November 23rd, 1914 – US Troops Pull Out of Mexico


On November 23rd, 1914, during the Mexican Revolution, the last of U.S. forces withdrew from Veracruz, occupied seven months earlier in response to the Tampico Affair.

Collage_revolución_mexicanaThe armed conflict of the Revolution lasted for the better part of a decade, until around 1920, and had several distinct phases. The period 1920–1940 is often considered to be a phase of the Revolution during which power was consolidated and the revolutionary constitution of 1917 was implemented. Over time the Revolution changed from a revolt against the established order under Díaz to a multi-sided civil war in particular regions with frequently shifting power struggles among factions in the Mexican Revolution. The Constitutionalist faction of northern Mexico led by Venustiano Carranza were the victors in the military phase of the conflict. Northerner Pancho Villa joined the fight against Díaz and came to be a major military figure in the Mexican Revolution until 1915. Peasant leader Emiliano Zapata opposed the Díaz regime and consistently led the fight for campesinos in the state of Morelos for land reform in Mexico until his assassination in 1919.

Emiliano_Zapata-Libreria_del_CongresoIn 1914, when the winners of the anti-Huerta struggle attempted to sort out a new revolutionary order via the Convention of Aguascalientes, that solution failed. Former allies now fought each other in another round of bloody civil war. Carranza and the best general of the Constitutionalist Army fought against former Constitutionalist general Pancho Villa, who allied with Zapata. The outcome of that civil war between revolutionaries was not a foregone conclusion, but in 1915 Constitutionalist general Obregón defeated Villa and the Constitutionalists under Carranza consolidated power. Zapata withdrew to Morelos and his followers returned to guerrilla warfare; Zapata was assassinated in 1919.

Out of a population of 15 million, the losses were high but numerical estimates vary a great deal. Perhaps 1.5 million people died; nearly 200,000 refugees fled abroad, especially to the United States.

This armed conflict is often categorized as the most important sociopolitical event in Mexico and one of the greatest upheavals of the 20th century; it resulted in an important program of experimentation and reform in social organization. Foreign powers’ important economic and strategic interests figured in the outcome of power struggles in Mexico, with United States involvement in the Mexican Revolution playing an especially significant role.

One major result of the revolution was the disappearance of the Federal Army in 1914, defeated by revolutionary forces of the various factions in the Mexican Revolution. In 1915, the revolutionary army of Pancho Villa, the Division del Norte, also disappeared. Former revolutionary generals turned presidents of Mexico, Alvaro Obregón, Plutarco Elías Calles, and Lázaro Cárdenas took on the task in the 1920s and 1930s of diminishing the power and independence of those armies and asserting effective civilian control.

“Today in History” on The Pandora Society dot com is primarily focused on Victorian and Edwardian history and does not always have a direct connection to Steampunk, Dieselpunk, or whatever punk; in fact it rarely does, but it is our hope that in sharing these historical events they might serve as some inspiration to the writers in our community to create potential alternative history stories which we look forward to reading 🙂


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