobilization can only be understood against the background of the social fermentation that the regime brought with it before the revolution - the "Porfiriat" (1876-1910).

The evening before: The "Porfiriat"

The "Porfiriat" is the name of a historical epoch: In 1876, under General Porfirio Díaz, a development dictatorship lasting over thirty years was established. Díaz - originally politically oriented towards liberalism - had repeatedly understood during this period how to manipulate the elections in such a way that he could always run for the presidency again.

His regime strove to accelerate the economic modernization of Mexico. The prerequisite for this should be the end of the country's political instability. To this end, the population was subjected to strict state control and the power of the large landowners and the clergy was strengthened.

The economic expansion took place through an export-oriented orientation of agriculture and on the basis of foreign capital investments (these made up around two thirds of the total investments in Mexico between 1900 and 1910). Most of the investments went into expanding the railway network and into industrial projects (mining, textile industry, oil production). The decisive dynamic for the outbreak of the revolution was the enormous land appropriation through the expansion of large estates during the "Porfiriats":

In 1883 the Díaz government passed a neutrally worded agricultural law, the declared aim of which was the development and reclamation of undeveloped land. In reality, however, this law served an aggressively implemented process of redistribution and concentration of land ownership in favor of latifundia (large estates) and haciendas (monocultural agricultural factories), which were often managed by foreign companies. The law approved the companies that surveyed state land or fallow jungle area, a third of the land to be surveyed free of charge and more at ridiculous prices.

The surveying activities did not stop at the smallholder property in the north. Likewise not before the centuries-old common land (the "ejidos") of the Indian village communities in the south. It was exploited that there were no fixed titles of property in writing, so that those affected lost their ancestral property through this or through direct use of force with the help of state organs. After all, at the end of the dictatorship, 90 percent of the “ejidos” were smashed.

Many who were robbed of their livelihoods in this way had to leave their ancestral lands and from then on vegetated in the cities on the fringes of society. As unemployed they formed the reserve army of cheap labor for the newly emerging industries in northern Mexico or had to emigrate to work on the plantations in the neighboring USA. Some Indian village communities asserted themselves under the most difficult conditions in a small area. In order to be able to feed the families at all, family members had to hire themselves out as seasonal workers on the estates in the area. There they easily got into debt bondage ("Peónaje") as Peónes.

This system worked like this: The loss of their land and the dissolution of the protective village community forced those affected to go into debt. This mostly resulted in a lifelong dependence on the believer. That meant for life, seven days a week, hard work on the rubber, coffee, sisal or mahogany haciendas under the most difficult conditions from sunrise to sunset. No matter how much work was done, the mountain of debt grew steadily, as the Peón was forced to buy essentials in the hacienda's own shop at inflated prices. The debts were finally passed on to the children, whose fate in the vicious circle between villains and debt accumulation was thus also mapped out.

It is understandable that this system of slavery could only be maintained with terror and violence. In addition, the haciendas had their own disciplinary system with brutal guards, their own prisons and even their own presumptuous jurisdiction. The corrupt administrative system secured this regime with the support of the police and the military.

“Rurales”, anti-guerrilla police units introduced under Díaz, ensured the brutal suppression of the increasing uprisings of the desperate rural population.

In 1884, the Díaz government passed a law that gave all natural resources to the respective landowners. In this way, foreign companies in particular secured access to national mineral resources, especially oil deposits. To secure his regime, Díaz surrounded himself in politics and administration with representatives of a new political-technocratic class, the “Científicos” (“scientists”, so called because of their preference to use “scientific” knowledge to solve pending problems). They advocated the racist doctrine that the Mexican population, especially the Indian part, was too inferior in composition to develop the country. Therefore, the industrialization of Mexico can only be driven by the influx of European immigrants and foreign capital.

Due to the increasing political influence of the "científicos", US companies in particular secured access to the Mexican economy. As straw men in executive positions, they used illegal methods to conduct financial and land speculation.

The opposition to the "Porfiriat"

The USA soon became an economic hegemony. This had threatening consequences for the Díaz regime. The government saw itself forced to liberate itself in the form of a nationalization program: in 1903 it took over 51 percent of the railroad shares that had previously been 80 percent in American hands.

Such measures came about under pressure from the new, self-confident layer of the Mexican bourgeoisie, which pursued its own - “national” - interests. These included above all the hacendados (large landowners) in the north of the country, who had now amassed enough capital to invest in their own modern factories.

