, Research Paper
Many people have tried to analyze why a man by the name of Fransico (Pancho) Villa crossed the border into a town called Columbus, New Mexico which he later attacked upon arrival. There have been different explanations on why he entered U. S. territory. Two such explanations that I have come across with are that Villa was angry because he did not receive ammunition that he paid for there and had a desire to revenge himself on US arms speculators who had cheated him and that Villa crossed division lines to go to California and settle there or perhaps toHavana, Cuba and rejoin his legal wife, whom he had already sent there. Another explanation that I read about was that Villa had hope of obtaining German armsand support in return for his attack against the United States. The real reason that I believe motivated Pancho Villa to attack the UnitedStates was revenge. In one of the books that I acquired, it told about one of Villa ssoldier and what he said in an interview. He said, My master, Don Pancho Villa,was continually telling us that since the gringos had given him the double-cross hemeant not only to get back at them, but to try and waken our country to the dangerthat was very close to it (F. Katz, 553). This statement given by Villa s soldierprovides motives for his attack on the United States. In order to understand why Villa wanted revenge from the United States youwould have to go back to when President Woodrow Wilson did not like thePresident of Mexico, which was Victoriano Huerta. Huerta was turning Mexico intoa dictatorship and Wilson did not like that. So in this situation the United Stateswas paying really good attention to what was going on in Mexico and who were theones that were on top. They had learned of Villa s accomplishments and thought itwould be best if they would support him. Wilson thought Villa could one daybecome the president of Mexico so he ordered General Pershing to meet with Villa. When they met for the first time in Texas, Villa was very cooperative with theUnited States thinking that they viewed him as a leader of Mexico. Villa felt thatwith the United States support he was surely going to become the president ofMexico. Villa and his army joined Venustiano Carranza to fight in the revolution. Both men wanted to take Huerta out of office. The United States were also lookingin on Carranza as an option besides Villa. These two men became powerful leadersby the end of the rebellion, but they ended up hating each other. So Villa led a
rebellion on Carranza which ended up in failure. Villa had lost a lot of his Divisionof the North. Wilson looking at the outcome of this rebellion recognized Carranzaas the president of Mexico. In recognizing Carranza as president of Mexico Villafelt betrayed and that the United States Government was his enemy. The United States no longer allowed Villa to purchase guns on any of the lands near the border of Mexico and on their side of the border. Villa felt that theonly way for him to get food and weapons to his people was to take over AguaPrieta. Villa s previous successes in night attacks caused him to have great faith inthem, but at Agua Prieta the night was turned into day by powerful searchlights,the beams of which not only revealed the oncoming attack, but blinded theattackers (C. Clendenen, 331-332). Once again Villa felt betrayed by the UnitedStates because they helped Carranza by allowing him to use their railroad totransport his troops and weapons. Also, by allowing Carranza access to the U. S.machine guns and flood lights. After this tragedy Villa and his people felt that if the United States had notintervene and helped Carranza out they would have been victorious. With thisthought in mind Villa wanted revenge on the United States and its people. Whilegoing in to more familiar territory Villa stopped a train in Chihuahua thatcontained sixteen American engineers. He took them captive and they were laterexecuted by his men. Another act of Villa s revenge on the United States came onMarch of 1916 when he attacked Columbus, New Mexico. Out of revenge and theneed of supplies they attacked this town. Only eighteen American lives were lost,but the town was made a total mess. Villa s soldiers raided local store which werepacked with clothing and food supplies, as well as medical supplies. Some of theother things that they took were 80 fine-bred horses, 30 mules, an assortment ofmilitary equipment, 300 mausers. Pancho Villa had high hopes of becoming the president of Mexico and whenit was only a hand reach away from him the United States came and spoiled it forhim. He was their friend, so he thought. They hit him when he least expected it andit is only logical that a man in his nature would want revenge. With this revengeVilla also accomplished something that he did not even know, which was that he wascited as the only foreign military personage ever to have successfully invadedcontinental US territory.