polisci mexico - Wednesday 3 What used to be and what is...

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Wednesday, November 28 71913 What used to be and what is now… o For more than six decades, the outcomes of Mexican presidential elections had been known the moment that the PRI announced its nominee o Over the last two decades, however, Mexico has experienced a remarkable transformation o What used to be : a political system in which electoral manipulation was condoned by political leaders and cynically accepted by the public o What is now : a political system in which gov’t respect of voters’ preferences is expected and demanded Spanish Colonialism o Mexico served as an important source of resources (e.g., gold, silver) for Spain o Spanish conquest was accompanied by installation of Roman Catholic Church as a predominant power o Reduction and marginalization for Mexican Indian population Via disease and Spanish sword, as well as through intermarriage and attrition o 1810-1821 War of Independence Spain’s power over “New Spain” was weakened by it’s struggles with other European countries: economic troubles, Napoleon’s invasion Initial widespread fighting, followed by many years of smaller revolts and skirmishes, a final deal wasn’t reached until 1821, giving Mexico it’s independence o 1846-1848 War with US Basically a fight over North American territory, mainly California and Texas United States’ land grab pushed forward by the belief in ‘manifest destiny’ Mexican Revolution o 1910-1920 Mexican Revolution
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A civil conflict that was not exactly a social revolution This was NOT an uprising of the common people against the dictator (Porfirio Diaz) This was led by middle-and upper-class young people against Diaz They wanted greater economic and political opportunities They wanted an end to the sham elections that kept the dictator, Diaz, in power They did NOT want to destroy the established order, but rather carve a place out for themselves within it o Disadvantaged workers and peasants were brought into the fight once rebellion against Diaz was already underway Emiliano Zapata led peasants to try to regain land from the aristocracy Pancho Villa led the jobless to fight for steady employment o As various revolutionary leaders pushed for change, Diaz’ political order disintegrated Warlords controlled the country through caudillos – regional groups of political- military rulers These caudillos were often more interested in personal economic and status gains than in social revolution o Constitution of 1917 Replaced Constitution of 1857 Established state control over natural resources, subordinated church to the state, asserted gov’t’s right to redistribute land and secure rights for labor Two decades passed before many of these provisions were instituted o During the 1920s, the central gov’t tried to get rid of the caudillos by getting them to support the central gov’t and it’s efforts to demobilize the masses
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