Research Paper: Mexico Army's Punitive Expedition

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Army's punitive expedition

The Punitive Expedition is the name of a military campaign that the government of the United States took place in Mexico to capture revolutionary leader Pancho Villa, who had attacked a U.S. outpost on March 9th of 1916 sending a military expedition to trap Francisco Villa on March 14 of 1916.

In the history of relations between Mexico and the U.S., that is, between a rising imperialist power and a country dependent and backward, there were disagreements and clashes very important. (Boot, p80-89) Capitalist development in North America, involved the conversion of America into a transcontinental power through the purchase of territory to France and Spain, negotiations with England and territorial dispossession of land from Mexico. (Johnson, p10-24) In 1836, through encouragement elements filibusters, Texas was severed from Mexico, in the proxy war of 1846-1848 the United States took from Mexico New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, California and fractions from other states, and in 1853 "purchased" the Mesilla. (Boot, p80-89)

During the Mexican Revolution, U.S. imperialism was actively involved in overthrowing the democratic government of Francisco I. Madero, and then defeated the coup government of Victoriano Huerta, provided the activity in the soil of reactionary elements like Felix Diaz and other well-known right-wingers. Between March 1916 and February 1917, the U.S. government, with Woodrow Wilson as president, conducted a military intervention in Mexico, known as the Punitive Expedition, supposedly to chase Pancho Villa, seized and liquidated. (Katz, p23-29)

The real targets were different, sabotage, and prevent the enactment of laws on oil matters, land, labor and religious. Naturally, these goals were uncovered only Mexican patriotism and the American labor movement. (Beede, p117-28)


In protest against the government's recognition of Carranza by the administration Wilsonian, Pancho Villa attacked with 360 men on March 9, 1916 the population of Columbus, New Mexico. During the raid set fire to several houses, looted shops, stole money from the bank and post office and telegraph, fought with the garrison of the square, killing eight soldiers and another equal number of civilians. (Boot, p80-89)

Villa's assault gave the pretext for U.S. imperialism to intervene in Mexico with a force of aggression called Punitive Expedition under the leadership of General John J. Pershing, nicknamed Black Jack; it would command the American Expeditionary Force in WWI. (Birtle, p99-108) This invading force had as central features in terms of weapons and equipment; to be the last important action that gringo army was widely used cavalry and the first to use airplanes and trucks. (Vandiver et al. p34-38) Yankee troops crossed the border at Palomas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, initially with about 5 000 officers and soldiers. Subsequently, these quotas were increased and there came a time when they were around 20-000 participants in the intervention. (Vanderwood et al. p77-104)

Unidentified elements, whom the Americans accused them of general supplies and advised by Mexicans stormed the May 5, Glenn Springs, Big Ben district, Texas that killed so many Americans, including some military. (Vanderwood et al. p77-104) The gringo government took advantage of this incident to increase the number of troops of the Punitive Expedition. There were other assaults on the border between the states of Chihuahua and Tamaulipas Texas. There were also conflicts and hostile acts at sea and in some rivers, highlighting the place in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Guaymas, Sonora, and Minatitlan, Veracruz. (Boot, p80-89)


Candido Aguilar went to Robert Lansing, Secretary of State, on May 22, to report that 400 men of the 8th Regiment of the American army were in Mexican territory, having crossed the line in the direction of nozzles, approximately 10 to 11 May, and were at the date of the post near a place called "El Pino," (Vanderwood et al. p77-104) about sixty miles south of the border. This fact became known to Mexican authorities, for the same commander of U.S. troops who crossed the border went to the Mexican military commander in Sierra Wet Esmeralda, a communication in which he stated that he had crossed the border in pursuit of the band of outlaws who raided Glenn Springs, by virtue of an agreement between the U.S. government and the Mexican government for the passage of troops, and with the consent of a Mexican consular officer of Del Rio, Texas, who claimed to have knowledge of the input given of issue. (Katz, p23-29)

