Mexico by xiangpeng


    Mexico: Long Lasting Traditions
• Azteca and Maya Civilizations disrupted by Spanish
  invasion and conquest (16th century)
   – Tenotchtitlán, these days Mexico city, was larger than any European
     city (≈ Japan?). Today’s population: 24 millions (≈ Tokio?). 5 cities
     larger with over 1 million inhabitants, and more than 50,000 (rural)

• Development of wealthy landed elites taking over peasant
  communitarian forms of property
• Ambiguous role of the (Catholic) Church
• Mexico’s political development = struggle of the
  descendants of the previous owners of the land
  against foreigners allied with privileged and
  opportunistic Mexicans
• 1800s: Independence struggle. Father Miguel
  Hidalgo and Father José María Morelos… killed
  by the Spaniards.
  – Internal struggle, revolts, and foreign intervention
  – 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo + Gadsden
      Annexation of the United States of today’s Texas,
    New Mexico, Arizona and California (= half of Mexico)

  – Are Mexicans coming… or they have been already
    here for 1½ century?
From Independence to Empire
Independence succeeds in the mid 19th
  century with the support of the elites (who
  were afraid of Spain’s Liberal
  government) Neutralization of the
  popular forces
   • Agustín Iturbide proclaims himself
   • 1860 French(Napoleon III) invasion
      –French-dependent Mexican Empire
       (Maximilian of Austria)
                  La Reforma
• 1867 Execution of Maximilien led by Benito
  Juárez (Caudillo)
• 1876-1910 New Caudillo: Porfirio Díaz (Liberal,
  economic development, non-recognition to the
  lower classes and peasants, special concessions
  for foreign investors)
• 1910- Mexican Revolution
  – Start: inter-elite conflict led by Madero. Claim for
    political liberalization. Díaz resigns, Madero becomes
    president, but since he continues with the same
    policies, he is overthrown and shot.
  – Radicalization of the Revolution: Emiliano Zapata
    (popular leader, Mexican hero) & Pancho Villa
    (popular, more opportunistic)
• 1915- U.S. recognition to Carranza as president
  – Zapata and Villa assassinated
• Nationalization of mineral resources
• Churches cannot own property (Clear
  separation between Church and State in
  Mexico ≈ France)
• Continues with caudillismo (the president
  designates his successor)
• Succeeded (and later on assassinated) by
  Alvaro Obregón (1920-1924). Implements
  land reform program approved by
  Carranza (gains Zapatista Support)
     Institutionalizing the Revolution
• The 1910 Revolution shaped modern Mexican politics.
• Political leaders, ideas and party that would dominate
  Mexican society and politics for the next 70 to 80 years.
• From a bunch of ad-hoc parties, the Institutional
  Revolutionary Party (PRI) emerged as a hegemonic party
  that would control every level of government until the
   – Subjection of the military to the government (last, failed, rebellion in 1923)
• Calles (24-28) further institutionalized the party
   – The President is powerful because he leads a powerful structure
• General Lázaro Cárdenas (1934-1940) is seen by
  Mexicans as “the greatest president produced by the
   – Furthered land reform
   – Strongly pro-labor
   – Housed the Republican government of Spain in exile (Mexico never
     recognized Franco’s dictatorship)
   – Nationalizations (railroads, oil: PEMEX)
       • The Nationalization of Oil triggered a sustained
         corporate boycott against Mexico
            The Mexican “Miracle”
• Policies implemented in the name of the 1910
  Revolution: land reform, nationalization of the oil
  industry and an independent foreign policy,
  especially vis à vis the United States.
• One-rule brought stability and economic growth
   – From the end of the Second World War until 1981.
   – Only economy in the world that grew continuously for
     40 years at an average rate of 7 percent (“Mexican
• Oil Boom of the 1970s was both a gift and a curse
  for Mexico
   – Increase spending--- Cheap U.S. dollar--- increase in
     Imports--- damage to local industries--- Inflation---Debt-
     -- 1994 Crisis 1994: The economic crisis, preventing
                Federal Republic
• 1917 Constitution: Federal System, Separation of
  Powers, Individual Rights.
  – Values: nationalism, universal free public education,
    restoration of the land to those who work it

