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Francisco I. Madero

Francisco I. Madero is recognized as the person who started the Mexican Revolution in 1910. A former newspaper owner, Madero disagreed with the policies of President Porfirio Diaz during the early part of the 20th century, there were many people who wanted to participate in the political system in Mexico, but the Diaz regime concentrated all of the power in the hands of a small, select group of people. Madero was one of the young leaders who thought the people should be allowed to express their opinions and select their public officials through a democratic process. Together with other people who felt the same way, Madero organized the “Anti-reelectionista” Party. Madero represented this party in presidential elections, and spent his time between elections promoting his ideas throughout the country.

Because Madero was a firm supporter of democracy and making government subject to the law, he was considered to be a threat to President Diaz. So shortly before the elections of 1910, Madero was apprehended in Monterrey and imprisoned in San Luis Potosi. When he heard that Diaz had been re-elected in October of that year, Madero fled to the United States in exile. While he was there, he wrote a manifesto called the “Plan of San Luis Potosi” in which he declared that the elections had been a fraud and that he would not recognized Diaz as the legitimate President of the Republic. Instead, he declared himself President Pro-Temp until new elections could be held. On November 20, 1910, he called for an uprising of the people in Mexico-an uprising that proved to be the beginning of the Mexican Revolution.

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critical thinking
If you lived in Mexico in 1910, how would you feel about Francisco Madero’s ideas? Would you follow him? Why?

Related Links:

The Mexican Revolution, originally printed by the Consul General in Austin, Texas

Francisco Madero: Text of “The Plan of San Luis Potosi, November 20, 1910”, from the Modern History Sourcebook

Read More, Learn More:

Martinez, Oscar J. 1983. Fragments Of The Mexican Revolution, Personal Accounts From The Border. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Vanderwood, Paul J. and Frank N. Samponaro. 1988. Border Fury, A Picture Postcard Record of Mexicos Revolution and US War Preparedness, 1910-1917. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.