Convention of Aguascalientes

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The Convention of Aguascalientes was a major meeting that took place during the Mexican Revolution between the factions in the Mexican Revolution that had defeated Victoriano Huerta's Federal Army and forced his resignation and exile in July 1914.

Mexican Revolution major nationwide armed struggle in Mexico between 1910 and 1920

The Mexican Revolution, also known as the Mexican Civil War, was a major armed struggle, lasting roughly from 1910 to 1920, that radically transformed Mexican culture and government. Although recent research has focused on local and regional aspects of the Revolution, it was a genuinely national revolution. Its outbreak in 1910 resulted from the failure of the 35-year-long regime of Porfirio Díaz to find a managed solution to the presidential succession. This meant there was a political crisis among competing elites and the opportunity for agrarian insurrection. Wealthy landowner Francisco I. Madero challenged Díaz in the 1910 presidential election, and following the rigged results, revolted under the Plan of San Luis Potosí. Armed conflict ousted Díaz from power; a new election was held in 1911, bringing Madero to the presidency.

Victoriano Huerta Mexican military officer and 35th President of Mexico

José Victoriano Huerta Márquez was a Mexican military officer and 35th President of Mexico.

Federal Army

The Federal Army, also known as the Federales in popular culture, was the military of the Mexican state. Under Porfiriato, the long rule of President Porfirio Díaz, a military hero against the French Intervention in Mexico, the Federal Army was composed of senior officers who had served in long ago conflicts. At the time of the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution most were old men and incapable of leading men on the battlefield. When the rebellions broke out against Díaz following fraudulent elections of 1910, the Federal Army was incapable of responding. Although revolutionary fighters helped bring Francisco I. Madero to power, Madero retained the Federal Army rather than the revolutionaries. Madero used the Federal Army to suppress rebellions against his government by Pascual Orozco and Emiliano Zapata. Madero placed General Victoriano Huerta as interim commander of the military during the Ten Tragic Days of February 1913 to defend his government. Huerta changed sides and ousted Madero's government. Rebellions broke out against Huerta's regime. When revolutionary armies succeeded in ousting Huerta in July 1914, the Federal Army ceased to exist as an entity.

Contents

The call for the Convention was issued on 1 October 1914 by Venustiano Carranza, head of the Constitutional Army, who described it as the Gran Convención de Jefes militares con mando de fuerzas y gobernadores de los Estados ("Great Convention of Commanding Military Chiefs and State Governors") and seen as "the last attempt to create unity among the revolutionaries." [1]

Venustiano Carranza Mexican politician and president of Mexico

Venustiano Carranza Garza was one of the main leaders of the Mexican Revolution, whose victorious northern revolutionary Constitutionalist Army defeated the counter-revolutionary regime of Victoriano Huerta and then defeated fellow revolutionaries after Huerta's ouster. He secured power in Mexico, serving as head of state from 1915–1917. With the promulgation of a new revolutionary Mexican Constitution of 1917, he was elected president, serving from 1917 to 1920.

The Constitutional Army was the army that fought against the Federal Army, and later, against the Villistas and Zapatistas during the Mexican Revolution. It was formed in March 1913 by Venustiano Carranza, so-called "First-Chief" of the army, as a response to the murder of President Francisco I. Madero and Vice President José María Pino Suárez by Victoriano Huerta during La Decena Trágica of 1913, and the resulting usurpation of presidential power by Huerta.

Its first sessions were held in the Chamber of Deputies in Mexico City, but were later transferred to the city of Aguascalientes, whence its name came, where it met from 10 October to 9 November 1914.

Chamber of Deputies (Mexico) lower house of the parliament of Mexico

The Chamber of Deputies is the lower house of the Congress of the Union, the bicameral legislature of Mexico. The other chamber is the Senate. The structure and responsibilities of both chambers of Congress are defined in Articles 50 to 70 of the current constitution.

Mexico City Capital in Mexico

Mexico City, or the City of Mexico, is the capital of Mexico and the most populous city in North America. Mexico City is one of the most important cultural and financial centres in the Americas. It is located in the Valley of Mexico, a large valley in the high plateaus in the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,350 ft). The city has 16 boroughs.

Background

General Victoriano Huerta, who had usurped the presidency in a coup d'état in February 1913, resigned the office in July 1914 on account of revolutionary pressures and left the country. He was replaced by Venustiano Carranza, who wished to discuss his government's policies with the other revolutionary leaders. Thus Carranza called for the Convention to take place. However, faced with the absence of the Zapatistas (who did not recognise Carranza's authority) and the refusal of Francisco Villa to attend a meeting in Mexico City, it was agreed to relocate the Convention to Aguascalientes.

