The 20th and the 21st centuries have experienced numerous changes across the globe in regard to social, economic and political dimensions. As a result, different nations across the globe have gone through transitions that have shaped the way their societies are perceived across the globe. However, among the notable changes that been experienced across the globe is leadership. Nations from different regions of the world have experienced both the good and the bad side of leadership. Among these nations is Mexico. Mexico as a nation has gone through various transitions in terms of leadership or rather political regimes that have seen this nation move from a one-party regime to a democratic nation. There are various regimes that have been seen in this nation. Among these regimes are the Porfirio regime and the democratic regime that began in 2000 led by President Vincente Fox.
To begin with, President Porfirio Diaz came into power in Mexico and ruled between 1876-1880 and 1884-1911. His leadership is associated with the military since he had been a military general for a long period of time. Similarly, President Diaz had created a form of government that held a lot of power over the nation and the people of Mexico. In this regard, the leadership of Porfirio Diaz was perceived as a dictatorship leadership. Incidentally, there arose a lot of uprisings that finally led to its collapse in 1911 after President Diaz fled to France when he could no longer handle the resistance against him by the people of Mexico. Another notable regime in the history Mexico is the regime under President Vincente Fox that came into power in July, 2000 after the elections were carried out. This regime ended a long period of one party leadership in the history of Mexico. There are various issues; political, social and economic issues that are associated with the two leadership or rather regimes and the impact that these leadership have or had on the Mexican society and thus generally the future of Mexico as a country in Latin America (Lambert, 1967).
The Porfirio Diaz regime lasted for nearly three and half decades and was characterized by the rule of an iron fist. During the whole period of this leadership or rather regime, resistance was not tolerated within the boundaries of Mexico. As a result of this, President Diaz managed to lead the people of Mexico effectively, not because they adored him as their leader but because anybody who dared to rise against his leadership was severely punished. His rule was not felt among the common citizens of Mexico alone but also among the whole group of leaders who had been appointed to lead Mexico in various capacities. As a result of his authority, these leaders were solely answerable to him in every matter, whether they fully supported him or not. The affirming of his authority among the people of Mexico and the whole leadership forced most of these leaders mostly from the legislature to become his loyal friends (Lambert, 1967).
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On the other hand, whereas affirming one’s authority may lead to fear among people in regard to one’s leadership and as a result force people to comply with the leadership demands of such a regime, this does go on forever. Opposition will always arise to distract the interests of such a leadership. The Leadership of President Diaz was not an exception. There are different groups that emerged to challenge his style of leadership. However, the president did not ignore them but rather came up with tactics that were employed to deal with these groups. To begin with, he was able to gratify the personal desires or wants of people and groups whose interests had a highly probability of interfering with the leadership of Diaz. Whereas this was the case for dealing with some of these groups, President Diaz employed a tactic of divide and rule whereby he would use all the machinery and resources he had to infuriate these group and set them against each other. This resulted to the fact that these groups were unable to meet and unite against him (Lambert, 1967, p.158).
In this regard therefore, Diaz managed to make alliances with people both who supported him and those that opposed him. One of the notable factors about his leadership lies in the period within which Diaz stepped aside from his leadership and allowed someone else to hold the presidential position for him for a period of several years. This occurred in 1880 to 1884. During this period, Diaz allowed his political ally Manuel González to serve in his place for four years. However, in order to retain and maintain power within his domain, he banned any policy that would allow reelection during the period of his leadership (Boyd, 1999).
Diaz as the president of Mexico worked on concentrating political power around himself and around his political allies. It is important for one to realize that much of the political control tasks were made easy by the fact that Diaz controlled the mind of most leaders who served during his leadership period. As a result, he faced no difficult in laying down his leadership strategies and decisions in regard to his government. Therefore, it was difficult for any other person to take power from him as anybody who showed special interest in leadership was eliminated with his dictatorship mechanism or was disintegrated using propaganda that was propagated by President Diaz’s machinery (Lambert, 1967).
