History of Mexico

Mexico History Overview

Over the last 3000 years or more, many ancient Mesoamerican civilizations populated the area now known as Mexico. Perhaps the better known of these were the Aztecs, Olmecs, Toltecs and Mayas. Each has lent an amazing sense of ingenuity, culture and civilization to the peoples that succeeded them. As a result, Mexico's history is fascinating and unusual.

Some of the most notable contributions by the early people of Mexico can be found in the form of arts, sculpture, architecture, feather mosaics and engraving. They also invented the calendar and the people of these nations were known for their highly developed societies. Many of the early people built on information that had been handed down through previous generations allowing for an ever progressing nation to reach new standards in the way they lived.

Early in the 16th century, the Spanish arrived and defeated the native residents of Mexico, then known as the Mexica. This initial conquest was followed by a 300 year colonial period wherein Mexico was given the name 'New Spain'. Eventually, in 1821 after roughly 11 years of war, Mexicans managed to claim their independence and create the First Mexican Empire, absorbing almost all remaining Spanish possessions into their new state.

Not too long afterwards, the Empire fell to republican rebel forces led by Antonio López de Santa Anna who eventually become president. Before long, Yucatán and Coahuila y Tejas began to seek independence from the Mexican government. While Yucatán eventually succumbed to negotiations, Tejas declared independence from Mexico which gave birth to the Republic of Texas. In the 1840's, Mexico was invaded by the US who claimed roughly half of the countries remaining territories after defeating Mexican armies.

The 1860's found a renewed effort to wrestle independence from the Mexicans - this time the aggressors were from France. They attacked twice under two different leaders and though they met with a measure of victory on each occasion, they were eventually forced to leave the country. Mexico has since undergone a few political upheavals within its own borders, such as the Mexican Revolution of 1910, but it has come out on top each time. The country is now well-established and growing and developing at a phenomenal rate.


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