What is Centralism?
Centralism is a form of government that is characterized by a central power that brings together all the powers of the State and the necessary powers to create laws that affect the rest of the country.
Centralism is common in Ibero-American countries, influenced by Seville’s centralism, which at that time was the province that decided on the rest. In this sense, centralism is that political system that brings together decision-making in a central power without granting autonomy or sovereignty to the other states.
Centralism in Mexico
After Spain’s withdrawal from Mexican territory, the country’s organization is divided into conservatives and liberals for the creation of the new Republic. In this sense, the conservatives support centralism wanting to establish a central republic and the liberals unite for federalism in a federal republic.
Centralism and federalism
In this political conflict, Mexico goes through a first liberal federalist Constitution in 1824 that is later suppressed and replaced by the conservative and centralist Constitution of 1835. In this way, the first Mexican centralist Republic imposed by Antonio López de Santa Anna became a dictatorship until 1854, when the first discontent with the Ayutla Revolution was unleashed, demanding a liberal reform.
Characteristics of centralism
The Mexican centralism reflected in the first centralist Republic of 1835 and preceded by Antonio López de Santa Anna, suppresses the 1824 Constitution of a liberal and federalist nature. The Constitution of 1835 is characterized for being the first Republic of centralism.
“The seven laws of centralism” meets the characteristics that Mexico will take in the years after its establishment. They are:
- The Central Republic as a form of government
- States lose their autonomy by safeguarding limited powers
- The official religion is Catholic
- The 3 powers of the state are: the executive, the legislative and the judicial.
- Added the fourth power called Supreme conservative power that is made up of 5 people
- The presidency is 8 years
- Citizen freedoms are restricted
Centralism and dictatorship
Mexican centralism occurs when the first centralist Republic was established in 1835 when Antonio López de Santa Anna returned to power. The Constitution of “The seven centralist laws” is established and together with the establishment of the second centralist Republic in 1843, Santa Anna begins his dictatorship.
Only after the Ayutla Revolution in 1854 did the first steps towards Mexican liberal reform begin to be seen.
Difference between centralism and federalism
The main difference between centralism and federalism lies in the autonomy and sovereignty of the different states that make up the country. In Mexico, for example, the first federal republic is reflected in the 1924 Constitution, which determines that all states are free, while the first central republic with the 1835 Constitution, also called the “Seven Centralist Laws”, was they restrict the powers of states subject to central power.
Democratic centralism is a political ideology for the organization of political parties proposed in the thoughts of Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Lenin (1870-1924). Democratic centralism is that the political decisions of a party are made by democratically elected bodies for all party members.