Erdine (Adrianople) Falls to the Bulgarians

  • Battle of Adrianople (1913): The Turkish city of Adrianople (Edirne in Turkish, Odrin in Bulgaria), at one time the capital of the Ottoman Empire, was captured Bulgarian troops under the command of General Savov. Four months later, after the Second Balkan War broke out between Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria, the Turkish Ottoman troops would recapture on July 23, 1913.
  • Mexican Revolution: Venustiano Carranza announced his Plan of Guadalupe, and began his rebellion against Victoriano Huerta’s government as head of the Constitutionals.1913-03-28-009

The fall of Erdine (Adrianople) to the Bulgarians after a four month siege is the most significant news in the past week.  Tensions between Austria-Hungary and Serbia-Montenegro over Skutari and Albania more generally appear to be on the wane as well.

Also note the article on Japanese naval expansion, particularly its reference to being able to face a “certain power” capable of massing 22 battleships in the Pacific.  That power could only be the United States.

Also note the 40-odd page long overview of the Russian economy in the Times of London.  We can only show its extent by listing its table of contents!  This followed last weeks’ 3- full column length review of U.S. agriculture, noting its general stagnation.  It was quite interesting, but simply too lengthy to post here.  All in all, it is a measure of the habits of an imperial hegemony at the end of its historic tenure.

A sharper contrast could not be drawn with the low and vulgar quality of standard U.S. journalistic fare as evidenced in the New York Times, the legacy of the influence of Pulitzer and Hearst.   Not to mention its propensity for the mindless peddling of falsehoods and other disinformation, a habit that continues to this day.

This is epitomized by the Time’s memoir to a certain Lord Wolseley, a career that typified the British Empire. It is highly recommended that the reader check out the Wikipedia on Wolseley, of Anglo-Irish gentry “settled in the time of William II” at the end of the 17th century.  There was hardly a corner of the planet Earth that did not feel the jackboot of 1st Viscount Wolseley’s presence.  While stationed in Canada during the U.S. Civil War, Wolseley even had himself smuggled into Virginia on a Confederate blockade runner, where he was pleased to fraternize with the military command of the Slaveowners’ Republic, and wrote an apologetic for the infamous Nathan Bedford Forrest, future founder of the Ku Klux Klan terror organization, after one of his frequent massacres of Black prisoners of  war.  The bloody bastard!



Huerta Moves Against Carranza; Pancho Villa Enters Mexico Against Huerta

  • Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa, who had been living at the Hotel Roma in El Paso, Texas under the alias “Doroteo Arango“, crossed the Rio Grande back into Mexico, along with eight companions, to rebuild his army and to overthrow Mexican President Victoriano Huerta. By year’s end, Villa would have control of the state of Chihuahua, which served as his base for anti-government raids.


    Pancho Villa (3rd from right)

  • The tercentenary of the reign of the Romanov dynasty was celebrated across the Russian Empire, although on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia and 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar used in the rest of the world, the date was February 21. Tsar Nicholas II, the last of the dynasty, would be deposed less than five years later.

Contrary to the tone of faux confidence of the Anglo-American press, Victoriano Huerta faced increasing armed opposition to the stabilization of his rule.  Venustiano Carranza had immediately begun to organize a resistance to the Huerta-Diaz coup from his base in Coahuila state in North Mexico.  Carranza was joined by the arrival of Pancho Villa in Chihuahua state from the United States, to where he had fled in 1912 to escape execution by Huerta when he was at the head of the Federal armies under the Madero presidency.  Here Villa was to reorganize the famous Division del Norte, at its maximum consisting of up to 50,000 soldiers.  Despite their alliance,  Carranza and Villa came from completely different social origins:  Carranza was the son of wealthy ranchers from Coahuila state, politically a liberal of the Francisco Madero type, and would be the key force behind the Constitution of 1917.  Villa, from Durango state, was the son of peones de hacienda,  essentially a post-feudal sharecropping economic institution that could also include mining and ranching operations.  Many were owned by the Catholic Church, explaining the hostility to the Church in the Revolution.  The hacienda system was legally abolished in 1917.  Villa’s army led the expropriation of land for redistribution to  peasants, going beyond the liberalism of Madero and Carranza at that time.


Street Battles in Mexico City

Official photograph of the victors of the Batt...

Official photograph of the victors of the Battle of Ciudad Juárez. Madero is seated in center, Orozco on the far right, and Villa is standing on the far left. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As promised, clips for the first time from the New York Times on the Mexican Revolution, after sorting out some technical problems.  Judging from the tone of its reportage, it is apparent that Madero had committed the crime of defending the constitution of Mexico with armed force.  The Orozquistas (Colorados) and their leader, Pascual Orozco, whose family were Basques from Chihuahua involved in mining in the north of Mexico, adjoining Texas and New Mexico, were beginning their realignment with the forces of Victoriano Huerta.  Orozco together with Pancho Villa had been instrumental in the downfall of the Diaz dictatorship in 1910, however Madero had appointed  Venustiano Carranza, a wealthy landowner like Madero to be Ministerio de Guerra rather than Orozco. He also refused to move against the Zapatistas as Madero had commanded.  By March 1912 imagesOrozquistas  were in armed rebellion against the Madero government.  Madero sent Huerta to command a Federal force against the Orozquistas that captured Cuidad Juarez and forced Orozco to take refuge in the U.S. where he spent some months in Los Angeles with relatives.  Orozco was able to return to Mexico in exchange for support for Huerta’s Presidency.

  • Mary Harris Jones, the 83 year old labor activist remembered as “Mother Jones“, was arrested in Charleston, West Virginia after leading a group of miners to confront Governor Transported to an area of Charleston that was under martial law because of confrontations between striking coal miners and company police, Jones would be tried by a military court in March, on charges of conspiracy to commit murder. Convicted on the charges, she would be sentenced to three years imprisonment, but released by the new Governor after 85 days.
  • Outgoing U.S. President Taft vetoed the Burnett-Dillingham Immigration Bill, that would have turned away immigrant heads of families who were unable to pass a literacy test. The veto would survive an attempt at an override; a historian would note later that, “Following his conscience and the advice of Charles Nagel, [Taft] defended his long-standing belief that immigration was an economic boon to the country and that Southern and Eastern Europeans could asimilate as readily as Northern and Western Europeans… Taft left the gates of America open for many immigrants as he left the White House.”
  • Born: Jimmy Hoffa, American Teamsters Union leader, in Brazil, Indiana (disappeared 1975)