119 Facts About Venustiano Carranza


Jose Venustiano Carranza de la Garza was a Mexican wealthy land owner and politician who was Governor of Coahuila when the constitutionally elected president Francisco I Madero was overthrown in a February 1913 right-wing military coup.


Venustiano Carranza supported Madero's challenge to the Diaz regime in the 1910 elections, but became a critic of Madero once Diaz was overthrown in May 1911.


When Madero was murdered during the February 1913 counter-revolutionary coup, Venustiano Carranza drew up the Plan of Guadalupe, a purely political plan to oust Madero's usurper, General Victoriano Huerta.


Venustiano Carranza did not assume the title of provisional president of Mexico, as called for in his Plan of Guadalupe, since it would have prevented his running for constitutional president once elections were held.


Venustiano Carranza's position was secure enough politically and militarily to take power in Mexico City, although Zapata and Pancho Villa remained threats.


Venustiano Carranza consolidated enough power in the capital that he called a constitutional convention in 1916 to revise the 1857 liberal constitution.


The constitution that the revolutionaries drafted and ratified in 1917 now empowered the Mexican state to embark on significant land reform and recognized labor's rights, and curtail the power of the Catholic Church, but Venustiano Carranza did not implement major reforms once he was duly elected.

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Once firmly in power in Mexico, Venustiano Carranza sought to eliminate his political rivals, having Zapata assassinated in 1919.


Venustiano Carranza won recognition from the United States, but nonetheless took strongly nationalist positions.


Venustiano Carranza fled Mexico City, along with thousands of his supporters and with gold of the Mexican treasury, aiming to set up his government in Veracruz.


Venustiano Carranza was born in the town of Cuatro Cienegas, in the state of Coahuila, in 1859, to a prosperous cattle-ranching family.


Venustiano Carranza studied at the Ateneo Fuente, a famous Liberal school in Saltillo.


Venustiano Carranza was still there in 1876 when Porfirio Diaz issued the Plan of Tuxtepec, which marked the beginning of Diaz's rebellion against President Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada.


Venustiano Carranza entered local politics in Coahuila during the Diaz era, after completing his schooling.


Venustiano Carranza married Virginia Salinas in 1882, and the couple had two daughters.


Venustiano Carranza remained a Liberal who idolized Benito Juarez, against whom Diaz raised a failed rebellion.


Venustiano Carranza grew disillusioned with the increasingly authoritarian character of the rule of Diaz during this period.


Reyes agreed with Venustiano Carranza and wrote to Diaz recommending that he withdraw support for Garza Galan.


The events of 1893 allowed Venustiano Carranza to make connections in some high places, including Bernardo Reyes.


In 1904, Reyes's protege Miguel Cardenas, Governor of Coahuila, recommended to Diaz that Venustiano Carranza would make a good senator.


Diaz sent Reyes out of the country, and Carranza forged an expedient connection to Francisco I Madero, a wealthy landowner who challenged Diaz.


Venustiano Carranza followed Francisco Madero's Anti-Re-election Movement of 1910 with interest.


Venustiano Carranza failed to organize an uprising in these states, leading some of Madero's supporters to speculate that Venustiano Carranza was still loyal to Bernardo Reyes.


Venustiano Carranza was a seasoned politician, unlike Madero, and he argued that allowing Diaz and Corral to simply resign would legitimate their rule; an interim government would merely be a prolongation of the dictatorship and would discredit the Revolution.


Venustiano Carranza returned to Coahuila to serve as governor, shortly holding elections in August 1911, which he won handily.

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Venustiano Carranza introduced regulations to bring safety in the workplace, to prevent mining accidents, to rein in abusive practices at company stores, to break up commercial monopolies, to combat alcoholism, and to rein in gambling and prostitution.


Venustiano Carranza made large investments in education, which he saw as the key to societal development.


An important step Venustiano Carranza took was to create an independent state militia, under the control of the governor, which could put down rebellions and ensure a level of state autonomy from the central government.


Venustiano Carranza had joined with Madero only when Diaz sent his mentor Reyes out of the country.


