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America’s Friend to the South Mexico. I. Sovereignty, Authority, & Power A. A. Legitimacy  Viceroy – Governor appointed by Spanish king during colonial.

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Presentation on theme: "America’s Friend to the South Mexico. I. Sovereignty, Authority, & Power A. A. Legitimacy  Viceroy – Governor appointed by Spanish king during colonial."— Presentation transcript:

1 America’s Friend to the South Mexico

2 I. Sovereignty, Authority, & Power A. A. Legitimacy  Viceroy – Governor appointed by Spanish king during colonial period ▫Centralized, authoritarian rule with virtually no participation by the indigenous population

3 A. Legitimacy Continued Revolution of – Mexicans have admired revolutionary leaders throughout their history. Revolutions in general are seen quite positively, and charisma is highly valued as a leadership characteristic ▫Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) – helped legitimize the revolution, served as an important source of government legitimacy until the late 20 th century ▫Constitution of 1917 – created a democratic, three-branch government, but allowed the PRI to stabilize and consolidate power within the hands of its leaders.

4 II. Historical Traditions Authoritarianism – from Spanish colonial structure and strong-armed tactics of military-political leaders (caudillos) such as Porfirio Diaz, Mexico has long tradition of authoritarian rule. President currently still holds a great deal of power. Populism – revolutions of 19 th and 20 th century had significant peasant base led by charismatic leaders that called for more rights for ordinary Mexicans, particularly indigenous citizens. Zapatista movement is reflection of this tradition

5 Historical Traditions continued Power Plays/Divisions within Elite – elites who led dissenters during 1810 & 1910 revolutions; warlords & caudillos of the early 20 th century; and the politicos & tecnicos of the late 20 th century Instability and Legitimacy Issues – Mexico’s political history full of chaos, conflict, bloodshed, and violent resolution to political differences. Even though most Mexicans believe the government is legitimate, the current regime still leans toward instability

6 III. Political Culture National Identity – Mexicans share a strong sense of national identification based on common history, dominant religion and language ▫Importance of religion (Catholicism) ▫Patron-clientelism (“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”) ▫Economic dependency

7 IV. Geographic Influence Mountains & Deserts – make communication and transportation difficult; promotes regionalism; limits areas where productive agriculture is possible Varied Climates – cold, dry mountains to tropical rain forests because of Mexico’s varying terrain and long expanse from North to South Natural Resources – petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber U.S.-Mexican Border – 2,000 mile long border means relationships are inevitable (migration, dependency, conflict)

8 V. Population Over 100 million people in Mexico  60% Mestizo  30% Amerindian (Indigenous)  10% other (European, Asian, etc.) Most populated Spanish-speaking country in the world 75% of Mexico’s population live in urban areas (Mexico City’s population is 18 million) Population in northern part of Mexico more prosperous than central & southern Mexico. Farther south you go the greater the poverty of the people.

9 Population continued Rural farmers: Indians, poorest and most exploited Poor urban: unskilled workers Growing working class Middle class that has grown since WWII Upper-middle class that wields a lot of political power Tiny rural, landowning class holds rest of political power

10 VI. Colonial Era (colonialism) Cultural Heterogeneity – Spanish took control over numerous indigenous populations dominated by the Aztecs once they conquered Tenochtitlan  Mestizo – ethnic mixture of two peoples (European & indigenous) Catholicism – most Spaniards settled in or near Mexico city, but Spanish priests settled throughout Mexico’s hinterland converting the population to Christianity. Priests developed strong relationships with the people of Mexico Economic Dependency – all trade done with Spain Spanish Hierarchy – elaborate political & social status hierarchy structure

11 VII. Independence: “MEXICO” Instability & Legitimacy Issues – Spanish left and took hierarchy structure with them, reorganizing government was difficult task, Mexico had 36 presidents from Rise of Military – Instability led to military control, ex. Santa Anna U.S. Domination – US challenges Mexican land claims, Mexican-American War ( ), Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo (US gets TX, NM, CA, AZ, UT, part of CO) Liberals vs. Conservatives – Constitution of 1857 based on democratic principles. Liberal president Benito Juarez “liberalizes” Mexico. Conservatism reflected in joint French, Spanish, and English takeover of Mexico under Maximilian ( ). After Maximilian’s execution Juarez brought back to power but liberal/conservative struggle would continue

