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Summary of Chapter 30 MEXICO

(from Roskins Countries & Concepts)

Mesoamerica had several civilizationscomplex cultures based in citiesbefore the
Europeans arrived but, with few domesticable plants and animals, never achieved
European levels !n tr"in# to catch up with $ortu#al%s route to &sia around &frica, 'pain
found (atin &merica and )uickl" took it over for *#old, +od, and #lor"* ,eakened b"
smallpox, the &-tecs fell to Cortes in ./0., and 1exico became 'pain%s richest colon",
exploited for its #old and silver 2he" set up 1exico%s class s"stem'paniards (or
Creoles) at the top, mesti-os in the middle, and indi#enas (!ndians) at the bottom
1exico #ained a painless independence in .30. because its conservative Catholic elite
feared liberal tendencies in 'pain 2hat same "ear &mericans were invited into 2exas
and soon took it over, leadin# to the &lamo and .345643 7' war, which cost 1exico its
northern half 2he 7' Civil ,ar allowed the stran#e 8rench occupation, .35.659 :ia-
dominated 1exico .3996.;.<, offerin# Positivism but worsenin# povert" 2he
Revolution of .;.<60< was lon#, violent, complex, and multi6sided !t finall" calmed
when Calles institutionalized a dominant sin#le part" later called the Revolutionar"
!nstitutional $art" ($R!)
$R! practiced statism" co#o$tation" cor$oratism" and clientelism to rule
uninterrupted for 9. "ears in a series of sexenios, sin#le six6"ear terms for each
president, who was desi#nated b" his predecessor Priismo was contrived stabilit" that
looked democratic but was little bound b" constitutionalism% !n .;=4 leftist president
Cardenas nationali-ed 1exico%s oil $R!, founded as socialistic and anticlerical>,
illustrates a dominant6part" s"stem 1exico%s Con#ress and 'enate are no lon#er
dominated b" $R!, which lost votes due to corruption and economic problems 8ox and
Calderon of the conservative and Catholic $&? won the presidenc" in 0<<< and
(narrowl") in 0<<5 2he leftist $R: also #rew as $R! declined $R! became corrupt and
1exico is stran#e, because atop an !ndian culture it shuffled outmoded European
importsclassic liberalism, positivism, socialism, rural socialism, anarchism,
anticlericalism, fascism, and communism which do not cohere @oxes explain
$ersonalismo" mac(ismo" and de$endenc) t(eor)%
$R! was informall" split between $oliticos" elected politicians who tr" to please the
masses, and unelected tecnicos" who strive for economic stabili-ation b" appl"in#
neoli*eralism even if it hurts the masses ?ow $R: and $&? respectivel" represent
these two strands 1exicans, like most (atin &mericans, are not necessaril" devoted to
democrac"A the" prefer someone who puts food on the table Catholicism is the sleeper
of 1exican politics and helped #et 8ox and Calderon elected & box explains several
wa"s to ri# elections 1exican elections are a lot cleaner than the" used to be
arcotra+icantes pervade 1exico, even bu"in# top officials
1exico%s population exploded in the twentieth centur", but Bobs #rew slowl"
7nemplo"ment and povert" are rife, leadin# to miles of shant"towns and a fli#ht to Bobs
in the 7nited 'tates Rural #uerrillas appeared in .;;4 and still fi#ht in the mountains of
Chiapas, in 1exico%s south (atin &merica thus far has benefited little from #lobali-ation
1exico%s $RC would drop out of ?&82&A $&? likes it 2he %problems of dru#s and
ille#al immi#rants are partl" 7' problems !f we did not bu" the dru#s and emplo" the
ille#al immi#rants, the flow of both would stop 1exico badl" needs rule of law ,ith it,
1exico could become (atin &merica%s #rowth ti#er