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United States intervention in the Mexican Revolution

March 20, 2016 | Author: | Posted in history, latin-american studies

United States Intervention in the Mexican Revolution


This is for a class about United Sates intervention in the Mexican Revolution also known as The Punitive Expedition because its origin is rooted in the said Revolution (Fall 1197 , Vol . 29 , No . 3 . The United States and the Mexican b was a temperamental area during the decade of 1910-1920 . The region was continually interacting , both societies coming into direct contact with one another . Individuals , families , and larger groups from both sides , freely moved from single country to the other . Two very different [banner_entry_middle]

cultures were exchanging events and ideas that led to permanent influences in both countries . These influences had a huge impact on the political , economical and social effects in both societies . During times of extreme and rapid change , like the Mexican Revolution from 1910-1920 , these influences were intensely affected Essentially the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution had seed an era of violence as well as political and economic extremism in Mexico . This was the beginning to the threatened interests and lives of the United States citizens , specifically North Americans living in the b regions as well as in the interior of Mexico . This eventually led to political and military intervention from the side of the United States . One thing is certain about the outcome of the Mexican Revolution . The United States influenced the revolution at every turn . The United States became heavily involved with Mexico during 1910-1920 . Political pressure caused the highest powers to seek interaction . President Taft and President Wilson were both driving forces behind the US military involvement during the Mexican Revolution . The Mexican Revolution was a period of contrast and conflict between two nations . What was the best interest of one nation was the worst interest for the other

