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The Logic of Compromise in MexicoHow the Countryside Was Key to the Emergence of Authoritarianism$
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Gladys I. McCormick

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469628943

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469628943.001.0001

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The Promise of Cardenismo in Rural Morelos

The Promise of Cardenismo in Rural Morelos

(p.22) Chapter One The Promise of Cardenismo in Rural Morelos
The Logic of Compromise in Mexico

Gladys I. McCormick

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter studies President Lázaro Cárdenas’s (1934-1940)–Mexico’s quintessentially reformist leader–impact on the countryside. It locates Cardenismo within a longer historical trajectory of changes in agrarian production and labor systems to assess his plans for industrializing the countryside. The chapter outlines three complementary narratives. The first maps the evolving social landscape of Morelos in the period leading up to Cárdenas’s time in office. These changes accelerated with the aggressive state intervention tackling the ravages of the 1910-1920 Revolution. Nevertheless, flawed agrarian reform programs, demographic upheavals, and internal divisions within communities set up a looming crisis in this area as Cárdenas assumed the presidency in 1934. The second narrative vein involves understanding the new economic policies designed to modernize the countryside through the creation of large-scale collective ventures, such as cooperatives. These projects targeted rural people excluded from the benefits of agrarian reform and lent institutional continuity to the broader ejido (communally-owned lands) framework. The third narrative explores the place of the sugar industry in the state’s plan for a modern, post-Depression Mexico. This section tracks the creation of strongly differentiated peasant and worker categories that exposed inherent contradictions in federal planners’ visions for rural Mexico.

Keywords:   Lázaro Cárdenas, Ejido, Sugar cooperative, Agrarian reform, Sugar industry in Mexico, Zacatepec, Rubén Jaramillo, Confederación Nacional Campesina, Peasants in Mexico, Morelos

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