From 1910, an opposition circle developed around the liberal-minded landowner Francisco Madero (1878-1913). As early as 1908 he had published a book in which he had called for free elections and the fight against the re-election of Díaz, and exclusively by legal means. His criticism of the regime therefore moved within a purely political-institutional framework and avoided calls for changes to outdated social structures. At the same time, resistance to the Díaz regime was formed by the industrial workers, who made up around five percent of the population around 1910.

The most violent social movements during the "Porfiriats" emanated from the northern industrial workers and not - as later - from the rural population. Most of the organizational development of a workers' movement took place in the capital. Although the workers were relatively better off compared to the Péones, they too lived under such harsh conditions that militant labor disputes, despite the trade union ban, spread more and more. There were 250 strikes between 1881 and 1911, although any type of strike was prohibited.

It was in this milieu that socialist and anarchist ideas were able to gain a foothold in Mexico at the beginning of the 20th century.

In the liberal-bourgeois camp, the number of voices urging the general to be replaced was increasing: the driving force were the brothers Ricardo and Jesús Flores Magón, who were also co-founders of the opposition newspaper “Regeneración” (“Renewal”) and later a paper called El Hijo del Ahuizote, which ridiculed government leaders. The first liberal congress took place in February 1901. The participants called for a return to the reform policies of the 1850s and planned to run a “real” Liberal as the next presidential candidate. However, the liberal clubs that formed were banned and their members arrested.

In the following period, a radical wing split off under Ricardo Flores Magón, which increasingly opened up to anarchist ideas.

With like-minded people he founded the PLM (“Partido Liberal de México” - “Liberal Party of Mexico”) in September 1906, whose program included demands from broad sections of the population. Since its inception, the PLM fought for the elimination of the Díaz regime with radical high-profile leaflets, posters and pamphlets. The unrest that this triggered led to waves of arrests, which in turn were followed by a series of militant clashes and uprisings.

In the bloodily suppressed strikes in the textile and mining industries in northern Mexico (1906-1907) this trend played a not inconsiderable role. At that time, however, she did not address the country's most pressing question - the agricultural problem - either programmatically or politically. An economic crisis that hit the United States from 1907 increased economic and political tensions in Mexico. The country's export-oriented economy came under pressure. Many of the workers who had been laid off in the haciendas and in the industrial plants were unable to return to subsistence farming because of the increased concentration of land. Against this background of growing social tensions and newly emerging social movements, the political controversy over the re-election of Porfirio Díaz finally escalated into a revolutionary crisis.

First phase: November 1910 to May 1911

In April 1910, the founding congress of the “Partido Nacional Anti-Reelecionista” (“National Party against Re-election”) took place, at which the entire Mexican opposition agreed on Francisco Madero as a candidate against Díaz. Shortly before the presidential election, however, Díaz had rival Madero arrested. On September 27th, the Chamber of Deputies reaffirmed the 80-year-old dictator's presidency for the period from 1910 to 1916.

Madero, who had managed to flee to the US on October 5th, then published his "Plan of San Luis Potosí", in which he declared the presidential election invalid and called on the population to arm themselves on November 20th 1910 to overthrow the government through an uprising. Due to a minimal program of agricultural policy (return of the expropriated lands to the previous owners) he succeeded in getting the rural resistance movements and their leaders to his side. The revolution eventually broke out in the states of Puebla and Chihuahua.

In the state of Baja California, a general popular uprising was formed under the leadership of Ricardo Flores Magón, which led to the temporary occupation of the state capital Mexicali. From there, Magón proclaimed the “Socialist Republic of Baja California” on January 30, 1911, but had to flee to the USA a short time later. Nevertheless, the uprising could no longer be stopped. At the forefront of the revolution were the agricultural workers' movements around Emiliano Zapata in the south and around Pancho Villa in the north. Within six months, the insurgents took control of a large part of the country. Díaz finally had to abdicate after 30 years of unrestricted dictatorship and fled to Europe on May 31st.

On June 7, 1911, Madero, who had returned from the USA, entered the capital in triumphal procession and was proclaimed the new president. Madero implemented a number of political reforms (reinstatement of the liberal constitution of 1857, ban on re-election of the president, guarantee of democratic freedoms), but for him the political and constitutional reforms considered the revolution to be over. From then on he sought a balance with the representatives of the old regime. The state apparatus and the position of the military also remained untouched.

The great problem of miserable socio-economic conditions - especially the solution to the agrarian question - remained unchanged. The reforms longed for by the majority of the population, because of which they had supported the revolution in the first place, failed to materialize.