One of the most turbulent periods in Mexican History is the decade 1910-1920 . Various sectors of the Mexican society , frustrated by a generation of dictatorship (over thirty years ) and political and economic failure were united to overthrow the reigning Porfirio Diaz and his form of government . This triggered a long-drawn-out and violent power struggle that inevitably shook the entire republic . One of the regions most affected by the turbulence was the area bing the United States . Along the b , political figures such as Francisco Madero , Francisco Pancho Villa and Venustiano Carranza emerged to lead movements of national importance . These political figures brought their military staging and key battle sites to the northern frontiers and b cities because of the access to custom house revenues and American armaments . Francisco Madero officially launched the revolution in November 1910 by crossing into the b town of Piedras Negras Coahuila . This ignited uprisings in various b states and throughout the republic “By April of 1911 , an estimated 17 ,000 people had taken arms against Porfirio Diaz and his government (Katz , 1978 . In May Francisco Madero and his forces that included Francisco Pancho Villa took over Ciudad Juarez , the event that marked the first major victory for the insurgents “The Treaty of Juarez ” provided an end to hostilities and the resignation of Porfirio Diaz . Francisco Madero was later elected president in the fall . But Madero ‘s victory was short-lived . Soon after his election , uprising in Mexico set off when the liberal president was presumed assassinated on s from General Victorio Huerta and the constitutionalist Venustiano Carranza took over the presidency . A civil war erupted a few days later between Huerta ‘s forces and supporters of Madero , who were led by Governor Venustiano Carranza and Francisco Pancho Villa . With a contingent of several men Villa formed a military band known as the Division of the North and operated in the mountains of northern Mexico . It was difficult for the United States to remain aloof because Americans had invested heavily in Mexico and 40 ,000 U .S . citizens resided there (University of North Carolina Press , 1982 . The United States was concerned that the conflict would harm American business interests in Mexico and its citizens living along the b . As a result , President William H . Taft sent about sixteen thousand troops to Texas for “war games ” in April 1911 . The troops , consisting of elements of several regiments , were designated as the Maneuver Division . This was a division of American men designed to provide field training and assume the official role of enforcing neutrality laws . Although officially sent to the b for training exercises , unofficially the division prepared for a possible intrusion into Mexico . The Maneuver Division was disbanded on August 7 , 1911 . The United States and six Latin American nations officially recognized the Carranza government on 1915 , a direct insult to Pancho Villa and his followers , who had earlier parted ways with Carranza . In short , Carranza and Villa became enemies . A new American President , Woodrow Wilson , took office . Like his predecessor , Wilson now faced the task of choosing a side in the ongoing Mexican Revolution . The President feared Mexico ‘s weak status would lend itself to forces hostile to the United States Villa continued for years to wage war with Carranza ‘s government Feeling betrayed by what the Americans did , they set forth on a course of reprisal directed mainly at the Americans . In one instance , Villa ‘s irregulars assassinated seventeen U .S . citizens aboard a train traveling from Chihuahua City to the Cusi Mine at Santa Isabel , Chihuahua . This act infuriated the American public . Wilson sent in forces to protect Americans and other foreign interests associated with the rich oil fields in the area . As a result of US Intervention , Mexican revolutionaries , led by Pancho Villa , attacked the United States cities of Columbus New Mexico on March 9 , 1916 , Nogales Arizona , and Glenn Springs , Texas on May 9 , 1916 , just across the b . Fears in Arizona arise when the b town of Nogales was attacked . Sightings of Villa were everywhere and panic sets in on Southwest b towns . Both public outcry and pressure from the army moved President Wilson to the military to pursue Villa and punish him . General Funston , now commanding the Southern Department , telegraphed the War Department the day after the raid said “I urgently recommend that American troops be given authority to pursue into Mexican Territory hostile Mexican bandits who raid American territory . So long as the b is a shelter for them they will continue to harass our ranches and towns to our disappointment (University of Kentucky Press , 1962 . Wilson responded by sending Federal troops , which also include the Arizona National Guard to assist in re-establishing . He further directed Secretary of War Newton Baker to organize a punitive expedition , the so-called Mexican Punitive Expedition . Considered a minor event in U .S . history by it is a story filled with adventure , intrigue and confusion “Black Jack Pershing was sent in March 15 , 1916 because of his admirable military record to lead the expedition as a result of Villa ‘s first b crossing . It was not Pershing ‘s fighting record , however , that impressed Major General Hugh Scott , army chief of staff , but the competence in diplomacy he had shown during his service in the Philippines and China a skill necessary for the upcoming expedition . Pershing crossed into Mexico leading a motorcade of US soldiers into Mexico in search for Villa . His expedition was bogged down after five weeks due to political reasons and unfriendly terrain while experimenting with new technologies in such forms as motor transport and aircraft reconnaissance . There is only one recorded small , relatively unimportant battle with Villa in Mexico , but other factors would lead to the withdrawal of troops January 1917 U .S . General Pershing withdraws from Mexico without coming close to capturing Villa . Almost in unison the large buildup of U .S troops along the b starts to breakup . On April 6th the US declared war on the Central powers in Europe and the Mexican Revolution no longer commands the attention of the United States . Why Villa chose Columbus as a target for his determining battle was said to be unclear and had never been explained . But it was reported by the Secretary of war that Villas command crossed the b in small parties about 3 miles west of the b gate , concentrated for and made the attack during hours of extreme darkness after the moon had set and before daylight (Hart 1987 . Finally in 1920 Villa made peace with the newly-elected president Adolfo de la Huerta . Wilson ‘s administration refused to recognize Huerta because of the corrupt manner in which intensely he had seized power and it instituted an arms embargo on both sides of the civil war . When Huerta ‘s forces appeared to be winning the civil war in early 1914 Wilson lifted the arms embargo by offering to help Carranza . This action had volatile consequences . For several months , U .S . Navy warships had been stationed at the ports of Tampico (under the command of Rear Adm Henry T Mayo ) and Vera Cruz (under Rear Adm . Frank R . Fletcher ‘s command . On April 9 , a group of sailors detached from the USS Dolphin went ashore at Tampico to retrieve supplies . Huerta ‘s troops arrested and detained two of them . The sailors were released a short time later and President Huerta offered an apology to the United States for the incident . Ultimately , Admiral Mayo demanded a twenty-one-gun salute to the U .S . flag in addition to the apology . Huerta agreed only if the Americans would return the honor . When learning of the incident , an angry President Wilson refused Huerta ‘s request . Instead , he ed the U .S . Navy ‘s Atlantic Fleet to Mexico ‘s Gulf Coast to strengthen the forces under Mayo and Fletcher and occupy Tampico . Another crisis festering down the coast in Vera Cruz , however , prevented U .S . troops from occupying the city , and the Tampico incident came to an end with no real conclusion

