Photographs and Postcards of the Mexican Revolution

The Mexican Revolution, 1910–1920, overthrew a 30–year dictatorship and established a constitutional republic in Mexico. Mexicans wanted economic change, democratic land policies, and widespread enfranchisement. In 1917, under Venustiano Carranza, a constitution was written, and although it gave the president dictatorial powers, it also gave the government power over groups such as wealthy landowners and the Catholic Church.[1] Fighting continued well into the decade following the creation of  the constitution, and an estimated 900,000 people were killed in the revolution conflicts.[2]

BYU has a collection of eight photographs and eleven postcards (MSS P 249), dating from 1910 to 1917 of the Mexican Constitutional Army and its leaders, including General Teodoro Elizondo, a grocer turned general who aided in the capture of multiple cities,[3] and Colonel Jose V. Elizondo. Many of the images are posed with soldiers in organized rows or blocks, but some are more candid and show the soldiers pouring through the streets of a town or leaning on an automobile in the desert.

 

The photos illuminate the Mexican Revolution through their first-hand views of the people in the Constitutional Army and the locations of the revolution. The curated views in the postcards give insight into how the revolution was portrayed at that time, and the photographs offer a more informal perspective on the people involved. The collection is a helpful tool for researchers interested in Mexico’s political history and United States–Mexico relations at the turn of the century. For more information about the collection, please contact Gordon Daines at gordon_daines@byu.edu.

1 “Mexican Revolution,” Encyclopedia Britannica, November 9, 2023, https://www.britannica.com/event/Mexican-Revolution.

[2] “Mexican Revolution | History Detectives | PBS,” n.d., https://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/feature/mexican-revolution/.

[3] “Teodoro Elizondo.” Wikipedia, November 20, 2023. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teodoro_Elizondo.

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