Guanajuato, New Spain soon became one of the most important mining centers worldwide. Wealth coming from Asia and the New World contributed to Spain's status as a major world power for the next centuries, and brought about a price revolution in Western Europe. The colonial order came to an end in the early nineteenth century with the War of Independence
Congress of Anáhuac called the territory América Septentrional (Northern America); the 1821 Plan of Iguala also used América Septentrional. On two occasions (1821–1823 and 1863–1867), the country was known as Imperio Mexicano (Mexican Empire). All three federal constitutions (1824, 1857 and 1917, the current constitution) used the name Estados Unidos Mexicanos—or the variant Estados-Unidos Mexicanos, all of which have been translated as "United Mexican States". The phrase República Mexicana, "Mexican Republic", was used in the 1836 Constitutional Laws.
The prehistory of Mexico stretches back millennia. The earliest human artifacts in Mexico are chips of stone tools found near campfire remains in the Valley of Mexico and radiocarbon-dated to circa 10,000 years ago. Mexico is the site of the domestication of maize, tomato, and beans, which produced an agricultural surplus. This enabled the transition from paleo-Indian hunter-gatherers to sedentary agricultural villages beginning around 5000 BCE.
In the subsequent formative eras, maize cultivation and cultural traits such as a mythological and religious complex, and a vigesimal (base 20) numeric system, were diffused from the Mexican cultures to the rest of the Mesoamerican culture area. In this period, villages became more dense in terms of population, becoming socially stratified with an artisan class, and developing into chiefdoms. The most powerful rulers had religious and political power, organizing the construction of large ceremonial centers.
The earliest complex civilization in Mexico was the
Maya Hieroglyphic script. The earliest written histories date from this era. The tradition of writing was important after the Spanish conquest in 1521, with indigenous scribes learning to write their languages in alphabetic letters, while also continuing to create pictorial texts.
In Central Mexico, the height of the classic period saw the ascendancy of
Aztec" as a collective term applied to all the people linked by trade, custom, religion, and language to the Mexica state and Ēxcān Tlahtōlōyān, the Triple Alliance. In 1843, with the publication of the work of William H. Prescott, it was adopted by most of the world, including 19th-century Mexican scholars who considered it a way to distinguish present-day Mexicans from pre-conquest Mexicans. This usage has been the subject of debate since the late 20th century.
The Aztec empire was an informal or hegemonic empire because it did not exert supreme authority over the conquered territories; it was satisfied with the payment of tributes from them. It was a discontinuous empire because not all dominated territories were connected; for example, the southern peripheral zones of Xoconochco were not in direct contact with the center. The hegemonic nature of the Aztec empire was demonstrated by their restoration of local rulers to their former position after their city-state was conquered. The Aztec did not interfere in local affairs, as long as the tributes were paid. The Aztec of Central Mexico built a tributary empire covering most of central Mexico.The Aztec were noted for practicing human sacrifice on a large scale. Along with this practice, they avoided killing enemies on the battlefield. Their warring casualty rate was far lower than that of their Spanish counterparts, whose principal objective was immediate slaughter during battle. This distinct Mesoamerican cultural tradition of human sacrifice ended gradually with the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. Other Mexican indigenous cultures were conquered and gradually subjected to Spanish colonial rule.
Since the colonial era and through to the twenty-first century, the indigenous roots of Mexican history and culture are essential to Mexican identity. The National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City is the showcase of the nation's prehispanic glories. Historian Enrique Florescano calls it "a national treasure and a symbol of identity. The museum is the synthesis of an ideological, scientific, and political feat." Mexican Nobel laureate Octavio Paz said of the museum that the "exaltation and glorification of Mexico-Tenochtitlan transforms the Museum of Anthropology into a temple." Mexico pursued international recognition of its prehispanic heritage, and has a large number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the largest in the hemisphere. The existence of high indigenous civilization prior to the arrival of Europeans has also had an impact on European thought.
Veracruz. Around 500 conquistadores, along with horses, cannons, swords, and long guns gave the Spanish some technological advantages over indigenous warriors, but key to the Spanish victory was making strategic alliances with disgruntled indigenous city-states (altepetl) who fought with them against the Aztec Triple Alliance. Also important to the Spanish victory was Cortés's cultural translator, Malinche, a Nahua woman enslaved in the Maya area whom the Spanish acquired as a gift. She quickly learned Spanish and gave strategic advice about how to deal with both indigenous allies and indigenous foes.
Archdiocese of Mexico in 1546, with the archbishop as the head of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, overseeing Roman Catholic clergy. Castilian Spanish was the language of rulers. The Catholic faith was the only one permitted, with non-Catholics (Jews and Protestants) and Catholics (excluding Indians) holding unorthodox views being subject to the Mexican Inquisition, established in 1571.
In the first half-century of Spanish rule, a network of Spanish cities was created, sometimes on pre-Columbian sites where there were dense indigenous populations. The capital Mexico City was and remains the premier city, but other cities founded in the sixteenth century remain important, including
Adams-Onís Treaty with the United States, setting New Spain's northern boundary.
Nao de China (Manila Galleons) operated for two and a half centuries and connected New Spain with Asia. Silver and the red dye cochineal were shipped from Veracruz to Atlantic ports in the Americas and Spain. Veracruz was also the main port of entry in mainland New Spain for European goods, immigrants from Spain, and African slaves. The Camino Real de Tierra Adentro
connected Mexico City with the interior of New Spain.
The population of Mexico was overwhelmingly indigenous and rural during the entire colonial period and beyond, despite the
pre-contact population. During the three hundred years of the colonial era, Mexico received between 400,000 and 500,000 Europeans, between 200,000 and 250,000 African slaves, and between 40,000 and 120,000 Asians.
hierarchical system of racial classification
, although the racial/ethnic labels continued to be used.
Virgin of Guadalupe and castas, showing race mixture and hierarchy as well as fruits of the realm,
racial separation. Society was organized in a racial hierarchy, with whites on top, mixed-race persons and blacks in the middle, and indigenous at the bottom. There were formal legal designations of racial categories. The Republic of Spaniards (República de Españoles) comprised European- and American-born Spaniards, mixed-race castas, and black Africans. The Republic of Indians (República de Indios) comprised the indigenous populations, which the Spanish lumped under the term Indian (indio), a Spanish colonial social construct which indigenous groups and individuals rejected as a category. Spaniards were exempt from paying tribute, Spanish men had access to higher education, could hold civil and ecclesiastical offices, were subject to the Inquisition, and liable for military service when the standing military was established in the late eighteenth century. Indigenous paid tribute, but were exempt from the Inquisition, indigenous men were excluded from the priesthood; and exempt from military service. Although the racial system appears fixed and rigid, there was some fluidity within it, and racial domination of whites was not complete. Since the indigenous population of New Spain was so large, there was less labor demand for expensive black slaves than other parts of Spanish America. In the late eighteenth century the crown instituted reforms that privileged Iberian-born Spaniards (peninsulares) over American-born (criollos), limiting their access to offices. This discrimination between the two became a sparking point of discontent for white elites in the colony.
