Carranza, Venustiano, and the Convention of Aguascalientes
Convention of Aguascalientes, 1914
Quite a bit of agreement of need for political settlement. Agreed that the president shouldn't be Villa
or Carranza. Villa oscillates as to whether he wants power. Villa violated neutral ground
agreement by bringing troops.
Bulk of delegates were military men, the single most important element in politics.
Some of these generals were good politicians. Each of the major armies had a little group
of intellectuals. Antonio Díaz Soto y Gama (patron saint of
agrarian reform) was with Zapata. Zapata's only interest was agrarian reform. Díaz Soto y
Gama was with Zapata at Aguascalientes. The Zapatistas came late to the Convention of
Alvaro Obregón, two weeks before the Convention was up in
Chihuahua. Villa ordered him shot, retracted it. Obregón never flinched. He had nerves of
The decision was made at Aguascalientes to choose a
relatively neutral person as president. Eulalio Gutiérrez
chosen. Villa didn't want him to be important. Gutiérrez had a lot of support from
civilian intellectuals, which shows how little intellectuals understood the situation.
Díaz Soto y Gama spat on Mexican flag. That made many
generals unhappy about presence of radicals; after all, they were spilling blood for that
Aguascalientes dominated by a decision made by
Obregón--that the agreements reached at the Convention wouldn't work because Villa was
going to try to dominate Gutiérrez. He believed that
no decision could be made until Villa was overthrown or beaten, in fact, until all who
opposed the Carranza faction were beaten. So Obregón withdrew. Went to the Carrancistas.
Carranza forces compromised their moral position for two
months. Didn't move
The Villa army became the Army of the Convention. Went to
Mexico City. Dilly-dallied on the way and once he was there. Some say he could have
destroyed the Carranza forces if he had moved quickly. Villa loved women, and made love
not war for a few months. Villa ordered Gutiérrez around. Intellectual such as José
Vasconcelos was with Villa and Gutiérrez.
Carranza was given time to get ready. By February, 1915,
he was ready to move. From then until Spring 1916, had defeated his enemies. Obregón won
battle of Celaya against Villa in April, 1915, adapting WWI techniques he learned from
newspapers to stop Villa's cavalry. Villa was reduced
to being a guerrilla.
Carranza had the devil of a time with Zapatistas. Another
Carranza general was fighting him. Zapata took Puebla in a drive to get Veracruz, the
important port city with its customs revenues. Obregón stopped Zapata by retaking
the city of Puebla. Zapata retreated back into Morelos, his home state.
Carranza had issued reform decrees in order to gain
support. This was one of the reasons for returning to Mexico City. There was quite a bit
of radical activity in local levels, Yucatán and Tabasco are examples. The military
general of Tabasco in canceled peon debts, decreed minimum wages, and forbade corporal
punishment of servants. In Yucatán, they created cooperatives to run the vast henequen
12 December 1914 - emphasized agrarian
reform, the return of village lands to the Indians; favored taxing real property; minimum
wages; free municipios; division of church lands; new laws on national resources to end
foreign monopoly. He included labor planks to draw labor support. Obregón signed an
agreement with the labor organization, the Casa del Obrero Mundial, which then supported
the Carrancistas against Villa. Labor contributed intellectuals and "Red"
Divorce by consent and remarriage were instituted. The
church opposed these social decree as well as much of the revolution. Not surprisingly,
Growth of discussion of all kinds of items.
Early 1915, Carranza promised to call a constitutional
convention. When Carranza won, he couldn't back out of this.
Most of the fighting was over by 1916.