The US consul ‘s office had been warned that a German ship delivering arms for Huerta was expected in the port . President Wilson ed US forces in the area to seize the town ‘s customhouse and capture the guns By noon of April 22 , the U .S . troops had occupied the town . Although they had hoped to avoid bloodshed , U .S . forces were nevertheless fired upon by Mexican soldiers , and a violent street battle ensued . The American losses were four killed and twenty wounded on April 21 and thirteen killed and forty-one wounded on April 22 . If Wilson had followed conventional policy and the urgings of Americans with interests in Mexico , he would have recognized Huerta (as most European governments did , who promised to respect and protect all foreign investments and concessions (Link , 1971 . But Wilson was revolted by Huerta ‘s bloody rise to power moreover , he believed that the revolution begun by Madero in 1910 was a glorious episode in the history of human liberty . Wilson thus not only refused to recognize Huerta but also tried to persuade the dictator to step down from office and permit the holding of free elections for a new democratic government

Because of the two nations vastly different interests the relationship between the United States and Mexico was troubling from 1910-1920 Mexico was facing opposition from all classes of Mexican society . The upper-middle and upper class societies were in support of the elitist government , while the poor and working class were strongly opposed to the overwhelming wealth and power that the government had . Mexico was fighting a class revolution and all sides were loosing . The interest of Mexico was not about creating equality for all , but to continue to widen the gap between the political elite and the poor working class . Every Mexican was involved in the revolution , including men , women and even children . There were many reasons why so many Mexican people became involved in the Mexican revolution . Often there was said to be three types of Mexican nationalism during the revolution . These were political patriotism , economic nationalism and popular racial intolerance or popular xenophobia . These three categories often overlapped and many people were part of several categories . Political patriotism comprised the largest and most diffuse constituency . Economic nationalism was a small and select group . Popular xenophobia was nationalism among the popular class and could overlap with political patriotism but never economic nationalism . Dictators and their regimes were short lived Politics was a problem since the society was so divided economically and no one could agree on any kind of political rule . The interests among the U .S . citizens in Mexico during the uprising on the other hand were mostly representative of the U .S . politicians . Mexican ‘s started to migrate across the b illegally , in search of work and to plot further acts of violence among each other . Mexico was bringing their revolution across the b . The United States proceeded with intervention , specifically by political and military forces . The United States had gained interest in Mexican affairs when American lives were threatened and economic interests were jeopardized . The United States had made investments in Mexico ‘s economy (through government bonds and real estate the biggest economic investment that the US made with Mexico during the revolution was the exportation of oil . Americans were living in Mexico and illegal immigration was causing economic hardships on their own economy (through the wage rate and labor force . The United States was also concerned for the welfare of the poor and working class in Mexico , with numerous women and religious groups getting involved during the revolution for primarily , humanity reasons . The Mexican people were devastated by the revolution and had no work , adequate food and sheltering . The American organizations could not just let the people suffer . Mexico and the United States each had their own agenda ‘s to look after . During the Mexican Revolution unfortunately , the social and economic changes that were taking place in Mexico had too great of an impact on the Unites States for them to ignore . Moreover , the Mexican Revolution itself had changed by 1916 . In the earlier period 1913-1915 , it was marked by the existence of numerous splinter groups each making a persuasive claim on national leadership . The most prominent issues , beginning in 1916 , centered on specifics of national policies , such as questions of foreign investment in Mexico and the problem of restoring after Carranza ‘s faction had won control The result was a period of political and economic intervention President Wilson also tends to make more noticeable the role of the United States in determining events outside its b during the Mexican Revolution . But it also provides a good laboratory to test President Wilson ‘s responses and how he acted , especially during its earlier period from 1913-1915 . This period is especially important because it demonstrates Wilson ‘s assumptions when he entered office The impact of both the political and economic interest of the United States and Mexico during the Mexican Revolution , from 1910-1920 , have caused distrust and anti-American and anti-Mexican feelings that continue to evolve today


Benbow , M (1999 . Leading them to the promised land : Woodrow Wilson covenant theology , and the Mexican revolution . Ph .D . diss , Ohio University

Eisenhower , J . S . D (c1993 . Intervention ! The United States and the Mexican revolution , 1913-1917 . New York : W .W . Norton

Quirk , R . E (1962 . An affair of honor : Woodrow Wilson and the occupation of Veracruz Lexington : University of Kentucky Press

Knock , T (1992 . To end all wars : Woodrow Wilson and the quest for a new world . New York : Oxford University Press

Hart , J (1987 . Revolutionary Mexico : The coming and process of the Mexican revolution . Los Angeles : University of California Press




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