History of Mexico

Mexico is the cradle of great pre-spaniard civilizations like the Olmecs, Mayas, Toltecs
and Aztecs (or Mexicas) ; cultures that accomplished a high degree of development in the Arts such as architecture, poetry, painting and sculpture; in the numeric and mathematical systems, and in the organization of time in the shape of calendars. However, the story of the New World in Mexican soil is written with a blend of magical poetry and tragic reality.

The building of the Aztec Empire began in 1345 when Huitzilopochtli, the god of war, led priest Tenoch to the place the Mexicas would call home : the spot where an eagle, standing on a prickly pear, devours a serpent. This is the place where Tenochtitlan, the mother city of the Empire was built, after many bloody wars against other groups settled in the region.

The Aztec civilization reached its splendor under the guidance of the poet king Nezahualcoyotl, who designated Texcoco as the new capital city, introduced a new legal system, initiated great hydraulic projects and promoted the flowering of Nahuatl, the Mexica language.

Ironically, the magical legend that gives birth to this Empire is the same that brings about its demise, for in 1521 the Spanish invaders under the command of Hernan Cortes settled in what is known today as Veracruz and were welcomed by the Aztecs and greeted with extensive and luxurious gifts. As it turns out, king Moctezuma II believed the Spanish conqueror to be the mythical and fair god Quetzalcoatl or "plumed serpent", returning from exile with a clear skin and a grown beard.

Such a reception arouse the greed and thirst for wealth in the European invaders,
and paved the way for the conquest of what would become Nueva España or New Spain, and which would last for 300 years.

During the conquest, the Spanish Crown establishes 61 viceroyalties in Mexican soil. Race mixture is born within a society ruled by the Catholic Church, where the conqueror is granted large extensions of land as a reward for the service provided to the Spanish monarchs, and where the native inhabitant is slaved and forced to work.

It was not until the year of 1810 when the new Mexics of mixed race, the natives, and the new nationals of Spanish descent, decide to gain control over their own land, and in the morning of September the 16th of that same year, Miguel Hidalgo, a catholic priest of the town of Dolores, incite the Mexican people to join forces and bring the Spanish rule to an end, using an image of the virgin of Guadalupe as banner.

Following the Mexican independence, the country enters a period of multiple political and social setbacks and difficulties as a result of the eagerness to establish a new form of government. Finally, a republic ruled by a president is established; nevertheless, the country suffers extreme poverty and social stagnation due to the lack of political and administrative experience of the new government; this in addition to seeing the Mexican territory being drastically reduced as the states of Texas, California, Utah, Colorado, and a great part of New Mexico and Arizona are lost to the United States of America. Enter the year 1876, when general Porfirio Diaz becomes president and embarks the country in great projects like the extension of the railroad tracks, the telegraph and the telephone, all at a high cost for Mexican society : dictatorship.

As it turned out, he had to be removed from power by force after 33 years, in a struggle that lasted for a decade and that involved the taking part of great heroes of Mexican history like Emiliano Zapata , Pancho Villa and Francisco I. Madero, all of them key and prominent protagonists of the Mexican Revolution. The 20th of November of 1910
is the date when the Mexicans reminisce the victory in the fight against the system of land-ownership based on large estates or Haciendas called Latifundios, and against repression over freedom of speech that characterized the period ruled by dictator Porfirio Diaz, also known as Porfiriato.

That point represents the departure for the shaping of modern Mexico, a country
that was considered a "modern dictatorship" well into the 1990's because of the supremacy of a sole political party, the PRI
; but a country that has awaken in the new millennium into a new phase in the long run towards the "perfect democracy" .


Articles for History of Mexico

16th of September, Independence day in Mexico
Mexico’s Independence is the result of diverse social conditions experienced by New Spain and combined at the beginning of the 19th Read More>>


5th of February, Commemoration of the Constitution’s Promulgation
The 1917 Constitution is the result of a long historical process that started even before the Mexican Revolution. The Political Read More>>


Agustin de Iturbide
The history of Agustin I, Emperor of Mexico, an important chapter in Mexico's War of Independence. Read More>>


Antonio López de Santa Anna, History of Mexico
The figure of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna has been very controversial in Mexico’s record. When speaking of history, personalities are Read More>>


Beer History in Mexico
Only 20 years after the fall of Tenochtitlan, Spanish Conquerors founded America’s first brewery in New Spain. Read More>>


Cacaxtla and its murals
In the state of Tlaxcala, near the town of Nativitas, is the archaeological site of Cacaxtla, a magnificent example of pre-Hispanic art and specifically of the descendants of the Olmec... Read More>>


Earthquakes in Mexico, The Worst Earthquakes
The earthquake of Veracruz of 1973, also known as the Orizaba Earthquake, has been the worst earthquake to ever occur in Veracruz. Read More>>


Emiliano Zapata
Of rural mestizo origin, he was a revolutionary leader dedicated to defending the people’s rights, “the land belongs to its workers”. Read More>>


Francisco I. Madero, Biography and Information
He was born on the 30th of October 1873 at Hacienda el Rosario in Parras, Coahuila. The son of Francisco Indalecio Madero Hernández and Read More>>


Guadalupe Victoria
Guadalupe Victoria was born on the 29th of September, 1786 in Durango and was baptized as José Miguel Ramón Adaucto Fernandez y Félix. Read More>>


Hernán Cortez, the “Conqueror”
Hernán Cortez, the so called "Conqueror of Mexico," is certainly a controversial historic figure: Spain considers him a hero while others demonize him and see him as an ambitious man, Read More>>


Information about the mexican 'Niños Héroes'
During the years of 1846-1848 occurred the war between Mexico and the United States of America because of territorial disputes between the two countries. Although Mexico lost the war at the end and with it most of its territory, there were many remarkable battles and among them excels the Chapultepec´s one Read More>>


Invasions to Mexico I; Mexico - US War
The Mexico – United States war was an armed conflict between these two countries from 1846 to 1848, related to the annex in 1845 of Texas to Read More>>


Invasions to Mexico II; The French Invasion
The French intervention of Mexico by the army of the Second French Empire is also known as The Franco-Mexican War. This invasion was Read More>>


José María Morelos y Pavón
Learn about Jose Maria Morelos, whose brave conviction was decisive in Mexico's War of Independence. Read More>>


Mexican National Anthem
The Coat of Arms, Flag and National Anthem are the most important symbols of Mexico. They contain in themselves a historical and Read More>>


Mexican Nobel Prize Winners
The Nobel Prize is awarded to outstanding researchers, those who have invented revolutionary techniques or equipment, or have contributed to Read More>>


Page: 1 of 3 (49 articles returned)  1 2 3  Next >>
Subscribe and share