There are various policies that were pursued by Diaz’s government. To begin with, enhanced the foreign policy of Mexico and created conducive environment for investment that attracted foreign investment from the British and American investors. Whereas his aim of strengthening foreign policies and foreign investment ties was to sustain his political power, President Diaz managed to create an center of attraction of foreign money that enhanced the economy of his nation, which made Mexico to be equal to a first world economy. His policies also favored people with big or rather large farms across Mexico and as a result, individual people owned as much as twelve thousand acres of land. In this regard, the Porfirio regime worked on eliminating the Indians from within its territories and giving their land to factories and industries (Boyd, 1999, p.255).
The policies that formulated by the Porfirio regime also worked on creating social classes and widening the already existing classes. This was as a result of the fact that those people who were more powerful within the boundaries of Mexico were favored and given an opportunity to prosper even the more whereas those that had no power were suppressed and their land taken away. In any case, any person who dared complain about the Porfirio regime’s policies was treated harshly by the army or the police force that had been created by President Diaz. For instance, the peasants were suppressed by the army that was deployed by President Diaz to prevent any uprising against his policies (Boyd, 1999).
During the reign of Porfirio regime, there was no political freedom that would have allowed a person to express him or herself the way he or she wished. In this regard therefore, the Porfirio regime suppressed every form of opposition that stood against his path of leadership. Opponents were bought by government resources or bribed to drop their agendas of pursuing leadership interests. Most of these opponents were bribed to join the government and be on President Diaz’s side (Boyd, 1999). Those who refused to accept these bribes were thoroughly beaten by the police and the army whereas some were made to disappear never to be found again. This created fear in most people and therefore, most of them opted to join the government rather than face its wrath. On the other hand, the legislative house was controlled by President Diaz who had a lot of influence on most of its members. Therefore, they dared not oppose him. In this line of thought, the governors were President Diaz appointees who were his friends. Incidentally, there was no political freedom in Mexico during the reign of Porfirio Diaz as the president of Mexico.
On the contrary, the democratic regime that came into power led by President Vincente Fox was characterized by a decentralized power system. Fox came into power when in a transition that saw Mexico move from a one party state to a multiparty state. His leadership style focused on uniting the political fronts in Mexico by involving them in matters of the nation. In contrast with President Porfirio Diaz’s leadership, President Vincente Fox did not resist any opposition against his government. Instead he welcomed it as a prerequisite for democracy. To begin with, President Fox allowed the three parties that existed in Mexico to work on a power sharing scheme under which the ousted PRI party was allowed to control several states and the local government, the PRD party controlled the city government of Mexico whereas President Fox’s party PAN controlled most seats in the legislature and the presidency of Mexico. As a result of this, the Fox or rather Vincente regime saw an increase of political autonomy or freedom in terms of freedom of political expression (Loaeza, 2006, p.3–8).
There are various policies that were formulated under the new regime, i.e. the regime led by Vincente Fox. First, President Fox vowed that his leadership would work on restoring democracy that had been like a dream among the Mexican leadership. This would allow people to share freely their political views without being victimized by the government or anybody in a position of power. In this regard, he began by sharing his leadership with the opposition who performed better than had been expected. On the other hand, Fox developed a policy that was geared towards taking care of the judicial needs of the Mexican emigrants in the United States (Associated Press, 2001). Similarly, he also emphasized on a policy that would deter nations from interfering with the political or economic status of other nations. In this respect, his policies were aligned towards healing the economy of Mexico by increasing access to quality education and the opportunities that were available for the Mexicans. In this regard, stamping out corruption was among his top agenda (Schneider, 2007).
One similarity that has been noted between the two regimes is their foreign policy in regard to economic development. The Porfirio regime worked on enhancing its foreign policy to attract investors from abroad from countries such as the United States and Britain. Similarly, eliminating corruption and creating an enhanced environment for foreign investment was among the policy reforms that were pursued by President Fox leadership. Despite this similarity, it is important to note that these regimes also differed greatly. The Porfirio regime was a dictatorship regime that did not allow democracy to flow as a way of dealing with issues on the political forefront. However, the regime by Fox promoted democracy as way of dealing with political issues within the leadership system in Mexico. This also eliminated the iron rule that had characterized the Mexican regimes in the past (Schneider, 2007).
