The 1938 Mexican elections took place in April 1938 for the purpose of choosing the President and Congress of the United States of Mexico. It resulted in the re-election of incumbent President Alvin Silva of the Liberty Party, the first re-election of an incumbent president since Anthony Flores in 1908.
The election took place in the midst of a growing arms race between several major world powers, including Great Britain, the Germanic Confederation, and the U.S.M. The Confederation of North America had also been participating in the arms race under Governor-General Douglas Watson, but Watson's Liberal Party was defeated in February 1938 by the isolationist People's Coalition under Councilman Bruce Hogg. The withdrawal of the C.N.A. from the international stage tipped the balance away from the allied nations of Britain, France, and Japan, to the benefit of the Mexicans and Germans.
Mexico had suffered less from the recession that followed the Panic of 1936 than most of the world's other nations, an outcome that Sobel attributed to the relative prosperity of Kramer Associates. Although K.A. had moved its world headquarters from California to the Philippines two years before, much of its business remained in Mexico, and this was not unduly harmed by the recession. By 1938, K.A. had recovered from the recession, and so had the Mexican economy. President Silva, who had reversed his predecessor's anti-Kramer policies, was able to take credit for Mexico's prosperity. In a campaign speech on 1 April, Silva said, "All around us there is poverty, yet we are rich; all around there is weakness, yet we are strong."
Silva's predecessor, former President Pedro Fuentes, remained popular in the opposition United Mexican Party, and he attempted to gain the party's presidential nomination. However, K.A. President John Jackson opposed Fuentes, and covertly funded his chief rival in the U.M.P., Governor Richard Brace of Jefferson. Brace won the presidential nomination on the fifth ballot, after which Fuentes pledged his support "in the fight to maintain peace and honor in Mexico."
Despite K.A.'s covert support, Silva was able to gain a substantial victory over Brace, which Sobel attributes to growing popular belligerence among the Mexican people. He quotes an editorial from the 14 April 1938 issue of the Mexico City Diario: "The vote would have been different had Watson won his race in February. Now that North America has opted for neutralism, war seems inevitable, and Silva is the man for such a task."
|State||Silva votes||Silva %||Brace votes||Brace %||Total votes|
|Mexico del Norte||unknown||unknown||unknown||unknown||unknown|
Sobel's sources for the 1938 Mexican elections are the 2 April 1938 issue of the Mexico City Journal and the 14 April 1938 issue of the Mexico City Diario; and an interview with Stanley Tulin on 10 January 1971. Election results are from the U.S.M. Statistical Abstract, p. 114.
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