25 Emiliano Zapata Quotes For The Revolutionary In You

Stoke your revolutionary spirit with our fantastic Emiliano Zapata quotes. 

Emiliano Zapata is one of the most famous figures from the Mexican Revolution. 

Who was Emiliano Zapata?

Emiliano Zapata was a Mexican revolutionary and champion of the poor. 

He was born on August 8, 1879, in Anenecuilco, Mexico. 

Zapata was a mestizo. 

Mestizo is a racial classification term for people of mixed European and Indigenous American ancestry. 

Zapata was born a peasant and orphaned at age seventeen, where he took responsibility for his siblings. 

Check out these cool Emiliano Zapata facts below: 

  • Zapata lived to the age of forty. 
  • Marlon Brando played Zapata in the movie Viva Zapata!
  • Zapata is known as The Great Peasant Hero of the Mexican Revolution. 

Emiliano lived in a world of haciendas. 

Haciendas are homesteads; in the United States, they were called plantations. 

Early in his career, Zapata led his neighbors in protests against the hacienda system. 

From a young age, Zapata knew the Spanish appropriation of Indigenous land in Mexico was wrong. 

He organized a small force to reform the land and worked to return the stolen land, putting it back into the hands of the indigenous people or ejidos. 

What was Zapata’s slogan?

Many people are familiar with Zapata’s famous slogan for land rights. 

He famously declared “Tierra y Libertad,” or Land and Liberty, as a unifying cry to align the people he organized the Mexican revolution. 

Zapata was instrumental in defeating General Victoriano Huerta and worked closely with Pancho Villa to occupy Mexico City to implement land reform. 

What was Zapata fighting for?

Zapata was a man of the people, and his fight addressed many of the injustices the people of Mexico endured under Spanish occupation. 

Zapata specifically focused on land reform and the removal of the colonizing Spanish forces. 

He was instrumental in drafting the document known as the Plan of Ayala, which meticulously explained their vision for land reform. 

His influence was so strong that when Mexico wrote its Constitution in 1917, land reform was a significant aspect of the document. 

Why is Zapata considered a hero?

Zapata’s influence goes beyond Mexican history. 

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Zapatistas is the name given to those who follow the philosophy of Zapata. 

Oppressed people from all over the world are familiar with Zapata’s fight and the unwavering desire of the Zapatistas. 

Check out our Emiliano Zapata quotes below for more informative and revolutionary content. 

You will also enjoy our article on Pancho Villa quotes.

Short Emiliano Zapata quotes that will bring out your inner revolutionary

Zapata is recognized by many as an influential figure when it comes to land reform rights. 

1. “Land and Liberty!” — Emiliano Zapata

2. “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.” — Emiliano Zapata

3. “I want to die as a slave to principles, not to men.” — Emiliano Zapata

4. “The land belongs to those who work it with their hands.” — Emiliano Zapata

5. “I am resolved to struggle against everything and everybody.” — Emiliano Zapata

Revolutionary Zapata quotes about overcoming struggles

Emiliano Zapata was a man of passion who sought freedom for the voiceless. 

6. “We do not want the peace of slaves nor the peace of the grave.” — Emiliano Zapata

7. “Men of the South! It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!” — Emiliano Zapata7. 

8. “[We are] those who sacrifice themselves for the noble causes of the people.” — Emiliano Zapata

9. “If there is no justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government.” — Emiliano Zapata

10. “The land free, the land free for all, land without overseers and without masters.” — Emiliano Zapata

Emiliano Zapata quotes about the dangers of ignorance

Zapata sought land reform which naturally brought about awareness and, by default, educational reform. 

11. “Ignorance and obscurantism have never produced anything other than flocks of slaves for tyranny.” — Emiliano Zapata

12. “Seek justice from tyrannical governments not with your hat in your hands but with a rifle in your fist.” — Emiliano Zapata

13. “I forgive the one who robs the one who kills because perhaps they do it out of necessity, but never the traitor.” — Emiliano Zapata

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14. “One of the happiest days of my life is when I made five or six hundred pesos from a crop of watermelons I raise all on my own.” — Emiliano Zapata

15. “The enemies of the country and of freedom of the people have always denounced as bandits.” — Emiliano Zapata

Revolutionary Emiliano Zapata quotes to light the fire inside of you

Zapata was known as a master strategist but also a skilled orator who roused people’s passions. 

16. “We are not personalists; we are partisans of principles and not of men!” ― Emiliano Zapata, Manifiestos

17. “The one who wants to be an eagle that flies, who wants to be a worm that crawls but does not scream when someone steps on it.” — Emiliano Zapata

18. “I am determined to fight against everything, and against everyone without any bulwark, other than the trust and support of my people.” — Emiliano Zapata

19. “The indispensable thing is that we all go resolute to defend the common interest, and to rescue the part of sovereignty that is taken from us.” — Emiliano Zapata

20. “And not satisfied yet, he insults and hits him, flaunting the support given by the courts, because the judge, the only hope of the weak, is also at the service of the scoundrel.” — Emiliano Zapata

Emiliano Zapata quotes about sacrifice for the sake of freedom

Zapata was considered an enemy of one of the most powerful colonial forces. He stood tall in the face of danger for his people’s freedom. 

21. “The bourgeois, not satisfied with possessing great treasures of which nobody participates in his insatiable greed, steals the product of his work to the laborer, and the laborer.” — Emiliano Zapata

22. “Call your conscience, meditate a moment without hatred, without passions, without prejudices, and this luminous truth as the sun will inevitably emerge before you; the revolution is the only thing that can save the Republic.” — Emiliano Zapata

23. “I have risen not to enrich myself but to defend and fulfill that sacrosanct duty of the honest Mexican people, and I am willing to die at any time because I carry the purity of feeling in the heart and tranquility of conscience.” — Emiliano Zapata

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24. “The revolution of 1910 erupted as an immense cry of justice that will always live in the souls of nations, as it lives freedom in the hearts of peoples to revive them, to redeem them, to lift them from abjection to which they can not be condemned, the human species.” — Emiliano Zapata

25. “The stream of people who have witnessed our efforts will answer with voices of an anathematized clarion, the legion of ‘traitors scientists’ that even in the terrible shadows of their defeat forge new chains for the people or try to crush the claim of slaves, pariahs, of automatons and lackeys.” — Emiliano Zapata

Zapata ascended to hero status for his efforts

Many heroes are nuanced figures. 

When we think of the heroes and sheroes that inspire us, their lives are complicated by the politics of the era they lived. 

It is uncommon for any hero to be seen as a hero by everyone. 

The power structures that the heroes fight against see the hero as a dissenter or rabble-rouser. 

Zapata is no different in this regard. 

The Spanish forces saw him as a problem they needed to eliminate. 

The Mexican revolution lasted from 1911 to 1917.

During that time, Zapata was celebrated for his continued efforts to fight for land and liberty reform for the poor and oppressed. 

An old saying is that to make an omelet, you must crack a few eggs. 

Extreme revolutionary conditions caused Zapata to take drastic measures. 

Zapata was forced to fight fire with fire regarding land reform.

As a general, he burned down haciendas,  ordered executions, and confiscated property from the Spanish. 

However, to this day, Emiliano Zapata is considered a hero amongst most people for his noble efforts to restore justice to Mexico. 

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Emiliano Zapata quotes?

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