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Lázaro Cárdenas and his Legacy. Modern Mexico, Monday 6 February 2012 . General Cardenas, during the Escobar rebellion, 1929. Early 1930s: the end of the Revolution ?.

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l zaro c rdenas and his legacy
Lázaro Cárdenas and his Legacy
  • Modern Mexico,
  • Monday 6 February 2012
early 1930s the end of the revolution
Early 1930s: the end of the Revolution ?
  • Late 1920s until the mid 1930s, with stalling of social reform, US “pilgrims” commentaries on Mexico became much more critical and pessimistic.
  • Delpar in The Enormous Vogue shows how US interest in Mexico shifted from social policies of the Revolution, to the cultural area - murals, music, film, etc..- where creativity was still evident.
  • Eyler Simpson, The Ejido, Mexico’s Way Out (1937) observes how the stalling of reform coincided with renewal of close relations with US with appointment of Dwight Morrow as ambassador in September 1927.
eyler simpson the ejido mexico s way out 1937
Eyler Simpson, The Ejido, Mexico’s Way Out 1937

“…coincident with Morrow’s presence in Mexico the life went out of the revolution…maybe the revolutionary movement had already run its course. On the other hand it may be that the kindly, sympathetic, well-intentioned, subtly flattering, former Morgan (Bank) partner, by trying to help Mexico put her house in order and to settle everything up in a ship-shape, businesslike fashion, succeeded in putting the breaks on the only real reform movement in the history of the country. It is difficult to conduct a revolution on book-keeping principles… ‘God save us from the friendship of the United States’…contains a deal of wisdom…”.

election of lazaro cardenas in 1934
Election of Lazaro Cardenas in 1934
  • In 1934, following Cardenas’s election to the Presidency as Calles’ preferred candidate, perceptions swiftly changed…
    • rapid acceleration of land reform
    • Rapid expansion of socialist education
    • Mushrooming of labour disputes and strikes backed by the government
lazaro cardenas del rio 1895 1970
Lazaro Cardenas del Rio (1895-1970)

- From small town of Jiquilpan, Michoacán (1st president not from the North since 1911

- lower middle class background, left school at eleven, set upon becoming a school teacher until joining the revolution after Victoriano Huerta’s coup in 1913-14 ....became a General.

- loyalty to Calles was rewarded with state governorship of Michoacán 1928-1932: showed agrarian and socialist sympathies admired for keeping most of state out of Cristero War and curtailing repression of Cristeros following the 1929 arreglos (Michoacán suffered no “Segunda Cristiada”)

(see Salvador Lemus Fernández, 'A Convention in Zacapu', in Joseph and Henderson (eds) The Mexico Reader),

- by nature a populist (Russian/LA hybrid), a peace-maker and nation-state builder....

world crisis of 1930s
World crisis of 1930s

- 1929 Stock Market Crash and slump

- mass unemployment in US and Europe

- Liberal capitalism under scrutiny: state intervention becomes the orthodoxy

- Mexico under Calles and PNR since 1924 had become a personalist/caudillist fiefdom, with caciques controlling politics on the local level (much as under Diaz)

- early 1930s, some signs of shift to Left:

- reform to article 27 to allow “peonesacasillados” to bid for land

- Bassols’ Socialist education, as a channel for venting the anti-clericalism of the Revolution, yet more rhetoric than substance

cardenas presidency 1934 1940
Cardenas presidency, 1934-1940

- Calles entrusted succession to Cardenas expecting more of the same...