, were sparsely populated and mostly outside the control of colonial authorities.
Miguel Hidalgo during the War of Independence.
Spanish military forces, sometimes accompanied by native allies, led expeditions to conquer territory or quell rebellions through the colonial era. Notable Amerindian revolts in sporadically populated northern New Spain include the
pirates and protect the Crown's monopoly of revenue, only two ports were open to foreign trade—Veracruz on the Atlantic and Acapulco on the Pacific. Among the best-known pirate attacks are the 1663 Sack of Campeche and 1683 Attack on Veracruz. Of greater concern to the crown was of foreign invasion, especially after Britain seized in 1762 the Spanish ports of Havana, Cuba and Manila, the Philippines in the Seven Years' War. It created a standing military, increased coastal fortifications, and expanded the northern presidios and missions into Alta California. The volatility of the urban poor in Mexico City was evident in the 1692 riot in the Zócalo. The riot over the price of maize escalated to a full-scale attack on the seats of power, with the viceregal palace and the archbishop's residence attacked by the mob.
Siege of the Alhondiga de Granaditas, Guanajuato, 28 September 1810
The upheaval in the Spanish Empire that resulted in the independence of most of its New World territories was due to
Napoleon Bonaparte's invasion of Spain in 1808. Napoleon forced the abdication of the Spanish monarch Charles IV and imposed of his brother Joseph Bonaparte as the Spanish king. Now with an alien usurper on the Spanish throne, there was a crisis of legitimacy of the monarchy, resulting in various responses in both Spain and Spanish America. In Mexico, elites argued that sovereignty now reverted to "the people" and that town councils (cabildos) were the most representative bodies. American-born Spaniards petitioned the viceroy José de Iturrigaray (1803–08) to convene a junta to determine rule in Mexico in the current political crisis. Although Peninsular-born Spaniards were opposed to the plan, the viceroy called together wealthy landowners, miners, merchants, ecclesiastics, academics, and members of cabildos. They failed to come to agreement, and in the meantime, Peninsular-born Spaniards took the initiative, arresting Iturrigaray and leading creole elites in the capital. The coup ended what could have been a peaceful process toward political autonomy in Mexico. Creoles now sought extralegal means to achieve their political aspirations.
In subsequent years, the insurgency was a stalemate, but in 1820 when Spanish liberals seized power in Spain, and Mexican conservatives worried about the imposition of liberal principles overseas, including curtailment of the power of the Catholic Church. Royalist
independence of Mexico
under the terms of the Plan of Iguala. The Spanish crown repudiated the 1821 treaty and did not formally recognize the independence of Mexico until 1836.
The first 35 years after Mexico's independence were marked by political instability and the changing of the Mexican state from a transient monarchy to a fragile federated republic.
special privileges, prestige, and property, a bulwark of Conservatism. The army, another Conservative-dominated institution, also retained its privileges. Former Royal Army General Agustín de Iturbide, became regent, as newly independent Mexico sought a constitutional monarch from Europe. When no member of a European royal house desired the position, Iturbide himself was declared Emperor Agustín I. The young and weak United States was the first country to recognize Mexico's independence, sending an ambassador to the court of the emperor and sending a message to Europe via the Monroe Doctrine not to intervene in Mexico. The emperor's rule was short (1822–1823) and he was overthrown by army officers in the Plan of Casa Mata.
After the forced abdication of the monarch, the
Plan de Iguala that achieved independence, became president in a disputed election. During his short term in office, April to December 1829, he abolished slavery. As a visibly mixed-race man of modest origins, Guerrero was seen by white political elites as an interloper. His Conservative vice president, former Royalist General Anastasio Bustamante, led a coup against him and Guerrero was judicially murdered. There was constant strife between the Liberals (also known as Federalists), who were supporters of a federal form of decentralized government, and their political rivals, the Conservatives (also known as Centralists), who proposed a hierarchical form of government
Mexico's ability to maintain its independence and establish a viable government was in question. Spain attempted to reconquer its former colony during the 1820s, but eventually recognized its independence. France attempted to recoup losses it claimed for its citizens during Mexico's unrest and blockaded the Gulf Coast during the so-called Pastry War of 1838–1839. General Antonio López de Santa Anna emerged as a national hero because of his role in both these conflicts; he lost a leg in combat during the Pastry War, which he used for political purposes to show his sacrifice for the nation. Santa Anna came to dominate the politics for the next 25 years, often known as the "Age of Santa Anna", until his own overthrow in 1855.
Mexico also contended with indigenous groups which controlled territory that Mexico claimed in the north. The
The overthrow of Santa Anna and the establishment of a civilian government by Liberals allowed them to enact laws that they considered vital for Mexico's economic development. It was a prelude to more civil wars and yet another foreign invasion. The
between rival Liberal and Conservative governments (1858–61).
The Liberals defeated the Conservative army on the battlefield, but Conservatives sought another solution to gain power via foreign intervention by the French. Mexican conservatives asked Emperor Napoleon III to place a European monarch as head of state in Mexico. The French Army defeated the Mexican Army and placed Maximilian Hapsburg on the newly established throne of Mexico, supported by Mexican Conservatives and propped up by the French Army. The Liberal republic under Benito Juárez was basically a government in internal exile, but with the end of the Civil War in the U.S. in April 1865, that government began aiding the Mexican Republic. Two years later, the French Army withdrew its support, Maximilian remained in Mexico rather than return to Europe. Republican forces captured him and he was executed in Querétaro, along with two Conservative Mexican generals. The "Restored Republic" saw the return of Juárez, who was "the personification of the embattled republic," as president.
The Conservatives had been not only defeated militarily, but also discredited politically for their collaboration with the French invaders. Liberalism became synonymous with patriotism. The Mexican Army that had its roots in the colonial royal army and then the army of the early republic was destroyed. New military leaders had emerged from the War of the Reform and the conflict with the French, most notably Porfirio Díaz, a hero of the Cinco de Mayo, who now sought civilian power. Juárez won re-election in 1867, but was challenged by Díaz, who criticized him for running for re-election. Díaz then rebelled, crushed by Juárez. Having won re-election, Juárez died in office of natural causes in July 1872, and Liberal Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada became president, declaring a "religion of state" for rule of law, peace, and order. When Lerdo ran for re-election, Díaz rebelled against the civilian president, issuing the Plan of Tuxtepec. Díaz had more support and waged guerrilla warfare against Lerdo. On the verge of Díaz's victory on the battlefield, Lerdo fled from office, going into exile.
After the turmoil in Mexico from 1810 to 1876, the 35-year rule of Liberal General Porfirio Díaz (r.1876–1911) allowed Mexico to rapidly modernize in a period characterized as one of "order and progress". The Porfiriato was characterized by economic stability and growth, significant foreign investment and influence, an expansion of the railroad network and telecommunications, and investments in the arts and sciences. The period was also marked by economic inequality and political repression. Díaz knew the potential for army rebellions, and systematically downsized the expenditure for the force, rather expanding the rural police force under direct control of the president. Díaz did not provoke the Catholic Church, coming to a modus vivendi with it; but he did not remove the anticlerical articles from the 1857 Constitution. From the late nineteenth century, Protestants began to make inroads into overwhelmingly Catholic Mexico.
