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Citizens, Society, and the State
I. Background Infromation
Los famosos Mexicanos
Political and Economic History
Sovereignty, Authority, and Power
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Sovereignty, Authority, and Power
POLITICAL CULTURE, COMMUNICATION, AND SOCIALIZATION
1. Sense of national identity
- The Importance of Religion: Until the 1920’s, the Catholic Church actively participated in politics, and priests were often leaders in populist movements
Our Lady of Guadalupe: a symbol of Catholicism
- Patron-Clientelism: “You scratch my back, I scratch your back”. Corruption is a big part of the patron-clientelism system. The system has been on the decline ever since the PRI lost the election in 2000
- Economic Dependency: Mexico has always lived in the shadows, economically, of more developed countries
2. Geographic Influence
: Mexico is one of the most geographically diverse countries in the world
- Mountains and Deserts: have made communication between regions extremely difficult
- Varied Climates
- Natural Resources:Mexico has a lot of silver, oil, and other natural resources but has always managed them poorly
- A long border with the US: There will always be relationships, whether good or bad, between the two countries
- 100 million people: top 10 in the most populated countries in the world
- Urban Population: about ¾ of the population live in cities
NATIONS AND STATES
1. Historical Traditions
– divided into three stages of political development
Spanish Conquistadors in Mexico
- The Chaos of the 19th and 20th century
- Emphasis on the economic development during recent history
For 2011, Mexico's GDP growth rate is estimated to be 3.8 percent. It ranks 109th in the world in terms of fastest growing GDP
2. Authoritarian Government
- First experienced under colonial control of Spain
- Military dictatorships during the 19th century under Porfirio Diaz
1. North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
- An agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America.
2. United Nations
An international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace
3. General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (now the World Trade Organization)
An organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade.
4. Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OEDC)
An international organisation helping governments tackle the economic, social and governance challenges of a globalised economy
5. Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
A forum for 21 Pacific Rim countries (formally Member Economies) that seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region
6. Rio Group
An international organization of Latin American and some Caribbean states.
SOURCES OF POWER
The government of the United States of Mexico is divided into three branches:
1. The Executive
- The most powerful of the three branches, headed by the elected president.
2 The Bicameral Legislature
The three major political parties share 128 seats; with the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) maintaining the biggest portion with 95 seats, followed by the PAN (Nation Action Party) and the PRD (Party of Democratic Revolution) with 25 and 8 seats, respectively. In the Chamber of Deputies, the PRI's majority is less dominant, with less than 60% of the seats.
3. The Judiciary
The judiciary is facing serious problems due to corruption and, until recently, a poor career system.
4. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)
The ruling party dominating Mexican politics for decades is the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Since its foundation in 1928, the PRI never lost a single presidential election; however, credible allegations of serious fraud were often involved.
1. 1824 Constitution of Mexico
- Was enacted on October 4 of 1824, after the overthrow of the Mexican Empire of Agustin de Iturbide. In the new constitution, the republic took the name of United Mexican States, and was defined as a representative federal republic, with Catholicism as the official and unique religion. It was replaced by the Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1857. Issued the 7 Constitutional Laws that consisted of:
The 15 articles of the first law granted citizenship to those who could read and had an annual income of 100 pesos, except for domestic workers, who did not have the right to vote.
The second law allowed the President to close Congress and suppress the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation. Military officers were not allowed to assume this office.
The 58 articles of the third law established a bicameral Congress of Deputies and Senators, elected by governmental organs. Deputies had four-year terms; Senators were elected for six years.
The 34 articles of the fourth law specified that the Supreme Court, the Senate of Mexico, and the Meeting of Ministers each nominate three candidates, and the lower house of the legislature would select from those nine candidates the President and Vice-president,
The fifth law had an 11-member Supreme Court elected in the same manner as the President and Vice-President.
The 31 articles of the sixth Law replaced the federal republic's "states" with centralized "departments", fashioned after the French model, whose governors and legislators were designated by the President.
The seventh law prohibited reverting to the pre-reform laws for six years.
2. 1857 Constitution of Mexico
- It was ratified on February 5, 1857,establishing individual rights such as freedom of speech; freedom of conscience; freedom of the press; freedom of assembly; and the right to bear arms. It also Reaffirmed the abolition of slavery, eliminated debtor prison, and eliminated all forms of cruel and unusual punishment, including the death penalty.
3. Political Constitution of the United Mexican States
The current Constitution of 1917 is the first such document in the world to set out social rights, serving as a model for the Weimar Constitution of 1919 and the Russian Constitution of 1918. Some of the most important provisions are Articles 3, 27, and 123; these display profound changes in Mexican political philosophy that helped frame the political and social backdrop for Mexico in the twentieth century. Article 3 forbids the setting up of a list of prohibited books and establishes the bases for a free, mandatory, and lay education; article 27 led the foundation for land reforms; and article 123 was designed to empower the labor sector.
Articles 3, 5, 24, 27, and 130 were originally redacted with sections that restricted the power of the Catholic Church as a consequence of the support given by the Mexican Church's Hierarchy to the Dictator Victoriano Huerta.
