Mexican revolutionary, and short-lived president of the new republic in the aftermath of its 1910 political revolution.

Madero lived from 1873 to 1913, and spent the last two years of his life in office as president of a newly socialist Mexico. In spite of lofty beginnings as the son of one of Mexico’s few wealthy landowners, he became a staunch if moderate democrat and was working as a journalist at the time of the revolution. After then-president / dictator Porfirio Diaz reneged on his promise to step down as leader of Mexico in 1910, Madero was arrested for speaking out against Diaz. Madero was released on bond and escaped to Texas where he declared himself the rightful president of Mexico. He was overwhelmingly elected to this position in 1911 after the revolution had swept out Diaz and begun making steps toward the establishment of a democratic state.

Madero’s term in office was more or less a complete disaster, however, as Madero’s ideal of a moderate democracy stopped far short of the place where his more radical compatriots had planned on carrying the revolution. Infighting, political inexperience, and a lack of support from outside forces (the US) led to a variety of armed rebellions that eventually ended in a betrayal at the hands of his top generals, and finally his arrest and assassination.

Where he was ineffective as a leader in life, however, Madero’s death mutated him into a martyr in the eyes of history, and it was his spirit which went on to lead the country to its eventual unification under a (relatively) stable democracy that overthrew military despotism.

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