VII. The Contemporary Period, 1945–2000 > D. Latin America, 1945–2000 > 4. Mexico, 1946–2000
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1942, May 22)
4. Mexico, 1946–2000
1946, July 7
MIGUEL ALEMÁN (1900–83) WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT. Even more conservative than Avila Camacho, he embarked on an extensive program to develop industry and infrastructure. Foreign capital was welcomed, though under government control. Alemán's presidency initiated a period of rapid economic growth. He used all government resources, including the military, to promote the economy and to suppress dissent. Relations with the U.S. were cordial, and the first exchange of presidential visits took place in 1947.  1
Using the power of the Mexican state, Alemán solidified the monopolization of the political process by the PRI (Party of the Institutionalized Revolution). Amid rampant corruption, Alemán continued the tradition of lip service to the Revolution of 1910 while supporting capital projects and working against labor and peasant groups. Workers' movements were co-opted or crushed. Leftist union leaders were replaced with corrupt party loyalists, known as charros. The ejido (agrarian cooperative) program and rural education were ignored in favor of middle-class and upper-class interests.  2
1947, Sept. 30
A final settlement was made by the Mexican government for the 1938 expropriation of U.S. oil properties.  3
1952, July 6
The PRI candidate, Adolfo Ruiz Cortines, was elected president. Distancing himself from the Alemán regime's corruption, Ruiz Cortines ordered all public officials to publicize their finances and fired a number of notoriously corrupt officials. Otherwise, he continued Alemán's policy of encouraging foreign investment and capital-driven growth.  4
Thirty-six years after the constitution declared universal male suffrage, Mexican women received the vote.  5
Rubén Jaramillo, veteran Zapatista, member of the Communist Party, and ordained minister, rose in armed revolt against the government. His combination of Marxism and Christianity eventually became a powerful social force.  6
The national population reached 32 million, having doubled in the previous 25 years. Mexico's cities were also growing at 5 to 10 percent per year, with the population of Mexico City reaching 4.5 million.  7
July 6
Adolfo López Mateos, candidate for the PRI and minister of labor and social security, was elected president.  8
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.