The government encouraged British and U.S. investment. Commercial agriculture developed in northern Mexico, with many investors from the U.S. acquiring vast ranching estates and expanding irrigated cultivation of crops. The Mexican government ordered a survey of land with the aim of selling it for development. In this period, many indigenous communities lost their lands and the men became
British and U.S. investors developed extractive mining of copper, lead, and other minerals, as well as petroleum on the Gulf Coast. Changes in Mexican law allowed for private enterprises to own the subsoil rights of land, rather than continuing the colonial law that gave all subsoil rights to the State. An industrial manufacturing sector also developed, particularly in textiles. At the same time, new enterprises gave rise to an industrial work force, which began organizing to gain labor rights and protections.
Díaz ruled with a group of advisors that became known as the científicos ("scientists"). The most influential científico was Secretary of Finance José Yves Limantour. The Porfirian regime was influenced by positivism. They rejected theology and idealism in favor of scientific methods being applied towards national development. An integral aspect of the liberal project was secular education. The Díaz government led a protracted conflict against the Yaqui that culminated with the forced relocation of thousands of Yaqui to Yucatán and Oaxaca. Díaz's long success did not include planning for a political transition beyond his own presidency. He made no attempt, however, to establish a family dynasty, naming no relative as his successor. As the centennial of independence approached, Díaz gave an interview where he said he was not going to run in the 1910 elections, when he would be 80. Political opposition had been suppressed and there were few avenues for a new generation of leaders. But his announcement set off a frenzy of political activity, including the unlikely candidacy of the scion of a rich landowning family, Francisco I. Madero. Madero won a surprising amount of political support when Díaz changed his mind and ran in the election, jailing Madero. The September centennial celebration of independence was the last celebration of the Porfiriato. The Mexican Revolution starting in 1910 saw a decade of civil war, the "wind that swept Mexico."
In 1914, that army was dissolved as an institution, leaving only revolutionary forces. Following the revolutionaries' victory against Huerta, they sought to broker a peaceful political solution, but the coalition splintered, plunging Mexico again into a civil war. Constitutionalist general
Alvaro Obregón defeated Villa, his former comrade-in-arms in the Battle of Celaya in 1915, and Villa's northern forces melted away. Zapata's forces in the south reverted to guerrilla warfare. Carranza became the de facto head of Mexico, and the U.S. recognized his government.
In 1916, the winners met at a constitutional convention to draft the
Constitution of 1917, which was ratified in February 1917. The Constitution empowered the government to expropriate resources including land (Article 27); gave rights to labor (Article 123); and strengthened anticlerical provisions of the 1857 Constitution. With amendments, it remains the governing document of Mexico. It is estimated that the war killed 900,000 of the 1910 population of 15 million. Although often viewed as an internal conflict, the revolution had significant international elements. During the Revolution, the U.S. played a significant role with the Republican administration of Taft having supported the Huerta coup against Madero, but when Democrat Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated as president in March 1913, Wilson refused to recognize Huerta's regime and allowed arms sales to the Constitutionalists. Wilson ordered troops to occupy the strategic port of Veracruz in 1914, which was lifted.
After Pancho Villa was defeated by revolutionary forces in 1915, he led an incursion raid into Columbus, New Mexico, prompting the U.S. to send 10,000 troops led by General John J. Pershing in an unsuccessful attempt to capture Villa. Carranza pushed back against U.S. troops being in northern Mexico. The expeditionary forces withdrew as the U.S. entered World War I. Germany attempted to get Mexico to side with it, sending a coded telegram in 1917 to incite war between the U.S. and Mexico, with Mexico to regain the territory it lost in the Mexican-American War. Mexico remained neutral in the conflict.
Consolidating power, President Carranza had peasant-leader Emiliano Zapata assassinated in 1919. Carranza had gained support of the peasantry during the Revolution, but once in power he did little to institute land reform, which had motivated many to fight in the Revolution. Carranza in fact returned some confiscated land to their original owners. President Carranza's best general, Obregón, served briefly in his administration, but returned to his home state of Sonora to position himself to run in the 1920 presidential election. Since Carranza could not run for re-election, he chose a civilian, political and revolutionary no-body to succeed him, intending to remain the power behind the presidency. Obregón and two other Sonoran revolutionary generals drew up the Plan of Agua Prieta, overthrowing Carranza, who died fleeing Mexico City in 1920. General Adolfo de la Huerta became interim president, followed the election of General Álvaro Obregón.
Political consolidation and one-party rule (1920–2000)
, that was founded in 1929 and held uninterrupted power in the country for 71 years, from 1929 to 2000
The first quarter-century of the post-revolutionary period (1920–1946) was characterized by revolutionary generals serving as
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and ended with an agreement between the parties in conflict, by means of which the respective fields of action were defined. Although the constitution prohibited reelection of the president, Obregón wished to run again and the constitution was amended to allow non-consecutive re-election. Obregón won the 1928 elections, but was assassinated by a Catholic zealot, causing a political crisis of succession. Calles could not become president again, since he has just ended his term. He sought to set up a structure to manage presidential succession, founding the party that was to dominate Mexico until the late twentieth century. Calles declared that the Revolution had moved from caudillismo (rule by strongmen) to the era institucional (institutional era).
Despite not holding the presidency, Calles remained the key political figure during the period known as the
Manuel Ávila Camacho (1940–1946) was more moderate, and relations between the U.S. and Mexico vastly improved during World War II, when Mexico was a significant ally, providing manpower and materiel to aid the war effort. From 1946 the election of Miguel Alemán, the first civilian president in the post-revolutionary period, Mexico embarked on an aggressive program of economic development, known as the Mexican miracle, which was characterized by industrialization, urbanization, and the increase of inequality in Mexico between urban and rural areas.
With robust economic growth, Mexico sought to showcase it to the world by hosting the
Tlatelolco Massacre, which claimed the lives of around 300 protesters based on conservative estimates and perhaps as many as 800. Although the economy continued to flourish for some, social inequality remained a factor of discontent. PRI rule became increasingly authoritarian and at times oppressive in what is now referred to as the Mexican Dirty War.
Luis Echeverría, Minister of the Interior under Díaz Ordaz, carrying out the repression during the Olympics, was elected president in 1970. His government had to contend with mistrust of Mexicans and increasing economic problems. He instituted some with electoral reforms. Echeverría chose José López Portillo as his successor in 1976. Economic problems worsened in his early term, then massive reserves of petroleum were located off Mexico's Gulf Coast. Pemex did not have the capacity to develop these reserves itself, and brought in foreign firms. Oil prices had been high because of OPEC's lock on oil production, and López Portilla borrowed money from foreign banks for current spending to fund social programs. Those foreign banks were happy to lend to Mexico because the oil reserves were enormous and future revenues were collateral for loans denominated in U.S. dollars. When the price of oil dropped, Mexico's economy collapsed in the 1982 Crisis. Interest rates soared, the peso devalued, and unable to pay loans, the government defaulted on its debt. President Miguel de la Madrid (1982–88) resorted to currency devaluations which in turn sparked inflation.