The Mexican government could not assume that a mistake the second time the U.S. government ordered its troops over without the consent of the government of Mexico. The explanation given by the government regarding a change of Yankee troops in Columbus, has never been satisfactory to the constitutional government, but the new invasion of the country was no longer an isolated event, and came to convince the Mexican government that it was more than just a simple error. (Vanderwood et al. p77-104)

The Mexican government could not consider this latest incident but as an invasion of our territory made?

by U.S. forces against the express will of the government of Mexico, and was his duty to ask, as he did, the U.S. government, to order the immediate withdrawal of these new forces and completely abstain send any other issue of a similar nature. (Boot, p80-89)

The Mexican government believed the case reached the U.S. government urge that, immediately remove the new issue of Boquillas, hereinafter refrain from sending new troops. However, the Mexican government, having made?

clear its dissatisfaction with the passage of new national territory Yankee troops had to consider this as an act of invasion of their territory, and therefore would defend itself in case against any group of American troops found in it. (Beede, p117-28)

The Yankee government on all occasions had declared constitutional government will help to complete the work of pacification and hoped that this work will be completed in the shortest time possible. The effective attitude of the United States government in connection with these wishes, it was entirely incongruous, came running for a long time various events which indicated that not only did not pay any support to the work of pacification of Mexico, but on the contrary, it seemed putting all possible obstacles for it to take place. (Birtle, p99-108)

Indeed, without the large number of diplomatic representations who under the guise of protecting American interests in Mexico established the work constantly embarrassed the new government that sought to organize the political, economic and social development on a new basis, a large number actually did feel the influence of the U.S. government against the consolidation of the Mexican government at the time.

The strong support that once were unconstitutional elements of the General Scott and the State Department itself, were the main cause for many months, prolonged civil war in Mexico. Later, the continued support to Mexican Catholic clergy who worked relentlessly against the constitutional government, and the constant press activities interventional gringa and businessmen from that country, were at least an indication that the U.S. government would not or could not avoid all the work of conspiracy against the constitutional government were made?

in the U.S.A. (Vandiver et al. p34-38)

The U.S. government claimed the Mexican government relentlessly effective protection of their borders, and yet most of the bands who took the name of rebels against the Carranza government, were provided and armed, if not also be organized in the American side, under the tolerance of the authorities of the state of Texas, and arguably even the U.S. federal authorities. Lenin gringo authorities to these bands was such that in most cases, the conspirators, who were well-known, when they had been discovered and eventually reduce them to jail, obtained his freedom by insignificant bonds, which allowed them to continue their efforts. (Vandiver et al. p34-38)

Mexican immigrants who conspired and organized raids on the American side had more facilities at that time to cause damage than before, because knowing that any new trouble between Mexico and the United States would extend the stay of U.S. troops, tried to increase the chances of conflict and of friction. (Beede, p117-28)

The government said Yankee constitutional government help in its work of pacification and urgently demanded that peace will take place in the shortest time possible and that the protection of borders as efficiently effected. The pretexts to stop the shipment of ammunition consigned to constitutional government had always been futile and never had a case open, it was said, for example, that are seized ammunition would not know who the true owner or fear of seeing them fall into hands by Pancho Villa. (Katz, p23-29)


The seizure of equipment consigned to the Mexican government could not have more understanding than the U.S. government wanted to guard against the emergence of a future conflict, and therefore tried to avoid coming at the hands of the Mexican government that arms and ammunition could be used against U.S. troops themselves. (Katz, p23-29) The U.S. government would be right to guard against such an emergency, but in that case should not say… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Mexico Army's Punitive Expedition.  (2011, December 5).  Retrieved December 11, 2019, from

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"Mexico Army's Punitive Expedition."  5 December 2011.  Web.  11 December 2019. <>.

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"Mexico Army's Punitive Expedition."  December 5, 2011.  Accessed December 11, 2019.