Mexico History

By | January 9, 2023

Mexico – national flag

Mexico National Flag

The flag was officially adopted in 1968, but its origins go back to the country’s independence in 1821. The green color symbolizes independence, the white stands for the purity of the religion, and the red for unity. The coat of arms with the eagle on a cactus and with a snake in its beak was added in 1823, referring to an Aztec legend about the founding of Mexico City.

  • Countryaah: What does the flag of Mexico look like? Follow this link, then you will see the image in PNG format and flag meaning description about this country.

Mexico – history

According to a2zgov, Mexico’s history can be divided into three phases: the time before the Spaniards (until about 1520), the colonial era (about 1520-1821) and the independence (from 1821).

Mexico before the Spaniards

Archaeological finds in the Mexico Valley have shown the presence of hunter-gatherer societies around 9000 BC. An incipient agricultural society emerged around 5000 BC. with cultivation of corn, avocado, chili peppers, beans, squash etc. as a basis.

  • AbbreviationFinder: Check three-letter abbreviation for each country in the world, such as MEX which represents the official name of Mexico.

The more complex societies originated in the time before the year 1000 BC, and approximately from this time originate the oldest known monumental stone sculptures that were used in connection with the ceremonial centers of the Olmecs. High cultures emerged very early in Mexico. The Mayan culture with its artistic and architectural traditions flourished in the centuries after the birth of Christ.

I 1400-1500-t. dominated the Aztecs, and they founded Tenochtitlan, present-day Mexico City. They gained great military strength and came to control all of central Mexico. See also Mesoamerica.

European colonization

In 1519, the Spaniard Hernán Cortés landed at present-day Veracruz with a small force. Hernán Cortés found allies among the Aztecs ‘opponents, and among these allies, Cortés’ Native American interpreter and mistress, Malinche, has gone down in history as a symbol of the fusion between Spaniards and Indians and the subjugation of the latter. As early as 1521, Cortés was able to occupy Tenochtitlan.

Spanish dominance over Nueva España, as Mexico was called in colonial times, was established on the one hand through a fine-meshed political-administrative system with the cabildo ‘city council’ as the lowest unit and the viceroyalty as the supreme body; on the other hand, the allocation of land to individual Spaniards ensured the physical colonization of the territory and society.

The Spaniards concentrated especially in central and southern Mexico, where the indigenous population was largest, and on Zacatecas, Guanajuato, and San Luis Potosí, where important silver finds had been made. In sparsely populated northern Mexico, monastic orders such as Franciscans and Jesuits established mission stations.

Through a system of taxes and hovering work, the Native American people were incorporated into colonial-era social organization, which placed the Spanish-born colonial administration at the top and below that of the Spanish and Creole land-owning upper classes.

The construction with the Spanish crown as the supreme authority in a hierarchical system proved to be very stable and did not really begin to crumble until the early 1800’s, when Napoleon I occupied Spain in 1808 and imprisoned the Spanish king, Ferdinand 7.

Independence and development in the 1800’s.

The most important local uprising was launched on 16.9.1810 in the village of Dolores with the Creole priest Miguel Hidalgo y Castilla’s speech Grito de Dolores ‘The cry of Dolores’. Hidalgo demanded the deposition of the Spanish colonial administration, equality between the races and redistribution of land.

The uprising was supported by both Indians and certain criollos, Spanish descendants born in Latin America, but assumed the character of a class and racial war when the disorganized rebel army murdered the upper class of the state capital Guanajuato, including several criollos. In doing so, the royal army gained great support from the Mexican upper class in the suppression of the uprising.

