Alemán Valdés, Miguel (1900–1983)

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Alemán Valdés, Miguel (1900–1983)

Miguel Alemán Valdés (b. 29 September 1900; d. 27 September 1983), president of Mexico (1946–1952). Alemán represents a notable political generation in twentieth-century Mexico. He was the first civilian to hold the presidency for a full term after a series of revolutionary generals, a feat that marked the beginning of the dominance of the professional politician in Mexico. His administration is remembered for the young, college-educated politicians appointed to his cabinet; for corruption in high office; for an emphasis on state-supported industrialization; for the reform of the government-controlled party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Insti-tucional—PRI); for the decline in the number of military officers in political office; for additions to the National University; and for increased ties between politicians and business elites. Alemán produced one of the two most influential political groups in contemporary politics (the Alemanistas), one that influenced decision making through the 1970s.

Alemán was born in the small rural community of Sayula, Veracruz, on Mexico's east coast, the son of a farmer who became a general during the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920). He studied in various towns before moving to Mexico City to enroll at the National Preparatory School. Alemán continued his studies at the National Autonomous University, where he received his law degree in 1928. Although he initially practiced law, specializing in labor disputes, he soon entered the political arena.

Alemán's first post was as an adviser to the Secretary of Agriculture and Livestock (1928–1930); he subsequently was appointed a judge of the Superior Court of the Federal District from 1930 to 1934. At the age of thirty-four, he represented his home state in the Senate, and two years later he achieved national recognition by winning election as governor of Veracruz (1936–1939). Before completing his term of office, Alemán was appointed head of General Manuel Ávila Camacho's presidential campaign in 1939. Following Ávila Camacho's successful bid for the presidency, Alemán was named minister of internal affairs (1940–1945), a position that he used to set his career on a course toward the presidency in 1946.

After leaving government, Alemán directed Mexico's tourism agency from 1961 until his death. He became a major figure in business circles, developing holdings in print and electronic media, including Televisa, Mexico's largest television network. The president's son, Miguel Alemán Velasco, has continued to be an important figure in Mexican television.

See alsoMexico, Political Parties: Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) .


George S. Wise, El México de Alemán (1952).

Miguel Alemán, Miguel Alemán contesta (1975).

Luis Medina, Civilismo y modernización del autoritarismo, historia de la Revolución mexicana (1979).

Additional Bibliography

Krauze, Enrique. El sexenio de Miguel Alemán. Mexico City: Clio, 1999.

Martínez, María Antonia. El despegue constructivo de la revolución: Sociedad y política en el alemanismo. México: Miguel Angel Porrúa, 2004.

                                     Roderic Ai Camp

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Alemán Valdés, Miguel (1900–1983)

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