In essence, the regime change in Mexico was brought about by several forces and reasons whose effect cannot be underrated. In line with this, for any change to occur, there must have been an existing regime. In connection to this, in the early years before the issue of democracy came into being, there was the regime of Porfirion Diaz who happened to be a president of Mexico in 1876-1880 and 1884-1911. Following this kind of a government under the leadership of Diaz, it was evident by then that his reign was during a crucial as well as an era that was marked by great development in the Mexican population.
In the larger perspective, this regime was marked with dictatorship in the sense that president managed to manipulately lead the nation. This can best be described as some form of abuse of power. In particular, Diaz employed some kind of superhuman tact that made him to rule for a very long time as the president of Mexico (Foweraker & Craig1990). In specific terms, Diaz regime managed to maintain strong colonial traditions. He also managed to achieve so much of material achievements, avoided domestic conflict but on the way of progression he was caught up in a sense of repressive tactics as his regime was being undermined by its inborn internal contradictions.
Diaz can be described to have been a cunning politician using manipulation for his regime to remain in power. Remarkably, he used a slogan that one had to accept his political terms or face the consequences of failing to face them. He was able to create a systematic and methodical regime with a halt military mindset(Foweraker & Craig1990). At the same time, his regime brought about a lot of peace and development in Mexico. Stability was in the economical sector and in the other related sectors was realized during this period. Arguably, this regime was based on little politics and plenty of administration. In this context, he was presumably advocating for revolution. However, his quest and fight for control, profits along with progress led his people to a state of ambiguity. It happened that he was so much intrigued with the desire to rule and maintain control in the political arena.
Following this point, he maintained a regime whereby all leaders were answerable to him as the president. Further in his quest for more political power, he managed to suppress the media and the court system. At least with this factor, he could manage to carry out his dictatorship acts without being questioned. In combination with this, he engaged in some forms of coercion along with co-optation that made his being in power more secure(Foweraker & Craig1990). In regard to making his power secure, he catered for private desires of different groups of interest at the same time playing them off. Concerning the competing forces he used to give them political positions that they could hardly deny with the likes of Mestizoas.
Tactfully, in relation to the Roman Catholic Church, he neither protected it nor did he interfere with it. By so doing, he was unable to differ with it. He made sure that he gave all the groups that could potentially overthrow him, some taste of what they really needed. This proved to be an effective tool towards maintaining his political power. Additionally, he used the military and the police to carry out his manipulative ways.
Following an interview with a US journalist, Diaz agreed that he was ready to accept democracy and other candidates to run for the presidency as he would retire and allow for this. In relation to this announcement, many clubs were formed choosing their candidates who would run for the presidency. As a result, Nuevo Leon and Bernardo Reyes as governors were selected to run for the seat (Foweraker & Craig1990). However, Reyes was sent for exile in Europe during the elections since Diaz presumably saw him as a threat. In the unfolding of events, as groups settled for their presidential candidates, Diaz changed his mind and no longer wanted to retire but instead he chose Francisco Madero who was an aristocratic but a democratic learning reformer. In the long run, although Madero was similar in ideology with Diaz, Diaz did not approve for him.
As a result, he had him jailed during the election that took place in 1910. Equivalence seemingly became the only reality as Diaz could not withstand what he had said earlier about the democracy and change. Despite him having such like information, he let the elections to go ahead. Although Madero had gathered a lot of support, the results of the election brought his support to null as Diaz was given greater support and was re-elected with the greatest number of votes compared to Madero (Foweraker & Craig1990). This was the point that brought about the great anger throughout the Mexican Citizenry that perpetuated way for change of regime to a more democratic one. This was a great fraud that led to many of the citizen to resolve to fight it.
Under the leadership of Madero, a revolt was done against Diaz. This led to Diaz being forced out of office and eventually fleeing to France. This marked the beginning of the Mexican revolution that came along with democracy and change. Commonly, in most of all the elections Diaz won, he achieved it through rigging of votes and suppressing any potential candidate who seemingly posed a threat. Another thing that happened during Diaz regime was that he sold much of the land to foreign investors especially from North America.
A large percentage of the population in the Diaz regime was faced by a problem of landlessness. When peasants organized for revolts and strikes, they were suppressed by the police. At one incident, the Mexicans were forced to buy food from US as much of its land was taken under the leadership of Diaz (Fox, Quesada & Allyn,2007). The acts of Diaz from a broader point of view had caused a lot of hatred emanating from the Mexican population.