Venustiano Carranza had already opposed Madero's signing of the Treaty of Ciudad Juarez to have an interim presidency.


Madero in turn accused Venustiano Carranza of being spiteful and authoritarian.


Venustiano Carranza believed that there would soon be an uprising against Madero.


Venustiano Carranza was not surprised in February 1913 when Reyes, Victoriano Huerta, and Felix Diaz, Porfirio Diaz's nephew, backed by the US Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson, overthrew Madero during La decena tragica of fighting in the capital.


Venustiano Carranza declared himself in rebellion against the government installed by the coup.


Venustiano Carranza had political legitimacy as a state governor, a modest record of state reform, popular support in his state, and an able politician, forging alliances to create a broad northern coalition against Huerta.


Venustiano Carranza was both the titular leader of the movement, as well as the actually leader in many circumstances.


In late February 1913, Venustiano Carranza asked the legislature of Coahuila to declare itself formally in a state of rebellion against Huerta's government.


Venustiano Carranza had built a state militia, funded by levying new taxes on enterprises, it could not withstand the well-armed, substantial force of the Federal Army controlled by General, now President, Huerta.


The Coahuila militia suffered defeats at Anhelo, Saltillo, and Monclova, forcing Venustiano Carranza to flee to Sonora a revolutionary stronghold.


Venustiano Carranza thought Madero's mistake had been to formalize promises of social reform in his plan, which went unfulfilled.


Venustiano Carranza understood that Madero's plan had brought together disparate elements to oust Diaz, which it had successfully done.


Venustiano Carranza was not a military man himself, but the Constitutionalist Army of which he was commander in chief had brilliant military leaders, especially Alvaro Obregon, Pancho Villa, Felipe Angeles, Benjamin G Hill, and Pablo Gonzalez Garza.


Huerta's troops of the Federal Army marched into Monclova, forcing Venustiano Carranza to flee to the rebels' stronghold of Sonora in northwest Mexico in August 1913.


In March 1914, Venustiano Carranza was informed of Pancho Villa's victories and of advances made by the forces under Gonzalez Garza and Obregon.


Venustiano Carranza determined that it was safe to leave Sonora, and traveled to Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, on the border with the United States, which served as his capital for the remainder of his struggle with Huerta.

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Early adherents to Venustiano Carranza's cause were Mexican Protestants and American Protestant missionaries and their US-based churches were to play an important role in Venustiano Carranza's movement.


Outside his home bailiwick of Coahuila in exile in Sonora, Venustiano Carranza had to broaden his movement, which in Coahuila had drawn on state elites.


Venustiano Carranza met Sonoran revolutionaries who came from middle and working-class backgrounds.


Venustiano Carranza was able to attract to his movement able men not trained as soldiers.


Venustiano Carranza attracted intellectuals to his movement, especially Luis Cabrera and Pastor Rouaix.


Venustiano Carranza gained the support of Francisco Villa of Chihuahua, who had played an important role in toppling the Diaz regime.


Venustiano Carranza was an ardent nationalistic credentials and threatened war with the United States.


Venustiano Carranza had not fallen into the trap that ensnared Madero, who allowed the continued existence of the Federal Army.


On 20 August 1914, Venustiano Carranza made a triumphal entry into Mexico City.


Venustiano Carranza was now the strongest candidate to fill the power vacuum and set himself up as head of the new government.


Venustiano Carranza benefited greatly from US aid as the Huerta regime collapsed.


Venustiano Carranza wanted US recognition and arms, but did not want to publicly make promises to the US Venustiano Carranza sent Luis Cabrera, a trained lawyer fluent in English, to Washington DC as a special agent of the Constitutionalist government to try to come to an agreement.


Venustiano Carranza had attracted talented civilians to his movement with Cabrera being most prominent.


Venustiano Carranza drew upon a network of well-placed Protestants in the effort Cabrera became Carranza's Minister of Finance and drafted his agrarian law, which proved important for the recruitment of peasants to the Constitutionalists' cause.


Venustiano Carranza's stance was as a sober, skilled and deeply nationalist politician.


