The Beginnings of the Republic of Mexico

The next 50 years were marked by conflicts between clericals and liberals, advocates of the central state and federalists, and the political struggles of the military, local and regional rulers (caciques and caudillos) who use themselves in their own interests. Economic life was affected by the devastation caused by the war. Even after Manuel Fernández Guadelupe Victoria (* 1768, † 1843) was sworn in as the first president under the new republican and federal constitution of October 4, 1824, internal tensions continued; In 1835 the federal system was established by President A. Santa Anna (first term of office 1833–36), who determined the politics of the country for over two decades (president from 1841 to 1844, from 1846 to 1847 and from 1853 to 1855).

On March 2nd, 1836, the North American settlers from Texas proclaimed an independent republic there. The Mexican troops were defeated on April 21, 1836 in the battle of San Jacinto. The formal annexation of Texas by the USA (1845) sparked the Mexican War, which ended for Mexico with the loss of the territories north of the Rio Grande. In order to improve the state finances, Santa Anna sold a then worthless coastal strip south of the Gila River for 10 million dollars to the USA (Gadsden Treaty of December 30, 1853). This renewed reduction in size of the national territory triggered a storm of indignation. Within a few years, Mexico had lost around half of its territory. According to listofusnewspapers, Mexico is a country in North America.

The new liberal, anti-clerical government enacted two laws (Ley Juárez and Ley Lerdo) in 1855, which carried out an almost complete separation of church and state. The church had to sell its property and was banned from acquiring new land. Later they proceeded to expropriations and auctioned off the secularized church property.

The liberal-federalist movement “La Reforma” enforced the liberal constitution of February 5, 1857 (in force until 1917). Against them was the resistance of the church, which sparked a bitter and bloody civil war (1857-60). The clericals ruled the capital, while the constitutional government under B. Juárez García had to withdraw to the stronghold of the liberals, Veracruz. Juárez finally prevailed and moved to Mexico City in 1861. However, with the public coffers empty, the government had to announce a two-year moratorium on national debt in July.

European intervention

The suspension of interest payments on Mexican foreign debts prompted the affected powers Great Britain, Spain and France to intervene militarily. At the end of 1861 they landed in Veracruz. While Great Britain and Spain withdrew after the Soledad Agreement with the Mexican government (1862), the French units, strengthened at the beginning of 1863, conquered Puebla on February 17, 1863 and marched on June 7. in Mexico City. The assembly of notaries convened by the French proclaimed the monarchy and, in 1864, at the instigation of Napoleon III. the Mexican imperial crown to the Austrian Archduke Maximilian on, which took place on June 12th moved into Mexico. The emperor, who with his balancing policy did not want to comply with the demands of the ultra-conservatives and the Vatican for the full restoration of church rights and property, lost the sympathies of the conservative Mexicans without having won those of the liberals. After the USA had forced the withdrawal of the French troops, the Juarists were able to recapture the country and on May 15, 1867 put the emperor prisoner in Querétaro. Maximilian was born on June 19. shot dead.

The Porfiriate (1876-1910)

In 1876 the liberal general P. Díaz came to power through a coup d’état. Díaz ‘s program of “order and progress” was founded in the positivist sense by the group of the “Científicos” (“scientific party”); they wanted to calm Mexico down domestically and promote economic development (mainly through exports), then political freedom should follow; social concerns were initially put on hold. In Díaz ‘The essential prerequisites for the country’s economic development have been created. The orderly state finances restored Mexico’s international credit. Railways and telegraph networks connected the different regions, especially the north was developed economically. A presidential decree issued in 1890 expropriated the colonial common land (Ejido), which was mostly used by small farmers. The dynamism in agriculture triggered by mechanization, especially sugar production, threatened the existence of many small farmers. The social inequality in the agricultural sector – 97% of the rural population had no land and a large part worked the expanding latifundia in bondage – and v. a. the political participation of the new urban middle classes led to strong tensions.

Republic of Mexico