Second phase: May 1911-February 1912: the "revolution from below"

The “revolution from below” was now beginning. Under Emiliano Zapata, the state of Morelos became de facto independent from the central government. This southern revolution embodied the most radical agrarian revolutionary element of the Mexican Revolution. In Morelos, under the "Porfiriat", an extensive expropriation of the Indian communities had taken place (Morelos was called the "perfect hacienda"). As early as the nineteenth century, the spread of the sugar cane haziendas had been met with a variety of forms of resistance (from mere legal action to violent actions).

The outstanding figure was Emiliano Zapata (1877-1919). He was elected mayor of the village of Anenecuilco in 1910 and quickly rose to become the leader of the agricultural movement in Morelos. Their great clout was ultimately based on a homogeneous social base and well-organized armed formations. Before Zapata went into politics, he and his family had long campaigned for the concerns and concerns of the local, mostly Indian, rural population. His reputation as a defender of the disenfranchised was legendary and the population almost worshiped him religiously. His political ideals were strongly influenced by the anarchist ideas of Ricardo Flores Magón.

Emiliano Zapata declared on August 12, 1911 that the rebel army of the south would remain under arms until the government returned the "ejidos" to the village communities. This was not to be expected and the Madero government was increasingly met with the distrust of its former allies. After less than a year of his presidency, the real goals of the revolution were far from being realized.

Now the armed revolutionaries gathered again in the south around Zapata, who on November 28th declared Madero to be the “traitor of the fatherland” in the “Plan of Ayala”.

In the “Plan of Ayala”, the programmatic basis of the revolution in the south, the following demands were essentially formulated:

  • Return of the parish lands
  • Allocation of a third of the large estates to the farmers
  • Expropriation of the opponents of the revolution

This program illustrates the double limitation of the revolution in the south: on the one hand, in its limitation to a social group, i.e. on direct peasant demands, and on the other hand in its regional limitation to the federal state of Morelos.

But at least the “plan” formed the basis for action through which the revolutionary peasant movement under the slogan “Tierra y Libertad” (“Land and Freedom”) could be mobilized for years. Although Madero immediately had troops marched, the government failed to get the Zapata movement under control. In contrast, the insurgents managed to occupy the city of Juarez in February 1912 and achieve further military successes.

In the meantime all social revolutionary movements were actively fought militarily by the “revolutionary” government. At the same time, the new regime saw itself increasingly threatened by counter-revolutionary troops.

Disaster was brewing against the government in the north of the country as well. There the revolutionaries gathered around Pascual Orozco, who later defected to the counterrevolution. Orozco had renounced Madero in his "Plan of Chihuahua" on March 25, 1912 and instigated an uprising in Chihuahua that led to the temporary military defeat of the government troops.A few months later, however, Madero was master of the situation again: On July 3, 1912, his troops under Huerta's command - together with the troops of Pancho Villas - succeeded in suppressing the uprising in Chihuahua.

After only 15 months of Madero's government, the politically heated climate erupted in an uprising in the capital. The government stood between the armed forces who pushed for a radicalization of the revolution and those who wanted to reverse everything. In the following "Decena Tragica" ("The Ten Bloody Days"), which began on February 9, 1913, government troops led by General Victoriano Huerta fought bitterly with reactionary putschists.

A week later, however, Huerta intrigued against his president and joined the putschists on February 18, 1913. Madero and his vice president were arrested. Just one day later, the Chamber of Deputies, with US support, officially appointed Victoriano Huerta as the new President. His first official act was the assassination of Madero and Vice-President Pino Suárez, who had previously been assured safe passage from Mexico.

Third phase: February 1912-July 1914: the fight against Huerta

Huerta's seizure of power, and in particular the murders of Madero and Suárez, had sparked outrage across the country. When he tried to gain dictatorial powers by means of a coup d'état, a broad and heterogeneous alliance formed against him. The bourgeois-liberal landowner Venustiano Carranza took over the lead. The program of this alliance was formulated in the “Plan of Guadelupe”, but it only vaguely met the demands for an agrarian reform.

The alliance of troops, to which, apart from the Zapata movement, all other revolutionary factions belonged, succeeded within a few months in bringing most of the country under its control. Huerta had to abdicate on July 15, 1914 and fled abroad.

During the time of the following interim government, the USA intervened in the event. US President Woodrow Wilson described himself as an opponent of Huerta. That is why he lifted the arms embargo against Mexico in February 1914, thereby favoring the rebels. In April 1914, he even intervened directly in the internal Mexican fighting by occupying the port of Veracruz by naval troops, thereby preventing the delivery of German weapons to the Huerta regime.

