How The Great Depression Impacted Mexico (You Might Just Be Surprised)

How The Great Depression Impacted Mexico (You Might Just Be Surprised)
Shelah A Johnson

Shelah A Johnson

The recipient of 9 awards from The Society for Technical Communication, is also a published photographer and has produced and directed more than 40 lifestyle broadcast segments focused on eco and small space living.

When most people think about The Great Depression, they think about how The Great Depression impacted American culture. However, the effects of The Great Depression were not limited to the United States of America. The Great Depression impacted the world, including Mexico. How did The Great Depression impact Mexico? Let’s take a look at some of the ways that The Great Depression affected people living in Mexico. You might just be surprised by what you learn.

Why the Great Depression Impacted Mexico

To understand the effects that The Depression had on Mexico, you need to first understand why it impacted Mexico in the first place. The effects of The Great Depression became after the crash of the United States stock market in October of 1929. This created a ripple effect that impacted not only the United States but the rest of the world

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As the United States economy suffered, so did countries that traded with the United States or had any economic connection to the United States. This created more ripple effects in just about every country around the world.

As you will soon find out, it should be noted that not every country suffered the same economic and social hardships during the era of The Great Depression. Some countries were able to stabilize and even improve their economic situations, staving off the worse of the Depression’s side effects during this period.

What Were the Effects of the Great Depression on Mexico?

Mexico suffered both drops and gains during The Great Depression, depending on the industry involved and the passage of time from the initial 1929 stock market crash.

For example, the mining industry saw a swift 32% drop in export prices between 1929 and 1932. Overall exports dropped by about 21% during this same period. However, these exporting prices gradually improved from 1932 onwards as Mexico’s economic situation improved.

Industries and Sectors Affected by the Depression

Another area impacted by the initial stock market crash of 1929 was the national income. Starting in 1929, the national income in Mexico dropped significantly in many vital sectors. One reason for this is that sectors important for Mexico’s domestic economy, such as railroads, petroleum, and other industrial-based sectors, suffered heavy losses after the initial crash of 1929.

But this negative impact was not necessarily long-lasting. Some industries began to recover shortly after the initial drop of 1929. After the crash of 1929, the Mexican government nationalized the railroad industry. Other industries were nationalized throughout the 1930s and 1940s. This helped to improve the stability of these industries and, in turn, ensure more stable and higher wages for workers in those sectors.

Improvement and Stabilization

The United States saw a drastic decline in almost every sector. Several sectors in Mexico actually improved during the era of The Great Depression. For instance, the agricultural industry gradually improved throughout the 1930s. Rural and urban employment rates also improved due to increased demand for workers. This is a sharp contrast to the United States, which was not only in the throughs of The Great Depression but also The Dust Bowl. The poor planting practices throughout the Midwest and Southern Plains eroded soil, leading to massive dust storms and economic devastation and igniting the greatest internal migration in U.S. history.

While The Great Depression impacted Mexico, the hardships suffered by people in other countries–especially the United States. It was not as drastic in Mexico due to its gradually improving economy during the 1930s.


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