Manuel Ávila Camacho


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(b. 24 Apr. 1897, d. 14 Oct. 1955).

President of Mexico 1940–6 Born in Teziutlán, Puebla, his election to the presidency was determined by the outgoing President Cárdenas, under whom he had served as Minister of War. More moderate than his predecessor, his land reforms favoured less the ejidos (communally owned farms) than individual families. He supported the moderate working classes through the establishment of a social security system which, though embryonic at first, was steadily extended to the industrial labour sector by subsequent presidents. Although he was sympathetic to the Allies, his suspicion of the USA, which at first prevented Mexican entry into World War II, was only overcome after the repeated German sinking of Mexican ships in 1942.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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