The financing of weapons for the revolutionaries by donors in the USA indicates a generally important factor in the Mexican Revolution: the influence of foreign powers. Whether it was involvement in the counter-revolutionary coup of General Huerta, the landing of US naval units in Veracruz, the financing of the revolutionary armies of the north or the subsequent punitive expedition of American troops - the US and European powers intervened in the Mexican revolutionary process in a variety of ways. And even before that, but especially during the revolution, the USA was able to expand its economic supremacy in Mexico at the expense of Great Britain.

Excursus: The Labor Movement in the Mexican Revolution

The first Mexican trade union formations emerged under anarcho-syndicalist influence. The American union “Industrial Workers of the World” (IWW) was seen as a model.

In the first years of the revolution, the capital's organized labor stood apart. On July 15, 1912, the trade union association "Casa del Obrero Mundial" ("House of the Workers of the World") was founded. The group published a newspaper called "Luz" ("Light"), which included the revolutionary slogan "Tierra y Libertad" in its program.

The "Casa del Obrero Mundial" felt obliged to be neutral in the revolutionary conflict. In doing so, she believed she was in line with the anarchist tradition of keeping a distance from political disputes.

In the northern industrial centers, however, workers took part in the numerous revolutionary upheavals.

Revolution in revolution

In 1914/15 the movement in the state of Morelos continued to radicalize. There was a "revolution within the revolution". The radicalization was due, on the one hand, to the polarizing dynamics of the course of the revolution (breakup of the alliance with bourgeois-liberal forces), on the other hand, the ideological influence of radical urban intellectuals (e.g. Ricardo Flores Magón and Zapata's secretary Manuel Palafox) made itself felt.

The revolutionary measures meanwhile went far beyond a pure restoration of the land conditions before the "Porfiriat". Compensation was no longer paid for expropriations and agricultural commissions run by the communities carried out a radical distribution of land. The establishment of a land credit bank was intended to support the rebuilding of a smallholder economy. In addition, the sugar cane mills were socialized.

Pancho Villa and the Northern Revolution

The north of Mexico had a particularly heterogeneous social structure compared to Morelos: Part of the rural population lived as peons on the haciendas. Their mobilization was very different. Sometimes they joined the emerging peasant armies, sometimes they remained passive in the social microcosm of their hacienda.

Another group in the north were the descendants of "military colonists". These had already been settled in the colonial times as free small farmers on the condition that they fight against the Indian tribes. These free small farmers ("rancheros") had increasingly lost their land to large landowners in the "Porfiriat". In addition, mining and the textile industry had created a proletariat in the north.

The outstanding figure in the north was Francisco "Pancho" Villa (1877-1923). He was one of the few leaders of the Northern Revolution who was not a representative of the local elite and who came from the class of the Peónes. After the assassination of Madero, Villa organized the northern revolutionary troops ("División del Norte") in the state of Chihuahua with a farming base and was militarily very successful for a long time.

Pancho Villa (pseudonym for Doroteo Arango) was a daring guerrilla fighter whose myth mixed social banditry and Robin Hood legend. He showed military genius in his actions. However, compared to Zapata's struggle, he lacked political foresight and consistency. This becomes clear when comparing the different implementation and social consequences of the land reform, as it was initiated by the "División del Norte" of Pancho Villa on the one hand and by the Zapata movement on the other hand: the Zapata movement expropriated the land of the latifundia and haciendas and immediately distributed it to the rural population. In Morelos the “free villages” were still so intact that these independent and self-confident communities could take the land reform into their own hands. Villa in northern Mexico did not find these conditions for a consistent land reform. The inhomogeneity of the population did not offer a good starting point for communal forms of cultivation. Pancho Villa expropriated the large estates, but he did not distribute them to the farmers, he "nationalized" them and exported almost all of their production to the USA to buy weapons and ammunition. However, he intended for the future to donate the income from this land to “widows and orphans”. Without wanting to be, he had bred a class of military men who kept their own pockets.

The mobilization of the other revolutionary formations and the various social groups took place under the leadership of large landowners (Francisco Madero, Venustiano Carranza, Pascual Orozco) and urban intellectuals. They were able to organize professional peasant armies without having to carry out an agrarian reform because they paid the soldiers not with land but in cash (donors in the USA). The officers and generals of these armies would later become the new land-owning bourgeoisie in post-revolutionary Mexico.

