National Revolutionary Party (PNR)

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National Revolutionary Party (PNR)

Ex-president Plutarco Elías Calles (1924–1928) and other leading government officials founded the historic PNR in 1929 to provide an institutionalized means for maintaining the post-revolutionary leadership, specifically that of Calles and his collaborators, in control following the assassination of recently reelected President Álvaro Obregón. The party brought together numerous regional and local political organizations headed by important figures loyal to the national leadership, and it was financed through membership fees paid by government bureaucrats and members of government-affiliated unions. The party played a formative role in developing allegiances among influential political groups, most notably organized labor, organized peasants, and members of professional organizations, especially teachers and government employees. Members of these organizations formally were required to become party members, thus providing it with a broad national membership and a secure financial base.

The PNR became one of the most important vehicles through which Mexico was able to achieve political continuity unlike that of any other Latin American country, and, equally important, to subordinate the military to civilian control. Initially, it proved to be important in the career backgrounds of future Mexican presidents, and Lázaro Cárdenas (1934–1940) was the last president to serve as the party's president. Under his presidential leadership, the PNR was transformed in 1938 to the Party of the Mexican Revolution Party (PRI), having won every presidential contest from 1929 through 2000. Although the PNR established a national development plan in 1934, with strong ideological convictions, the party evolved largely into a pragmatic electoral vehicle capable of electing its members, with or without fraud, to local, state, and national offices. In the 2000 presidential race Vicente Fox of the Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) defeated the PRI's candidate. In 2006 the PRI fell to third place in the presidential election.

See alsoCalles, Plutarco Elías; Cárdenas del Río, Lázaro; 'Mexico, Political Parties: Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).


Robert C. Scott, Mexican Government in Transition (1964).

Frank Branderburg, The Making of Modern Mexico (1964).

L. Vincent Padgett, The Mexican Political System (1966).

Luis Javier Garrido, El Partido de la revolución institucionalizada (1982).

Dale Story, The Mexican Ruling Party (1986).

Additional Bibliography

Alanís Enciso, Fernando Saúl. El gobierno del general Lázaro Cárdenas, 1934–1940: Una visión revisionista. San Luis Potosí, Mexico: El Colegio de San Luis, 2000.

Fallaw, Ben. Cárdenas Compromised: The Failure of Reform in Postrevolutionary Yucatán. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001.

Vaughan, Mary K. Cultural Politics in Revolution: Teachers, Peasants, and Schools in Mexico, 1930–1940. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1997.

                                        Roderic Ai Camp

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National Revolutionary Party (PNR)

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National Revolutionary Party (PNR)