- Traditionally, Mexico has had a
Corporatist Structure –
central, authoritarian, rule that allows input from interest groups outside of the government
1. “Developed”, “Developing”, or “Less Developed”?
– there are at least 4 ways to categorize and differentiate between the three types of regimes.
- GNP per capita: The raw GDP of Mexico is 1.185 trillion US dollars. Mexico is twelfth in the world in terms of GDP
- PPP (Purchasing Power Parity): The purchasing power parity GDP is 1.657 trillion US dollars
- HDI (Human Development Index)
- Economic Dependency
2. A Transitional Government
: Mexico is said to be a transition between an authoritarian style of government and a democratic one
Economic Statistics regarding Mexico
TYPES OF ECONOMIC SYSTEMS
- The Mexican economy experienced a continuos up and down over the last five decades. Interestingly, there exists a striking relationship between the economical situation and the change of the presidency. Every six years, with a new president being elected, the general economic policy changed radically. This of course brought along enormous consequences for the society and the economy. The most recent change of presidency probably also had the most important effect on the Mexican economy: the handover of governmental power from Carlos Salinas to Ernesto Zedillo in 1994.
1. Economic Policy Under Carlos Salinas: "Hide and Seek"
- There were several attempts by the Salinas government to hide the hazardous trade balance situation
- Carlos Salinas is also responsible for deliberately delaying the publishing of basic economic data in 1994. In the last year of his presidency the Mexican foreign exchange reserves, used to finance the trade deficit, dropped from $25 billion to $6 billion. This alarming development was obviously considered to be too bad to be pronounced in public.
2. Economic Policy Under Ernesto Zedillo
- Mexican's new president Ernesto Zedillo introduced a sharp turn in economic policy compared to his predecessor, Carlos Salinas. Since the Zedillo government experienced the consequences of the former consumption driven economic policy, it is no wonder that Mr. Zedillo favors a very restrictive monetary policy. The devaluation in conjunction with the following depreciation of the peso to less than half its former value significantly helped to reverse the fatal trade deficit to become a small surplus in 1995
3. GDP Growth Rate
- For 2011, Mexico's GDP growth rate is estimated to be 3.8 percent. It ranks 109th in the world in terms of fastest growing GDP.
4. Income Distribution, Wages, Savings Rate, Unemployment Rate
Compared to other emerging markets, the savings rate in Mexico is rather low. The Mexican internal capital source constantly remains below 20%. The main reason for that is the low level of personal income in Mexico and the high unemployment rate.
- The average wage in Mexico in 1993 for production workers in manufacturing was $2.61 per hour(
- The daily minimum wage ranges from $2.59 to $3.06, including a 14% supplemental fiscal subsidy. The common daily wage for workers however is usually three to four times higher. (
- About 22% of the Mexican population enjoys first world living standards, while some 27% face extreme poverty. Mexico's basic demographic figures reveal the essentiality of substantial growth and development: More than half of Mexico's population is younger than 25 years and there are approximately 11.5 million people considered illiterate (
- It is estimated that Mexico's unemployment rate is around 20% to 25%
STATE BUILDING, LEGITIMACY, AND STABILITY
The Mexican Revolution of 1910
- Most Mexicans believe that their government is legitimate
- An important source of legitimacy is the
Revolution of 1910-1917
- Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)
– Created a democratic, three branch government. PRI was intended to stabilize political power in the hands of its leaders
- Within recent history, the country has become less legitimate and has swayed more towards instability
- In 1994, a presidential candidate was assassinated
BELIEF SYSTEMS AS SOURCES OF LEGITIMACY
The biggest religion in Mexico is Roman Catholocism, of which 76.5 percent of the population reported being a member. Many of the political leaders of Mexico have been Roman Catholic and their political decisions have been influenced by their religious views
- Protestants make up 6.3 percent of the population
- Jehovah's Witnesses another 1.1 percent
- In the 2000 census, 13.8 percent of Mexicans chose not to specify a religion, while 3.1 percent reported having no religion. Other religions only make up 0.3 percent of the population.
Most Mexicans are right wing Republicans and favor the Institutional Revolution Party (PRI)
- Only recently, beginning in 1989, the major opposition party, the center right
Nation Action Party (PAN) won elections in four states and several bigger cities. Or, as some observer put it, the PAN was allowed to win some elections. The reason for this imputation are reported manipulations of elections.
- The political power of the third major party, the leftist
Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD), currently appears to be diminishing, despite the fact that it almost won the last presidential election August 21, 1994.
I believe that Mexico is growing into a developed, democratic, and legitimate country. Despite many examples of authoritarian and militaristic governments in Mexico's past, the country is showing many hopeful signs that it is moving away from those ideals. As the countries population continues to grow, I am curious to see whether or not the country will be able to support the large population and the challenges that accompany population growth. Unemployment, urbanization, and debt are just some of the challenges that Mexico and its government face everyday. I am hopeful that the country will be able to battle through these roadblocks due to the rising legitimacy and democratization.
- Types of Economic Systems;
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