Mexican Democracy

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Mexican Democracy

When one thinks of Mexico the first thing that often comes to mind are all of the old Westerns where the bad guys would run to Mexico to escape and good guys were attacked by desperados and also government troops. This stereotype is not too far off from the actual political situation in Mexico. If one were to look at the history of this troubled nation one would find a universal lack of stable government and a tendency towards military run dictatorships. This comes from a turbulent history fraught with foreign influence and puppet governments. The most recent foreign intervention was in the 1850's when the French sent troops over to Mexico in order to establish a puppet government under Archduke Maxamillian of Austria. His reign was short-lived and revolutionaries executed him after his surrender in May of 1867. The revolutionary leader Benito Juarez then assumed the presidency. His reign only lasted five years until another revolution lead by Porfiro Diaz. Diaz was the leader in Mexican politics for 35 years until he was finally overthrown. This progression didn't end with Diaz, his successor, Francisco Madero, was overthrown and executed by General Victoriano Huerta, a brutal military dictator who was in power for a short time then overthrown in a new wave of revolutions. This flow of leaders coming to power then being overthrown has lead to a very unstable Mexican political structure. The trend of the losers in an election starting a revolution in response continued until General Lazaro Cardenas came to power in 1934 and became the first president in Mexican history to serve out a full term. The next president, Avila Camacho was the one to organize the PRI, the political party that continues to dominate...

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... current presidential system should be left intact because it is the most stability promoting system and this is a definite benefit for the Mexican system.


Works Consulted

Alba, Victor. A Concise History of Mexico. London, Cassell, 1973

Fornaro, Carlo de. Carranza and Mexico. New York, M Kennerly, 1915

International Congress of Mexican History. Contemporary Mexico: Papers of the IV International Congress of Mexican History. Berkley, University of California Press, 1976

La Botz, Dan. Democracy in Mexico: Peasant Rebellion and Political Reform. Boston, South End Press, 1995

MacLachlan, Colin M. Anarchism and the Mexican Revolution: The Political Trials of Ricardo Flores Magon in the United States. Berkley, University of California Press, 1991

The Age of Poriforio Diaz. Albuquerque, University of New Mexico Press, 1977
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