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Posted by BajaInsider.com on February 04, 2023
  • February 5 – Celebrating the current constitution of Mexico adopted in 1917
    February 5 – Celebrating the current constitution of Mexico adopted in 1917
  • Mural of the Mexican revolution of 1910 that resulted in the current Mexican Constitution
    Mural of the Mexican revolution of 1910 that resulted in the current Mexican Constitution
  • Revolution leaders including Venustiano Carranza (#3) Francisco I. Madero (#5) & Francisco Villa (#10)
    Revolution leaders including Venustiano Carranza (#3) Francisco I. Madero (#5) & Francisco Villa (#10)
  • Venustiano Carranza with advisers on the Constitution, he was later assassinated on May 21, 1920
    Venustiano Carranza with advisers on the Constitution, he was later assassinated on May 21, 1920
  • Rebel troops massing in Matamoros
    Rebel troops massing in Matamoros

 

This year Constitution Day falls on Sunday, February 5, 2023. Like many nations, Mexico adjusted this holiday to Monday, February 6, or "Puente" or "bridge" day, to make a three-day weekend. Banks, government offices, schools, and many businesses will be closed. 

Día de la Constitución, or Mexican Constitution Day, is celebrated on February 5. The Mexican Constitution was drafted in Santiago de Querétaro by a Constitutional Convention during the Mexican Revolution. It was approved by the Mexican Constitutional Congress on February 5, 1917, with Venustiano Carranza serving as the first president under its terms. Many cities mark the holiday with festivals and street celebrations.

Click here for the Mexican Constitution of 1917 in English

The Mexican Revolution of 1910 was a social and cultural movement that brought the beginning of changes in Mexico. The revolution started as a rebellion against President Porfirio Díaz. 

As the rift between the poor and rich grew under the leadership of General Díaz, the political voice of the lower classes was also declining. Diaz once said of his people, "The Mexican people would amount to nothing without being driven by the whip." The opposition of Díaz surfaced when Francisco I. Madero, educated in Europe and at the University of California, began gaining recognition and political power.

Diaz had Madero imprisoned, feeling that the people of Mexico just weren't ready for democracy. Several other Mexican folk heroes emerged during this time, including the well-known Pancho Villa in the north and the peasant Emiliano Zapata in the south.

Díaz was still unable to control the spread of the growing insurgency and resigned in May 1911, with the signing of the Treaty of Ciudad Juárez, after which he fled to France. Madero was then elected president but received opposition from Emiliano Zapata, who didn't wish to wait for the orderly implementation of Madero's desired land reforms. In November of the same year, Zapata denounced Madero as president and took the position for himself. Zapata controlled the state of Morelos, where he chased out the estate owners and divided their lands among the peasants. Later, in 1919, Zapata was assassinated by Jesus Guajardo, acting under orders from General Pablo Gonzalez.

Emiliano Zapata was born in 1879 in the Mexican state of Morelos. The son of a farmer and a natural-born leader, Zapata's destiny soon revealed itself. His father died when he was 17, and shortly after that, Emiliano assumed the responsibility of providing for his family. Zapata was of Mestizo blood, and he spoke Nahuatl, the indigenous language of central Mexico. Widely respected by his community, the village elected Zapata as their leader in 1909. He quickly recruited an insurgent army of farmers from his village to protect the farms in their immediate community. Zapata and his men fought the government troops in the south of Mexico, while Pancho Villa fought in the north.

Pancho Villa was born Doroteo Arango in Durango on June 5, 1878, the son of a field laborer. As an adolescent, Villa became a fugitive after killing a man who assaulted his sister. Fleeing into the mountains, he changed his name and became a bandit. In 1910, he joined the rebellion led by Francisco Madero, which was successful. After Madero's assassination in 1913, Villa formed a several thousand-strong army, which came to be known as the Division del Norte - the Division of the North. He fought on the side of Venustiano Carranza and the Constitutionalists.

Eventually, Venustiano Carranza rose to the presidency and organized a critical convention whose outcome was the Constitution of 1917, which is still in effect today. Carranza made land reform an essential part of that constitution. The resulting ejido, or farm cooperative program, then redistributed much of the country's land from the wealthy landholders to the peasants. The ejidos are still in place in 2005 comprised nearly half of Mexico's farmland.

Click here for the Mexican Constitution of 1917 in English


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