Cárdenas Regime, 1934-1940
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.
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
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
- 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.