- Cardenas responded by applying labour and agrarian laws and by transforming PNR from a personalist/caudillist into a corporatist PRM (1942 becomes PRI)

- Six tumultous years and Mexico of 1940 differed markedly from Mexico of 1934

- By 1940 Mexico had become, in Brian Hamnett’s view,

“a curious hybrid of Fascist Italy and the Soviet Union but without either the Fascism or the Socialism”

What was the background to Cardenas’s “re-starting” of the revolution ?

the depression popular expectations
The Depression: popular expectations
  • Mexico’s foreign trade fell by 2/3 between 1929-32
  • Gross Domestic Product declined by 16%
  • between 1890-1929 1.5 million Mexican entered US to work in agriculture, mining, the railroads and heavy industry (particularly steel).
  • 1929-32, 300,000 returnee migrants from the United States had to be re-accommodated in Mexico’s towns and villages
  • see Paul Taylor, A Spanish Mexican Peasant Community Arandas in Jalisco, Mexico (1933),for return of migrants from the US becoming “agraristas”, Anne Craig, The First Agraristas An Oral History of the MexAgr Ref Movt.
Arandas (Altos de Jalisco), typical peasant household: source of migration to US during the 1920a & return migration during the 1930s
early 1930s political drift
Early 1930s: political drift
  • Although Calles nominally in charge, “maximato” regimes were rent by internal factionalism and disagreement on how to respond to the Depression
  • CROM loses influence to more radical labour organisations: workers turned to CGOCM (General Confederation of Mexican Peasants and Workers) organised by Vicente Lombardo Toledano and to CSUM (Confederacion Sindical Unitaria de Mexico) linked to the Communist Party
  • PNR f. in 1928 aimed to mediate conflicts between ruling class and popular sectors, yet had little control in most areas of the country……
the depression government response
The Depression: Government Response
  • In spite of stalled reforms, legislation proceeded during the early 1930s:
    • 1931 labour Article 123 of 1917 Constit. was finally enacted and Boards of Conciliation and Arbitration set up.
    • 1932, formerly excluded hacienda peons now entitled to bid for ejidos through Article 27: massive new entitlement sealed fate of the great hacienda
    • 1933, Socialist Education launched to encourage collectivist principles and combat religious fanaticism. (Strand’s film “Redes” formed part of this crusade)
    • 1933 Five Year Plan launched opening spate of state intervention and nationalisation


paul strand and fred zinnerman s redes 1933
Paul Strand and Fred Zinnerman’s “Redes”, 1933
  • 1932 Minister of Education NarcisoBassols launches socialist programme and contracts US photographer Paul Strand to make consciousness raising film “Redes”
  • 1933 Presid. Abelardo Rodriguez contracts Paul O’Higgins, Marion Greenwood and team of US radical painters to decorate walls of an ex-convent, now market in Mexico City centre
myth of lazaro cardenas
Myth of Lazaro Cardenas
  • -Cardenas still commands great affection among Mexicans of all classes
  • - main Left opposition (PRD) in 1980s & 90s headed by Cuautemoc C.
  • -his regime cited as proof that the Revolution once lived, even if later it died ....
  • - meaning of Revolution of 1910 is harder to fathom, accounting for “volcano”, “windstorm” (vendeval), “la bola” (brawl), analogies,..
  • - Cardenismo, by contrast, evokes a potent combination of radical educational reform, indigenismo, labour and agrarian reform, in a context of heightened nationalism associated with the expropriation of the foreign owned oil companies, the railways, electrical utilities and telecommunications.....
cardenas regime periodisation
Cardenas regime: periodisation
  • Period of rapid radical reform was brief: oil expropriation in 1938 was a watershed
  • Three periods:
    • Dec 1934-April 1936 consolidation of progressive forces with defeat of Callistas....
    • April 1936-December 1937, highpoint of radical reform
    • 1938-40, growth opposition and resurgence of Conservatives within PRM (See John Sherman, “Reassessing Cardenismo”)
alan knight cardenismo juggernaut or jalopy
Alan Knight, “Cardenismo: Juggernaut or Jalopy ?”*
  • Knight asks:
  • How radical ? …real break with Sonoran tradition of top down reform ?
  • How strong was the regime ? Was it up to achieving its goals and facing resistance ?
  • What were its achievements and legacy ?
  • *Journal of Latin American Studies 26, 1, 1994, 73-109.
cardenismo marxists revisionists
Cardenismo: Marxists/Revisionists
  • Revisionist views:
  • Marxists: - however radical in intent, Cardenas’s reforms laid the foundation for the “institutionalised revolution” (the PRI) which became after 1940 an engine for capitalist development and accumulation.