Emperors and presidents in committee
1822-23 Agustín de Iturbide
1864-67 Maximilian
1824-33 Manuel Fernández Guadelupe Victoria
1833-47 Antonio López de Santa Anna
1853-55 Antonio López de Santa Anna
1855-64 Benito Juárez
1867-72 Benito Juárez
1877-80 Porfirio Díaz
1880-84 Manuel González
1884-1911 Porfirio Díaz
1911-13 Francisco Madero
1913-14 Victoriano Huerta
1914-20 Venustiano Carranza
1920-24 Álvaro Obregón
1924-28 Plutarco Elías Calles
1928-30 Emilio Portes
1930-32 Pascual Ortiz
1932-34 Abelardo Rodríguez
1934-40 Lázaro Cárdenas
1940-46 Avila Camacho
1946-52 Alemán Valdéz
1952-58 Ruíz Cortines
1958-64 López Mateos
1964-70 Díaz Ordáz
1970-76 Luis Echeverría
1976-82 José López Portillo
1982-88 Miguel de la Madrid
1988-94 Carlos Salinas
1994-2000 Ernesto Zedillo
2000-06 Vicente Fox
2006-12 Felipe Calderón
2012- Enrique Peña Nieto

Mexico first became independent in 1821, again in a situation where the Spanish King Ferdinand VII was weakened. This time, it was the Mexican elite who wanted independence to preserve their privileges, as it saw threatened by a liberal Spain.

After a short period, 1821-23, with a Mexican empire under the otherwise royalist army commander Agustín de Iturbide, who had secured Mexico’s independence from Spain, followed a very long period of civil wars and frequently changing governments.

Two factions within the elite fought for control of society. The Centralists, who predominantly belonged to the Conservative Party, advocated a strong central power in the style of the colonial viceroyalty and to maintain the position of power of the Catholic Church in Mexican society. The federalists, on the other hand, were for the most part liberals, who were in favor of a decentralization of power, which was to be outsourced to the states, where most liberal leaders had their personal power bases.

The Liberals advocated weakening the Church’s position of power, privatizing the Church’s land holdings, and depriving them of the fueros, laws, and privileges of the Church and Army that gave them special legal status and power.

The political situation did not stabilize until 1867, when the liberal Benito Juárez returned to power. Meanwhile, Mexico had lost about half of its territory to the United States. By 1836, Texas had declared independence from Mexico, and in the Mexican-American War of 1846-48, the entire present southwestern United States was lost. Furthermore, Mexico had experienced a French intervention in 1861, and in 1864, at the instigation of France and Napoleon III, the Austrian prince Maximilian had been installed as Mexico’s second emperor.

Mexico’s second empire lasted until 1867, when the republic was re-established after Maximilian’s execution and the victory of the Liberal Army, and in subsequent years, liberal policy was implemented. The lands of the church and the Native American village communities were privatized and a liberal constitution was introduced.

In 1877, Porfirio Díaz became president, and he retained his position until 1911, when the Mexican Revolution forced him into exile. During Díaz’s reign, liberal politics continued under the motto “order and progress”. Political stability led to a large foreign interest in investing in Mexico’s export sector, and the country had its infrastructure modernized.

With this came strong economic growth, which, however, did not change much the country’s unequal social structure, but led to an increase in wealth for parts of the elite and a social rise to the middle class for others. Porfirio Díaz’s government, however, was not democratic, and parts of the Mexican upper class felt neglected by the inner circle of the president, the so-called científicos, who they thought were too closely linked to foreign rather than national interests.

The Mexican Revolution

Francisco Madero’s nationalist-democratic revolution, which broke out in 1910, must be understood against this background, while the Native American and peasant uprising that broke out in the southern state of Morelos under the leadership of revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata found its background in 1800’s liberal land reforms, which had meant that the small farmers often lost their land.

Emiliano Zapata’s rebels wanted the Native American common lands returned to their former owners. The victorious movement became the nationalist-democratic, but only after a long and unstable period 1910-20. Emiliano Zapata was killed by political opponents in 1919, a fate that would surpass several of the leaders of the revolution.

Political stabilization and developments in the first half of the 1900’s.