In the 1980s the first cracks emerged in the PRI's complete political dominance. In Baja California, the PAN candidate was elected as governor. When De la Madrid chose Carlos Salinas de Gortari as the candidate for the PRI, and therefore a foregone presidential victor, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, son of former President Lázaro Cárdenas, broke with the PRI and challenged Salinas in the 1988 elections. In 1988 there was massive electoral fraud, with results showing that Salinas had won the election by the narrowest percentage ever. There were massive protests in Mexico City to the stolen election. Salinas took the oath of office on 1 December 1988. In 1990 the PRI was famously described by Mario Vargas Llosa as the "perfect dictatorship", but by then there had been major challenges to the PRI's hegemony.
Salinas embarked on a program of
Luis Donaldo Colosio, Salinas was succeeded by a victorious substitute PRI candidate Ernesto Zedillo. Salinas left Zedillo's government to deal with the Mexican peso crisis, requiring a $50 billion IMF bailout. Major macroeconomic reforms were started by President Zedillo, and the economy rapidly recovered and growth peaked at almost 7% by the end of 1999.
After twelve years, in 2012, the PRI won the presidency again with the election of Enrique Peña Nieto, the governor of the State of Mexico from 2005 to 2011. However, he won with a plurality of about 38%, and did not have a legislative majority.
After founding the new political party
MORENA, Andrés Manuel López Obrador won the 2018 presidential election with over 50% of the vote. His political coalition, led by his left-wing party founded after the 2012 elections, includes parties and politicians from all over the political spectrum. The coalition also won a majority in both the upper and lower congress chambers. AMLO's (one of his many nicknames) success is attributed to the country's other strong political alternatives exhausting their chances as well as the politician adopting a moderate discourse with a focus on conciliation.
Mexico has contended with
neoliberal reforms, but Pemex, the state-owned petroleum company is only slowly being privatized, with exploration licenses being issued. In AMLO's push against government corruption, the ex-CEO of Pemex has been arrested.
Although there were fears of electoral fraud in Mexico's 2018 presidential
Usumacinta river system drains most of the humid Chiapas Highlands. The Papaloapan River
flows into the Gulf of Mexico south of Veracruz, the Grijalva and Usumacinta further southeast are significant Mexican rivers. Both the Baja California Peninsula and the Yucatán Peninsula are extremely arid with no surface streams.
The climate of Mexico is quite varied due to the country's size and topography. Tropic of Cancer effectively divides the country into temperate and tropical zones. Land north of the Tropic of Cancer experiences cooler temperatures during the winter months. South of the Tropic of Cancer, temperatures are fairly constant year-round and vary solely as a function of elevation. This gives Mexico one of the world's most diverse weather systems. Maritime air masses bring seasonal precipitation from May until August. Many parts of Mexico, particularly the north, have a dry climate with only sporadic rainfall, while parts of the tropical lowlands in the south average more than 2,000 mm (78.7 in) of annual precipitation. For example, many cities in the north like Monterrey, Hermosillo, and Mexicali experience temperatures of 40 °C (104 °F) or more in summer. In the Sonoran Desert temperatures reach 50 °C (122 °F) or more.
Descriptors of regions are by temperature, with the tierra caliente (hot land) being coastal up to 900 meters; tierra templada (temperate land) being from 1,800 meters; tierra fría (cold land) extending to 3,500 meters. Beyond the cold lands are the páramos, alpine pastures, and the tierra helada (frozen land) (4,000-4,200 meters) in central Mexico. Areas south of the Tropic of Cancer with elevations up to 1,000 m (3,281 ft) (the southern parts of both coastal plains as well as the Yucatán Peninsula), have a yearly median temperature between 24 to 28 °C (75.2 to 82.4 °F). Temperatures here remain high throughout the year, with only a 5 °C (9 °F) difference between winter and summer median temperatures. Both Mexican coasts, except for the south coast of the Bay of Campeche and northern Baja California, are also vulnerable to serious hurricanes during the summer and fall. Although low-lying areas north of the Tropic of Cancer are hot and humid during the summer, they generally have lower yearly temperature averages (from 20 to 24 °C or 68.0 to 75.2 °F) because of more moderate conditions during the winter.
Mexico ranks fourth in the world in biodiversity and is one of the 17 megadiverse countries. With over 200,000 different species, Mexico is home of 10–12% of the world's biodiversity. Mexico ranks first in biodiversity in reptiles with 707 known species, second in mammals with 438 species, fourth in amphibians with 290 species, and fourth in flora, with 26,000 different species. Mexico is also considered the second country in the world in ecosystems and fourth in overall species. About 2,500 species are protected by Mexican legislation.
The federal Congress, as well as the state legislatures, are elected by a system of
plurality vote in single-member districts (the federal electoral districts) and 200 are elected by proportional representation with closed party lists for which the country is divided into five electoral constituencies. The Senate is made up of 128 senators. Of these, 64 senators (two for each state and two for Mexico City) are elected by plurality vote in pairs; 32 senators are the first minority or first-runner up (one for each state and one for Mexico City), and 32 are elected by proportional representation from national closed party lists.
Cabinet and other officers. The President is responsible for executing and enforcing the law, and has the power to veto bills.
The highest organ of the
Supreme Court of Justice, the national supreme court, which has eleven judges appointed by the President and approved by the Senate. The Supreme Court of Justice interprets laws and judges cases of federal competency. Other institutions of the judiciary are the Federal Electoral Tribunal, collegiate, unitary and district tribunals, and the Council of the Federal Judiciary. In theory the judiciary is independent of the executive, but President López Obrador moved to recentralize power in the presidency, undermining the independence of a number of institutions. In the judicial realm lowering the salaries of justices, he refused to allow the independent appointment of the attorney general.
Following the fraudulent 1988 Presidential election in hands of the government's Department of Interior (Gobernación), an independent institute to oversee the electoral agency was created, the Federal Institute of Elections, now the
National Electoral Institute. In 2022, the López Obrador administration which has feuded with the agency, proposed sweeping changes to the structure, advocating its membership be chosen by voters. The proposal is controversial and opposed by academics, who argue the positions should be held by experts.
Three parties have historically been the dominant parties in Mexican politics: the
National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), a leftist-populist party, emerged after the 2012 election and dominated the 2018 Mexican general election. Unlike many Latin American countries, the military in Mexico does not participate in politics and is under civilian control, the result of the concerted effort of revolutionary generals who became presidents of Mexico (1920–40) to remove the military from politics.
As Mexico transitioned from one-party rule in 2000, increasingly criminal cartels have attempted to meddle in politics and have an impact on electoral outcomes. Cartels have moved from bribing or otherwise influencing politicians and now attempt to have their preferred candidates elected. A recent publication based on two decades of analysis of data contends that "electoral competition and partisan conflict were key drivers of the outbreak of Mexico's crime wars, the intensification of violence, and the expansion of war and violence to the spheres of local politics and civil society."
