Political Problems in Latin America

Mexico

  • Mexicans formed a revolution
    • People were upset because of foreign influence from the U.S. and powerful ruling from the elites
  • Constitution of 1917
    • Mexican presidents carried out reforms
    • Declared that the government owned its subsoil and its products and that it was the state's right to redistribute land to peasants
      • When Lázaro Cárdenas was president, 45 million acres were given back to the peasants
      • In addition, Cárdenas took back control over the Mexican oil wells from foreign investors
    • Included reformist social laws and promised civil liberties
  • These improvements did not stay after the revolution, though, and Mexico continued to struggle to keep out the U.S.
  • PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party)
    • Governments under the PRI ruled cruely and attempted to put new economic ideas in place that both improved and worsened Mexico's conditions
    • PRI was resisted by peasants throughout the 1990s

Argentina

  • Was a model for political development in South America
    • Well-developed economy centered around cattle raising and agriculture
    • Strong urban life
    • Rise of industrialization
    • Increasing middle class
  • Not affected by U.S. control
  • Leader of independence from U.S. and European economic and political intervention
  • Had unpopular political organization controlled by military rulers

Juan Perón

  • Perón elected president in Argentina
    • Appealed to oppressed class of Argentina
    • Supported industrialization, the working class, and defense of the economy from foreign nations
  • Eva Perón, Juan Perón's wife, also served as an effective political leader
    • Referred to as "Evita"
    • Came from a poor class
    • In addition to supporting Juan Perón's reforms, Eva attended to the needs of the poor
      • Many seeked her help
        • People asked for dentures, wedding clothes, and medical care
      • Formed the Eva Perón Foundation
  • Military dictators took over after Perón left office
    • Approved creation of "death squads" which fought against suspected rebels
    • Economic disasters and increasing poor classes

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