Mexico political and economic change
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Mexico Political and Economic Change. Sara Shonkwiler. Colonial Rule Under Spain (1519-1821). Racial class system created status differences between natives and the Spanish Authoritarian rule under Spanish Government: viceroy ruled Mexico as the personal representative of the King of Spain

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Mexico Political and Economic Change

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Mexico Political and Economic Change

Sara Shonkwiler

Colonial Rule Under Spain (1519-1821)

  • Racial class system created status differences between natives and the Spanish

  • Authoritarian rule under Spanish Government: viceroy ruled Mexico as the personal representative of the King of Spain

  • Mercantilist system: controlled by Spain and served Spanish interests, had a great wealth of natural resources

Miguel Hidalgo -- Rebellion 1810-1821

  • Rebellion against Spain 1810

  • At first supported by liberals, but eventually gets out of control

  • Rebellion crushed -- Hidalgo executed

  • Eleven years later (1821) Mexico gains independence from Spain

  • New country lacks stability with 36 presidents serving in just 20 years

Problem Immediately Following Independence

  • Instability: Low legitimacy because the new government did not have the power or control of the monarchy

  • Control of Military: Instability allowed military commanders (like General and President Santa Anna) to exercise control

  • Domination: Mexican American War, Gadsden Purchase, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo -- Mexicans lose large amounts of land to United States

  • Military and Liberals clashed over how to run new country

Mexican American War 1846 - 1848

  • United States realizes that Mexico lacks strong governmental control

  • United States in a period of expansionism and pushes south of the Texas border

  • Mexico loses Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Utah and some of Colorado (Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo)

Constitution of 1857

  • Democratic principles

  • Brings liberal president, Benito Juarez, to power

  • Juarez popular with ordinary citizens and elite because of his military background

Maximilian (1864-1867)

  • Take over by European powers (mainly French)

  • Maximilian put in authoritarian command of Mexico

  • Executed three years later and Juarez comes to back to power, but Mexico continues to lack stability

“The Porfiriato” (1876-1911)

  • Military coup by Porfirio Diaz

  • Political stability under his authoritarian government

  • Economic growth and increased foreign investment

  • As country begins to develop the gap between the rich and poor grows (most Mexicans still poor)

Mexican Revolution

  • Political instability

  • Diaz ousted by elites who were bothered by his greed

  • Patron-client system: during the rebellion popular political/military strongmen (such as Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa) formed patron-client systems

  • Constitution of 1917: structure of democratic government, three branches, competitive elections

  • Following Constitution violence continued with political assassination into the 1920s

Separation of Church and State

  • Cristeros Rebellion: rebellion led by priests against federal regulation of church-affiliated school and church services

  • Liberals thought churches were conservative

  • Priests not allowed to vote

  • Federal restrictions of church-affiliated schools

  • Suspended religious services

Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI)

  • Brought Caudillos under one big political party in 1929

  • Stability, brought conflicting leaders together

  • Pass around the presidency after each sexenio (six-year term)

  • Other leaders given influential governmental positions

Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI)

  • Mexicanization: glorified Mexican history and culture instead of trying to imitate Europeans or North Americans

  • One-party rule: not illegal for other parties to run, but never significant opposition

  • State and party were essentially merged and the president was extremely powerful

Cardenas Upheaval (1934-1940)

  • Lazaro Cardenas second PRI president

  • Listened to peasants

  • Political Changes:

    • Redistributed land: large landowners and foreigners lost land, put into ejidos (small collective farms) for peasants

    • Nationalization: PEMEX created, got rid of big foreign business owners, state control of many industries

Cardenas Upheaval (1934-1940)

  • Public works: Government built roads, provided electricity and public services

  • Union Organizations: Cardenas encouraged the development of peasant and union organizations with leaders in the president’s cabinet

  • Power of Presidency: President became more powerful and stable, he let go of power at the end of sexenio allowing for peaceful transition of power

Import Substitution Industrialization

  • High protective tariffs: makes local goods cheaper than foreign made goods

  • Government nationalized important industries: individuals had relatively little money so government promoted industrialization

  • Government subsidized certain industries

State Corporatism

  • Under Cardenas the government remained state corporatist

  • The president determined who represented different groups to the government

Miguel Aleman

  • Conservative

  • Encouraged entrepreneurship and foreign investment

  • Following him was a socialist Cardenas like president

  • Pendulum Theory: Mexican government shifted from socialist reforms to free-market economic development depending on the times

