Aimed against the ruling classes, the violent Mexican Revolution overthrew a dictatorship that had lasted thirty-four years and ushered in more than a decade of political and social disorder that impelled many Mexicans to seek sanctuary in the United States.
Mexico experienced a violent revolution from 1910 to 1928. Initially, rebels sought to overthrow the dictator
During a decade and a half of almost constant civil war–resulting in the death of more than 250,000 Mexicans, the burning of farms and factories, and the destruction of villages and cities–Mexico’s economic stability was shattered. Both revolutionaries and those of the former ruling classes were left in disarray. As a result, a wave of immigrants began to cross into the United States. In 1909, fewer than 5,000 Mexicans had immigrated to the United States. However, after the revolution began during the following year, that figure jumped to nearly 90,000 immigrants per year. The revolution caused a state of constant turmoil in Mexico, especially among the landless peasants, but from 1914, when the fiercest period of fighting began, even the upper classes began to immigrate in significant numbers. By 1920, more than 900,000 Mexicans had fled north.
During this same period, the U.S. Congress was concerned with the mass of immigrants coming into the United States from southern and eastern Europe. As a result, Congress passed the
In 1917, Mexico’s revolutionary government enacted a new constitution that gave to the state control of all land distribution and outlawed foreign ownership of land. It also severely limited the rights of the
The eighteen years of the Mexican Revolution resulted in the first major wave of Mexican immigrants into the United States, totaling nearly two million. These immigrants found life in the United States somewhat natural, as the Southwest, where most of them eventually settled, had for two hundred years been part of Spain or Mexico.
Gonzales, Michael J. The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2002. Meyer, Jean A. The Cristero Rebellion: The Mexican People Between Church and State, 1926-1929. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1976. Womack, John. Zapata and the Mexican Revolution. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968.
History of immigration after 1891
Immigration Act of 1921
Latin American immigrants
Latinos and immigrants