Venustiano Carranza took a public, nationalist stance against the US When the Constitutionalist Army wore down the Federal Army and Huerta was forced to go into exile, the US left the munitions and war materiel of their troops in Veracruz along with some that the Huerta regime had bought to the Constitutionalist Army.


Venustiano Carranza had attempted to prevent Villa's victory by sidelining him to avoid having to politically pay a price to Villa.


Venustiano Carranza clumsily attempted to lure some over Villa's men away to be commanded by other generals, but those generals reproved Venustiano Carranza for his authoritarian and jealous ways.


Immediately after the defeat of Huerta, the tensions between the elements of the Constitutionalist forces, particularly between Villa, Obregon, and Venustiano Carranza came to a head.


Venustiano Carranza did not entirely trust Obregon's loyalty, but needed his military support.

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Venustiano Carranza feared Villa would beat him to Mexico City, since seizing the capital was a powerful political symbol.


The national coalition that Venustiano Carranza hoped to forge was a secondary consideration for many fighting for gains at the local level.


Venustiano Carranza set the date for October 1,1914 in Mexico City, which his troops had occupied.


Venustiano Carranza offered his resignation to the delegates, who refused the gesture since he had chosen most of them himself.


The radicals in Venustiano Carranza's coalition agreed to the change in venue for the meeting, going to Aguascalientes, northwest of the capital.


Venustiano Carranza's forces gained war materiel that Huerta had stored in Tehuantepec.


Many of those attending the convention sought a middle way between Villa, Zapata, and Venustiano Carranza, seeing Villa and Zapata too radical and Venustiano Carranza too conservative.


The convention thus demoted Venustiano Carranza making him subordinate to Gutierrez; it likewise removed Villa from military command.


Obregon and the Sonorans stayed with Venustiano Carranza, perhaps making the calculation that they would have a greater voice in his movement than with Villa.


Venustiano Carranza was in a weakened position, since he controlled only limited territory and had fewer troops than Villa and Zapata.


Venustiano Carranza had lost supporters and was forced to abandon the capital for Veracruz state as his stronghold.


Right after the convention at Aguascalientes, a Venustiano Carranza victory looked improbable.


Venustiano Carranza controlled little territory and had a smaller fighting force than Villa and Zapata.


Venustiano Carranza set up his government in Veracruz, while the Conventionist forces held Mexico City.


In late 1914, Venustiano Carranza began issuing a series of reform decrees, and in particular his "Additions to the Plan of Guadalupe", which laid out the social and economic direction of his government in a way the original plan did not.


One Conventionist in February 1915 lamented that Venustiano Carranza was moving quickly on this key problem.


Venustiano Carranza had allowed, or could not prevent, such confiscations in dire military circumstances, but Venustiano Carranza had not confirmed the confiscations as permanent.


Where the Carrancista armies were victorious in cities, Venustiano Carranza encouraged the formation of labor unions.


Venustiano Carranza negotiated with the anarcho-syndicalist labor organization, the Casa del Obrero Mundial, which formed Red Battalions to battle Zapatas' and Villas' in exchange for Venustiano Carranza's promise to pass labor laws favorable to the working class.


Those defeats were the end of Villa's effective fighting force and Venustiano Carranza's renewed standing as leader.

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Venustiano Carranza formally took charge of the executive branch on 1 May 1915.


Reforms were to be carried through on many issues, but in practice, Venustiano Carranza implemented reforms in targeted ways.


Venustiano Carranza convoked a Constitutional Convention in September 1916, to be held in Queretaro.


Venustiano Carranza declared that the liberal 1857 Constitution of Mexico would be respected, though purged of some of its shortcomings.


In short, although Venustiano Carranza had been the most ardent proponent of constitutionalism and headed the Constitutionalist Army, the 1917 Constitution of Mexico was more radical than the liberal constitution that Venustiano Carranza had envisioned.


Venustiano Carranza had no strong opposition to his election as president.


In May 1917, Venustiano Carranza became the constitutional President of Mexico.


