Mexico's Difficult Path of Nation-Building Essay by experts

Mexico's Difficult Path of Nation-Building
A discussion of the political and social problems Mexico faced in the early 19th century.
# 6545 | 2,225 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2002 | US

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This paper accounts for the problems that afflicted the new central American state, Mexico, during its first half-century of existence. This paper argues that the underlying problem was the absence of a shared political-constitutional vision within the country's creole elite. It further explains that what the new state needed to realize its potential was a period of sustained peace accompanied by the implementation of a consistent political-constitutional vision. From the point of view of nation building, it was not important whether the vision of the nation was liberal or conservative.

From the Paper:

"Although the constitutional settings to enable the new state to function smoothly had been laid down by the federalist constitution of 1824, during the first few decades after independence the elite grew increasingly divided over matters of political direction. A division manifested itself between liberals and conservatives. However, neither side ever remained in power long enough to impose its particular vision of political order upon Mexican society. Historically, dangerous divisions of this kind have been resolved or suppressed by a stable period of authoritarian, "strong man" rule. A peculiarity of the Mexican situation was that Mexico's greatest strong man in this period, General Santa Anna, did not use his power and popularity to create a consensus in favor of either liberalism or conservatism. Without elite consensus on constitutional fundamentals, however, there was not the least chance of successfully incorporating the Indians into the new order. The "caste war" of Yucatan was the most dramatic outcome of the Mexican elite's inability to establish an elementary consensus about the principles and character of the new republic."

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