• Strong Executive power (the President enjoys
  some legislative power) (6 years, no-reelection)
• Chamber of Deputies (500 seats, 200 are awarded
  through a regional list and the rest through SMD…
  double ballot like in Germany) (3 years)
• Chamber of Senators (3 members by state,
  including the Federal district) (6 years)
• Independent Judiciary: Judicial review, amparo and
  habeas corpus
   One-party rule (like in Japan
    between 1955 and 1993?)
• Pendullum politics, Co-optation, & Flexibility
  (the President designated his successor to
  compensate for the problems left by his own
• Strong cohorts of career administrators
• Wide range of policies (Conservative,
  Center, Left) based on a common
  consensus on a mixed economy.
• Fraud
  – PRI “Alchemists”
               PRI (Left-Center-Right?)
1934-40 General Lázaro Cárdenas (the “greatest President of the
  1917 Revolution”). Land reform and nationalizations (left)
1940-46 Manuel Avila Camacho (center) sends troops to fight
  Japan with the U.S., allies the Church. Bracero program)
1946-52 Miguel Alemán. Strongly pro-business (right). Economic
  growth (tourism). Corrupt.
1952-58 Adolfo Ruiz Cortines (center) Honest.
1958-64 Adolfo López Mateos. Support for the Cuban Revolution,
  renewed emphasis on land reform (left)
1964-70 Gustavo Díaz Ordaz (right). Murder of University Students
  in Tlatelolco square.
1970-76 Luis Echeverría. Pro-labor, pro-land reform, pro-students
1976-82 José Luis Portillo. Moderate, independent foreign
  policy/nationalization of the banking system (center)
1982-88 Miguel de la Madrid. (MPA Harvard). Career bureaucrats.
  Economic crisis. Corruption scandals
1988-94 Carlos Salinas de Gortari. (Ph.D. Harvard). Radical
  reorientation of the economy (free market, privatizations, NAFTA).
1994-00 Ernesto Zedillo (center?) Rule of law, fight against
  corruption, full democratization of Mexico
          Opening the System
• Increasing participation of other political parties:
  “Opposition is a form of support.”
   – (PAN pro-businesses & pro-Church), PRD (leftist),
     minor parties
• Economic crisis triggers political crisis
• -Carlos Salinas & Zedillo support to NAFTA: the
  first steps
   – The rise of “Maquiladoras” (Who wins?)
• Mexico's democratic revolution: One party
  system ends in 2000 with the election of PAN
  President Fox
   – NAFTA (Pres. G. W. Bush & Pres. Fox)
Economic Crisis (M. Delal Baer)
• “Mexico is caught in a grinding stagnation
  that has led to a net loss of 2.1 million
  jobs, average GDP growth of less than
  one percent in the first three years of the
  Fox administration, and a surge in illegal
  immigration to the United States. The
  onset of recession in the United States hit
  Mexico hard, especially in the
  manufacturing sector.” (M. Delal Baer)
NAFTA: Mexico expected
• (Jorge Castaneda) To turn “NAFTA into a European-style
  "North American Community," complete with free movement
  of labor and social development funds for poorer nations.
  Fox… hoped that the United States might be willing to do the
  same for Mexico. He also asked that the Bush administration
  provide de jure recognition of the de facto residence of
  millions of Mexicans working illegally in the United States,
  the first step toward a free labor market.” (M. Delal Baer)

The US
• “A Mexican foreign policy that demanded sizeable amounts
  of aid and the legalization of millions of immigrants, however,
  was the last thing the Bush administration had
  expected….Mexico underestimated U.S. sensitivity to job
  competition and downward pressure on wages in the face of
  a looming recession.” (M. Delal Baer)
• Corruption & Growth of Drug Lords (in the last two decades)
• Crime
• Population Growth (problems of urbanization and scarcity of
  land) Broken promises of the Revolution: Zapatismo
• Widening gap between an industrializing north and lagging
  south: NAFTA: Losers and Winners

• Failed Promises of Democracy? “Three years into
  Mexico's democratic transition, few of these dreams have
  been realized. Mexican politics are more democratic but
  less governable and are suffering from gridlock between
  the executive and legislative branches. The principal
  concern of Mexico's political elite today is how to build
  governing majorities and achieve consensus.” (M. Delal
• To make NAFTA a truly experience of
  common growth and integration.

• “The United States and Mexico must first
  erect a new North American security
  architecture. Protection of the North
  American perimeter is essential to the
  security of both nations.” (M. Delal Baer)

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