The Mexican military "provides a unique example of a military leadership's transforming itself into a civilian political elite, simultaneously transferring the basis of power from the army to a civilian state." The transformation was brought about by revolutionary generals in the 1920s and 1930s, following the demise of the Federal Army following its complete defeat during the decade-long Mexican Revolution. The Mexican Armed Forces are administered by the Secretariat of National Defense (Secretaria de Defensa Nacional, SEDENA). There are two branches: the Mexican Army (which includes the Mexican Air Force), and the Mexican Navy. The Secretariat of Public Security and Civil Protection has jurisdiction over the National Guard, which was formed in 2019 from the disbanded Federal Police and military police of the Army and Navy. Figures vary on personnel, but as of are approximately 223,000 armed forces personnel (160,000 Army; 8,000 Air Force; 55,000 Navy, including about 20,000 marines); approximately 100,000 National Guard (2021). Government expenditures on the military are a small proportion of GDP 0.7% of GDP (2021 est.), 0.6% of GDP (2020).
The Mexican Armed Forces maintain significant infrastructure, including facilities for design, research, and testing of weapons, vehicles, aircraft, naval vessels, defense systems and electronics; military industry manufacturing centers for building such systems, and advanced naval dockyards that build heavy military vessels and advanced missile technologies. Since the 1990s, when the military escalated its role in the
helicopters, digital war-fighting technologies, urban warfare equipment and rapid troop transport. Mexico has the capabilities to manufacture nuclear weapons, but abandoned this possibility with the Treaty of Tlatelolco in 1968 and pledged to only use its nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Mexico signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Historically, Mexico has remained neutral in international conflicts,
with the exception of World War II. However, in recent years some political parties have proposed an amendment of the Constitution to allow the Mexican Army, Air Force or Navy to collaborate with the United Nations in peacekeeping missions, or to provide military help to countries that officially ask for it.
disappearance of the 43 students in the Mexican town of Iguala
Mexican Federal Police were dissolved in 2019 by a constitutional amendment during the administration of President López Obrador and the Mexican National Guard established, amalgamating units of the Federal Police, Military Police, and Naval Police. As of 2022, the National Guard is an estimated at 110,000. López Obrador has increasingly used military forces for domestic law enforcement, particularly against drug cartels. There have been serious abuses of power have been reported in security operations in the southern part of the country and in indigenous communities and poor urban neighborhoods. The National Human Rights Commission has had little impact in reversing this trend, engaging mostly in documentation but failing to use its powers to issue public condemnations to the officials who ignore its recommendations. Most Mexicans have low confidence in the police or the judicial system, and therefore, few crimes are actually reported by the citizens. There have been public demonstrations of outrage against what is considered a culture of impunity.
Crime and human rights violations in Mexico have been criticized, including enforced disappearances (kidnappings), abuses against migrants, extrajudicial killings, gender-based violence, especially femicide, and attacks on journalists and human rights advocatess.
A 2020 report by the BBC gives statistics on crime in Mexico, with 10.7 million households with at least one victim of crime.
As of May 2022, 100,000 people are officially listed as missing, most since 2007 when President Calderón attempted to stop the drug cartels.
Department of State warns its citizens to exercise increased caution when traveling in Mexico, issuing travel advisories on its website.
The boundaries and constituent units of Mexico evolved over time from its colonial-era origins. Central America peacefully separated from Mexico after independence in 1821. Yucatán was briefly an independent republic. Texas separated in the
governor for a six-year term, and representatives to their respective unicameral state congresses for three-year terms.
Mexico City is a special political division that belongs to the federation as a whole and not to a particular state.
income per capita in the region at $15,311. Mexico is now firmly established as an upper middle-income country. After the slowdown of 2001 the country has recovered and has grown 4.2, 3.0 and 4.8 percent in 2004, 2005 and 2006, even though it is considered to be well below Mexico's potential growth. The International Monetary Fund predicts growth rates of 2.3% and 2.7% for 2018 and 2019, respectively. By 2050, Mexico could potentially become the world's fifth or seventh largest economy.
Although multiple international organizations coincide and classify Mexico as an upper middle income country, or a middle class country
OECD's own poverty line (defined as the percentage of a country's population who earns 60% or less of the national median income) 20% of Mexico's population lives in a situation of poverty.
OECD countries, Mexico has the second-highest degree of economic disparity between the extremely poor and extremely rich, after Chile – although it has been falling over the last decade, being one of few countries in which this is the case. The bottom ten percent in the income hierarchy disposes of 1.36% of the country's resources, whereas the upper ten percent dispose of almost 36%. The OECD also notes that Mexico's budgeted expenses for poverty alleviation and social development is only about a third of the OECD average. This is also reflected by the fact that infant mortality in Mexico is three times higher than the average among OECD nations whereas its literacy levels are in the median range of OECD nations. Nevertheless, according to Goldman Sachs, by 2050 Mexico will have the 5th largest economy in the world. According to a 2008 UN report the average income in a typical urbanized area of Mexico was $26,654, while the average income in rural areas just miles away was only $8,403. Daily minimum wages are set annually being set at $102.68 Mexican pesos (US$5.40) in 2019. All of the indices of social development for the Mexican Indigenous population are considerably lower than the national average, which is motive of concern for the government.
The electronics industry of Mexico has grown enormously within the last decade. Mexico has the sixth largest electronics industry in the world after China, the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Mexico is the second-largest exporter of electronics to the United States where it exported $71.4 billion worth of electronics in 2011. The Mexican electronics industry is dominated by the manufacture and OEM design of televisions, displays, computers, mobile phones, circuit boards, semiconductors, electronic appliances, communications equipment and LCD modules. The Mexican electronics industry grew 20% between 2010 and 2011, up from its constant growth rate of 17% between 2003 and 2009. Currently electronics represent 30% of Mexico's exports.
Mexico produces the most automobiles of any North American nation.
trade deficit with Mexico. In August 2010 Mexico surpassed France to become the 9th largest holder of US debt. The commercial and financial dependence on the US is a cause for concern.
The remittances from Mexican citizens working in the United States account are significant; after dipping during the after the 2008
Covid pandemic in 2021 they are topping other sources of foreign income. Remittances are directed to Mexico by direct links from a U.S. government banking program.
The telecommunications industry is mostly dominated by
(Comisión Federal de Telecomunicaciones).
The Mexican satellite system is domestic and operates 120 earth stations. There is also extensive microwave radio relay network and considerable use of fiber-optic and coaxial cable. Mexican satellites are operated by Satélites Mexicanos (Satmex), a private company, leader in Latin America and servicing both North and South America. It offers broadcast, telephone and telecommunication services to 37 countries in the Americas, from Canada to Argentina. Through business partnerships Satmex provides high-speed connectivity to ISPs and Digital Broadcast Services. Satmex maintains its own satellite fleet with most of the fleet being designed and built in Mexico. Major players in the broadcasting industry are Televisa, the largest Mexican media company in the Spanish-speaking world,TV Azteca and Imagen Televisión.