- under Cardenas popular movements were co-opted and subordinated to the state.

  • - the redistribution of wealth resulting from agrarian reform and labour gains deepened the market to the benefit of capital accumulation.
  • See Arturo Anguiano “Cardenas and the Masses”, Mexico Reader457-460
anguiano cardenas and the masses
Anguiano “Cardenas and the Masses”
  • “The new governing forces headed by Lázaro Cardenas knew that the class struggle was bound to worsen. They therefore considered it necessary to guide the mass movement of workers and peasants by winning their support and orienting their struggles so as to strengthen the state, giving it power that it could use to foment the country’s industrial development...”
cardenismo statists
Cardenismo: statists
  • Statists:
  • see 1934-40 as Mexico’s entry into mass politics (política de masas)
  • - agree that masses were subordinated to the state but there is debate over the relative autonomy of the state (ie autonomy from “capitalism”)
  • - most “statists” credit Cardenas with an ingenious feat of durable state building, after the personalism, caudillismo, bossism and corruption of the Calles period.

e.g. Nora Hamilton, The Limits of State Autonomy

  • Chief statist: Arnaldo Cordoba, La política de masas del cardenismo. (1974) :
  • “El Pueblo se organizaba y, a su vez, organizaba al Estado”
  • (“The People became organized and, at the same time, organised the state” )
  • Nora Hamilton also favours a view of relative autonomy of the state: The Limits of State Autonomy: Post-Revolutionary Mexico (Princeton, 1982)
cardenismo statists1
Cardenismo: statists
  • weighing top-down, bottom-up factors, Warwick PhD, David (Dawn) Raby, sees Cardenismo as period of corporatism with selective mobilisation rather than mass mobilisation of itself.
  • Cardenas encouraged people to take the initiative, leaving him to decide, on pragmatic grounds (depending on the balance of local, regional, national and international forces) who merited support ..
cardenismo statists2
Cardenismo: statists
  • David (Dawn) Raby argues that at first Cardenismo was an open-ended process....
  • after 1938 foreign and domestic pressures cause radical policies to be reigned back..
  • Liisa North & David Raby, “The Dynamics of Revolution and Counter-Revolution: Mexico under Cardenas, 1934-1940”, Latin America Research Units Studies Vol.2, 1977
cardenismo statists3
Cardenismo: statists
  • Above all, Raby sees Cardenas as “real author of Mexican presidentialism”….
  • The change in name of the ruling party from PNR to PRM in 1938 was not of simply of form but substance
  • Cardenas responsible for creation of “essentially totalitarian concept of government based on the identity of four concepts: nation, revolution, party and government”
  • Raby: “a mature corporate state, albeit a relatively mild one which avails itself of a populist and democratic ideology in order to legitimise its procedures”
  • system cannot be understood in Liberal terms
  • David Raby, “Mexican political and Social development since 1920” Canadian Journal of Latin American Studies I, 1975, 24-45
other views of cardenas
other views of Cardenas
  • as “a fox in a Franciscan habit” (“un zorro con sayalfranciscano”), fits with Jose Vasconcelos’ vision in 1920 of the revival of the ideal of early Franciscan missionaries
  • others stress his autocratic role as the “amo y señor de Mexico” (the “ruler and lord of Mexico”), with the state becoming a “burgeoning leviathan”, “a juggernaut driven by a determined driver”...
  • Others stress the radical content and transforming goals.....the negation of Callismo....see AdoldoGilly, La RevoluciónInterumpida (1972), written in jail after student repression of 1968, who sees Cardenismo as a genuinely radical second wave of Revolution.
  • this belief inspired “neo-cardenismo”, radical opposition to the PRI led by Lazaro Cardenas’s son Cuautemoc, head of the PRD from the late 1980s....
alan knight s view
Alan Knight’s view
