Venustiano Carranza

Venustiano Carranza

Infobox_President | name=Venustiano Carranza

office = President of Mexico
term_start=March 11, 1917
term_end=May 21, 1920
predecessor=Victoriano Huerta
successor=Adolfo de la Huerta
birth_date=birth date|1859|12|21|mf=y
birth_place=Cuatro Ciénegas, Coahuila
death_date=death date and age|1920|5|21|1859|12|21|mf=y
death_place=Tlaxcalantongo, Puebla
spouse=Virginia Salinas
party=Partido Demócrata Mexicano & Partido Liberal Constitucionalista

Venustiano Carranza Garza (December 29 1859 – May 21 1920) was one of the leaders of the Mexican Revolution. He ultimately became President of Mexico following the overthrow of the dictatorial Huerta regime in the summer of 1914 and during his administration the current constitution of Mexico was drafted. He ultimately became the last President of the Revolution/Civil war era.


Carranza was born in the town of Cuatro Ciénegas, in the state of Coahuila, to a middle-class cattle-ranching family. His father, Jesús Carranza, had been a colonel in the army of Benito Juárez and a staunch supporter of Juárez's liberal party.

He studied at the Ateneo Fuente in Saltillo. In 1874 he went to the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria in Mexico City.

Venustiano Carranza was an early supporter of Francisco I. Madero's efforts to overthrow the Porfirio Díaz dictatorship, and when Madero formed his revolutionary cabinet he appointed Carranza Secretary of War and of the Navy. After Victoriano Huerta's overthrow of the Madero regime, Carranza under the "Plan de Guadalupe" became the leader in the opposition revolt against Huerta. Carranza's forces were known as the Constitutionalist Army, as he advocated reinstatement of the liberal Constitution of 1857.

Also under the "Plan de Guadalupe" Carranza took charge of the executive branch on May 1 1915. He introduced an independent judiciary, greater decentralization of power, and land reform under the "ejido" system. Carranza was a man of great intelligence with wide knowledge of Mexican conditions and history. He was strongly built, wore round glasses and a large grey beard, giving him the appearance of a benevolent father figure.

In September 1916 Carranza saw the need for a new Constitution and called for a Constitutional convention. On March 11 1917 Venustiano Carranza was elected the first president under the new Mexican Constitution of 1917.

Fighting continued with factions who would not accept Carranza's rule, ranging from reactionary landowners and conservative Catholics to the forces of Emiliano Zapata and Francisco Villa for whom Carranza's reforms were too modest. Carranza ordered a bounty put on Zapata's head, leading to Zapata's assassination.As his presidential term drew to a close, he supported a civilian Ignacio Bonillas as a candidate against General Álvaro Obregón for the following presidential elections.This earned him the resentment of the military and of some fellow revolutionaries, including Obregón, Plutarco Elías Calles, and Adolfo de la Huerta, who rebelled against Carranza's government. On April 8 1920, a campaign aide to Obregon attempted to assassinate Carranza. After the failed attempt, Carranza was forced to flee Mexico City.

He set out towards Veracruz but was betrayed and assassinated in Tlaxcalantongo in the Sierra Norte of Puebla by the forces of General Rodolfo Herrero, supporter of Carranza's former allies, on May 21, 1920.

According to General Francisco L. Urquizo, Carranza's last words were: "Licenciado, ya me rompieron una pierna" which translates as "Lawyer, they have already broken one of my legs". (Carranza was referring to his partner, Licenciado Aguirre Berlanga, when he was ambushed and shot). [Gen. Francisco L. Urquizo, "De la vida militar mexicana" (SEDENA, 1991) p. 228]



* Enrique Krauze, "Mexico: Biography of Power" (Harper Collins, 1997) pp. 334-373.

External links

* [ Venustiano Carranza on]
* [ Encyclopaedia Britannica, Venustiano Carranza]

NAME= Carranza, Venustiano
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Carranza Garza, Venustiano (Spanish)
SHORT DESCRIPTION=President of Mexico (1914 - 1920)
DATE OF BIRTH= 1859-12-21
PLACE OF BIRTH= Cuatro Ciénegas, Coahuila, Mexico
DATE OF DEATH= 1920-05-21
PLACE OF DEATH= Tlaxcalantongo, Puebla, Mexico

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