20 Best Emiliano Zapata Quotes From The Mexican Revolutionary

Emiliano Zapata's quotes about Mexico are very inspiring

Share this article

Subscribe for virtual tools, STEM-inspired play, creative tips and more

Emiliano Zapata Salazar was born in Morelos in 1879 and became one of the most well-known figures in Mexican history due to his fight against dictatorship.

During the Mexican Revolution between 1910-1920, Emiliano Zapata became one of the leading revolutionaries. He was also the leader of the agrarian agitation in Morales.

As Zapata was related to agrarian and peasant movements, he was also the inspiration behind the form of agrarian agitation which came to be known as 'Zapatismo'. He is known for forming the Liberation Army of the South that led to the fall of dictator Porfirio Diaz in Mexico.  Emiliano Zapata's most famous quote was "I would rather die standing than live on my knees". Many books have been written about him in Spanish as well. This article has some great quotes from one of the heroes of Mexico, a revolutionary who was assassinated in April 1919.

If you found this article about Emiliano Zapata quotes useful, check out [Cinco De Mayo quotes] and Frida Kahlo quotes

Famous Emiliano Zapata Quotes

Emiliano Zapata's quotes show he fought for his countrymen.

Emiliano Zapata thought it was better to die on your feet than to live on your knees. He told everyone in Mexico that it was better to die and he would die standing than live in servitude under Diaz's dictatorship. He could see the torture the Mexicans were facing and fought for their rights.

1. "I want to die as a slave to principles, not to men."

- Emiliano Zapata.

2. "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.

3. "I am resolved to struggle against everything and everybody."

- Emiliano Zapata, 'Manifiestos'.

4. "Ignorance and obscurantism have never produced anything other than flocks of slaves for tyranny."

- Emiliano Zapata.

5. "The enemies of the country and of freedom of the people have always denounced as bandits those who sacrifice themselves for the noble causes of the people."

- Emiliano Zapata.

6. "We do not want the peace of slaves nor the peace of the grave."

- Emiliano Zapata.

7. "The land free, the land free for all, land without overseers and without masters."

- Emiliano Zapata.

8. "Seek justice from tyrannical governments not with your hat in your hands but with a rifle in your fist."

- Emiliano Zapata.

Emiliano Zapata Salazar Quotes In Spanish

Emiliano Zapata's quotes show his intelligence.

Emiliano Zapata had boldly proclaimed that he would rather "die on my feet" than live on his knees. He was an intelligent man who could see the harm brought on by dictatorship.  This subcategory has some great Spanish quotes by Emiliano Zapata. He was a famous Mexican leader who gave his life due to assassination in April 1919.

9. "Si no hay justicia para el Pueblo Que no haya paz para el Gobierno."

(If there is no justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government.)

- Emiliano Zapata.

10. "¡Tierra y Libertad!"

(Land and Liberty!)

- Emiliano Zapata.

11. "Prefiero morir de pie que vivir de rodillas."

(I'd rather die on my feet, than live on my knees.)

- Emiliano Zapata.

12. "La tierra es de quien la trabaja con sus manos."

(The land belongs to those who work it with their hands.)

- Emiliano Zapata.

13. "Perdono al que roba al que mata, porque quizá lo hacen por necesidad, pero al traidor jamas."

(I forgive the one who robs the one who kills, because perhaps they do it out of necessity, but never the traitor.)

- Emiliano Zapata.

Quotes About Emiliano Zapata

Different biographers, like author Albert Rolls and academic author Emily Hind, have studied Emiliano Zapata's life as one of the most important men in Mexican history who fought for people's rights. These biographies tell us more about the revolutionary who had said he would rather "die on my feet" than live on his knees.  He was also linked to agrarian movements in the country. Another author, Samuel Brunk, has also written on him. They have some insights into his personality about the revolutionary who died in April 1919.

14. "As a national symbol Zapata connotes social justice."

- Emily Hind.

15. "Denounced as a bandit and called the Attila of the South during the Mexican Revolution early in the 20th century, Emiliano Zapata was later made, by an act of the Mexican legislature, an official national hero and came to be regarded as one of Mexico’s most notable 20th-century figures."

- Albert Rolls, 'Emiliano Zapata: A Biography'.

16. "Zapata is among the most conscientious examples of a revolutionary that one is likely to encounter in history."

- Albert Rolls, 'Emiliano Zapata: A Biography'.

17. "In the face of a victory that could have brought wealth to him rather than collective justice to the people of Morelos—his home state—he kept fighting for the agrarian reforms he took up arms to achieve, proving a counter example to conventional rebels."

- Albert Rolls, 'Emiliano Zapata: A Biography'.

19. "Many of the peasants were unable to accept Zapata's death. For them he was too smart, too strong, too important, too symbolic of their cause to die, and in a sense they were right, for he lived on in their stories."

- Samuel Brunk, 'Emiliano Zapata: Revolution & Betrayal In Mexico'.

19. "Zapata refused to profit from tyranny or to accept it, and that was what impressed his followers the most."

- Albert Rolls, 'Emiliano Zapata: A Biography'.

20. "The life of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata was the stuff that legends are made of."

- Samuel Brunk, 'Emiliano Zapata: Revolution & Betrayal In Mexico'.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Emiliano Zapata quotes then why not take a look at Thomas Sankara quotes or Thurgood Marshall quotes.


Written By

Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

Was this article helpful?

Subscribe for virtual tools, STEM-inspired play, creative tips and more

By joining Kidadl you agree to Kidadl’s and and consent to receiving marketing communications from Kidadl.