  • argues that Cardenas presided over “a genuinely radical movement promising substantial change” commanding “substantial popular support”.
  • because of this radicalism, Cardenismo faced severe resistance from diverse sectors of society curtailing its freedom of manoevre and limiting its practical accomplishments...
  • concludes that Cardenismo was “less powerful, speedy, capable of following proposed route than supposed...more a jalopy than a juggernaut”
lecture structure
Lecture structure:
  • - Cardenismo in the provinces: the revolutionary school
  • - Agrarian reform
  • - Cardenas and Organised labour
  • - Capitalists fight back
  • - The 1940 elections
neo gramschian post revisionist historiography 1980 2000s
Neo-Gramschian/Post-Revisionist historiography, 1980-2000s
  • Influenced by Frank Tannenbaum’s “populist” view of the Mexican Revolution evident in Peace by Revolution (1932) and inspired by Alan Knight’s Mexican Revolution 2 Vols
  • Scholars such as Mary Kay Vaughan, Elise Rockwell, Stephen Lewis, Benjamin Smith focus on how the social programmes of the Revolution were received in the provinces.
  • Key book: Joseph, Gilbert and Daniel Nugent (eds), Everyday Forms of State Formation Revolution and the Negotiation of Rule in Modern Mexico (Duke, 1994)
cardenismo in the provinces sierra juarez oaxaca
Cardenismo in the provinces: Sierra Juarez, Oaxaca
  • Benjamin Smith explores Cardenas’s positive response to local initiative: federal support enables progressive young village Democrats – school teachers - in the Sierra Juarez of Oaxaca to form their own regional confederation, hitherto blocked by conservative native village elders (caciques)…..
  • “ ‘Defending our Beautiful Freedom’: State Formation and Local Autonomy in Oaxaca, 1930-1940”, Mexican Studies, 23, 1, 2007, 125-153
cardenismo in the provinces yaquis of sonora and nahuas of the sierra de puebla
Cardenismo in the provinces: Yaquis of Sonora and Nahuas of the Sierra de Puebla
  • Mary Kay Vaughan, Cultural Politics in Revolution: Teachers, Peasants and Schools in Mexico, 1930-40 1997
  • documents similar Cardenista responsiveness to local popular pressures from the Yaquis pueblos in Sonora, for return of land and requests for removal of non-Yaqui speakers acting as school teachers.
  • In the Sierra de Puebla, Cardenismo builds on 19th C tradition of popular Liberalism, Xochiapulco (Nahua cacique Juan Francisco Lucas’s stronghold) becoming a regional centre for indigenous education during the 1920s and 30s.....
cardenismo in the provinces chiapas central highlands
Cardenismo in the provinces: Chiapas Central Highlands
  • Stephen Lewis explores Cardenas’s support for similar initiatives in the Ttzotzil Highlands of Chiapas to establish a network of Indian schools, free of mestizo control….some progress made until 1940 when the programme is rolled back
  • “A Window into the Recent Past in Chiapas: Federal Education and Indigenismo in the Highlands, 1921-1940” The Journal of Latin American Anthropology Vol.6, No.1, 2001, 59-83
agrarian reform
Agrarian Reform
  • Cardenas’s agrarian reform was “dramatic, large scale and contentious” (Knight)
  • particularly state expropriation of large scale commercial estates in La Laguna, Yucatan, Baja California, Sonora, Chiapas and Michoacan.
  • See Mexico Reader : Fernando Benitez “The Agrarian Reform in La Laguna” , 445-451, and Ben Fallaw’s work on Yucatan
agrarian reform1
Agrarian Reform
  • 20,136,936 hectares distributed between 1935-1940, 10.2% of land area, 379,680 has/month, benefiting 776,000 ejidatarios in 11,000 communities
  • Ejidos comprised in 1934 1940
  • Un-irrigated land 13.4 % 47.4%
  • Irrigated land 13.1 % 57.3 %
  • Total value of land 10.2 % 35.9 %
agrarian reform2
Agrarian Reform
  • Ejidos % of Agricultural Production:
  • 11% in 1930 50.5% in 1940
  • Capital Investment
  • 3.7 % in 1930 52.6% in 1940
critique of land reform
Critique of Land Reform
