Francisco I. Madero, revolutionary

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1949

Authors

Cumberland, Charles C. (Charles Curtis)

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The violence of the Mexican Revolution in the years between 1914 and 1920 was shocking and disconcerting to those who had become accustomed to the peace and security of the Diaz administration. Numerous investigations into the causes and the nature of the Revolution, with its broad social and economic implications, have been made by qualified scholars, but the period between 1910 and 1913 has generally been neglected. The purpose of this study has been to clarify to some extent the forces operative during these crucial years, and to analyze the character of the events preceding the bloody shambles from which the new Mexico emerged. Francisco I. Madero, the man responsible for the overthrow of the Diaz government and as such responsible for the Revolution, has been the subject of much discussion, but little attempt has been made to view his administration in the proper perspective and to give it a studied evaluation. Few men in the history of Mexico have been so roundly and viciously condemned, and few so highly praised. Madero was either the whitest of saints or the blackest of sinners, but the black has outweighed the white. American historians, in general, have been sympathetic to the intentions and ideals of Madero, but since serious studies of his regime are lacking, the tendency has been to dismiss him as a visionary idealist of negligible importance. But any serious student of Mexican history will realize that under the conditions of 1910 the Revolution could not have sprung fullblown into existence. That unrest existed is patent, but the Revolution was a true revolution in the broadest sense of the term. The real importance of the Mexican Revolution has not been in the apparent victory of democratic principles or of the principle of rotation in office; it has been in the magnitude of the social and economic changes which have come to the Mexican nation. Even though the factors resulting in those changes were rooted in the Diaz regime, a crystallization of the ideas and demands was necessary before the basic structure of Mexico's society could be altered. A revolution of that scope cannot develop from a vacuum. In an effort to trace that crystallization, the present study has been undertaken

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