Friday, 16 February 2018


Mexico lies in Central America. The country’s history stretches back to 10,000 years. It is famous for Maya from 300 to 900; Toltecs 900 to 1200; Aztec from 1200 to 1519.

The arrival of the Spanish conquistadores, Hernan Cortes, brought the Aztec ruler Montezuma II in 1519 to an end. In 1535 the territory was made the viceroyalty of New Spain under Antonio de Mendoza.

Spain introduced Mercantilism, from 16th the 18th century, which means that the quantity of trade is fixed. It brought the ‘colony’ down. Discontent was growing and in 1808 when Napoleon I conquered Spain a revolution started in 1810 TO 1815 in New Spain. Although the revolution was crushed but Mexico became independent in 1821.

In 1823 Mexico was declared a republic and in 1824 Guadalupe Victoria was its first president.

In 1845 America’s annexation of Texas started the Mexican-American War.

In 1848 a treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed and gave US Texas for a payment of US$15million. Mexico lost two-fifths of its territory which included New Mexico, Arizona and California.


After the war President Santa Anna turned Mexico into a dictatorship till 1855. It was overthrown in a liberal revolution but Conservatives opposite the new constitution and led to civil war in 1857. The War of Reform from 1858 to 1861.

Three years later Napoleon III put Ferdinand Joseph Maximillian as Mexican emperor. He was a Habsburg prince from the Austrian dynasty. The empire collapsed when France withdrew its support in 1867. Liberals cam to power under President Benito Juarez.


In 1876 Porfirio Diaz commanded armed rebels and overthrew Lerdo de Tajada, the successor of Juarez. Diaz state in power till 1911. His regime preferred Mexico’s elite but failed to bring the middle class or labour groups into his politics.

In 1910 a 30 years Mexican revolution started under Anti-Re-election leader Francisco Madero. Diaz resigned in 1911 and Madero became President. Madero was assassinated in 1913.

Within two years a coalition faction led by Emiliano Zapata, Francisco Villa, Venustiano Caranza and Alvaro Obregon to overthrow the government. Political differences split them.  On party wanted to reform the 1857 constitution; the other to implement radical proposal drawn up in 1914 convention of Aguascalientes.

Another civil war followed, and Carranza gained power and February 1917 he proclaimed a reformed constitution. It was ignored and in 1920 Carranza was assassinated. 

In 1928 the Cristeros Christian peasants rose against the ‘Godless’ state. They were defeated in 1930.  Skirmishes and confrontation lasted another 10 years. Newly elected President Manual Avila Camacho brought some period of peace.

During the Second World War Mexico fought on the side of the Allies from 1942. After the war industrialisation brought Mexico a golden era till 1980 when oil reserves fell in value. Unemployment and inflation followed.

In 1993 Mexico joined Canada and the USA in the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

In 1994 the Zapatista National Liberation Army rose in the state of Chiapas and received a peace agreement with the government of President Ernesto Zedillo in September 1995.    

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