Energy production in Mexico is managed by the state-owned companies Federal Commission of Electricity and Pemex. Pemex, the public company in charge of exploration, extraction, transportation and marketing of crude oil and natural gas, as well as the refining and distribution of petroleum products and petrochemicals, is one of the largest companies in the world by revenue, making US$86 billion in sales a year. Mexico is the sixth-largest oil producer in the world, with 3.7 million barrels per day. In 1980 oil exports accounted for 61.6% of total exports; by 2000 it was only 7.3%. The largest hydro plant in Mexico is the 2,400 MW Manuel Moreno Torres Dam in Chicoasén, Chiapas, in the Grijalva River. This is the world's fourth most productive hydroelectric plant.
Mexico is the country with the world's third largest solar potential.
solar PV (photo-voltaic). It is expected that in 2012 there will be 1,8 million square meters of installed solar thermal panels. The project named SEGH-CFE 1, located in Puerto Libertad, Sonora, Northwest of Mexico, will have capacity of 46.8 MW from an array of 187,200 solar panels when complete in 2013.
All of the electricity will be sold directly to the CFE and absorbed into the utility's transmission system for distribution throughout their existing network. At an installed capacity of 46.8 MWp, when complete in 2013, the project will be the first utility scale project of its kind in Mexico and the largest solar project of any kind in Latin America.
National Polytechnic Institute (founded in 1936), were established during the first half of the 20th century. Most of the new research institutes were created within UNAM. Twelve institutes were integrated into UNAM from 1929 to 1973. In 1959, the Mexican Academy of Sciences
was created to coordinate scientific efforts between academics.
In recent years, the largest scientific project being developed in Mexico was the construction of the Large Millimeter Telescope (Gran Telescopio Milimétrico, GMT), the world's largest and most sensitive single-aperture telescope in its frequency range. It was designed to observe regions of space obscured by stellar dust. Mexico was ranked 55th in the Global Innovation Index in 2021, up from 56th in 2019.
As of 2017, Mexico was the 6th most visited country in the world and had the 15th highest income from tourism in the world which is also the highest in Latin America. The vast majority of tourists come to Mexico from the United States and Canada followed by Europe and Asia. A smaller number also come from other Latin American countries. In the 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, Mexico was ranked 22nd in the world, which was 3rd in the Americas.
The coastlines of Mexico harbor many stretches of beaches that are frequented by sunbathers and other visitors.
was the highest cable-stayed bridge in the world, the fifth-highest bridge overall and is the highest bridge in the Americas.
The roadway network in Mexico is extensive and all areas in the country are covered by it. The roadway network in Mexico has an extent of 366,095 km (227,481 mi), of which 116,802 km (72,577 mi) are paved. Of these, 10,474 km (6,508 mi) are multi-lane expressways: 9,544 km (5,930 mi) are four-lane highways and the rest have 6 or more lanes.
Starting in the late nineteenth century, Mexico was one of the first Latin American countries to promote railway development,
pesos, or about 25 billion US$ and is being paid for jointly by the Mexican government and the local private sector including the wealthiest man in the world, Mexico's billionaire business tycoon Carlos Slim. The government of the state of Yucatán is also funding the construction of a high speed line connecting the cities of Cozumel to Mérida and Chichen Itza and Cancún.
Throughout the 19th century, the population of Mexico had barely doubled. This trend continued during the first two decades of the 20th century. In 1900, the Mexican population was 13.6 million.
National Geography and Statistics Institute, is estimated in 2022 to be 129,150,971 as of 2017 Mexico had 123.5 million inhabitants making it the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world.
Ethnicity and race
Las castas. Casta painting showing 16 racial groupings, 18th century, Museo Nacional del Virreinato, Tepotzotlán
Mexico's population is highly diverse, but research on Mexican ethnicity has felt the impact of nationalist discourses on identity. Since the 1930s, the Mexican government has promoted the view that all Mexicans are part of the Mestizo community, within which they are distinguished only by residence in or outside of an indigenous community, degree of fluency in an indigenous language, and degree of adherence to indigenous customs. Even then, across the years the government has used different criteria to count Indigenous peoples, with each of them returning considerably different numbers ranging from 6.1% to 23% of the country's population. It is not until very recently that the Mexican government began conducting surveys that consider other ethnic groups that live in the country, such as Afro-Mexicans (who comprised 2% of Mexico's population in 2020) or White Mexicans (47%). (These studies assert a view of race based on appearance rather than on self-declared ancestry). Less numerous groups in Mexico such as Asians and Middle Easterners are also accounted for, with numbers of around 1% each. While Mestizos are a prominent ethnic group in contemporary Mexico, the subjective and ever-changing definition of this category have led to its estimations being imprecise, having been observed that many Mexicans do not identify as Mestizos, favoring instead ethnoracial labels such as White or Indigenous due to having more consistent and "static" definitions.
The total percentage of Mexico's indigenous peoples tends to vary depending on the criteria used by the government in its censuses: if the ability to speak an indigenous language is used as the criterion to define a person as indigenous, it is 6.1%, if racial self-identification is used, it is 14.9%[d] and if people who consider themselves part indigenous are also included, it amounts to 23%. Nonetheless, all the censuses conclude that the majority of Mexico's indigenous population is concentrated in rural areas of the southern and south-eastern Mexican states, with the highest percentages being found in Yucatán (59% of the population), Oaxaca (48%), Quintana Roo (39%), Chiapas (28%), and Campeche (27%).
Similarly to Mestizo and indigenous peoples, estimates of the percentage of
European-descended Mexicans vary considerably depending on the criteria used: recent nationwide field surveys that account for different phenotypical traits (hair color, skin color etc.) report a percentage between 18%-23% if the criterion is the presence of blond hair, and of 47% if the criterion is skin color, with the later surveys having been conducted by Mexico's government itself. While, during the colonial era, most of the European migration into Mexico was Spanish, in the 19th and 20th centuries, a substantial number of non-Spanish Europeans immigrated to the country, with Europeans often being the most numerous ethnic group in colonial Mexican cities. Nowadays, Mexico's northern and western regions have the highest percentages of European populations, with the majority of the people not having native admixture or being of predominantly European ancestry.
Smaller ethnic groups in Mexico include South and East Asians, present since the colonial era. During the colonial era, Asians were termed Chino (regardless of ethnicity), and arrived as merchants, artisans and slaves. A study by Juan Esteban Rodríguez, a graduate student at the National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity, indicated that up to one third of people sampled from Guerrero state had significantly more Asian ancestry than most Mexicans, primarily Filipino or Indonesian. Modern Asian immigration began in the late 19th century, and at one point in the early 20th century, the Chinese were the second largest immigrant group.
Spanish Royal Academy serves as the primary guideline for spelling, except for words of Amerindian origin that retain their original phonology such as cenzontle instead of sinzontle and México not Méjico. Words of foreign origin also maintain their original spelling such as "whisky" and "film", as opposed to güisqui and filme as the Royal Academy suggests. The letter x is distinctly used in Mexican Spanish, where it may be pronounced as [ks] (as in oxígeno or taxi); as [ʃ], particularly in Amerindian words (e.g. mixiote, Xola and uxmal); and as the voiceless velar fricative[x] (such as Texas and Oaxaca).