The only two rebel leaders captured by Venustiano Carranza were Pancho Villa's supporter Felipe Angeles, who was betrayed for the reward money on his head.


Venustiano Carranza assigned a general to study the possibility of recapturing this territory from the US, but ultimately concluded that war to recapture the land was not feasible.


Venustiano Carranza believed that aid from Germany for such an effort could not be guaranteed due to the blockade by the British Royal Navy.


Venustiano Carranza remained lukewarm about the anti-clerical Articles 3 and 130 of the Mexican Constitution, both of which he had opposed at the Constitutional Convention.


Venustiano Carranza maintained a policy of formal neutrality during World War I, influenced by the anti-American sentiment that the United States' various interventions and invasions during the last century had caused.


Nevertheless, Venustiano Carranza was able to make the best out of a complicated situation; his government was officially recognized by Germany at the beginning of 1917, and by the United States on August 31,1917, the latter as a direct consequence of the Zimmermann telegram' as a measure to ensure Mexico's continued neutrality in the war.


Venustiano Carranza gave guarantees to German companies so they would keep their operations going, specifically in Mexico City, though he was at the same time selling oil to the British.


Venustiano Carranza stopped short of accepting Germany's proposed military alliance, made via the Zimmermann Telegram, and was at the same time able to prevent yet another military invasion from its northern neighbor, who wanted to take control of Tehuantepec Isthmus and Tampico oil fields.


Since Porfirio Diaz's continuous re-election had been one of the major factors in his ouster, Venustiano Carranza prudently decided against running for re-election in 1920.


Venustiano Carranza set out towards Veracruz to regroup, but was betrayed; he was killed on 21 May 1920 while sleeping in Tlaxcalantongo in the Sierra Norte de Puebla mountains.


Venustiano Carranza's forces were under attack there by General Rodolfo Herrero, a local chieftain and supporter of Carranza's former allies.


Historian Aguirre Berlanga has suggested that Venustiano Carranza died by suicide rather than assassination.


Critics of the assassination theory say that the holes in Venustiano Carranza's shirt were too small to have been due to carbine shots, which were the weapons of the attackers.

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Obregon absented himself from Mexico City when Venustiano Carranza's body was brought to the capital for burial.


Venustiano Carranza's body was buried in the municipal Dolores Cemetery, which does have a section for illustrious Mexicans.


Venustiano Carranza was buried among ordinary Mexicans in a third class section.


Venustiano Carranza's disappearance has been enough for the enemies of yesterday to seek reconciliation; for all Mexicans of every opinion to again feel like brothers.


The reputation of Madero, whom Venustiano Carranza had disparaged, grew among Sonorans instead.


Supporters of Venustiano Carranza continued to maintain their fallen leader's reputation in the 1920s, but the shaping of historical memory privileged the revolutionary reputations of Emiliano Zapata, assassinated on Venustiano Carranza's order in 1919, and of Pancho Villa, assassinated in 1923 on the order of Obregon.


The tall, grey-bearded, but vigorous Venustiano Carranza was the "old man" of the Revolution.


Venustiano Carranza had considered Madero a young and naive dreamer, with no real world experience.


Venustiano Carranza had a sufficient following and the aid of his best general, Alvaro Obregon, to consolidate power.


Venustiano Carranza saw himself as the initiator of the true revolution in Mexico, not merely a change in the presidency, but a social revolution.


Venustiano Carranza pretends to be the genuine representative of the Great Masses of the People, and as we have seen, he not only tramples on each and every revolutionary principle, but harms with equal despotism, the most precious rights and the most respectable liberties of man and society.


Venustiano Carranza is remembered as one of the "Big Four" of the Revolution, along with Zapata, Villa, and Obregon.


Venustiano Carranza led the broad-based Constitutionalist movement against the Huerta regime, uniting political and armed forces in northern Mexico to the cause of restoring constitutional law in Mexico.


Venustiano Carranza pursued a policy of fierce nationalism, standing up to enormous economic and political pressure from the US His call for a new constitution was realized, with key matters for which revolutionaries fought, such as land reform, rights of labor, control of foreigners, and nationalism, now the law of the land.