Ten Tragic Days | History, Causes & Effects (Mexican Revolution)

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The Ten Traffic Days

The Ten Tragic Days: Military coup against Mexican PresidentFrancisco I. Madero.

Decena Tragica (Spanish)

What was the Ten Tragic Days?

The Ten Tragic Days was a military coup against President Francisco I. Madero, which lasted 10 days. This began on February 9, 1913, in Mexico City, and ended up overthrowing and assassinating President Madero.

The purpose of the movement was to free the dissident imprisoned generals, Bernardo Reyes and Félix Díaz, and overthrow the president. This period of violence and turmoil is considered a great political betrayal in the country.

The driving forces behind the Ten Tragic Days were Manuel Mondragón and Victoriano Huerta, who betrayed Francisco Madero by signing the embassy pact with the opponents. With the coup they sought to promote the claim for unfulfilled political and governmental promises, end injustices to workers and apply Porfirian policies.

This coup ended with the assassinations of Francisco I. Madero and Pino Suárez, on February 22 of the same year.

Photo of Francisco Madero | Ten Tragic Days

Photograph of Francisco Madero during the loyalty march.

Background to the Ten Tragic Days

Another rebellion harangued by the Plan of Solitude proclaimed on November 16, 1911 by General Bernardo Reyes, was unaware of the constitutional government of Francisco I Madero, although the uprising did not prevail against the Madero regime.

Bernardo Reyes was imprisoned and sentenced to be shot, Madero spares his life, and changes the sentence to only prison. With Bernardo Reyes, the shadows of a coup against the Madero presidency remained latent, the same case happened with Félix Díaz, who took up arms in October 1912 against the Madero government, captured, his life was spared, and he was sent to Mexico City to serve his sentence.

Causes and Effects of the Ten Tragic Days (Decena Tragica)

Causes of the Ten Tragic Days

The causes that drove the Ten Tragic Days were the following:

  • The revolution started by Francisco I. Madero in 1910, supporting the armed movement of groups dissatisfied with the presidency of Porfirio Díaz.
  • Madero‘s failure after trying to carry out the government reforms that the revolutionary groups wanted.
  • Madero‘s relationships with political entities that supported former President Díaz, in order to restore and improve the economy and investments abroad.
  • The nonconformity and injustices towards the Mexican working class, together with the revolutionary ideas of the society of that time, where the repeated strikes sowed a feeling of change.
  • Trade policies that prevented the entry of foreign capital and led many companies to close their doors.

Consequences of Ten Tragic Days (Decena Tragica)

The main consequences of the Ten Tragic Days were the following:

  • Victoriano Huerta became president of Mexico, applying the policies of the Porfirian regime.
  • Attempts to apply democratic policies to the republic failed.
  • Francisco I. Madero and Pino Suárez were overthrown and assassinated.

Most Important Key Personnel of the Ten Tragic Days

  • Francisco Ignacio Madero González (1873-1913): Businessman, politician and president of Mexico towards the beginning of the Ten Tragic Days. This had developed a campaign that attracted many people and took power after the overthrow of President Díaz, through the so-called San José Luís Revolution.
  • José María Pino Suárez (1869-1913): Lawyer, poet, politician and journalist, who was the vice president of Madero during the Ten Tragic Days and was assassinated accordingly.
  • José Victoriano Huerta Márquez (1845-1916): Military man and engineer, who organized the Tragic Decade and became president after this event, betraying former President Madero. During his presidency he had several confrontations with the opposition and, after the North American invasion in April 1914, he resigned from power and went into exile.
  • Félix Díaz Prieto (1868-1945): Revolutionary military man from Mexico, who actively participated in the coup against Francisco I. Madero as a general in the army. Together with Victoriano Huerta, he signed the pact of the embassy.
  • Bernardo Doroteo Reyes Ogazón (1850-1913): Military and politician from Mexico, who had a great participation in the Mexican Revolution and was a faithful of President Porfirio Díaz. He died at the beginning of the Tragic Ten.
  • Manuel Mondragón (1859-1922): Mexican military man who fought Madero‘s policies and actively participated in his overthrow and coup. In addition, he is the main suspect of having murdered him.
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