Mexico in the Early 20th Century

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        During the early 20th century Mexico was under the rule of president Porfirio Díaz. Díaz became president in 1876 until 1880 and took office again from 1876 to 1911. The era of Porfirio Díaz's government is known as the Porfiriato and although his initial years as president brought advances in industry and modernization, these advances were gained at the expense of human rights and liberal reforms.

diaz (12K)    The beginning of the Porfiriato brought stability to the Mexican government. Mexico began to grow structurally and economically. Highways, railroads, telegraph lines, and oil fields were built and there was an improvement in the mining industry. However, despite these improvements, officials in power became wealthy while the population remained impoverished. Both the middle and upper classes were dissatisfied with the president's ways. The lower and working classes faced poor working conditions, inflation, inferior housing, low wages, and deficient social services.

        Power was concentrated in the hands of a select few. The new generation of young leaders who wanted to participate in the politics of their country were denied the opportunity to do so by officials already in power. The year of 1910 marked the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. It began on November 20 with an uprising led by Francisco I. Madero. During the revolution which lasted three years, there were three revolutionary groups led by Emiliano Zapata, Francisco "Panco" Villa, and Pacual Orozco.

madero (20K)    villa-zapata (328K)    pascual (26K)
Madero                                                               Villa and Zapata                                                               Orozco