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Free «Punitive Expedition of Pancho Villa» Essay Sample


A punitive expenditure is a mission undertaken by a military of a country with the aim of punishing another country or a group of individuals. On the other hand, it can also be carried out as a corrective measure of immoral behavior but it can as well be hidden vengeance. The Punitive Expedition of Pancho Villa which is broadly known as the Mexican expedition happened between 1916 and 1917. This was a battle that was used by the Americans to punish Villa for intruding into the United States Columbia city and attacking the people of that land.

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Notably, the expedition took place during the Mexican revolution which was a war that cropped up from the many movements concerning liberal, social and agrarian issues. Basically, the rivals in this war were the president of the United States Wilson Woodrow and Francisco Pancho Villa (Hurst, 2008). These two great men had differences because Wilson Woodrow decided to recognize Venustiano Carranza government instead of Villa’s. This really saddened Villa because he had counted on the support of Woodrow in his ambitions of getting the Mexican presidency. It is out of this frustration that that Villa decided to revenge against Woodrow’s government.



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Following this, Villa goes ahead to kill the Americans anyhow in order to provoke the government of the United States. It is out of these provoking acts that Woodrow decided to use his Cavalry armies to attach Mexico in search of Villa (Bradford, 2009). In the same line of thought, there are many factors that lead to the war between the two major adversaries which really caused a lot of damage in the two countries. Politically, the war was spiced up by the fact that President Woodrow disappointed Villa by deciding to side with Venustiano Carranz’a government. In this case, Villa felt betrayed and decided to attack the Americans in Northern Mexico as well as destroying their property.

Economically, the United States was fairing on well and a good number of the civilians owned business which Villa’s troop looted. In fact, it is stated that during the Americans attack Villa’s grouped took a good number of horses and mules which might have been rare in their land. On the other hand, the social status between Mexico and U.S were not as well good. This is because Villa confesses that one of the merchants who supplied him with weapons disappeared with his money and this also contributed to the war between the two countries.

Unfortunately, the societies concerned in the war were never supportive in the whole process of the punitive expedition. This is clearly shown by the fact that Carranza did not allow Pershing troops to use the north western railway to transport the army which was in search of Villa. In fact, at some point Carranza misdirected Pershing troops and this contributed to their failure in the search of Villa. On the other hand, the border attacks from Villa’s group continued in the border even during the time of the expedition showing that the people concerned were not putting the effort required to assist the military. Similarly, before the retirement of Villa the troops fighting at the border were already weaken as a result of the many attacks from the Americans as well as Mexican federal troops (Sterling, 2008). It therefore comes out clearly that the communities involved in the war were not supportive at all especially when the money and the weapons were blocked and could not be available for the use of the Villas troops.

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Needless to say, the two antagonists did not really have any good basis for the war that took place. However, for Villa his objective was to revenge against the American government which had betrayed him while Woodrow’s government was up to punish Villa for his intentional attacks in America. For this reason, it can be said therefore that the objectives were not clearly defined and that is why the main objective of the mission was not accomplished. In the same line of thought, a lot of commitments were put forward by the American armies with the help of their leader General Pershing in order to bring Villa into American custody whether alive or dead.

Similarly, the American president also gave the military involved in the expenditure instructions on which routes to use as per what they agreed with Mr. Carranza. Actually, as the process was being carried out by the American government Carranza had to send a word to Pershing warning him on the extent at which his troops should survey the land in search of Villa. In reality, this affected the effectiveness of the war because the troops were not allowed to do a thorough search in Mexico (Hurst, 2008). Along with this, the rivals in the war made good use of some instruments of the national power in order to accomplish their goals. Looking at the diplomatic and informational instruments, the two adversaries were not in a position to negotiate and come into an agreement but both used the military to bring the corrective measures.

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However, the American economical power outweighed the Villas troops eventually due to their week financial base. Fundamentally, the resources which were available for the war were distributed wisely even though in some cases a lot of restrictions were placed on their use. It is this reason that makes Pershing to complain undercover that Woodrow placed a lot of restrictions on his mission therefore contributing to its failure (Stout, 1999). As for the Americans the resources available were sufficient as compared to the Villas group who were crippled financially.

Moreover, both nations had military systems which were used to fight and the armed forces which were available at that time were the Villas troops and the 13th cavalry troops which belonged to Villa and Woodrow respectively. Presumably, the age group of the armed forces during the punitive expenditure was between the age of 18 and 49 years. Outstandily, as the war continued the military troops continued to receive manpower which was supplied by the truck train system which was engaged by General Pershing for that sole purpose.

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So to speak, the troops in the battle ground were fully equipped and had good and quality weapons. Nonetheless, the training of the forces was wanting since some of the weapons were being introduced to them for the first time in punitive expenditure. For example, motorized vehicles and the airplane were new arms and therefore the forces needed time to know how to make good use them. However, the war between the two opposing nations gave the forces involved a good ground for training (Sterling, 2008). This is to say that both national learned new fighting techniques in all areas pertaining to any enemy attacks. Actually, the Villas troop had got a good ground to learn new skills on how to run away from the enemy in case of an attack.


In summation, the cavalry troops also learned how to use the new weapons like the motorized vehicles. Actually, it is out of this war that most soldiers were promoted into generals in charge of the arm forces in world 1. In fact, General Pershing led a victorious troop in the World War 1 even though the punitive expenditure was unsuccessful. It can therefore be said that the two opposing nations were successful in the war that followed since the soldiers got good and quality trainings from the experience in the Mexican expenditure. This is because a person like General Pershing led a very successful troop in the World War 1 and his experience was gained during the corrective expenditure.


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