What is the Carranza Doctrine?

The Carranza doctrine Refers mainly to the foreign policy of former Mexican President Venustiano Carranza who ruled the United States between 1917 and 1920.

Venustiano Carranza, besides being president, was an important figure for Mexico in the military and economic field. By its influence, the doctrine that proposed had a great impact in the development of the country and its international relations.

What is the Carranza Doctrine? Venustiano Carranza, former Mexican president

Specifically, the doctrine Carranza was consigned in an official document through which Carranza clearly planted the sense of subordination that Mexico lived with respect to external forces. The document was printed by Mexico's foreign affairs secretariat.

The document was the result of a presidential message issued by Carranza on September 1, 1918. It contained proposals for legislation that sought greater dignity and independence.

Main ideas of the Carranza Doctrine

The main approaches of the Carranza doctrine can be summarized in 7 points:

1-Equitable sovereignty for all states of all governments.

2-Respect for the sovereignty and laws of other countries and respect for self-determination.

3-No intervention, for any reason, of one country in the affairs of another.

4-The diplomacy used by the interests of civilization and the construction of brotherhood, not as an instrument of oppression against weaker countries.

5-Each state must maintain strict neutrality on disputes between other states.

6-Conflicts among nations must be resolved peacefully

7-Absolute equality in the treatment under national laws, for both domestic and foreign.


The Carranza doctrine arises in a context of a new constitution that had come to govern in 1917, a growing commercial pressure on President Carranza and the consequences of the revolutionary movement of that time.

In that context, US political and commercial interests in Mexico were seriously affected, leading to US government pressure on the Carranza government.

This triggered the pronunciation of the Mexican president that would lead to the document known as the Carranza doctrine.

The conflict of 1917-1918 that led to the Carranza doctrine had an important precedent in 1914 when Carranza was in charge of executive power and had a disagreement with former US President Woodow Wilson.

This incident was due to the acts of Mexican revolutionary armed groups that affected the United States and that almost lead to an armed confrontation between both countries.


The Carranza doctrine had a strong and lasting impact on Mexican foreign policy. The best known case was the alignment of Mexico with Cuba in 1961 when Colombia convened a meeting to discuss the Cuban issue at the OAS.

The Mexican backing to Cuba did not like much in the United States, and they came to consider sanctions by this country.

Mexico explained that his action went hand in hand with his devotion to the principles of nonintervention and self-determination raised in the Carranza doctrine.

In enunciating the doctrine, Carranza hoped that its principles would be adopted by other countries, especially Latin Americans.

Although the doctrine reached important recognition, its actual application by most countries is questionable.


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