After gaining independence from Spain in 1821, Mexico was in a state of constant turmoil and constitutional changes. These times were also marked by the country’s often uneasy relationship with its northern, more powerful neighbor, the US.
Mexico entered the twentieth century under the de facto dictatorship of General Porfirio Díaz, the country’s seven-time president. Despite economic growth and improved living standards, dissension grew. A coup against Díaz in October 1910 kick-started the Mexican Revolution and the upheavals would last until 1920.
The Mexican Revolution is an extremely complex period, with several coups, countercoups, and rebellions. The involvement of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata have given rise to a somewhat romanticized version of events. The Mexican Revolution also saw the production of the first domestically-built tank of the Americas, the TNCA Salinas, as well as the deployment of armored cars and wheeled armored personnel carriers.
War with the US seemed likely. Varying US actors became involved with different factions throughout the Revolution. Cross-border raids from Mexican revolutionaries were a serious threat in southern US states. The German Zimmermann Telegram almost caused a full-out war.