Together with this, it is important to bring into view the things that brought about the downfall of the Diaz Regime. Having stated some of them in the previous paragraphs, the greatest reason for the fall of the regime was brought about by a revolt led by Madera. The Mexicans were fed up by the dictatorship leadership that was being imposed by Diaz. In all the cases, men were being oppressed, and deprived of their rights as citizens. Interests of the foreigners who invested in Mexico were served in preference to those of the Mexicans. In this sense, the land of Mexico was termed as a mother of foreign investors and a step mother of Mexicans (Foweraker & Craig1990). This is to suggest that most of the Mexicans suffered under a dictatorship leadership that brought about great oppression.
In the same line of thought, the kind of power control under Diaz led to some kind of agitation by the population, from fellow governors, businessmen and the common man in Mexico. Due to this factor, the Mexicans were now craving for new regime that would lead to a revolution and deliver them from a cruel leadership that led to the oppression of many through land ownership, labor relations between the worker and the manager along with other related issues (Fox, Quesada & Allyn, 2007).
Unquestionably, forces and circumstances that opened the possibility of regime change were made the fact that the population was tired of the kind of repression that was posed on them by Diaz regime. Another point that contributed to regime change to a more democratic one was the fact that peasants were exploited, priority given to foreign investors and the fact that the president was self centered abusing his power by manipulation as well as taking advantage of the citizens. Along with this, his interview with the U.S journalist paved way for many of the people to look for change (Fox, Quesada & Allyn,2007). This was a good room and opportunity for the citizens to be in a position to invent ways of overthrowing the regime of Diaz.
Apart from this fact, there was a growing wave of strikes and agrarian unrest towards this regime along with an increasing rebellious mood among the ever broader sections of the people of Mexico. The life of the white collar employees in the Diaz regime was sharply limited and hostility spread among them. Subsequently, this led to much aggression of the population along with the fact that the Mexico was sold off to the gringos. Due to these forces and circumstances, Diaz was forced out of office and fled to France finally dying on 2, July, 1915 in Paris. Under such conditions, change of regime was inevitable.
Needless to say, the change of regime from Diaz regime to a more democratic one was not one of the smoothest types of transitions. This is given to the reason that it cost a lot of strikes and agrarian unrest involving revolts in order to restore order. Particularly, the violence had to be involved in forcing Diaz out of office (Fox, Quesada & Allyn,2007). This was not just a matter of peace and smooth running of events but rather involved energy and force in order to achieve freedom. Aggression and some kind of mood of rebellion marked transition. In quintessence, the Mexican revolution or regime change in simpler terms called for an armed struggle that was led by Francisco I. Madero. Notably, the revolt of the Mexicans included several socialist, liberal, anarchist, populist and agrarianist movements that called for change.
In the course of time, the Mexican revolt brought about the order of a multi- sided war which was basically a civil war. This continued until 1920s with one of the war that led to a lot of bloodshed of which it was the one termed as Cristero war. Eventually, the regime transition brought about the national revolutionary Party which was later named as PRI in 1946. On a practical level, under the leadership of several different leaders, it held power until 2000 when Vincente Fox regime came into power. During the installation of the new regime under the leadership of Vincente Fox, Ernesto Zedilo lost power to Vincente with a more democratic ways of leadership. Previously, Mexicans had seen PRI as the only type of government. However, 2000 Vincent Fox was elected and he got votes with a landslide as people wanted to try a pluralistic democracy (Rubio-Freidberg & Purcell, 2004). The reason why the Vincente Fox regime won in 2000 unanimously was perpetuated by the population’s quest for change and trial of a multi party democracy.
From the above given information, it is important to state that there is a great difference between the regimes that ruled in Mexico with the example of Diaz regime of dictatorship and oppression and the one after 2000 of Vincente Fox with a multiparty democratic party. As stipulated above, the Mexico regime after 2000 was a democratic one giving the people the advantage of voicing out their concerns. It gave freedom for people without oppressing them unlike the Diaz regime of dictatorship, manipulation and suppression. Another point to note is that the two regimes and the transition between the two involved a very rough transition involving a lot of blood shed.
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