Porfirio Díaz

(1) The Twilight of the Díaz Regime, 1904 - Oct.1910


Far Left.
==Jan.--- > The radical Flores Magón brothers flee to the US, and establish an anti-Díaz group in Laredo in Feb.

==Jun.21 > The Mexican Supreme Court rules against the peasants of Yautepec village in Morelos, in a famous land dispute with the powerful Escandón hacienda - ~the village elders are arrested and shipped to labor camps

Díaz Regime.
==Jun.--- > The presidential term of office is lengthened to six years and the vice-presidency is revived - Díaz is creating the apparatus of a permanent dictatorship
==Jul.--- > The aging dictator Porfirio Díaz is ‘re-elected’ president, with the unpopular científico Ramón Corral as his vice-president

==Oct.--- > The wealthy liberal Francisco Madero becomes active in politics - he forms a political club in Coahuila and supports local reform campaigns against establishment candidates

Far Left.
==fall > The anti-Díaz journal Regeneración is revived in San Antonio, Texas by the Flores Magón brothers, who have become radical than ever

Díaz Regime.(north).
==1904 > The landowner Luis Terrazas turns the government of Chihuahua over to his ruthless son-in-law Enrique Creel - Creel replaces elected mayors with appointees


Díaz Regime.Rural.(north).
==early.1905 > Governor Creel enacts an oppressive land law in Chihuahua and launches an assault on the rights of free-holding villages

==May.21 > Coahuilan opposition groups hold a gubernatorial convention in Mexico City - the inexperienced liberal Madero is outmaneuvered by the conservative científico faction, and the científicos are soon co-opted by the Díaz regime

Far Left.
==Sep.25 > The revolutionary Partido Liberal (PLM) is formally constituted by the exiled Flores Magón brothers in St. Louis

==1905 > Mexico goes on the gold standard - ~financial strains are beginning to appear in the Porfirian economy


==spring > ~Madero is working to pull together a national network of opposition to Díaz by the 1910 presidential elections

The Cananea strike - the start of Mexican labor unrest, to 1907:
==Jun.01 > A strike is launched against a US-owned mining company in Cananea, Sonora, and soon turns violent - American vigilantes cross the border to intervene for the owners
==Jun.06 > The strike is crushed after dozens of strikers have been killed

Far Left.Unrest.
An attempted radical revolt fails:
==Jul.01 > The radical PLM publishes a manifesto calling for armed revolt against Díaz and for sweeping social reforms
==Sep.--- > Despite a well-organized underground network, the PLM’s attempt to set off a widespread revolution fizzles; the arrests of its leaders in the United States cripples the party - ~a PLM-led guerrilla war in southern Veracruz simmers on into 1910

The violent Rio Blanco strike:
==Dec.07 > The Rio Blanco textile strike spreads through the Veracruz/Puebla area - union officials naively ask Díaz to mediate the dispute
==Dec.22 > Owners retaliate with massive lockouts throughout central Mexico
==Jan.07-09 > After Díaz sides with the textile owners, wild rioting erupts at Orizaba near Veracruz - the disturbances are suppressed with extreme brutality by Federal troops, with nearly two hundred strikers killed - occasional labor unrest continues in central Mexico until the revolution


Far Left.
==Aug.--- > Virtually the entire PLM leadership is arrested in Los Angeles

==late.1907 > ~Financial panic in the United States causes a decline in export prices, leading to the loss of state revenue - Mexican recession to 1908, causing doubts about the health of the Porfirian economy

US Relations.
==1907 > An American request for a permanent lease on Magdalena Bay in Baja California is refused by Mexico - ~US support for Díaz begins to cool


Díaz Regime.(north).
==Mar.01 > Governor Creel’s Banco Minero is robbed in Ciudad Chihuahua, evidently by members of his own family - ~Creel’s attempt to pin the crime on innocent ‘suspects’ is soon discredited

Díaz Regime.
==Mar.03 > The ‘Creelman interview’ is published in Mexico: with tongue-in-cheek Díaz pledges to retire in 1910 and to tolerate political opposition - the interview proves to be “a cataclysmic error in judgment” - ~public opposition germinates, confusion in the political system rises, and a sense of impending disaster grows
==May.30 > Díaz allows his supporters to “convince” him to seek another term

Far Left.Unrest.
==Jun.18-23 > Arrests of PLM leadership in Mexico and the US disrupt their plans for a radical revolt

==1908-1909 > Droughts and poor harvests in Mexico

==1908 > Real wages for Mexican workers have sunk to about a third of their level of a century earlier


==Jan.20 > Madero, who has been communicating with spirits, writes his father “I have been chosen by Providence.  Neither poverty, nor prison, nor death frighten me.”
==Feb.02 > Madero sends Díaz a copy of his book La sucesión presidencial en 1910 - ~Madero becomes a nationally known opposition leader

Díaz Regime.Rural.(north).
==Mar.11 > Perhaps fearing popular anger, the Federal government briefly attempts to revoke the oppressive 1905 Chihuahua land law, but soon caves in - ~Governor Creel intensifies his land expropriations at the expense of the peasants