Map for the year 2000 of the indigenous languages of Mexico having more than 100,000 speakers
Aside from indigenous languages, there are several minority languages spoken in Mexico due to international migration such as Low German by the 80,000-strong Mennonite population, primarily settled in the northern states, fueled by the tolerance of the federal government towards this community by allowing them to set their own educational system compatible with their customs and traditions. The Chipilo dialect, a variance of the Venetian language, is spoken in the town of Chipilo, located in the central state of Puebla, by around 2,500 people, mainly descendants of Venetians that migrated to the area in the late 19th century. Furthermore, English is the most commonly taught foreign language in Mexico. It is estimated that nearly 24 million, or around a fifth of the population, study the language through public schools, private institutions or self-access channels. However, a high level of English proficiency is limited to only 5% of the population. Moreover, French is the second most widely taught foreign language, as every year between 200,000 and 250,000 Mexican students enroll in language courses.
In the early 1960s, around 600,000 Mexicans lived abroad, which increased sevenfold by the 1990s to 4.4 million. At the turn of the 21st century, this figure more than doubled to 9.5 million. As of 2017, it is estimated that 12.9 million Mexicans live abroad, primarily in the United States, which concentrates nearly 98% of the expatriate population.
The majority of Mexicans have settled in states such as
Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Dallas–Fort Worth. As a result of these major migration flows in recent decades, around 36 million U.S. residents, or 11.2% of the country's population, identified as being of full or partial Mexican ancestry.
The remaining 2% of expatriates have settled in Canada (86,000), primarily in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, followed by Spain (49,000) and Germany (18,000), both European destinations represent almost two-thirds of the Mexican population living in the continent. As for Latin America, it is estimated that 69,000 Mexicans live in the region, Guatemala (18,000) being the top destination for expatriates, followed by Bolivia (10,000) and Panama (5,000).
The 97,864,218 Catholics of Mexico constitute in absolute terms the second largest Catholic community in the world, after Brazil's. 47% percent of them attend church services weekly. The feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, is celebrated on 12 December and is regarded by many Mexicans as the most important religious holiday of their country. The denominations Pentecostal also have an important presence, especially in the cities of the border and in the indigenous communities. As of 2010, Pentecostal churches together have more than 1.3 million adherents, which in net numbers place them as the second Christian creed in Mexico. The situation changes when the different Pentecostal denominations are considered as separate entities. Migratory phenomena have led to the spread of different aspects of Christianity, including branches Protestants, Eastern Catholic Churches and Eastern Orthodox Church.
In certain regions, the profession of a creed other than the Catholic is seen as a threat to community unity. It is argued that the Catholic religion is part of the ethnic identity, and that the Protestants are not willing to participate in the traditional customs and practices (the
San Juan Chamula, in Chiapas, and San Nicolás, in Ixmiquilpan,Hidalgo. A similar argument was presented by a committee of anthropologists to request the government of the Republic to expel the Summer Linguistic Institute (SIL), in the year 1979, which was accused of promoting the division of indigenous peoples by translating the Bible into vernacular languages and evangelizing in a Protestant creed that threatened the integrity of popular cultures. The Mexican government paid attention to the call of the anthropologists and canceled the agreement that had held with the SIL.
The presence of
Arab Mexicans. In the 2010 census 36,764 Mexicans reported belonging to a spiritualist religion, a category which includes a tiny Buddhist
According to Jacobo Grinberg (in texts edited by the National Autonomous University of Mexico), the survival of magic-religious rituals of the old indigenous groups is remarkable, not only in the current indigenous population but also in the mestizo and white population that make up the Mexican rural and urban society. There is often a syncretism between shamanism and Catholic traditions. Another religion of popular syncretism in Mexico (especially in recent years) is the Santería. This is mainly due to the large number of Cubans who settled in the territory after the Cuban Revolution (mainly in states such as Veracruz and Yucatán). Even though Mexico was also a recipient of black slaves from Africa in the 16th century, the apogee of these cults is relatively new. In general, popular religiosity is viewed with bad eyes by institutionally structured religions. One of the most exemplary cases of popular religiosity is the cult of Holy Dead (Santa Muerte). The Catholic hierarchy insists on describing it as a satanic cult. However, most of the people who profess this cult declare themselves to be Catholic believers, and consider that there is no contradiction between the tributes they offer to the Christ Child and the adoration of God. Other examples are the representations of the Passion of Christ and the celebration of Day of the Dead, which take place within the framework of the Catholic Christian imaginary, but under a very particular reinterpretation of its protagonists.
In the 1930s, Mexico made a commitment to rural health care, mandating that mostly urban medical students receive training in it and to make them agents of the state to assess marginal areas. Since the early 1990s, Mexico entered a transitional stage in the health of its population and some indicators such as mortality patterns are identical to those found in highly developed countries like Germany or Japan. Mexico's medical infrastructure is highly rated for the most part and is usually excellent in major cities, but rural communities still lack equipment for advanced medical procedures, forcing patients in those locations to travel to the closest urban areas to get specialized medical care.Social determinants of health can be used to evaluate the state of health in Mexico.
State-funded institutions such as Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and the Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers (ISSSTE) play a major role in health and social security. Private health services are also very important and account for 13% of all medical units in the country. Medical training is done mostly at public universities with much specializations done in vocational or internship settings. Some public universities in Mexico, such as the University of Guadalajara, have signed agreements with the U.S. to receive and train American students in medicine. Health care costs in private institutions and prescription drugs in Mexico are on average lower than that of its North American economic partners.
Mural painting with Christian religious themes had an important flowering during the 16th century, early colonial era in newly constructed churches and monasteries. Examples can be found in Acolman, Actopan, Huejotzingo, Tecamachalco and Zinacantepec.
As with most art during the early modern era in the West, colonial-era Mexican art was religious during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Starting in the late seventeenth century, and, most prominently in the eighteenth century, secular portraits and images of racial types, so-called casta painting appeared. Important painters of the late colonial period were Juan Correa, Cristóbal de Villalpando and Miguel Cabrera. In early post-independence Mexico, Nineteenth-century painting had a marked romantic influence; landscapes and portraits were the greatest expressions of this era. Hermenegildo Bustos is one of the most appreciated painters of the historiography of Mexican art. Other painters include Santiago Rebull, Félix Parra, Eugenio Landesio, and his noted pupil, the landscape artist José María Velasco.
In the 20th century has achieved world renown with painters such as Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco, the so-called "Big Three" of Mexican muralism. They were commissioned by the Mexican government to paint large-scale historical murals on the walls of public buildings, which helped shape popular perceptions of the Mexican Revolution and Mexican cultural identity.Frida Kahlo's largely personal portraiture has gained enormous popularity.
(Palace of Fine Arts), with murals, other artwork, and a major performance space
In the 19th century the neoclassical movement arose as a response to the objectives of the republican nation, one of its examples are the Hospicio Cabañas where the strict plastic of the classical orders are represented in their architectural elements, new religious buildings also arise, civilian and military that demonstrate the presence of neoclassicism. Romanticists from a past seen through archeology show images of medieval Europe, Islamic and pre-Columbian Mexico in the form of architectural elements in the construction of international exhibition pavilions looking for an identity typical of the national culture. The art nouveau, and the art deco were styles introduced into the design of the Palacio de Bellas Artes to mark the identity of the Mexican nation with Greek-Roman and pre-Columbian symbols.
