!Mexico, la patria!: Modernity, national unity, and propaganda during World War II
AuthorRankin, Monica Ann
KeywordsHistory, Latin American.
AdvisorBeezley, William H.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractDuring the 1930s, Mexico was in the middle of a healing process after three decades of revolutionary turmoil and reform. The outbreak of revolution in 1910 had created friction between various interest groups such as the Church, the labor movement, peasants, industrialists, and politicians. In the following decades, divisions among those groups intensified as the country struggled to resolve revolutionary conflict and, in the process, looked for someone to blame. As World War II approached, divisive domestic conditions prompted Mexican government officials to develop their own internal wartime agenda. World War II became a major turning point in the legacy of the Mexican Revolution. It gave the country an opportunity, for the first time since the revolution, to unite against a common external enemy, and to militarize as a united nation against that enemy. The government-sponsored propaganda campaign became an important tool for reuniting Mexicans. The government took advantage of the unity achieved during World War II to promote a modernization and industrialization program during and after the war. A close examination of wartime propaganda reveals aggressive calls to unity mixed with a subtle promotion of modernity and industrialization. In contrast to outside propaganda produced primarily by the United States, the Mexican government's wartime messages used nationalist rhetoric and symbols to defend the country's internal interests during and after the war. U.S. propaganda promoted the idea of the "American Way of Life," a concept which glorified a middle-class consumer lifestyle, led by the United States. While U.S. wartime messages frequently provoked resentment among Mexicans, they also largely succeeded in creating a demand for the consumer goods advertised in the propaganda campaign. Avila Camacho used that demand to solidify popular support for his industrialization agenda. By the end of the war, divisive revolutionary factions that had dominated in the 1930s found themselves significantly weakened by the government's wartime measures. Through a combination of policy and propaganda, President Manuel Avila Camacho put together a wartime program that allowed him to unite the country against a common, external enemy and to pursue an aggressive industrialization program. Most importantly, World War II allowed him to justify his industrialization program as a new direction for the Mexican Revolution.
Degree ProgramGraduate College