The United States and the De la Huerta Rebellion
MANUEL A. MACHADO, JR.
FOURTEEN YEARS (1910-1924) OF ALMOST CHRONIC UPHEAVAL AND
revolutionary activity had strained Mexican-United States rela-
tions. At stake were vital interests in both countries which neither
was willing initially to compromise. In Mexico a new constitution
mandated a reassertion of national control over the country's destiny.
In the United States, vested interests pressured the federal government
to take firm action against the seeming anarchy that characterized
Mexico's revolution. Then, in late 1923, a new and bloody rebellion
erupted onto the Mexican political scene, and the United States
was forced to choose between the more conservative rebels and the
liberal-to-radical established government with which it had just
renewed diplomatic relations. Involved were the personalities and
ideologies of the Mexican leaders, President Alvaro Obreg6n and his
proposed successor, Plutarco Elias Calles, the former minister of
gobernaci6n (government). The United States obviously had to make
a sane policy decision, but initially the facts on which to base the
decision were far from clear. What, therefore, were the alternatives
open to the United States in the face of rebellion in Mexico and
pressures at home?
The leader of the rebellion, Adolfo de la Huerta, gradually
emerged as the threat to the Obreg6n-Calles hegemony in Mexico.
De la Huerta had been governor of Sonora until he successfully
led a rebellion against Venustiano Carranza in April and May, 920o.
From late May until November 3o, 192o, he served as interim presi-
dent of Mexico. When Alvaro Obreg6n was inaugurated on November
3o, De la Huerta moved to the finance ministry. His tenure in that
position (December, 192o, to September, 1923) was marked by a
brilliant success in the 1922 settlement of Mexico's international debts.
Mexico had been under a great deal of pressure from both the United
States and European powers to settle her indebtedness, and in June,
1922, De la Huerta met with Thomas W. Lamont of the International
*Manuel A. Machado, Jr., associate professor of history at the University of Montana,
has published two books on U.S.-Latin American relations. His article, "Tempest in a
Teapot?" appeared in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, LXXIV (July, 1970).
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 75, July 1971 - April, 1972. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101201/. Accessed September 18, 2014.