12 “The Porfiriato” Porfirio Diaz  Military general under Benito Juarez  Staged military coup in 1876  Instituted himself as president of Mexico, promised he would serve no more than one term  Ruled Mexico for 34 years with an iron hand  Cientificos – young, educated advisors of Diaz that believed in bringing scientific and economic progress to Mexico

13 Influences of Porfiriato Stability – Diaz dictatorship ended years of conflict and chaos Authoritarianism – no sharing of political power beyond small, closed elite group Foreign Investment/Economic Growth – cientificos encouraged entrepreneurship and foreign investment, primarily from the U.S., resulted in growth of business and industry Growing Gap between Rich & Poor – as a result of development and industrialization

14 VIII. 20 th Century Porfirio Diaz ousted in coup by other elites dissatisfied with Diaz’ rule and sensitive to the greed of the Porfirians Diaz abdicates to General Francisco Madero, a landowner from Coahuila Revolution of 1910 begins and warlordism (Zapata and peasants; Pancho Villa and unemployed workers and small farms) chaos would persist in Mexico until 1934 Caudillos or regional strongmen sought to increase their personal wealth and social status

15 Influences of the Mexican Revolution Patron-client System Constitution of 1917-established principle of state control over all natural resources, subordination of church to state, government redistrbutes land and labor rights Establishment of the PRI

16 Mexican Revolution continued Patron-Client System – in an effort to unseat Diaz, caudillos rose to challenge each other for power. Popular leaders Pancho Villa & Emiliano Zapata emerged leading peasant armies. Around each leader a patron-client system emerged that involved large numbers of citizens  Many caudillos were ultimately assassinated (including Villa and Zapata)  Large numbers of followers were also killed in the competing world of the caudillos

17 Patron-Client system Camarillas: everyone knows the system even the peasants This is clientalism which works with corporatism ▫Starts with an assumption of community, not individual ▫People are members of a group that make up society ▫If led wisely, the system works ▫Led wrongly, and corruption sets in  Patrons maintain loyalty by offering rewards, and clients repay that debt at the voting booth

18 Constitution of 1917 Ended the Revolution  Violence & Political Assassinations continued Mexican constitution very long and easily amended Set up structure for Democratic Government (Political Institutions resemble those of the U.S.)  Three branches of Government  Competitive Elections  Most public officials directly elected by the people

19 Conflict with Church after Revolution Cristeros Rebellion (1920)  Hundreds of Thousands Killed (Priests murdered) Liberals legally separate Church & State, viewed church as a bastion of conservatism  Forbid priests from voting  Placed federal restrictions on church-affiliated schools (parochial schools)  Suspended religious services Priests continue to lead rebellions after Liberal changes, contributes to chaos of 20 th century

20 Establishment of PRI After years of conflict, President Calles brings caudillos together for agreement in 1929 Attempts to bring all caudillos under one big, umbrella political party  Bring stability through the idea of “passing around” power from one leader to the next as presidency changed hands  Sexenios – president could only serve one 6-year term  Other leaders would be given major positions in government to establish their influence  PRI- “institutionalized” the revolution by stabilizing conflict between leaders

21 IX. Cardenas Upheaval ( ) Succeeded Calles’ as president Stabilized and Radicalized Mexican politics Gave voice to peasant demands from the Revolution of 1910 Charismatic leader “the Roosevelt of Mexico” as labeled by American scholars

22 Cardenas’ Changes Redistribution of Land – land taken away from big landlords, foreigners and redistributed as ejidos – collective land grants – to be worked by peasants Nationalization of Industry – foreign business owners kicked out of country, most industry put under control of the state. Ex: PEMEX – giant, government controlled oil company Investment in Public Works – government builds roads, provides electricity, creates public services to modernize Mexico Encouragement of Peasant & Union Organizations – Cardenas welcomes their input in government, they form their own camarillas with leaders that represent their interests on presidents’ cabinet Concentration of Power in Presidency – Cardenas stabilizes presidency, when his sexenio was up he peacefully let go of power