With the formation of the PNR (National Revolutionary Party) in 1929, the Revolutionary Generals succeeded in stabilizing the political system. The party formation ensured a centralization of power by the president, who had his power base among regional caudillos ‘ ‘leaders’. Another significant consequence of the revolution was the Constitution of 1917 with its principles of social justice and land reform and with its nationalist spirit.

Land reform gained momentum especially during the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas in 1934-40, just as the peak of nationalism was reached with the nationalization of the foreign-owned oil industry.

Under Lázaro Cárdenas, the PNR was renamed the PRM, and in this connection was given a corporate structure with four sectors, which were to represent all interests of society: the workers, the peasants, the popular sector and the military.

Second half of 1900-t.

The authoritarian political system functioned through a clientelism, which was the background for pro-democracy student demonstrations in Mexico City in 1968. A further reason for the demonstrations was the dissatisfaction with the skewed social development in the country, which harmonized poorly with the spirit of the Constitution.

The demonstrations were met with violent repression and several were killed. In the years after 1968, there was a gradual democratization in Mexico, but the so-called state party, the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party), had never lost a presidential election until 2000.

After 1950, Mexico implemented an industrialization policy based on protectionism and import substitution. The policy initially led to economic growth, but at the same time a social marginalization of small farmers and a sharp migration from country to city. In the 1970’s, however, growth stalled but was re-established as a result of major oil discoveries.

Mexico’s foreign debt rose sharply after 1970, and as oil prices fell and interest rates rose, the foundation was pulled away during the Mexican economy, which experienced its worst crisis to date. President José López Portillo nationalized banking to stop the flight of capital, but the crisis was out of control.

Subsequent economic reforms, which have led to major poverty problems, have made it possible to conclude the NAFTA free trade agreement with the United States and Canada. The NAFTA agreement seems to have strong support in Mexico, but is also facing a lot of opposition. On 1 January 1994, a riot broke out in the southern state of Chiapas on the day of the entry into force of the NAFTA agreement. Opponents of the agreement see it as the death knell for Mexican small farms and for the survival of Native American communities.

Mexico following the 1995 economic crisis

Mexico experienced its worst crisis since the 1930’s, when the peso in 1995 lost 30% of its value, and over 1 million. became unemployed. In addition, Raúl Salinas de Gortari (b. 1946), brother of former President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, was arrested in 1994 for the assassination of the PRI Secretary General and later also exposed for major corruption.

The PRI’s grip on power was decisively weakened by the 1996 Election Act, which freed the Electoral Commission from the government, introduced equal access to the media and direct elections for the post of mayor of Mexico City. When conservative businessman Vicente Fox from the Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) party won the presidential election in 2000, the PRI lost control of the country after 71 years in power.

President Vicente Fox stood in a difficult situation without a majority in any of the two chambers of Congress and with a large PRI apparatus as his legacy. He wanted expanded free trade, but did nothing special to reduce the income disparities that are among the largest in Latin America.

In the poorest state of Chiapas, the left took the post of governor from the PRI in 2000, but no peace settlement was reached with the Zapatista rebels.

Since the economic crisis of 1994-95, the country’s economic situation has improved through increased exports, which have led to growing employment and rising wages, but not a leveling out of the major socio-economic and regional inequalities. The rising oil prices on the world market since 2002 have an impact on the favorable development.

In 2005, Mexico, together with the other NAFTA countries, signed the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America agreement, which aims to expand cooperation in, among other things, the security field.

In the July 2006 presidential election, conservative Felipe Calderón narrowly defeated left-wing candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who refused to recognize the result, and there were widespread protests before Felipe Calderón’s victory was finally declared in court in September.

Mexico was hit hard by the international financial crisis, but the economy recovered. One of the country’s biggest problems is the widespread drug crime. Mexico is the transit country for drugs from South America on its way to the United States, and the trade is controlled by a series of extremely brutal gangs fighting both each other and the authorities. It is estimated that up to 50,000 people have died as a result of drug-related violence since 2006 (2014). Especially the cities close to the US border are hard hit.