Women's Involvement In The Mexican Revolution
Both American women and Mexican women were directly involved with the Mexican Revolution. American Women were the radicals and the revolutionaries. American women were concerned with the welfare of the migrants and the impact that they had on the bordering communities and states. Mexican women were the labor activist, radical journalist, and militant intellectuals. Mexican women were fighting for political leadership and liberal ideals. Throughout the Mexican Revolution women on both sides had a impact on the politics and the welfare of the Mexican people. What were the actions taken by these woman and how did each of their approaches differ?
American Women's groups in California and Texas took great action toward the problems caused and faced by the Mexican migrants. "Between 1911-1920 over 147,000 legal Mexican immigrants lived in Texas and over 16,000 lived in California." These womens groups obviously had a right to be concerned with the conditions that the immigrants brought with them. In Pasadena, California a woman"s group called on the mayor to improve the living conditions of the towns Mexican residents. Pasadena was one of the most prosperous communities in the country and the womans group felt that the mayor must improve the, Mexican Slum. The living conditions consisted of no sanitary facilities in the homes and the people were jammed into small rooms with ten to twelve other people. The efforts of the womans group paid off. The Pasadena Mayor replied to their requests by hooking up sewer lines and paved roads. In San Antonio Texas, The Womens Board of Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church South created an institute for the Mexican immigrants. The institute was known as The Wesley Community Home, which provided the necessities of life for over 6,000 Mexicans in one neighborhood. This institution also provided schooling for the Mexican children. Other womens groups rallied to deal with the many problems that the immigrants brought to the city of San Antonio, Texas specifically. The womens groups were concerned not only about the humanitarian reasons, but also of the public health hazard that the new Mexican settlements presented.
One of the biggest misconceptions about the Mexican Revolution was the involvement that the Mexican women had during the war. Mexican woman were directly involved and were known as the Soldaderas, or the female soldiers and field supporters. Women followed the men to the battlefields. The women helped by cooking, nursing, providing companionship, and often engaging in combat. Some Mexican women even assumed leadership positions. Mexican womens groups often traveled across the border to the US though, to speak out on their political beliefs about the revolution. The Womens groups assumed protection on the American side of the border. In the state of Texas, there were numerous radical and revolutionary woman. There were radical publications such as, "La Mujer Moderna" and "Voz de la Mujer." There were also womans clubs that worked on the Liberal Party like, "Daughters of Cuahtemoc." The woman responsible for the development of the "Daughters of Cuahtemoc", was Senora Flores de Andrade. This club was a semi-secret organization that worked with the Flores Magon Brothers in fighting the dictatorship of Don Porfirio Diaz. The object of the club was to fight for liberal ideals and to establish branches of the womans club in all parts of the states that would carry on an intense propaganda. Senora Flores continued to worked out of her home. Senora Flores was receiving messages from the Flores Magon Brothers and her home ended up becoming a, conspiracy center against the dictatorship. As the uprising of the revolutionary movement increased, Senora Flores began to prepare. Senora Flores collected money, clothes, medicine, and even ammunition and arms. The American Police and the Department of Justice began to get suspicious but did not find any evidence to convict Senora Flores on her plotting. When American authorities continued to follow Senora Flores and her comrades, she decided to escape to the American side and take cover on a ranch. Senora Flores was caught by the American police eventually and was sentenced for death. Senora Flores resoled with the American Colonels rifle and he then ordered all his soldiers to, throw their rifles at the feet of the Mexican Woman. Senora Flores escaped her death after President Taft ordered her liberty. Senora Flores became less involved in political affairs and is convinced that the, revolution promised a great deal to the Mexican people but never accomplished anything. Both Mexican Women and American Women had involvment in the Mexican Revolution. While Mexican Women faught for political advacemnet, American Women faught for humanitarian advancement. But both sides inevitably wanted what was best for the welfare of the Mexican people.