The Course of Mexican History

By Michael C. Meyer; William L. Sherman et al. | Go to book overview

31
The Overthrow of Díaz

THE PLAN DE SAN LUIS POTOSí

For years Francisco Madero had resisted the prodding of liberals who exhorted that Díaz must be overthrown by force. But when he escaped from San Luis Potosí and made his way north to the sanctuary of the United States border, he realized that the time had come at last. He had tried to unseat the dictator by constitutional means, but force had been used against him and his followers. He was finally ready to expose the inadequacies of enforced peace, and now he would call his fellow Mexicans to arms in the task of national redemption.

In the middle of October 1910, as supporters gathered around him in San Antonio, Texas, he began drafting a revolutionary plan. To avoid any possible international complications with the United States, he dated the plan October 5, the last day he had been in San Luis Potosí, and, in fact, called it the Plan de San Luis Potosí. He made his appeal emotionally.

Peoples, in their constant efforts for the triumph of the ideals of lib-
erty and justice, find it necessary at certain historical moments to make
the greatest sacrifices. Our beloved fatherland has reached one of those
moments. A tyranny that we Mexicans have not been accustomed to
suffer since we won our independence oppresses us in such a manner
that it has become intolerable. In exchange for that tyranny we are of-
fered peace, but it is a peace full of shame for the Mexican nation, be-
cause it is based not on law but on force; because its goal is not the
enrichment and prosperity of the country, but the enrichment of a small
group….

But this violent and illegal system can no longer exist. I know very
well that if the people have designated me as their candidate for the
presidency it is not because they have had an opportunity to discover
in me the talents of a statesman or a ruler, but the vigor of a patriot
ready to sacrifice himself, if necessary, to obtain liberty and to help
the people free themselves from the odious tyranny that oppresses
them….

-478-

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