What is the Maximate? – Causes and consequences of the Maximato
The Maximato was a period of Mexican history which spanned from 1928 to 1934 during which General Plutarco Elías Calles maintained indirect political control of the nation through puppet presidents. If you want to know more about it, we invite you to stay reading this article.
What does maximum mean?
This term refers to a period of government in which there was a consolidation of political power by the President of Mexico, Plutarco Elías Calles.
During this time, Calles was the true ruler of Mexico, although he did not formally hold the position. The current presidents, Emilio Portes Gil and Pascual Ortiz Rubio, were more like puppets who followed Calles’ orders. This situation was due to the fact that the Mexican Constitution of 1917 had established the limit of a single four-year presidential term, so Calles could not be re-elected as president.
Instead of trying to seek an illegal re-election, Plutarco Elías Calles chose to remain as the leader de facto of the country from his position as president of the National Revolutionary Party (PNR), predecessor of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). In this way, Calles was able to control the different federal governments that followed one another in the Maximato.
How was the origin of the Maximato?
Its beginning dates back to end of the government of President Álvaro Obregón, who ruled Mexico from 1920 to 1924 and then led again in 1928. Obregón had been an important military leader during the Mexican Revolution, having implemented several important reforms during his rule. However, shortly after being re-elected in 1928, Obregón died before assuming the presidential office, a murder that sparked a crisis politics in the country.
Faced with this situation, a group of political and military leaders headed by Plutarco Elías Calles, who had been president between 1924 and 1928, met to find a solution to the crisis. Finally, it was decided that Emilio Portes Gil, who had been Secretary of the Interior, would assume the presidency on an interim basis until elections were called.
However Calles, who was the de facto leader of the PNR, made sure that Portes Gil was a weak and manipulable president. From then on, the Maximato period began, in which Calles exercised power indirectly through the presidents who occupied the presidential chair, until he was replaced by Lázaro Cárdenas in 1934.
What are the characteristics of the Maximato?
Being a period where there were many memorable moments, it has a number of interesting qualities. Next, Maximato features include:
- consolidation of power: During this time Calles exercised indirectly through the presidents of that time, who were puppets and followed their orders. Calles managed to consolidate his power and control the different federal governments that followed one another during the Maximato.
- Modernization: Calles promoted reforms and improvement projects, such as the creation of a national education system and construction of roads and bridges. An agrarian policy that sought to improve the situation of peasants was also implemented.
- Repression: The Calles regime was characterized by the domination and violence against opponents and social movements. Dissidents were persecuted and protests were violently suppressed.
- political control: Calles ran Mexican politics through the National Revolutionary Party (PNR), which became the hegemonic movement in the country. The PNR regulated the different levels of government and had strong control over unions and other social organizations.
- continuity: Although the limitation of a single four-year presidential term was formally respected, Calles managed to remain the de facto leader of the country throughout the period of the Maximatothrough the control of the PNR and the puppet presidents.
What period of history is called Maximato?
It is the period that covered from 1928 to 1934, during which Plutarco Elías Calles exercised power indirectly through the presidents who occupied the presidential chair. This period is known as Maximato because it refers to the “maximum” concentration of power in the hands of Calles, who managed consolidate their control over the government and Mexican politics in general.
The Maximato was characterized by repression and violence against opponents and social movements. as well as by the modernization of the country and the consolidation of the political control of the National Revolutionary Party (PNR), predecessor of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
The Maximato had a great impact on the history of Mexico, since it laid the foundations of the political and economic system that was maintained in the country for several decades afterwards. In addition, the Calles regime influenced the politics and culture of Mexico, generating a series of tensions that still persist today.
What presidents made the Maximato?
During this period, several presidents they occupied the presidential chair of Mexico based on cooperativism and the dictatorial power of Calles. Although all of them were puppets of Plutarco Elías Calles, who actually controlled power indirectly. These presidents were:
- Emilio Portes Gil (1928-1930): He was the first leader of the Maximato and assumed the presidency on an interim basis after the assassination of the elected candidate Álvaro Obregón. During his rule, he promulgated the Amnesty Laweconomic policies were implemented and the situation of the peasants improved.
