As part of the Allied effort against fascism, Mexico took its new role seriously. Fueled
by ideas of nationalism, Mexicanos responded to its new relationship with the United States in a
México- United States Pre- War Relations and Policy Changes
Elected in 1934, President Lázaro Cárdenas brought stability to México. He is described
as a “President of the People;” a president who would often take the time to listen to the
complaints and concerns of México’s peasant population.4 He was also a strong advocate of
change and implemented numerous reforms. He envisioned a nation empowered by national
identity, unity, and pride. These reforms created more benefits for México’s poor community.
President Cárdenas worked hard to provide better educational programs as well as health and
social benefits for workers. He is most credited for redistributing 49 million acres of land to the
country’s peasant population.5
Nonetheless, problems such as inflation, national debt, and excessive spending persisted.
The country’s relationship with the United States was affected by this crisis as well as other
policies implemented by this country during this time. The Repatriation Movement exercised by
various U.S. states during the 1930’s heightened tension between the two countries. This policy
mandated that “all who looked Mexican,” be deported. Although the specific number of people
deported is unknown, it is estimated that approximately 400,000 Mexican nationals and Mexican
Americans were repatriated during 1929-1935.6 President Cárdenas responded to this crisis by
4 Enrique Krauze, MÉXICO: Biography of Power,1810-1996 (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.,1997), 457.
5 Michael C. Meyer, William L. Sherman, and Susan M. Deeds, The Course of Mexican History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 577-578
6 Manuel G. Gonzáles, Mexicanos: A History of Mexicans in the United States (Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1997), 148.