Sunday, January 24, 2010

Facial Hair of the Weekend

This marks the last of the "Mexican Revolution Facial Hair" series (see here for others). Álvaro Obregón (1880-1928) was one of the leading generals in Venustiano Carranzo's Constitutionalist army. Obregón achieved many of the major military victories of Carranza's forces in the 1914-1915 period, and was rewarded with the position of Minister of War in 1915. However, by 1917, Obregón began to forge his own identity as a politician independent of Carranza, with the intent of running for president of Mexico in 1920. Obregón's campaign was successful, and he served as president of Mexico from 1920-1924. Many consider Obregón's administration to be the first of the "post-revolutionary" administrations, with conflict from the Revolution ending in 1920 (though, agian, the timeline and periodization of this varies from scholar to scholar). During his administration, Obregón launched major educational reform, land reform, and some labor laws (though the way such reforms and laws played out from state to state varied). Stepping aside for his hand-picked successor, Plutarco Elias Calles (whose mustache was already much less significant than Obregón's was), Obregón remained active in military and political life. In 1928, he decided to run for election once again, and won. Unfortunately for him, he was assassinated before being able to take office, marking simultaneously the last of the major political assassinations of the Mexican Revolution and the end of the major figures of the Mexican revolution serving as political leaders. The Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) would command the presidency of Mexico for the next 72 years, continuing to get further and further away from its "revolutionary" ideals, until Mexico had determined it had enough of the PRI, electing opposition candidate Vicente Fox in 2000.