Díaz Regime.Rural.(south).
==Mar.15 > Díaz installs the inept planter Pablo Escandón as Governor of Morelos despite a strong opposition campaign - ~the big landowners fully control Morelos; as an increasing tempo of land seizures occurs, the local peasantry grows politicized and sullen

Díaz Regime.
The ruling regime splits:
==Mar.25-30 > The government party convention predictably nominates Díaz and Corral - ~Corral’s fellow científicos are openly advocating a permanent Díaz dictatorship
==early.May.-Aug. > Nuevo León Governor Bernardo Reyes challenges Ramón Corral for the vice-presidency - the political establishment is preoccupied with the struggle between the military and the científicos for the succession to Díaz
==late.May-late.July > Anti-government Reyista disturbances

==spring > ~The Mexican national reserve bank is in critical condition

Madero opens his campaign against Díaz:
==May.19-22 > Madero’s supporters form the liberal opposition Partido Anti-reeleccionista
==May.29 > The Anti-reelectionists draw up a manifesto against Díaz; the document is published in mid-June
==Jun.18-Jul.11 > Madero begins organizing and campaigning throughout Mexico in the first open political activity directed against Díaz in thirty years - the public response is strong

==Jul.30 > Earthquakes strike Mexico - Acapulco is destroyed

Díaz Regime.
==early.Aug > The Díaz government puts Reyes under close watch, and his influence dwindles - ~government crackdown on Reyistas in Guadalajara - many frustrated Reyistas join Madero’s Anti-reelectionists

==Aug.27 > A hurricane strikes northeast Mexico, killing 1,500 - Governor Reyes fails to act

==Sep.12 > Emiliano Zapata is elected president of the Anenecuilco village council in Morelos

==Sep.30 > The government turns against the Maderistas, shuts down the Anti-reelectionist paper and arrests its staff - the opposition to Díaz temporarily collapses   (see Dec)

US Relations.
==Oct.16 > Díaz meets American President Taft on the International Bridge in El Paso, but declines to renew US naval leases of Magdalena Bay in Baja California

Díaz Regime.
==Nov.05 > Reyes accedes to Díaz’s request that he visit Europe, and is effectively exiled - Reyes is temporarily finished as a political force

==Dec.-Jun.1910  Madero revives the anti-government opposition by vigorous campaigning throughout Mexico

January-October, 1910

==Feb.11-Mar.29 > Zapata is briefly inducted into the army as a troublemaker - Díaz’s son-in-law has him discharged, and employs him as a groom in Mexico City until late spring

The end of Madero’s 1910 presidential campaign:
==Apr.14 > Madero meets with Díaz and finds him “.. a child .. totally decrepit .. ” - ~Madero accepts that an armed revolt will be necessary to oust the regime
==Apr.15-17 > The Anti-reelectionist convention is held in Mexico City; Madero is nominated for president
==mid.May. > The government resumes its crackdown on the Maderistas - ~amidst rising tensions, thousands are arrested by election day
==Jun.16 > Madero is imprisoned in Monterrey until after the elections

==late.spring > In Morelos, Zapata leads the villagers of Anenecuilco in forcibly reclaiming land from the local hacienda

==Jun.04 > A bloody revolt erupts in Valladolid in the Yucatan - ~sporadic disturbances and small revolts throughout Mexico from late spring through the summer

Díaz Regime.
Díaz steals the presidential election:
==Jun.26 & Jul.08 > Díaz and Corral ‘win’ the Mexican elections amidst blatant fraud - one observer later writes “The tension of the public spirit .. had filled up to the brim.”
==Sep.01 > The Anti-reelectionists protest election fraud to Congress
==Sep.11 > A Maderista demonstration in Mexico City stones Díaz’s home
==Sep.15-16 > A lavish celebration of the centennial of Mexican independence opens - the Díaz regime is seemingly at the height of its power and prestige
==Sep.16 > Díaz informs Congress that the election was conducted properly
==Sep.27 > Congress confirms the election of Díaz and Corral

Maderista Revolt.
==Oct.06-07 > Madero flees over the border to Laredo - ~he is soon openly preparing for a revolt from his base in San Antonio

Far Left.Unrest.
==Oct.---  Attacks by PLM guerillas in southern Veracruz and Tabasco

==fall-Mar.1911 > ~Finance Minister Limantour is compelled to travel to Europe to negotiate new loans - Díaz’s financial system is approaching collapse

Maderista Revolt.(north).Villa.
==fall > ~In Chihuahua, the Maderista leader Abraham Gonzalez recruits local tough guy Pancho Villa to the cause - ~Villa nonchalantly murders police informer Claro Reza in Ciudad Chihuahua

Photo of Díaz from
Evolucion Grafica del Distrito Federal

Mexican Revolution: Introduction   ///   (2) The Maderista Revolt: Nov.1910-May.1911
(3) The Madero Era I: Jun.1911-Feb.1912   ///   (4) The Madero Era II: Mar.1912-Jan.1913
(5) The Constitutionalist Revolt I: Feb.-May.1913   /// (6) The Constitutionalist Revolt II: Jun.-Dec.1913
(7) The Constitutionalist Revolt III: Jan.-Jul.1914   /// Biograhies and Glossary