Fourth phase: July 1914 - February 1917: the revolutionaries' fratricidal struggle

When Huerta abdicated and left the country on July 15, 1914, the revolution had won its second great victory over the counterrevolution. The time seemed to have come to consolidate the revolutionary gains. Since there was a lack of a broadly socially anchored political ideology that was accepted by all revolutionary factions, it seemed for many to result in a new, albeit “revolutionary, dictatorship”. Who of the three great leaders of the revolution would usurp power in the state: Zapata, Villa or Carranza?

A month after Huerta's fall, this question was decided in Carranza's favor. Venustiano Carranza was a real power politician who could count on the support of large circles in the bourgeois camp. With very little deviations, he represented the bourgeois, liberal and democratic ideology of his predecessor Madero. The interests of the new upper bourgeoisie were represented in his political program. He always made concessions to the reform ideas of the rural poor and the urban proletariat out of purely tactical considerations or as a result of direct pressure from below.

It soon became clear that the forces around Carranza (“Constitucionalistas”) saw the revolution as over. The fragile alliance now fell apart and a civil war began within the revolutionary camp:

When the constitutionalist troops reached the capital in August 1914 - in particular through the success of Villas “División del Norte” - the three leaders of the revolution broke out for the first time. The superficial issue was which of the three troops should enter the city first. Carranza succeeded in asserting himself by cutting off supplies to his opponents and entering into an alliance with the former police chief Huertas, and on August 20 he finally took executive power. Pancho Villa Carranza then resigned his allegiance and published a manifesto in Chihuahua calling for the fight to continue. The revolutionary groups that had demobilized in the short pause following the fall of Huerta armed themselves again to join either Villas and Zapatas or Carranzas. Although the contradictions and differences in the so-called “conventionalist” camp between the Zapatistas and Villa supporters had not been resolved, Carranza was forced to evacuate the capital on November 24, 1914. On December 6th, the revolutionary troops Zapatas and Villas and the convent government, led by President Eulalio Gutierrez, marched into the capital in an eight-hour parade. From the perspective of the social movements, this is the real climax of the Mexican Revolution. This opened up a short phase of dual power. The agrarian revolutionaries, however, had no common systematic program and no long-term strategy through which they would have succeeded in organizing an alliance with the labor movement. The law of action reverted to Carranza. From Veracruz, which he had declared the new capital, Carranza, for tactical reasons, adopted a large number of reforms on the agricultural question and alleviation of the social hardship of the urban proletariat.

General Álvaro Obregón carried out on behalf of Carranza after 1914 a rapprochement with the "Casa del Obrero Mundial" and it came to an alliance between large parts of the urban workers and the bourgeois-liberal constitutionalists. In the “Red Battalions” the workers even fought the Zapatistas and Pancho Villa. In January 1915, Carranza finally went over to the military offensive with his constitutionalist army. In the first six months of the year there were bitter clashes in which the capital was fiercely contested and repeatedly taken alternately by both sides.

In the months between April and July 1915, Carranza's army succeeded in repelling Villa's troops from central Mexico, cutting off ties with the Zapata movement. From that point on, Pancho Villa was on the defensive and the Zapata movement was limited to the state of Morelos.

By July 1915 at the latest, Carranza had finally regained the military upper hand. His troops occupied several important cities and on August 26th Mexico City fell into their hands. On October 11, 1915, when much of the country was under his control, Carranza and his cabinet returned to Mexico City and declared it the government capital again. On the 19th of the same month, the USA, and subsequently the majority of the South American states, recognized the Carranzas government as legal. In addition, to put an end to the revolution, the United States imposed an arms embargo on Mexico, with the exception of arms intended for the Carranzas government.

Under these circumstances, Pancho Villa's military situation deteriorated dramatically. So put on the defensive and desperate, he attacked a train in Santa Isabel (Chihuahua) train station, killing 15 North American travelers. But that's not all; on March 9th, he crossed the border with the United States and attacked the border city of Columbus in New Mexico. Fourteen Americans were killed and two blocks went up in flames in the attack.

Unsurprisingly, these actions provoked an extremely harsh US reaction from Pancho Villas. In the course of the punitive action that followed, which lasted over a year, several bloody incidents occurred on Mexican territory. Militarily, however, the punitive action was limited to tracking down Villa as a person. It was finally discontinued on February 5, 1917, due to failure to locate him.