  • Yet, Knight concludes, much of the agrarian reform, such as collectivisation of the henequen plantations of Yucatan and the cotton plantations of La Laguna, amounted to the “socialisation of losses”, much like the nationalisation of the “played out railway system” in 1937
  • See Fernando Benitez, “The Agrarian Reform in La Laguna”, in Mexico Reader
cardenista rally la laguna coahuila 1934
Cardenista rally, La Laguna Coahuila, 1934
  • “On November 6, 1936, Cardenas arrived with a group on engineers and began to distribute lands. The landowners’ arrogance disappeared as if by a magic spell. The President made them see that if they used any violence, the government would arm the campesinos, and the landowners, fearful of losing everything, folded their cards and resigned themselves to the inevitable...” Fernando Benitez
critique of land reform1
Critique of Land Reform
  • 8 years after the collectivisation (1944) the condition of cotton workers had not improved, although no-one wanted to return to the old days. Benitez blamed corruption and managerial ineptitude:
  • “...Mexico’s problem is not the campesinos. They deeply felt themselves to be men and not the beasts of burden driven by the whims of Mr Purcell or the Tlahualillo Company. The problem, the great and tragic problem of the country, is that it was and still is set up by the educated people, the engineers, the bureaucrats, the rectors of national life. With their colonialist education, who hate the people and can only conceive of them as peons or servants”
  • Fernando Benitez, “The Agrarian Reform in La Laguna” (1987) , in Mexico Reader
critique of land reform2
Critique of Land Reform
  • In 1940 Cardenista bureaucrats were lampooned by the greatest novelist of the Revolution, Mariano Azuela, in Avanzada :
  • “They travel in Pullmans when there are no planes to transport them. Never did our old hacendados eat, dress, or live in such a princely manner as they....the masses have merely changed rulers”
  • Technocrats were also much criticised by Eyler Simpson in The Ejido, Mexico Way Out (1937)
limits of land reform 1940
Limits of land reform, 1940
  • 1940
  • 60 % of peasants were still landless (See Mexico Reader: Juan Rulfo, “They Gave us Land”, 465-469)
  • 600,000 expectant ejidatarios still awaiting land and credit
  • 3493 ejidal credit societies benefited only 237.407 ejidatarios, leaving 978,804 ejidatarios still without credit
  • Credit bank officials were seen as the “nuevos amos” (“new bosses”) by pioneer agrarian reformer Luis Cabrera (who had drafted Article 27 of the 1917 Constitution)
  • Collective ejidos in Yucatan and Torreon were over-supplied with credit yet commercially bankrupt
  • Serious decline of grain production 1936-38 requiring dependence on imports of maize and wheat......
small property fights back
Small property fights back
        • Agrarian Reform Law (Article 27) allowed landowners to retain 150 hectares of best land (more if they spread it around the family)
  • In 1938, the “Office of Small Property” was established...
  • certificates of exemption from expropriation began to be granted to landowners who could prove strategic use: land had been returned to 150 complainants by 1940
  • small-holders (rancheros) grew from to 143,587 in 1935 to 191,587 in 1940 forming the “Sindicato de Pequeños Agricultores” (Union of Small farmers): Mexico’s future agricultural prosperity lay with this sector......
repression of peasant unions after 1940 the case of ruben jaramillo
Repression of peasant unions after 1940: the case of Ruben Jaramillo
  • See account of the struggle for social justice of former Zapatista, Rubén Jaramillo, worker’s leader at Zacatepec sugar mill cooperative inaugurated by Cardenas in 1938
  • Jaramillo describes the constant intimidation of workers’ leaders in sugar mill complex after 1940....
  • May 1962 Jaramillo and family were killed by judicial police backed by army
  • Murder denounced by writer Carlos Fuentes, one of “several high profile episodes that darkened the reputation of the PRI in the post-war era”, Ruben Jaramillo “Struggles of a Campesino Leader”, 482-491 in Mexico Reader
