As commander of the División del Norte, he was the veritable caudillo of the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, which, given its size, mineral wealth, and proximity to the United States, provided him with extensive resources. Villa was also provisional Governor of Chihuahua in 1913 and 1914.
Villa and his supporters seized hacienda land for distribution to peasants and soldiers. He robbed and commandeered trains and, like the other revolutionary generals, printed fiat money to pay for his cause.
Villa's dominance in northern Mexico was broken in 1915 through a series of defeats he suffered at Celaya and Agua Prieta at the hands of Álvaro Obregón and Plutarco Elías Calles. After Villa's famous raid on Columbus, New Mexico, in 1916, United States Army General John Pershing tried unsuccessfully to capture Villa in a nine-month pursuit that ended when the United States entered into World War I and Pershing was called back. Villa retired in 1920 and was given a large estate, which he turned into a "military colony" for his former soldiers. In 1923, he decided to reinvolve himself in Mexican politics and as a result was assassinated, most likely on the orders of Obregón.
Pancho Villa in Southern VictoryChihuahua was the Radical Liberal Party's candidate for the Confederate Presidency in 1915, the second year of the Great War. Often described as a young fire-eater, he promised to prosecute the war more vigorously than Woodrow Wilson had. Despite these appealing attributes, he was soundly defeated by incumbent Whig Vice President Gabriel Semmes.
| Political offices|
Salvador R. Mercado
|Governor of Chihuahua|
| Succeeded by|
| Party political offices|
|Radical Liberal Party Presidential Candidate|
| Succeeded by|