Saturday, February 8, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: February 8

On February 8, 1914, outgoing Mexican President Anthony Flores invited the two major party candidates to succeed him to his office to discuss the looming threat of war with France. One was his own Secretary of State, United Mexican Party candidate Victoriano Consalus. The other was the Liberty Party candidate, California Senator Albert Ullman.

French President Henri Fanchon was a follower of the Moral Imperative, the imperialist ideology of the Western nations at the turn of the twentieth century. Fanchon had decided that a war with the United States of Mexico and the liberation of Mexico's Negro slaves would make France the leading reformist nation, and also allow France to supplant Mexico's hegemony over Latin America.

Both Ullman and Consalus agreed that Fanchon was capable of attacking the U.S.M., but neither man thought an attack would be successful. Ullman thought a conference with Fanchon would prove beneficial, and considered some of Fanchon's criticisms of the U.S.M. partially justified. Consalus believed that the best response would be a partial mobilization of the Mexican Army, stationing elements of the Pacific Fleet in the Caribbean and outside the Kinkaid Canal, and placing guards in the large French quarter of the port of Tampico, Durango.

Details of the meeting were leaked to the Mexican press, presumably by Consalus, since Ullman was made to appear weak in the reports. The Mexico City Times carried a story on the meeting the next day.

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