American corporations were vital to the Mexican economy because they were so deeply invested in most major industries. Under the rule of Porfirio Diaz American citizens and businesses were treated like royalty because they had so much economic power. All American citizens and businesses enjoyed immunity from the Mexican legal system. The vast majority of wealth was owned by foreign investors who were involved in every major industry. Ninety percent of mines in Mexico were owned by foreign investors. Majors U.S. corporations such as U.S. Smelting, Standard Oil and the Guggenheim corporation were all deeply invested in the Mexican economy.
U.S. Standard Oil Played a Huge Role in American Politics and Foreign Policy. Click for Hyperlink

Francisco Madero, the first president elected after the fall of Porifirio Diaz's regime, was neither a radical nor a Porfirista. Originally, Madero had the support of the United States during his struggle against Diaz. However, when it became clear that Madero was not willing to grant special favors to the American corporations, he quicly lost the support of the United States. He "warned foreign investors that the crony system that had operated under Diaz was dead" [1] which rapidly made him very unpopular. His second strike was allowing trade unions to form and being tolerant of strikes. These practices were not take well by American capitalists.

President Woodrow Wilson used "Dollar Diplomacy" to attempt to control pieces of the Mexican Revolution. When Wilson was attempting to force President Huerta from power, Wilson used the United States' economic power to manipulate international politics. In order to extinguish British support for Huerta's regime, Wilson agreed to charge one flat uniform rate on all British cargo that passed through the Panama canal. This agreement put Huerta's government in a very tight spot financially.

The Mexican Constitution of 1917 was one of the most progressive and revolutionary documents of the time period. Article 27 declared the nation of Mexico to be the original owner of all land, water, and subsoil. It also declared that the state can expropriate any such property without compensation. American corporations realized that if Article 27 was implemented, it could have potentially ruined the two major industries that the were controlled by foreign interests: oil and mining. According to Article 27 both properties could have been expropriated by the government without any compensation. Obviously, this article faced extreme opposition from the capitalistic United States. The United States placed lots of pressure on Carranza to give some sort of gurantee that it would not be employeed against any foreign interests. Carranza refused.

[1] Keen, Benjamin and Keith Haynes. A History of Latin America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.
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