Mexico is an independent nation in North America. With the capital city of Mexico City, Mexico 2020 population is estimated at 128,932,764 according to countryaah. In Mexico, there were early cultures. When the Spaniards arrived in the 16th century, the Aztecs ruled, but their kingdom was severely affected by colonization and a large part of the indigenous population died of disease and oppression. A war of liberation led Mexico to become independent from Spain in 1821. A revolt against a dictator in 1910 led to a civil war with great bloodshed. The Revolutionary period ended in 1917 when a radical constitution was adopted.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Mexico, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
Archaeological finds indicate that agriculture was carried out in today’s Mexico already 10,000 years ago. Squash is believed to have been the first crop to be followed later by beans, corn and chili – all native crops that later spread throughout the world. For Mexico political system, please check diseaseslearning.
The cultures of central and southern Mexico developed into the most prominent in the continent. Around the year 800 BC, the Olmecian culture grew on the Atlantic coast of the Tehuantepec nose. It was the first of the high cultures in Mexico. The Olmecs are considered to have greatly influenced other cultural people, including Maya in the border areas against Guatemala and the Toltecs in the Mexico Valley.
When the Spaniards, led by Hernán Corté’s landfall in the Mexico Valley in 1519, ruled the country by the Aztecs, a people who immigrated from the north. The Aztec realm was vast but loosely joined by a number of oppressed neighbors. These saw in Cortés a chance of liberation from the Aztecs’ oppression and therefore helped the Spaniards as they began to penetrate the country.
The Spanish conquest of central Mexico was completed in 1521, when the last Aztec ruler Cuauhtémoc was defeated. Mexico is estimated to have had about 20 million residents at the time of the arrival of the Spaniards. A few generations later, there were perhaps a tenth so many left. One of the main reasons was that the indigenous peoples lacked resistance to diseases brought by Europeans, but mortality was exacerbated by the fact that their culture and social order were broken and that they were forced to work under slave-like conditions.
The colony, which in 1535 became the Viceroy of New Spain, grew through new conquests and eventually included Central America to today’s Panama as well as large parts of the southwestern and southern United States. (The Viceroy also included islands in the Caribbean as well as the Philippines and other Pacific islands.)
With the Spaniards also came the Catholic Church whose missionary work transformed Mexico in the Christian-Western direction, though with strong domestic features. At the same time, Spanish colonial policy slowed Mexico’s economic development. The conquerors plundered the Aztecs on gold, subjugated the country’s rich silver deposits – from the 1600s, Mexico became the world’s leading silver producer – and carried home the riches that helped make Spain a great power.
The indigenous people were used ruthlessly as a labor force in the mines and on the large goods (haciendas), which the Spanish conquerors (conquistadors) established in the best agricultural areas. However, much of the property was owned by the church, which gave the indigenous people some protection against the oppression of colonial power. Colonial policy also led to contradictions within the white population, which consisted of immigrant Spaniards and whites born in Mexico, Creoles. The Spaniards had a monopoly on trade, and the Creoles were barred from higher state and church offices.
The weakening of Spain during the Napoleonic wars in the early 19th century was exploited by independence movements in the colony. In 1810, priests Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and José María Morelos led an open revolt against colonial power. The liberation war lasted until 1821, when Spain recognized independent Mexico. After independence, Central America broke out of Mexico, but managed to conquer the border province of Chiapas from Guatemala. The new country was ruled in the early years by one of the rebel leaders who proclaimed himself emperor, but in 1824 Mexico became a republic.
Through the 1824 Constitution, Mexico gained a federal structure with subdivisions of states and territories according to patterns from the United States. In the 1830s, a more centralist constitution was adopted, which led to Texas, with a large Anglo-Saxon population, declaring itself independent. When Texas was annexed by the United States in 1845, it led to a war between Mexico and the United States. Mexico lost the war, and in the peace settlement in 1848, surrendered about half of its territory, which today forms the southwest corner of the United States.
The loss of war paved the way for a reform period, La Reforma, which aimed to bring the conservative forces within the army and the church to subordinate themselves to the civil authorities. The driving force of the reform-friendly government of 1855 was the zapotek and Minister of Justice Benito Juárez, who is today hailed as a national father. The conflict between the reform friends and the conservative circles led to civil war, which ended in 1860 with victory for the reform friends.
When the government postponed the payments on the foreign loans after the war, the French emperor in 1862 landed troops who entered Mexico City and installed the Habsburg Archduke Maximilian as emperor. The bizarre episode ended with a Mexican republican army recapturing the capital in 1867, Maximilian was executed and reform work resumed under Juarez’s leadership.
During La Reforma, the church was forced to sell off its land and thus its economic power was broken. The idea was that the land of the church would return to the indigenous people, but instead it was bought by rich Creoles.
Benito Juárez’s successor, Porfirio Díaz, ruled Mexico dictatorially from 1876 to 1911. The earth was gathered in the hands of a few plantation owners and all opposition was squashed. This made the country appear politically stable and attractive for foreign capital. American and British companies financed the railway construction and mining, drilled for oil and established a banking system.
Increasing dissatisfaction with Díaz’s harsh regime, especially among the rural people, triggered a revolt in 1910 led by, among others, the peasant leader Emiliano Zapata. In a bloody civil war, Díaz was overthrown in 1911, but the so-called revolutionary period, La Revolución, lasted until 1917. La Revolución was not a uniform process but a series of social discharges across the country, unrest that is believed to have claimed a million deaths by a population of around 15 million. During the revolution period, a modern Mexican self-perception and sense of nationality was born.
In 1917, a radical constitution was adopted, which with some changes still applies today. Among other things, the Constitution provided for the abolition of the living property, the state taking over the large estate and land distributed to the small farmers. In addition, the power of the Catholic Church is further cut, while the Mexicans gained organizational and strike rights.
The revolution created the party today known as the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which began its holdings in power in 1929. The new constitution was first implemented during Lázaro Cárdena’s term in 1934–1940, when radical land reform was implemented and foreign oil companies were nationalized.