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Mexico in World War I

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Title: Mexico in World War I  
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Subject: World War I by country, Outline of World War I, United States occupation of Veracruz, Military history of Mexico, Mexican Revolution
Collection: 1910S in Mexico, World War I by Country
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Mexico in World War I

Mexico was a neutral country in the Great War that lasted from 1914 to 1918. This neutrality was marked by several facts: The Great War broke out in Europe as the full revolutionary war was unfolding in Mexico. Nevertheless, after the Constitutional Army won the Battle of Celaya in April 1915, the war in Mexico was restricted to local fights, specially guerrilla fights. The partial peace allowed a new liberal constitution to be drafted in 1916 and proclaimed on February 5, 1917, but the USA oil companies felt threatened by the new constitution and Mexico was in constant threat of being militarily invaded by the USA,[1][2] who wanted to take control of Tehuantepec Isthmus and Tampico oil fields.[3][4] Finally, Germany also made several attempts to incite a war between Mexico and the USA, like the Zimmermann Telegram affair. The involvement of Mexico in the Great War must be analyzed in two parts, before and after the adoption of the constitution of 1917.

Contents

Mexican neutrality in the Great War reflected a hostility toward the USA due to several interventions in Mexico's internal affairs.[5] Victoriano Huerta conspired with the American ambassador Henry Lane Wilson in February 1913 to takeover the presidency of Mexico and to assassinate the democratically elected President Francisco I. Madero and his vice president José María Pino Suárez during a coup d'état known as La decena trágica. Moreover, the American President Woodrow Wilson also ordered the military invasion of Veracruz in 1914 resulting in the death of 170 Mexican soldiers and an unknown number of civilians.[6][7] The assassination of the democratically elected President Francisco I. Madero and his vice president José María Pino Suárez triggered a full civil war that ended when the Constitutional Army won the Battle of Celaya in April 1915. The partial peace allowed a new liberal constitution to be drafted in 1916 and proclaimed on February 5, 1917. The Primer Jefe of the Constitutional Army, Venustiano Carranza, was elected President of Mexico under the new constitution in May 1917.

The international relationship between the Presidents Venustiano Carranza and Woodrow Wilson was very difficult since the proclamation of the new constitution, and it marked the participation of Mexico in the Great War.[3][4] Nevertheless, Venustiano Carranza was able to make the best of the situation.

  • Carranza government was de jure recognized by Germany at the beginning of 1917 and by the USA on August 31, 1917, the latter as a direct consequence of the Zimmermann telegram and in order to ensure Mexican Neutrality in the Great War.[8][9] After the military invasion of Veracruz in 1914, Mexico would not participate with the USA in its military excursion in the Great War,[5] so ensuring Mexican neutrality was the best deal.
  • Carranza granted full-guaranties to the German companies for keeping their operations open, specifically in Mexico City,[10] but he was at the same time selling oil to the British fleet. Moreover, 75% of the fuel used by the British fleet came from Mexico.[4][11]
  • Carranza rejected the proposal of a military alliance with Germany made via the [13] since 75% of the fuel used by the British fleet came from Mexico, Carranza gave the order to set in fire the oil fields in case of a USA invasion.[12][14] As a scholar once wrote: "Carranza may not have fulfilled the social goals of the revolution, but he kept the gringos out of Mexico City".[9][15]

References

Notes

  1. ^ Glenn P. Hastedt (2009) Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy, p. 315, Infobase Publishing, USA.
  2. ^ a b Ernest Gruening (1968) Mexico and Its Heritage, p. 596, Greenwood Press, USA.
  3. ^ a b c Lorenzo Meyer (1977) Mexico and the United States in the oil controversy, 1917-1942, p. 45, University of Texas Press, USA
  4. ^ a b c Drew Philip Halevy (2000) Threats of Intervention: U. S.-Mexican Relations, 1917-1923, p. 41, iUniverse, USA.
  5. ^ a b Lee Stacy (2002) Mexico and the United States, Volume 3, p. 869, Marshall Cavendish, USA.
  6. ^ Alan McPherson (2013) Encyclopedia of U.S. Military Interventions in Latin America, p. 393, ABC-CLIO, USA.
  7. ^ Susan Vollmer (2007) Legends, Leaders, Legacies, p. 79, Biography & Autobiography, USA.
  8. ^ Thomas Paterson, J. Garry Clifford, Robert Brigham, Michael Donoghue, Kenneth Hagan (2010) American Foreign Relations, Volume 1: To 1920, p. 265, Cengage Learning, USA.
  9. ^ a b Thomas Paterson, John Garry Clifford, Kenneth J. Hagan (1999) American Foreign Relations: A History since 1895, p. 51, Houghton Mifflin College Division, USA.
  10. ^ Jürgen Buchenau (2004) Tools of Progress: A German Merchant Family in Mexico City, 1865-present, p. 82, UNM Press, USA.
  11. ^ Lorenzo Meyer (1977) Mexico and the United States in the oil controversy, 1917-1942, p. 253, University of Texas Press, USA.
  12. ^ a b Stephen Haber, Noel Maurer, Armando Razo (2003) The Politics of Property Rights: Political Instability, Credible Commitments, and Economic Growth in Mexico, 1876-1929, p. 201, Cambridge University Press, UK.
  13. ^ George Grayson (1981) The Politics of Mexican Oil, p. 10, University of Pittsburgh Press, USA.
  14. ^ Lorenzo Meyer (1977) Mexico and the United States in the oil controversy, 1917-1942, p. 44, University of Texas Press, USA.
  15. ^ Lester D. Langley (2001) The Banana Wars: United States Intervention in the Caribbean, 1898-1934, p. 108, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, USA.

Bibliography

  • Mexico and the United States in the oil controversy, 1917-1942. University of Texas Press, 1977
  • Threats of Intervention: U. S.-Mexican Relations, 1917-1923. iUniverse, 2000.
  • Básicos. Historia Universal 2, Ed. Santillana, 2007
  • Historia de México II, Ed, Santillana, 2008


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