When you think about forward-thinking countries and equal rights, Mexico might not be the first country that springs to mind. Especially given their decades of labor law problems and massive drug cartel problems. Still, to this day you hear about whole orchestra bands walking into the wrong village and the wrong time, and never be seen again. However, if you check through the annals of history then you will find that the constitution of Mexico was and is one of the most forward-thinking legal documents of its time.
It was approved by the constitutional congress of Mexico in February 5th, 1917 and was a successor to Mexico’s early constitution of 1857. It was drafted in Santiago de Queretaro, and historians look at it as a true social breakthrough in terms of humanity and peaceful living. This is because it is the first time such a document outlines social rights. The constitution of Mexico became so well regarded after it was signed, that many countries modeled their constitutions after it. Such as the Weimar Constitution of 1919 or the Russian Constitution of 1918, many of the social reforms came about following the demands of the popular classes during the Mexican Revolution.
The articles that were added portrayed a big change in Mexican political philosophy and undoubtedly had wider implications for societies all around the world. Many of the articles also were put in place to restrict the immense power of the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico, but without a doubt, the biggest change came in Article 3.
Article 3 guaranteed that education should exist for everyone, that there should be a free education system in place that was mandatory and secular. This was a big step forward for many of the popular and working classes had never had access to education before.
Another great reform that was the first of its kind, was that this constitution put in place laws for labor. This protected the labor sector, put laws in place to ensure that workers were not being taken of advantage of by business owners. Many of these reforms seem only logical and natural to have in place nowadays, but at the time they were immense social reforms, it is amazing to think that it all started in Mexico.