POLITICS OF MEXICO.
Spain ruled Mexico for three centuries, administering a vast economic, .
political, and religious empire in the interests of the imperial country, its .
kings, and its representatives in North America. Colonial policy was designed .
to extract wealth from New Spain (Mexico) and to limit possibilities for .
Spaniards in the New World to benefit from agriculture, commerce, or .
industry without at the same time benefiting Spain. It was also designed to .
ensure commitment to the Roman Catholic religion.
In 1810, however, a parish priest in central Mexico named Miguel Hidalgo .
issued a rallying cry to a group assemble in a parish church in the town of .
Dolores. He called for an end to Spanish misrule. At the head of a motley .
band of rebels, he began the first of a series of wars of independence that .
pitted rebels against the Spanish crown for eleven years. Despite the fact that .
independence from Spain was recognized in 1821, Mexico struggled to create .
a stable and legitimate government for decades thereafter (Grindle 382-383). .
Mexico's political model theoretically has much in common with that of the .
United States. As with the U.S. government, Mexico's government is divided .
into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. In Mexico, however, .
the executive branch dominates the other branches to such an extent that the .
country effectively has a political system that is controlled by its president. .
For most of the 20th century, only one political party, the government-.
controlled Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), played an influential role .
in politics or in the decision-making process. After it was founded in 1929, the .
government party monopolized most national political offices. The PRI did .
not lose a senate seat until 1988 or a gubernatorial race until 1989. It lost the .
presidency for the first time in 2000, when Vicente Fox of the National Action .