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Cárdenas Regime, 1934-1940

Cárdenas (1934-40)

Nationalization of the railroads, which had begun under Díaz, was accelerated and many of the large of oil companies were expropriated in 1938. Popularity of oil expropriation in Mexico was great. Cárdenas was probably aware of the results in terms of production (that it would decline for a time) but he gained political capital. Mexicans wanted it. Promotion of Mexican industry.

Land Redistribution

Today, the government pours money into private farming, not ejidos. Ejidos have been a great political success not an economic success. Díaz Soto y Gama in the late 1940s or early 1950s said that the ejidal program was a failure.

Cárdenas administration is important as anything else for its tendency to encourage reformism, not revolution. Cárdenas didn't impose his successor.

Depression hit Mexico very hard. Fostered industrialization; National Financiera was created in 193 4 to foment economic development. Caused discontent within the PNR. Idealists and revolutionaries forced enough attention on problems to get a six-year plan as the political platform. Promised all kinds of change in Mexico. Young Turks also had their way in that Cárdenas was nominated. Cárdenas did not have a radical government. He was honest and left of center. His regime was the peak of the Revolution.

    • Land distribution
    • Incessant travel throughout Mexico. Began the tremendous publicity on the Mexican President. Put himself across to Mexican people, making himself and the office of the presidency well-known among the common people for the first time. He campaigned as if he had to get votes! Frightened the hell out of businessmen but without reason.
    • Industry grew more than agriculture. Most people ignore this. His regime did the following for business and industry:
      • Protective tariff
      • Improvement in banking
      • Improvements in transportation
      • Other pro-business improvements.
      • Good relations with CONCAMIN and CONCANACO

Creation of the Partido de la Revolución Mexicana (PRM) in 1938 was done partly to get rid of the callistas. Cárdenas used a sector organization--Popular, Labor, Agrarian, and Military. The military sector of the Party was still needed in days of Cárdenas. The only large institutions not in the Party were big business and the Church. The military today has influence.