President of Mexico Head of state of the country of Mexico

The President of Mexico, officially known as the President of the United Mexican States, is the head of state and government of Mexico. Under the Constitution, the president is also the Supreme Commander of the Mexican armed forces. The current President is Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who took office on December 1, 2018.

Aguascalientes State of Mexico

Aguascalientes, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Aguascalientes, is one of the 31 states which, with Mexico City, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into 11 municipalities and its capital city is Aguascalientes.

Convention

Villa (L), Gutierrez (C), and Zapata (R), following their triumphant entry into Mexico City Pancho Villa, el presidente provisional Eulalio Gutierrez y Emiliano Zapata.jpg
Villa (L), Gutiérrez (C), and Zapata (R), following their triumphant entry into Mexico City

The convention was intended to settle the differences between the "big four" warlords who played the biggest roles in overthrowing Huerta: Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, Venustiano Carranza and Álvaro Obregón. [2]

Pancho Villa Mexican revolutionary

Francisco "Pancho" Villa was a Mexican revolutionary general and one of the most prominent figures of the Mexican Revolution.

Emiliano Zapata Mexican Revolutionary

Emiliano Zapata Salazar was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution, the main leader of the peasant revolution in the state of Morelos, and the inspiration of the agrarian movement called Zapatismo.

Álvaro Obregón Mexican politician, president of Mexico

Álvaro Obregón Salido was a general in the Mexican Revolution, who became President of Mexico from 1920 to 1924. He supported Sonora's decision to follow Governor of Coahuila Venustiano Carranza as leader of a revolution against the Huerta regime. Carranza appointed Obregón commander of the revolutionary forces in northwestern Mexico and in 1915 appointed him as his minister of war. In 1920, Obregón launched a revolt against Carranza, in which Carranza was assassinated; he won the subsequent election with overwhelming support.

A question that the various factions had to settle in advance of the convention was whether participants would only be revolutionary military men or could include civilians as well. Carranza had a large and strong civilian backing, and argued for their inclusion but lost. [3]

Tensions were already high between Carranza and Villa, his former ally. Although Zapata had not openly sided with Villa initially, he was hostile to Carranza, with Carranza returning the feeling. According to Charles C. Cumberland, "The southerners had never liked Carranza and his pretensions, and Carranza despised the Zapatistas as ignorant, narrow-minded troublemakers." [4]

From the onset, however, the Convention was dominated by the Villistas, who imposed their points of view on the other delegates. The supporters of Emiliano Zapata did not arrive until 26 October (a delegation of 26, led by Paulino Martínez and Antonio Díaz Soto y Gama).

When the Convention first met on October 10, 1914, it declared itself sovereign, which meant that it was a deliberative body, not a consultative one. Carranza rejected the notion of sovereignty and did not himself attend the convention or send representatives. [5] Zapata had not yet arrived and the delegates made the decision to not conclude any major business until he and his advisers attended. [6] Zapata arrived with an entourage of men with military titles, "but most of them [were] in fact civilians who had never led troops in any form." [7]

There was a plan to merge revolutionary armies into a single military, which would have structurally taken the place of the Federal Army that ceased to exist with the fall of the Huerta regime. There was some support for this in theory, but the revolutionary armies had formed and fought under the command of particular leaders (such as Villa, Obregón, Zapata and Abraham González) and so in the current circumstances it was impossible to implement. [7]

The convention elected General Eulalio Gutiérrez Ortiz as President of Republic for the limited term of 20 days. [8] It appointed Villa commander of the Conventionalist Army, which then took up arms against Carranza's Constitutionalist Army. [9] Due to the disagreements that Carranza had with Zapata and Villa, the three refused to attend the convention and little developed as a result. [2]

After the meeting, the newly reconciled Villa and Zapata entered Mexico City on 6 December, at the head of an army of 60,000 men. Carranza and his supporters consequently retreated to Veracruz. Subsequently, Zapata returned to his stronghold in Morelos, so that the alliance with Villa was largely in principle only.

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The Battle of Celaya, 6–15 April 1915, was part of a series of military engagements in the Bajío during the Mexican Revolution between the winners, who had allied against the regime of Gen. Victoriano Huerta and then fought each other for control of Mexico. The Constitutionalists under Gen. Venustiano Carranza faced off against the Army of the Convention of Aguascalientes. The Convention allied Francisco "Pancho" Villa and Emiliano Zapata, who in practice remained in his stronghold of Morelos. The first battle of Celaya was fought April 6–7, 1915, near Celaya in present-day Guanajuato, Mexico. The second battle of Celaya was fought April 15–16. These encounters between the Constitutionalist Army led by Gen. Álvaro Obregón, Venustiano Carranza's best general, and the army under the command of Pancho Villa were crucial in determining the outcome of the Mexican Revolution.