After the danger posed by the agricultural movements had largely been averted militarily, Carranza made a U-turn, which was directed against the influence of the urban workers' movement. Their claims were now met with open repression (death penalty was imposed for strikes in 1916). At the end of 1916, the “Constituent Assembly of Querétaro” - an assembly of the property classes - met. The constitution that emerged from it meant a commitment to a bourgeois-capitalist Mexico. However, the energy of the popular movement in the Mexican Revolution and the social pressure during the constitutional debate had created the most progressive constitution in the world to date. Three articles in particular reflect this:

  • Article 3: Complete separation of church and state; state primary education
  • Article 27: Nationalization of Natural Resources; Constitutional basis for an agrarian reform
  • Article 123: Extensive agricultural and social legislation

On April 10, 1919, government troops succeeded in luring Emiliano Zapata into an ambush through treason in Chinameca and treacherously murdering him. His shocked supporters allowed themselves to be persuaded by promises and concessions made by Carranza regarding land reform to henceforth only cooperate peacefully with the post-revolutionary government.

Although armed factions from Pancho Villa and others still existed all over the country and a mood of hatred and dissatisfaction prevailed in the population, the revolution was nearing its final end. The social-revolutionary approaches that had manifested themselves in it withered, and the struggle from now on concentrated only on people and political programs.

At the beginning of 1920 the contradictions in the constitutionalist camp grew bigger and bigger. Both the rural and urban masses felt cheated of the fruits of the revolution, the long-awaited social reforms.

Alvaro Obregón, Carranza's long-time confidante, saw the hour had come and resigned his allegiance to the president. Under the high command of Plutarco Elias Calles, he initiated a military coup that quickly spread and led to the occupation of the states of Sinaloa, Guerrero, Michocán, Zacatecas and Tabasco. On May 7, 1920, Carranza and his cabinet were forced to leave the capital, which was occupied by Obregón and his troops two days later.

On May 21, 1920 Obregón's troops managed to lure Carranza and his companions into an ambush and murder Carranza himself. Finally, on September 5, Álvaro Obregón was officially sworn in to the presidency for the period from 1920 to 1924.

The last survivor of the three great leaders of the revolution, Pancho Villa, was murdered on July 20, 1923, although he had retired from political life three years earlier.


In summary, the following characteristics can be determined for the Mexican Revolution:

  • The popular movement and mass mobilization determined the rhythm and scope of the revolution.
  • It was possible to intercept and channel this agrarian revolutionary moment.
  • The pressure of intervention from below shaped the further development of the political system.
  • The social revolutionary claims of the popular movement, however, have remained unfulfilled to this day.

From the point of view of the social movements that had essentially carried the disputes and were unable to achieve their actual goals (the landless peasants and the industrial proletariat), the Mexican historian Adolfo Gilly can describe the Mexican Revolution as an "interrupted revolution".

Your concerns could be anchored in the social legislation that is still valid today. Despite all the “progress”, many of the problems and social conflicts that triggered the Mexican Revolution should remain unsolved to this day.


Baumgarten, Charlotte: Foreword to John Reed: Mexico in turmoil. Dietz Verlag, Berlin (GDR) 1977

Beck, Barbara; Kurnitzky, Horst: Zapata. Images from the Mexican Revolution. Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, Berlin (West) 1975

Beck, Johannes; Bergmann, Klaus; Boehncke, Heiner (Ed.): The B. Traven book. Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek near Hamburg 1976

Bock, Gisela; Lewis, Austin: The Wobblies, Vol. 1 / Vol. 2, Karlsruher Stadtzeitung, Karlsruhe, undated

Flores Magón, Ricardo; Poole, David; Schmück, Jochen: The Mexican Revolution 1910-1920, anarchist texts No. 20. Libertad Verlag, Berlin (West) 1980

Flores Magón, Ricardo: Tierra y Libertad. Classic of the social revolt 11, Unrast-Verlag, Münster 2005

Gilly, Adolfo: La Revolución interrumpida. Guía de estudio de la historia universal II, CCH Naucalpan, UNAM, Mexico D.F. 1991

Hart, John Mason: Revolutionary Mexico. The Coming and Process of the Mexican Revolution. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles 1989

Reed, John: A revolutionary ballad. Mexico 1914. Eichborn Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2005

Ross, John: Mexico. History, society, culture. The political travel book. Unrast-Verlag, Münster 2004

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This article is - slightly changed - taken from the following book: Rolf Raasch: B. Traven und Mexico. An anarchist in the land of spring - A political-literary journey. Oppo-Verlag, Berlin 2006

Author: Rolf Raasch

Final editing on: 04.02.2021

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Lexicon of anarchy: people