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Venustiano Carranza

Carranza, Venustiano (vānōstyäˈnō käränˈsä) [key], 1859–1920, Mexican political leader. While senator from Coahuila, he joined (1910) Francisco I. Madero in the revolution against Porfirio Díaz. When President Madero was overthrown (1913) by Victoriano Huerta, Carranza promptly took the field against Huerta. Fighting in the north, he was joined by other insurgents, notably Álvaro Obregón and Francisco Villa; Emiliano Zapata led a peon uprising in the south. Huerta was finally forced to resign and Carranza assumed (Aug., 1914) the executive powers. Villa and Zapata refused to recognize Carranza's authority, however, and plunged the country into another civil war. Carranza, aided by Obregón, emerged supreme by Aug., 1915, although Zapata and Villa continued their rebellions in the south and north. Carranza was pressed by Obregón to accept the Constitution of 1917, which contained potentially radical reform measures that Carranza opposed and subsequently failed to enforce. In 1920, Carranza attempted to prevent Obregón from succeeding him as president, and Obregón revolted. Carranza fled Mexico City, and was ambushed and murdered by a local chieftain in Tlaxcalantongo.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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