23 Cardenas and ISI Cardenas’ strategy of state-led development known as Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI) ISI  Employs high tariffs to protect locally produced goods from foreign competition  Government ownership of key industries  Government subsidies to domestic industries  Government takes lead in promoting industrialization (very little capital in private hands during this era)

24 X. Tecnicos & the Pendulum Theory Miguel Aleman becomes president in 1946  Encouraged entrepreneurship  Foreign investment  Free-market strategies on exports Followed by president who returned to Cardenas-style reform Pendulum Theory – back-and-forth effect in Mexican politics from socialist reform to free-market economic development and back again. By the 1970s the pendulum appeared to stop with the emergence of the tecnicos

25 Tecnicos continued Tecnicos – educated, business-oriented leaders usually with degrees in economics, political science, business, etc. Tecnicos in the PRI espouse the free-market approach to politics By the 1980s Mexico had settled into an economic approach based upon Neoliberalism  Free markets  Balanced budgets  Privatization  Free trade  Limited government intervention in the economy

26 “Tecnicos & Politicos” By 1950s Mexico welcomed foreign investment GNP experienced spectacular growth until the 1980s This “Mexican Miracle” based largely on huge supplies of natural gas & oil Mexico became a model for LDC’s everywhere “Oil Bust” of the early 1980s, plummeting price of oil sunk the Mexican economy and inflated the value of the peso This caused added political tension within the PRI Division between the “politicos” – old style caciques who headed camarillas – and the “tecnicos” began to grow wider

27 XI. Citizens, Society, & the State Traditionally Mexican citizens have interacted with government through patron-client system Because camarillas so interwoven in Mexican politics, most people have had some contact with government during their lives Clientelism has generally meant that the government had the upper hand through its ability to determine which interests to respond to and which to ignore Role of citizens in Mexico is changing as political parties have become competitive and democracy becomes more firmly entrenched

28 XII. Cleavages Urban vs. Rural – Mexico’s political structure put into place in early 20 th century when most of population was rural. PRI and patron- client system were intended to control large numbers of illiterate peasants in exchange for small favors from politicos. Today Mexico is 75% urban, with a literacy rate of about 90%. Urban voters less likely to support PRI, more receptive to political and economic reform Mestizo vs. Amerindian – only about 10% of Mexicans speak indigenous languages, but about 30% consider themselves Amerindians. Amerindians marginalized, predominantly rural, and poor. This cleavage tends to define social class, with most of Mexico’s wealth in the hands of the mestizo population. North vs. South – north almost like a different country then the area south of Mexico City. Majority of educated citizens and Mexico’s wealth lies in the north. Southern Mexico primarily populated by Amerindians, characterized and led by Zapatista Movement in Chiapas.

29 “Ya Basta” Zapatista Movement Lives On (EZLN) EZLN – began in 1994 in Chiapas in protest of the signing of the NAFTA treaty Viewed agreement as a continued exploitation of landowners and PRI bosses EZLN captured four towns demanding jobs, land, housing, food, health, education, independence, freedom, democracy, justice and peace Rebellion originally based on ethnicity – Amerindian – but spread to other factions of society Zapatista supporters were black ski masks to hide their identity from the government Although a moderate truce was announced with the government, the Fox administration was unable to negotiate a settlement to the dispute with the Zapatistas despite numerous efforts to do so Zapatistas represent the stance against all that is still wrong with Mexican politics

30 Other challenges Urbanization and a new middle class Economic crises: heavy deficit spending Globalization: requires more transparency to Mexican politics Privitization: could create more independent elites Communications technology: allows Mexicans to see world standards and how achieve those goals Narco politics

31 Fox’s Legacy Pluralism Decentralization Electoral Reform Rule of Law Anti-Narcotics Policy


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