1968 Olympics

  • Student protests about lavish expenditures on the olympics

  • Mexican Army fired on peaceful protestors, killing around 400

  • Regime pushed too far

  • Students of that generation wanted reforms to authoritarian government

Tecnicos (1970s)

  • Educated, business leaders take control of government

  • Moderate, free-market politics

1985 Earthquake

  • Government responded inadequately

  • “Self-help” organizations set up in Mexico City to help the poor

  • Organizations created base for leftist party, PRD

Neoliberalism (1980s)

  • Free markets

  • Balanced Budgets

  • Privatization

  • Free Trade

  • Limited Government Intervention in the Economy

Early 1990s - PRI Loses Dominance

  • Cuauhtemoc Cardenas challenges PRI candidate Carlos Salinas in presidential election

  • Salinas wins in supposedly fraudulent election and has little public support in office

  • PRI loses several gubernatorial elections

1990 - Creation of IFE

  • Instituto Federal Electoral (IFE): responsible for organizing and overseeing federal elections in Mexico

  • Public, autonomous, independent agency

  • What IFE does:

    • Prepare, organize, conduct and watch federal elections

    • Revision and adjustment of electoral geography

    • Maintains the rights of parties and political groups

    • Creates civic educational programs

1990 - Creation of TRIFE

  • Tribunal Federal Electoral (TRIFE): The Electoral Tribunal oversees all rulings by electoral authorities, the Constitution, and the laws that come from the Constitution

TRIFE Responsibilities

  • Dissents against results for national election

  • Appeals against the rulings/acts of the federal electoral authority

  • Trials of electoral review that could be significant

  • Trials for citizens’ electoral rights

  • Can order no electoral laws that violate Mexican Constitution

1994 - NAFTA

  • North American Free Trade Agreement

  • Trade agreement between United States Canada and Mexico

  • Salinas, the Mexican President, proposed NAFTA

  • Mexico gains: access to U.S. markets, stability in economy, and ensures Salinas’ neoliberal reforms are kept

1994 - NAFTA (continued)

  • NAFTA included:

    • Requirement that countries reduce their tariffs

    • Rules of Origin: stopped foreign countries from investing in Mexico just to export tax-free to the U.S.

    • Ways to resolve disputes between countries

    • Protection for foreign investors

1994 - Effects of NAFTA

  • Trade between the United States and Mexico dramatically increases

  • Since NAFTA, Mexico’s exports have become more varied and are now less dependent on oil

  • Mexico depends more on the United States

  • Mexico’s biggest export -- immigrants not included in agreement

1994 - Chiapas Uprising

  • Indian peasants who rose up immediately following the signing of NAFTA

  • Chiapas extremely poor

  • NAFTA makes it harder for them to compete

  • Zapatista National Liberation Army -- organized the uprising

  • Chiapas were afraid that cheap American corn would replace their agriculture economy which lacked the technology of American imports

1994 - Colosio Assassinated

  • Colosio: PRI presidential candidate

  • Supported by PRI political machine

  • Rumor that foreign minister Camacho would run for president - previous president Salino said that Colosio was the PRI candidate

  • Camacho was dealing with Chiapas uprising eventually stated he would not run

  • Colosio was assassinated

1994 - Peso Collapses

  • Salinas stimulated economy in the short run, but caused long run instability

  • Investors cautious to invest in Chiapas area with uprising occurring

  • Increased spending

  • Hyperinflation (1985-1993)

  • Debt loads

  • Low oil prices

Short run factors in Peso Crisis?

  • Chiapas uprising and Colosio assassination made investors more cautious

  • Fixed exchange rate system: reacting to investors caution accepted pesos and gave back dollars, but had limited supply of dollars → forced government to devalue the peso

  • Government tried to roll over debt, but investors unwilling to buy it

1994 - Zedillo Wins Presidency

  • After Colosio assassinated there are few choices left for president

  • Cabinet members excluded because of rule that presidential candidate cannot have held public office for the six months leading up to their offices

  • Zedillo, the former Educational minister, is picked by Salino

Zedillo Presidency

  • Last PRI President

  • Colosio’s campaign manager → became president after Colosio was assassinated

  • Zedillo continued many of Salino’s (former president’s) policies

  • He tried to restore public confidence (which was shattered by Salino’s fraudulent election and several scandals during his administration)























What happened in 1994? and how has Mexico changed since then?

  • List major events in Mexico in 1994 (split into economic and political change)

  • How has Mexico changed as a result of these major events?

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