Chapter

Nationalization of Land and Industry

JOHN MASON HART

in Empire and Revolution

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780520223240
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939295 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520223240.003.0013
Nationalization of Land and Industry

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This chapter focuses on the nationalization of land and industry in Mexico. During the administration of Plutarco Elías Calles from 1914 to 1928, more than one hundred million acres of Mexican land was redistributed to its citizenry and this provided a broadly participatory material basis for the emergence of the one-party state. However, when President Lázaro Cárdenas came to power in 1934 he promptly turned the agrarians and labor organizers loose. This triggered exponential growth in agrarian unrest and labor agitation which meant more problems for American capitalists. But because of the Great Depression and threat from Japan, the U.S. agreed to the nationalization of railroads and petroleum in Mexico. By the onset of the war, ownership and control of major industries was already in the hands of the Mexicans.

Keywords: nationalization; land; industries; Mexico; Plutarco Elías Calles; Lázaro Cárdenas; agrarian unrest; American capitalists; Great Depression

Chapter.  12570 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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