cardenas and organised labour
Cardenas and organised Labour
  • Collapse of CROM’s working class support by 1934: strikes had virtually disappeared between 1924 and 1933 leading to general rank and file disillusion
  • - 1934: “sindical explosion” upon Cardenas taking office: 60 strikes within first month, 2295 strikes in 1935 not including wildcat strikes
  • - workers flock to join CTM (Confederation of Mexican Workers) (f.1935) under Vicente Lombardo Toledano and CNC (National Peasant Confederation) (f.1936).
  • - close alliance between Toledano and Cardenas endured until the Oil Expropriation in 1938...
cardenas and organised labour1
Cardenas and organised Labour
  • Growing influence of CTM worries bosses and foreign interests
  • Army grew suspicious of Toledano’s plan to form a workers’ militia: in 1938 100,000 armed milicianos marched in Mexico City in 1939 to show solidarity with solidarity with Republicans in Spain
cardenas s pragmatism oil expropriation social security deferment
Cardenas’s pragmatism : Oil expropriation & Social Security deferment
  • Faced with such assertive workers Cardenas’s labour policy was pragmatic rather than doctrinaire..
  • Oil workers struck in 1937, foreign companies were intransigent denying workers their labour right, Cardenas resolved to apply the law entitling Mexico to expropriate.....
  • Michel Dion, offers an interesting political explanation for why the launching of Mexico’s first system of Social Security came under the conservative Avila Camacho and not the radical Cardenas....
  • “The Political Origins of Social Security in Mexico during the Cardenas and Avila Camacho Administrations”, Mexican Studies, 21, 2005, 59-95,.
cardenas labour case study
Cardenas & Labour: Case Study
  • Michael Snodgrass explores struggle of Monterey steel workers who took on Nuevo Leon’s Industrialists’ cartel and their close allies in the state government…..
  • Workers’ struggled to be allowed to organise their own union and to affiliate to the CTM
  • Cardenas supported steel workers: the state thereby gains a foothold in capital of this powerful, conservative, industrialising northern state
  • *Michael Snodgrass, “‘We are all Mexicans here’: Workers, Patriotism and Union Struggles in Monterrey” in Vaughan and Lewis, eds., The Eagle and the Virgin pp.314-34.
capitalists fight back ccnci
Capitalists fight back (CCNCI)
  • Business groups and Right fight back forming Confederacion de Camaras Nacionales de Comercio e Industria (CCNCI) whose influential Carta Semanal (Weekly Letter) denounced:
    • i) the economic harm caused by the land reform,
    • ii) unfair taxes (complained of tax exemption for workers’ cooperatives and not private companies),
    • iii) excessive state intervention and price controls
    • iv) 1939 plan to tax excess profits
capitalists fight back ccnci1
Capitalists fight back (CCNCI)
  • v) lack of capital for new enterprise when demand was growing rapidly: NacionalFinanciera (f. in 1932) funds went to inefficient and corrupt state enterprises.
  • vi) Foreign capital flight: oil expropriation caused foreign credit famine.
  • vii) Pro-labour bias of government’s boards of Conciliation and Arbitration meaning strikes lasted too long
  • CCNCI Petitions for guarantees to farmers, reduction in taxes, investment in roads and infrastructure but less meddling in production and distribution... “it isn’t possible to redistribute wealth before creating it”
capitalists fight back
Capitalists fight back
    • CartaSemanal’s economic diagnosis becomes blueprint for Government policy after 1940 under Presidents Maximino Avila Camacho (1940-46) and Miguel Alaman (1946-1952)
  • In 1941 Toledano was removed from leading main governmment labour union (CTM), Gen.Sec. handed to Fidel Velázquez associated with corruption, conservatism and “charrismo” (top down controlled labour bosses) until death in 1997.....
daniel cosio villegas mexico s crisis 1947 in mexico reader
Daniel Cosio Villegas “Mexico’s Crisis” (1947) in Mexico Reader