- Pascual Ortiz Rubio (1930-1932): He was the second puppet president of the Maximato. During his tenure, he repressed student protests and civil liberties were restricted.
- Abelardo L. Rodriguez (1932-1934): He was the third and last president of the Maximato. During his government the Bank of Mexico was created, industrialization was promoted and the situation of workers improved.
In general, the three presidents of the Maximato they were puppets of Calles and they followed his orders to maintain political control of the country. Calles wielded great power throughout the period and managed to consolidate his influence in Mexican politics, laying the groundwork for the regime that would remain in the country for several decades afterward.
What were the principles of the Maximato?
- political continuity: One of the principles was maintain political permanence and avoid sudden changes in the presidency of Mexico. This was achieved through a controlled succession system, where political leaders sympathetic to the dominant ruling group assumed the interim presidency.
- political control: Another fundamental principle of the Maximato was the dominance exercised by the leader in the shadows, in this case Plutarco Elías Calles. Although he did not hold the presidency, he had significant influence on political decisions and the selection of interim presidents.
- stability and order: During the Maximato it was sought maintain political and social balance in Mexico. The objective was to avoid violent conflicts and maintain internal peace through the reconciliation of interests and cooperation between the different groups and factions.
- Preservation of the revolutionary project: One of the principles was the conservation and consolidation of the revolutionary project started with the Mexican Revolution. It sought to maintain the achievements and objectives of the revolution, such as social justice, agrarian reform and the modernization of the country.
- Nationalism and sovereignty: During the Maximato, patriotism and the defense of Mexican sovereignty. Policies were promoted that strengthened the autonomy and control of the government over the internal and external affairs of the country.
What contributions did the Maximato leave?
He left some important contributions in the history of Mexico, although many of them were oriented to consolidate the power of Calles and the PNR. Some of the main contributions of the Maximato are:
- PNR Consolidation: During the Maximato, the PNR became the hegemonic movement in Mexico and strengthened his control over the government and politics of the country. This laid the foundations for the political and economic system that was maintained in Mexico several decades later.
- Modernization: During the Maximato some reforms and modernization projects in the country, such as the creation of the national educational system, the construction of roads and bridges, and the implementation of an agrarian policy that sought to improve the situation of peasants.
- Political stability: The Maximato managed to maintain a certain balance in the country thanks to the control of the PNR and the repression against social movements and opponents. This allowed some reforms and modernization projects to be carried out, although at the cost of freedom and civil rights of the population.
- Influence on culture and politics: The Calles regime had a great effect on traditions and government of Mexico, generating political and social tensions that still persist today. In addition, some of Mexico’s most important artists and writers emerged during this period, such as Diego Rivera and Octavio Paz.
What are the connotations of the Maximato?
has negative connotations due to the authoritarian and repressive characteristics of the Plutarco Elías Calles regime, in addition to the puppet presidents who occupied the presidential chair during that period. Some of the connotations of the Maximato are:
- Authoritarianism: It was characterized by the dictatorship and the lack of freedoms. The Calles government and its successors violently repressed opponents and social movements, which generated a climate of fear and repression in the country.
- Corruption: During the Maximato, the PNR consolidated its control over the government and politics of the country, which generated a political and economic system marked by corruption and patronage. The PNR dominated the different levels of government and had a strong control over the unions and other social organizations.
- continuity: Although the limitation of a single four-year presidential term was respected, Calles managed to maintain himself as the de facto leader of the country throughout the Maximato period, through control of the PNR and puppet presidents. This generated a climate of continuity and lack of political alternation in the country.
- PNR Consolidation: The Maximato laid the foundations for a political and economic system marked by the control of the PNR and the lack of political alternation. This generated a some stability in the countrybut at the cost of the freedom and civil rights of the population.