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Mexican-American
Lázaro Cardenas & Mexican Populism

The Early Years/ The Birth of Populism Lázaro Cárdenas del Río (May 21, 1895 – October 19, 1970) was President of Mexico from 1934 to 1940. From Cárdenas plebian roots, in the lower-middle class he eked out a substantial, moving and largely successful leadership role in a reformative Mexico. Born in the village of Jiquilpan, Michoacán, Cárdenas supported his widowed mother and seven younger siblings from the age of sixteen. His many professional pursuits included a tax collector, a printer’s devil (apprentice to a printer) and a jail keeper, all by the age of eighteen. Cárdenas had very little formal education, leaving school at eleven to help support his family he often sought opportunities to further his own knowledge, as can be seen by his choices of profession before the age of eighteen, additionally Lázaro Cárdenas was a consummate student of history seeking to understand and learn about all the national and international historical underpinnings of Mexico and the world. When Cárdenas was young he sought to become a teacher but was fouled in his plan by being drawn fully into the politics and military of Mexico, at a time when Mexico was in serious transition. (Wikipedia 2009, “Lázaro Cárdenas”) The Mexican Revolution drew Cárdenas, as it did many others into service of the new government, after Victoriano Huerta overthrew the former President Francisco Madero. Cárdenas was a supporter of Plutarco Elías Calles as the new president of Mexico and was rewarded, after his successful bid, for appointment as the governor of his home province, Michoacán in 1928. (Fallow 2001, 11) His programs were popular and needed as he developed infrastructure with particular emphasis on road building, school building, and education promotion in general, land reform and universal social security. These days as governor, the acquisition of resources and development of his community, as well as his plebian roots all contributed to

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