Mexico in the 1940’s
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mexico broke off relations with Japan on December 9, 1941; on the 12th, with Germany and Italy; 13, with Bulgaria and Hungary; and at the Rio de Janeiro conference he exerted great influence. Then, the sinking of the tanker Potrero de Llano and another, on May 20, 1942, two days before the expiry of the ultimatum to Germany, Italy and Japan, led to the declaration of war (from June 1), which was followed by the adhesion to the Declarations of the Atlantic and the United Nations and measures against enemy subjects. National concord was formed around the government: L. Cárdenas had command of the forces on the Pacific, AL Rodriguez of those operating on the Gulf of Mexico; six former presidents surrounded the Cárdenas on September 16, a national holiday; for the propaganda among the workers, V. Lombardo Toledano made use of his “Confederación de Trabajadores de la América Latina”, which in turn acquired greater consistency; the synarchists themselves recommended that agricultural production be increased, while authorizing the religious teaching in private schools and confiscations of ecclesiastical assets were revoked. Military preparations were poor: 304 divisions were almost ready in July 1944, a squadron of aviators, with aircraft American Thunderbolt, fought in the Philippines. But the US helped themselves by cultivating fast-growing rubber plants (guayule) and by sending them agricultural laborers (115,000 in June 1944, when emigration was suspended), object at first (later Mexico protested) of discrimination. In turn, the US supplied agricultural machinery, increased purchases; to those stipulated directly with two oil companies, an agreement was added for the others, unhappy, however, with a relatively small compensation and deducted from taxes. But the US also granted credits, technical and material aid for a vast program of public works (including the Pan-American road) and health and the development of various industries: extractive, steel, chemical (including cement, rayon and cellulose, glass), construction and film and for the reorganization of railways. For these, When those placed abroad were repurchased for 1/5 of their nominal value, bonds were issued, also with the aim of curbing inflation. Which, accumulated large reserves of dollars thanks to the favorable trade balance and restricted imports, manifested itself with an increase in prices and, due to the lack of foodstuffs, a “black market”: with the usual consequences of rapid enrichment, luxury spending, especially in Mexico city, which has become one of the most expensive in the world. From the end of 1943 there was also a resumption of workers’ unrest and strikes. The president faced them with great energy and, on the railways, restricted the powers of the workers’ representatives in the council; but applied together a vast system of social insurance (accidents, maternity, invalidity and old age, diseases,
According to collegesanduniversitiesinusa, the parliamentary elections of July 1943 however gave 144 seats out of 147 to the Partido revolucionario mexicano, to the government, with total defeat of the right and the communists, while synarchism tried to infiltrate the university, so that, for the appointment of a teacher, protests and resignations. And, after the assassination of the governor of Sinaloa (February 21, 1944), an attack on April 10 against Avila; and a military conspiracy, discovered in July. But, after the earthquakes in central Mexico in 1941, a resumption of seismic activity in 1943 (see paricutin, in this App.) was followed by hurricanes and floods, between 1943 and 1944; and 1945 was a year of bad harvests. From the middle of the year 1944, imports began to outstrip exports; the economic and financial situation impressed the president, who in September warned Congress that circulation had increased, in 12 months, by 761 million pesos. On the other hand, a vigorous campaign against illiteracy was undertaken and major electrification and irrigation projects were made: but the US Congress, given the opposition of California, discussed at length the 1945 treaty for the use of Rio Grande, Tia Juana and Colorado rivers. Meanwhile the presidential elections were being prepared: candidates, the Foreign Minister E. Padilla (who resigned in July and replaced by F. Castillo Nájera), considered by Lombardo Toledano and the trade unions to be too conservative, loyal to the US and opposed to the USSR, and the former Minister of the Interior, Miguel Alemán. Meanwhile Mexico recognized the Spanish republican government in exile of J. Giral, nationalized the uranium and radioactive mineral deposits, released the German internees and prepared to absorb them, as soon as they were freed, and likewise the Polish refugees.
The president had to intervene at the beginning of 1946 to enforce the law in the city of León (Guanajuato), where he wanted to install the official candidate in place of the elected C. Obregón. The Partido revolucionario mexicano dissolved, replaced by a Partido revolucionario institucional, which stopped the practice of making state employees pay contributions through withholding taxes. The elections, however, went smoothly on 7 July and Alemán then assumed the presidency on 1 December.
Meanwhile, after a commercial agreement with Canada (February 1946) was concluded, negotiations had been conducted with the Netherlands and Great Britain on the question of oil companies, but only on 1 October 1947 was the agreement concluded with Mexican Eagle announced. Co., owned by the UK. The visit of the president of the US, HS Truman, in March 1947, was returned by the Alemán at the end of April, concluding an agreement for the stabilization of the peso, which, however, largely consumed the loan and reduced the reserves in dollars to 114 million (from 350 at the end of the war and about 200 in the middle of 1947), had to devalue between July and August 1948. In foreign policy, an attitude of popular reaction against the US was noted, especially due to the work of Lombardo Toledano, who in International Labor Office and elsewhere fiercely fought the American Federation of Labor, which moreover opposed its organizations to the Confederación de Trabajadores de la América Latina; a reaction that was also manifested by the opposition to the Protestant missionaries of the US, so much so that Archbishop Martínez intervened to advise against violence. However, in the United Nations, and in the inter-American meetings, Mexico has not taken an attitude against the US The most serious problems are, however, of an internal nature, especially economic: Mexico is increasingly on the way to becoming one of the main countries of the American continent , to exert great influence on all the countries of Latin America; it industrializes rapidly; wants to raise, spiritually and materially, the standard of living of the population. The difficulties are serious: among them are ignorance, which is fought with the campaign against illiteracy, and with efforts to raise the level of teaching; the need to improve the national equipment, including with large public works, and the technique; and the rising cost of living, coupled with the severe housing crisis.