It was seven years since the beginning of the Mexican Revolution, on Feb. 5, 1917, when President Venustiano Carranza announced Mexico's new constitution. The document was formally called the Constitucion Politica de los Estados Unidos de Mexicanos. It was intended to restore land to native Americans, preserve the separation of church and state, and reform the country's economy and education system.
Constitution Initially Included Women's Rights Clause
The Mexican constitution of 1917 was ratified by members of a constitutional convention, who were publicly elected. The document, which was seen as progressive for its time, attempted to syncretize public demand for land ownership reform with important precepts of societal theory. Interestingly, the constitution is often referred to as the most liberal political document of the 20th century because it included progressive clauses covering land reform, women's rights (which were later removed), and a complicated labor code. Nevertheless, it was not an immediate succes. The reforms offered by the constitution did not become a political reality until decades later.
The original Constitucion Politica de los Estados Unidos de Mexicanos translated from Spanish into English can be read in its entirety for those who want to learn more about the topic.
Killing of President Delayed Implementation
A major setback to the full implementation of the constitutional rights afforded by Mexico's 1917 constitution happened in 1920, when President Venustiano Carranza was deposed and later killed. In fact, it was not until the end of World War II that Mexico began to experience some semblance of political stability. Miguel Alemán Valdés was elected president of Mexico in 1946, after the war had stoked the flame of industrialism in Mexico. During Valdés' presidency, industrial manufacturing became the pillar of a more stable Mexican economy, and he became the first in a long line of popularly elected presidents.
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