Mexican literature has its antecedents in the literature of the indigenous settlements of Mesoamerica. Poetry had a rich cultural tradition in pre-Columbian Mexico, being divided into two broad categories—secular and religious. Aztec poetry was sung, chanted, or spoken, often to the accompaniment of a drum or a harp. While Tenochtitlan was the political capital,
Texcoco was the cultural center; the Texcocan language was considered the most melodious and refined. The best well-known pre-Columbian poet is Nezahualcoyotl.
There are historical chronicles of the conquest of Mexico by participants, and, later, by historians.
Mexico has a long tradition of music from the prehispanic era to the present. Much of the music from the colonial era was composed for religious purposes.
Although the traditions of European opera and especially
Aztec ruler, Cuauhtémoc. The most well-known Mexican composer of the twentieth century is Carlos Chávez (1899–1978), who composed six symphonies with indigenous themes, and rejuvenated Mexican music, founding the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional.
Traditional Mexican music includes
narcocorridos. The embrace of rock and roll by young Mexicans in the 1960s and 1970s brought Mexico into the transnational, counterculture movement of the era. In Mexico, the native rock culture merged into the larger countercultural and political movement of the late 1960s, culminating in the 1968 protests and redirected into counterculture rebellion, La Onda (the wave).
On an everyday basis most Mexicans listen to contemporary music such as
There was a major reform of the telecommunications industry in 2013, with the creation of new broadcast television channels. There had been a longstanding limitation on the number of networks, with
Imagen Television. New technology has allowed the entry of foreign satellite and cable companies. Mexico became the first Latin American country to transition from analog to all digital transmissions.
edutainment, with TV producer Miguel Sabido creating in 1970s "soap operas for social change". The "Sabido method" has been adopted in many other countries subsequently, including India, Peru, Kenya, and China. The Mexican government successfully used a telenovela to promote family planning in the 1970s to curb the country's high birth rate.
Bilingual government radio stations broadcasting in Spanish and indigenous languages were a tool for indigenous education (1958–65) and since 1979 the
Instituto Nacional Indigenista has established a national network of bilingual radio stations.
Organized sport in Mexico largely dates from the late nineteenth century, with only bullfighting having a long history dating to the early colonial era. Once the political turmoil of the early republic was replaced by the stability of the Porfiriato did organized sport become public diversions, with structured and ordered play governed by rules and authorities. Baseball was introduced from the United States and also via Cuba in the 1880s and organized teams were created. After the Mexican Revolution, the government sponsored sports to counter the international image of political turmoil and violence.
The bid to host the 1968 Summer Olympics was to burnish Mexico's stature internationally, with is being the first Latin American country to host the games. The government spent abundantly on sporting facilities and other infrastructure to make the games a success, but those expenditures helped fuel public discontent with the government's lack of spending on social programs. Mexico City hosted the XIX Olympic Games in 1968, making it the first Latin American city to do so. The country has also hosted the FIFA World Cup twice, in 1970 and 1986. Mexico's most popular sport is association football.
^Defined as persons who live in a household where an indigenous language is spoken by one of the adult family members or people who self-identified as indigenous ("Criteria del hogar: De esta manera, se establece, que los hogares indígenas son aquellos en donde el jefe y/o el cónyuge y/o padre o madre del jefe y/o suegro o suegra del jefe hablan una lengua indígena y también aquellos que declararon pertenecer a un grupo indígena.") AND persons who speak an indigenous language but who do not live in such a household ("Por lo antes mencionado, la Comisión Nacional Para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas de México (CDI) considera población indígena (PI) a todas las personas que forman parte de un hogar indígena, donde el jefe(a) del hogar, su cónyuge y/o alguno de los ascendientes (madre o padre, madrastra o padrastro, abuelo(a), bisabuelo(a), tatarabuelo(a), suegro(a)) declaro ser hablante de lengua indígena. Además, también incluye a personas que declararon hablar alguna lengua indígena y que no forman parte de estos hogares.")
^Florescano, Enrique. "The creation of the Museo Nacional de Antropología and its scientific, educational, and political purposes." In Nationalism: Critical Concepts in Political Science, Vol. IV p. 1257. John Hutchinson and Anthony D. Smith, eds. London and New York: Routledge 2000.
^Octavio Paz, Posdata, Mexico: Siglo Veintiuno 1969, quoted in Florescano, "The creation of the Museo Nacional de Antropología", p. 1258, footnote 9.
^Sempa, Francis P. "China, Spanish America, and the 'Birth of Globalization'". The Diplomat. Retrieved 7 February 2017. Mexico City, the authors [Peter Gordon, Juan Jose Morales] note, was the 'first world city,' the precursor to London, New York, and Hong Kong, where 'Asia, Europe, and the Americas all met, and where people intermingled and exchanged everything from genes to textiles'.
^"Articles 50 to 79". Political Constitution of the United Mexican States. Congress of the Union of the United Mexican States. Archived from the original on 13 November 2006. Retrieved 3 October 2007.
^"Third Title, First Chapter, About Electoral systems"(PDF). Código Federal de Instituciones y Procedimientos Electorales (Federal Code of Electoral Institutions and Procedures) (in Spanish). Congress of the Union of the United Mexican States. 15 August 1990. Archived from the original(PDF) on 25 October 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2007.
^"Articles 80 to 93". Political Constitution of the United Mexican States. Congress of the Union of the United Mexican States. Archived from the original on 13 November 2006. Retrieved 3 October 2007.
^"Articles 90 to 107". Political Constitution of the United Mexican States. Congress of the Union of the United Mexican States. Archived from the original on 13 November 2006. Retrieved 3 October 2007.
^ abPolitical Constitution of the United Mexican States (5 February 1917). "Article 89, Section 10"(PDF) (in Spanish). Chamber of Deputies. Archived from the original(PDF) on 25 August 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
^Internal Rules of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (10 August 2001). "Article 2, Section 1" (in Spanish). Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Archived from the original on 11 June 2008. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
^"¿Qué es y cómo se determina un hogar indígena?" [What is and how an indigenous home is determined?]. Preguntas frecuentes [Frequent questions] (in Spanish). CDI. Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas [CDI. National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples). 23 February 2009. Archived from the original on 1 May 2011.
^"Une Langue Pour Apprendre"(PDF) (in French). Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. 6 September 2010. p. 132. Archived from the original(PDF) on 13 November 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
^"Cours de français" (in French). Ambassade de France à Mexico. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
^Hanna Rosin, "Life Lessons: How Soap Operas Can Change the World", The New Yorker, 5 June 2006, pp. 40–45.
^Soto Laveaga, Gabriela, "'Let's become fewer': Soap operas, contraception, and nationalizing the Mexican family in an overpopulated world." Sexuality Research and Social Policy. September 2007, vol. 4,, no. 3 pp. 19–33.