A SHIFT TO THE RIGHT:

THE CALLES REGIME



I. GENERAL PLUTARCO ELÍAS CALLES

A. BIOGRAPHICAL:

1. born 1877 - Guaymas, Sonora; poor-middle-class family with connections to state elites

2. worked as primary schoolteacher before 1910

3. Emerged as one of Obregon's subordinates in Constitutionalist era 1913-15

4. Provisional governor of Sonora- 1917

5. Selected by Obregon as successor: elected President 1924

B. REGARDED AS RADICAL/LEFT/ NATIONALIST WHEN ENTERED OFFICE

1. Agrarian Reform: 8M acres (versus 3M for Obregon)/also promoted agricultural schools/credit (sometimes used official agrarian reform to destroy radical agrarian movements)

2. Labor Reform: Ley de Trabajo; Luis Morones as Labor Secretary; similar advantages for other CROM officials (CROM continues to repress independents); CROM organization flourishes: 1.8M members in 1928

3. Education: rural schools with emphasis on Spanish; sanitary codes, vacination campaigns

4. Economic Nationalism:

a. Calles will not give assurances to US beyond stipulations of Bucareli Treaty; growing hostility with US, i.e. 1925 Sec of State Frank B. Kellogg convinced of Bolshevic plot to take away property of US citizens in Mexico (i.e. oil companies) & issues warning:

"It should be made clear that this Government will continue to support the Government in Mexico only so long as it protects American lives and American rights and complies with international obligations....The Government of Mexico is now on trial before the world. We have the greatest interest in the stability, prosperity, and independence of Mexico...But we cannot contenance violation of her obligations and failure to protect American citizens.

b. Outburst was response to attempt by Calles administration to limit foreign concessions to 50yrs; also warning that US-owned land should not be expropriated for agrarian reform

C. ANTI-CLERICALISM:

1. Calles confrontation v. Archbishop José Mora y del Río: Catholics ordered not to accept Constitution of 1917: laws v. religious processions; deportations of foreign priests; closing of church schools, monasteries, convents; requirement that priests register with civil authorities

2. Church Strike: July 1, 1926: lasted three years: no masses, no rites

3. Cristero Revolt: Catholic peasants revolt-terrorism, trains dynamited; atrocities on all sides; school teachers & priests are victims; random violence

4. Assasination on Obregon by José León Toral in Madre Conchita Conspiracy

II. THE MAXIMATO, 1928-1934

A. CALLES LEAVES PRESIDENCY, BUT CONTINUES TO RULE BEHIND THE SCENES

B. CALLES PUPPETS:

1. Emilio Portes Gil (interim)

2. Pascal Ortiz Rubio ("elected" to replace Obregon; journalist/"resigns" after two years)

3. General Abelardo Rodriguez (Tiajuana gangster/warlord)

C. CREATION OF PNR:

1. Labor/Agrarian parties (Obregon personal vehicles) are discarded

2. Created by new syndicate of regional political/military caudillos

D. SHARP TURN TO RIGHT

1. End of agrarian reform

2. Cut funding for rural education

3. Generalized political corruption

4. Cut off support for CROM

5. Persecution of radicals: communists jailed and exiled to Islas Tres Marías

6. Rise of fascist Gold Shirts: street battles with leftists and Jews

III. WHY THE TURN TO THE RIGHT?

A. NATURE OF REVOLUTIONARY LEADERSHIP: MIDDLE-CLASS ROOTS OF SONORA LEADERSHIP

B. PROGRAM OF CAPITALIST DEVELOPMENT: PRIORITY TO NATIONAL BOURGEOISIE



C. US PRESSURES: TREATY OF BUCARELI/PERSONAL DIPLOMACY OF DWIGHT MORROW

D. SELF ENRICHMENT OF MILITARY LEADERS/NEW POLITICAL ELITE: "Revolutionary Capitalists"/ "Revolutionary Family" of Millionaires

E. CONSTITUTION OF 1917: PROJECT FOR REFORM OR PROJECT FOR CONTROL--SUBORDINATION OF LABOR/AGRARIAN MOVEMENTS IN 1920S