- Historic Sites
The Emergence Of Modern Mexico
The period between Mexican independence and the constitution of 1917 was turbulent and painful
April 1969 | Volume 20, Issue 3
holding flag (November 6, 1911, to February 19, 1913). Tiny hero of the revolution, a gentle person unfit for the rough and tumble of Mexican politics; assassinated.
in formal dress holding a watch (7:01 P.M. to 7:46 P.M. , February 19, 1913—his total time in office; he resigned). Died peacefully in 1952 at the age of ninety-six.
with bottle (February 19, 1913, to July 15, 1914). Sinister and treacherous; conducted government business from saloons.
The next four presidents held office at the whim of the Zapatistas and Villistas:
only head and legs visible (July 15 to August 13, 1914).
holding lasso (November 6, 1914, to January if), 1915). Loved dynamiting trains, hated politics.
on all fours (January 16 to June 10, 1915). Became President at twenty-nine.
legs around Gutiérrez (June 10 to July 9, 1915).
on top with wings (May 1, 1917, to May 21, 1920). More or less in control from 1915; ignored the radical elements in the constitution of 1917. Assassinated.
dove in hand (June 1 to November 30, 1920). A man of the arts; no relation to Victoriano.
left of Carranza (December i, 1920, to November 30, 1924). Alert; known as Mr. One Arm. Assassinated in 1928 while celebrating his renomination to the Presidency.
Right (reading from bottom to top):
(1924-28). Stern, efficient, began as a leftist enthusiastic for land redistribution, but later swung to the right. Never tired of harassing the Church. Chief architect of the ruling political revolutionary party (now the P.R.I.). Calles picked and dominated the country’s next three presidents.
(1928-29). Made peace with the Church, and therefore not the ideal Calles stooge.
(1929-32). Calles’ timid puppet with little talent.
(1932-34). Became wealthy from Calles’ gambling casinos; more dynamic but still a yes man.
(1934-40). The most dedicated and popular President since Juárez. Sober, soft-spoken, indifferent to wealth, privilege, and power. He prided himself on direct contact with the common people. Banned the display of presidential portraits in public buildings, lived modestly and without fanfare. Was often branded a Communist. Interpreted the constitution of 1917 literally. In 1936, sent his mentor Calles into exile. At 10 P.M. , March 18, 1938, announced the take-over of foreign oil companies. Ambassador Josephus Daniels defended him against rising U.S. hostility. Left office quietly and never interfered with subsequent administrations.
(1940-46). Abandoned Cardenas’ land programs, concentrated on industrialization and World War II.
(1946-52). Dynamic and colorful, promoted vast developments in dams, bridges, etc. Corruption flourished.