Eulalio Gutiérrez President of Mexico

Eulalio Gutiérrez Ortiz was a general in the Mexican Revolution from state of Coahuila. He is most notable for his election as provisional president of Mexico during the Aguascalientes Convention and led the country for a few months between November 6, 1914, and January 16, 1915. The Convention was convened by revolutionaries who had successfully ousted the regime of Victoriano Huerta after more than a year of conflict. Gutiérrez rather than "First Chief" Venustiano Carranza was chosen president of Mexico and a new round of violence broke out as revolutionary factions previously united turned against each other. "The high point of Gutiérrez's career occurred when he moved with the Conventionist army to shoulder the responsibilities of his new office [of president]." Gutiérrez's government was weak and he could not control the two main generals of the Army of the Convention, Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata. Gutiérrez moved the capital of his government from Mexico City to San Luis Potosí. He resigned as president and made peace with Carranza. He went into exile in the United States, but later returned to Mexico. He died in 1939, outliving many other major figures of the Mexican Revolution.

Genovevo de la O Mexican politician

Genovevo de la O was an important figure in the Mexican Revolution in Morelos.

Plan of Guadalupe Document that called for the overthrow of Victoriano Huerta and hosting free elections as soon as peace was reestablished

The Plan of Guadalupe was a political manifesto which was proclaimed on March 26, 1913 by Venustiano Carranza in response to the overthrow and execution of President Francisco I. Madero, which had occurred during the Ten Tragic Days of February 1913. The manifesto was released from the Hacienda De Guadalupe, which is where the Plan derives its name, nearly a month after the assassination of Madero. The plan was limited, it denounced Victoriano Huerta from the presidency and proposed the restoration of a constitutional government.

Events in the year 1914 in Mexico.

Lucio Blanco Mexican military officer

Lucio Blanco was a Mexican military officer, noteworthy for his participation in the Mexican Revolution of 1910 to 1920.

Juan Andreu Almazán Mexican general and politician

Gen. Juan Andreu Almazán was a Mexican revolutionary general, politician and businessman. He held high posts in the Mexican Army in the 1920s and ran for the presidency of Mexico in 1940 in a highly disputed election, having accumulated great wealth from construction.

Amador Salazar Mexican soldier

Amador Salazar Jiménez was a Mexican military leader who participated in the Mexican Revolution.

Conventionists (Mexico)

The Conventionists were a faction led by Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata which grew in opposition to the Constitutionalists of Venustiano Carranza and Álvaro Obregón during the Mexican Revolution. It was named for the Convention of Aguascalientes of October to November 1914.

Roberto V. Pesqueira Mexican federal deputy and confidential agent in the United States.

Roberto V. Pesqueira Morales was a Mexican politician who was elected twice to the Chamber of Deputies and was commissioned by President Venustiano Carranza to work as a confidential agent in the United States and secure diplomatic recognition to his regime.

Pablo González Garza Mexican army general and politician

Pablo González Garza was a Mexican General during the Mexican Revolution. He is considered to be the main organizer of the assassination of Emiliano Zapata.

Antonio Díaz Soto y Gama Mexican revolutionary

Antonio Diaz Soto y Gama was a revolutionary during the Mexican Revolution and Mexican politician.

Jacinto B. Treviño Mexican general

General Jacinto Blas Treviño González was a Mexican military officer, noteworthy for his participation in the Mexican Revolution of 1910 to 1921.

References

Specific
  1. Friedrich Katz, The Secret War in Mexico, Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1981, p.267.
  2. 1 2 1914: The Aguascalientes Convention
  3. Charles C. Cumberland, Mexican Revolution: The Constitutionalist Years. Austin: University of Texas Press 1972, p. 166.
  4. Cumberland, Mexican Revolution, p. 168.
  5. Cumberland, Mexican Revolution, pp. 170-2.
  6. Cumberland, Mexican Revolution, p. 170
  7. 1 2 Cumberland, Mexican Revolution, p. 171.
  8. Cumberland, Mexican Revolution, p. 172.
  9. Lucas, Jeffrey Kent (2010). The Rightward Drift of Mexico’s Former Revolutionaries: The Case of Antonio Díaz Soto y Gama. United States: Edwin Mellen Press. p. 296. ISBN   978-0-7734-3665-7.
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