First Advisor

Friedrich Schuler

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






Portland State University. Department of History.



Physical Description

1 online resource (150 p.)


The 1920s and 1930s in Mexico were characterized by a period of social, political and economic reconstruction following the military phase of the Mexican Revolution from 191O to 1920. The Sonoran Dynasty, dominated by military generals Alvaro Obregon and Plutarco Elias Calles, ruled the Mexican government from 1920 to 1934. More specifically, during the period known as the Maximato (1928-34), Calles, the Jefe Maximo, attempted to contro1 three different presidents from behind the scenes. It was not until December 1934, when Lazaro Cardenas began his six year term as President of Mexico, that the Sonoran Dynasty officia11y ended. This thesis focuses on Abelardo Rodriguez, the third president of the Maximato from September 1932 to December 1, 1934. Historians have written little about Rodriguez's presidency because he is viewed strictly as a puppet president under Calles. The intent of this research is first to extract Rodriguez from obscurity and shed some light on his substantial contributions to Mexico's post revolutionary economic and social reconstruction as interim President. And second, to reveal his role not as puppet number three of the Maximato but as a political leader with his own agenda. Rodriguez was chosen by Calles to be Interim President. However, while in office he gradually shifted his allegiance from Calles to Cardenas as Cardenas wielded more power, replacing Calles collaborators in his administration with Cardenas proponents. From that perspective the Rodriguez administration became a transitional government which peacefully shifted power from the Maximato to Cardenismo. The Mexican Six Year Plan developed in 1933 reflected this new shift in power. My research will show that Abelardo Rodriguez aggressively pursued the implementation of the Six Year Plan during 1934. More importantly, he interjected his own interpretation, which included federal policies that reflected a mix of capitalist economic philosophy and New Deal social policies, learned from his U.S.-Mexican border relationships while governor of Baja California. As a result, this research concludes that Rodriguizmo, acting as an independent force, laid most of the foundations for the successes President Cardenas achieved between 1935 and 1937, something historians totally credit to Cardenas.


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