Stinging critique of demoralising effects on labour and capital of government’s pro-labour policies, leading after 1940 to systemic “charrismo” (labour bossism) and violence…

“The Mexican labour movement has come to depend so completely on protection and support from official sources that it has been transformed into a mere appendage to the government, whose every step it follows: good, doubtful and frankly censurable”

cardenismo in retreat 1938 40
Cardenismo in retreat 1938-40
  • Economic crisis: drop in foreign investment, increased strikes....
  • Railways in a state of collapse, handed over to workers (70,000) in 1938, 12 April 1939 Guadalajara-Laredo trains (carrying pilgrims) collided, 50 deaths....
  • Oil industry: old machinery, shortage of parts from vengeful oil companies, increased wages and falling production.....
  • Investment in mining also frozen by fear of nationalisation and labour demands…
  • Key sectors of economy in crisis....
cardenismo in retreat 1938 401
Cardenismo in retreat 1938-40
  • 1934-38: Inflation increased 50 % and real wages dropped 21%
  • Inflation 26 % in 1936 and 8-9 % pa until 1939
  • Underlying problem was Cardenas’s decision to fund social reforms through deficit financing….
  • Growth of middle class opposition offended by Socialist Education and inflation….
  • Proto-Fascist Sinarquista movement attracts 100,000 into street violence in 1939-1940….
the last caudillo saturnino cedillo
The Last Caudillo: Saturnino Cedillo
  • April 1938, rebellion of Saturnino Cedillo, Minister of Agriculture (during the 1920s this agrarista chieftain of San Luis Potosi had helped Calles suppress the Cristero uprising with his agrarista army)
  • Cardenas suspected Cedillo of receiving backing from foreign oil companies. Rebellion suppressed by Air Force (See account Graham Greene, The Lawless Roads)
  • This was Mexico’s last “caudillo” rebellion
  • Ankerson: suppression of Cedillo’s revolt provides proof that Cardenismo was as much about centralisation of state power as social policy, See Dudley Ankerson Agrarian Warlord
election of 1940 3 candidates
Election of 1940: 3 Candidates
  • business and Church support General Juan Andreu Almazan, former Zapatista, road-building millionaire from Guerrero (Catalan father and mother claimed descent from Moctezuma I !)
  • The Left support Francisco Mujica, agrarian radical from Michoacan
  • Cardenas selects Conservative General, Manuel Avila Camacho, from Sierra de Puebla
1940 election
1940 Election
  • Cardenas explained why he chose not to support Francisco Mujica candidacy, a radical agrarian from his own state:
  • “El señor general Múgica, mi muy querido amigo, era un radical ampliamente conocido. Habíamos sorteado una guerra civil y soportábamos, a consecuencia de la expropiación petrolera, una presión internacional terrible. ¿Para qué un radical?”
manuel avila camacho 1940 46
Manuel Avila Camacho, 1940-46
  • Two key points in A-Camacho’s acceptance speech:
  • “Soy creyente” (“I am a believer”) : music for the ears of Catholic Mexico after 30 yrs of official anti-clericalism
  • “No hay quematar la gallina de los huevos de oro” (“You shouldn’t kill the goose that lays golden eggs”): Mexican capitalism should be nurtured not punished……
  • Mexico entered a different phase…….