Mexico City is its capital and largest city. Mexico was the home to many great civilizations including the Olmec, the Maya, the Zapotec, and the Aztec. Mexico is home to a very rare rabbit called the volcano rabbit which lives near Mexican volcanoes. Mexico City is built over the ruins of a great Aztec city, Tenochtitlán. The National University of Mexico was founded in 1551 by Charles V of Spain and is the oldest university in North America. Several coastal sites, such as Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Acapulco, and Puerto Escondido, have become alluring tourist destinations. Mexico: A Primary Source Cultural Guide. The first great civilization in Mexico were the Olmecs (1400-300 B.C.) However, the less-hospitable inland basins provide a difficult environment for traditional peasant farmers. The first printing press in North America was used in Mexico City in 1539. The hot, dry Balsas Depression, which takes its name from the major river draining the region, is immediately south of the Cordillera Neo-Volcánica. Early, Middle, and Late Formative periods, The age of Santa Anna: Texas and the Mexican-American War, The Mexican Revolution and its aftermath, 1910–40, The northern dynasty: Obregón and Calles, The election of López Obrador and the shift leftward, Central Intelligence Agency - The World Factbook - Mexico, Mexico - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Mexico - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Migrants from impoverished rural areas have poured into Mexico’s cities, and nearly four-fifths of Mexicans now live in urban areas. Among the active volcanic peaks of the region is El Chichón, which destroyed several villages in 1982. Unevenly divided between the states of Baja California and Baja California Sur, the peninsula is nearly 800 miles (1,300 km) long but seldom more than 100 miles (160 km) wide. Here are a few of the more interesting and well-known figures who left their indelible mark on the history of the great nation of Mexico. The Yucatán Peninsula lies to the northeast of the Tabasco Plain and extends northward, forming a divider between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The Aztecs sacrificed people to various gods. Mexico City is … France temporarily invaded Veracruz in 1838 and in 1861 Napoleon III took Mexico City where he installed a Hapsburg archduke, Maximilian, as 'emperor' for a brief period. It has a total area of 1,964,375 square km. The North Atlantic Free Trade Association (NAFTA) was created in 1994 to encourage trade among the United States, Actor Anthony Quinn was the first Mexican to win an Academy Award for his role in the 1952 movies. Spanish is one of its recognized regional languages. Its hilly central area descends to narrow coastal plains on the south and to the Tabasco Plain on the north. A chronology of key events in Mexico's history. From there the Mesa Central stretches to a point just south of Mexico City. To the northwest and paralleling the coast is the Grijalva River valley. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). As early as 300 B.C., indigenous people inhabited the area now known as Mexico. The Gulf Coastal Plain, which is much wider than its Pacific coast counterpart, extends some 900 miles (1,450 km) along the Gulf of Mexico from Tamaulipas state (on the Texas border) through Veracruz and Tabasco states to the Yucatán Peninsula; it includes the Tabasco Plain in its southeastern section. 2014 August - Mexico's Congress approves sweeping reforms to the country's energy sector … Important characters in Mexican history like Hernán Cortés, Moctezuma, Emperor Maximilian, and President Porfirio Díaz incorporated Spanish and French food that left their mark on the actual Mexican cuisine. Relative to their bodies, Chihuahuas have the biggest brain in the dog world, The poinsettia is more famous for its leaves than for its flowers, Catholicism is the dominate religion in Mexico, Mexico is home to the world's smallest volcano, which stands just 43 feet (13 meters) tall, Mexican folk dance is a blend of European, African, and Indigenous heritage, Cacao was a highly valued commodity in pre-Hispanic Mexico, The Great Pyramid of Cholula is also known as. 2004. The country remains economically fragile despite the forging of stronger ties with the United States and Canada through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Images at War: Mexico from Columbus to Blade Runner (1492-2019). The left green stripe stands for hope, the middle white stripe represents purity, and the right red stripe represents the blood of those who died fighting for Mexico's independence. Mexico is the 11th most populated country in the world. The Chihuahua is the world’s smallest dog and is named for a Mexican state. In 1845 the US annexed Texas and in 1848 invaded Mexico City; it paid $15 million for most of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Over the years, various tribal groups vied for power and created longstanding cultural traditions. The Pacific Coastal Lowlands begin near Mexicali and the Colorado River delta in the north and terminate near Tepic, some 900 miles (1,450 km) to the south. Hidalgo is widely considered the father of modern Mexico, and Mexican Independence is celebrated on September 15-16. Mexican warriors threw hornet nests at enemies. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. It is one of the poorest areas of Mexico. Among the generally fertile basins is the Bajío (El Bajío, or the Basin of Guanajuato), the traditional breadbasket of the country, which is located in the northern part of the Mesa Central. The Sierra Madre Oriental, a range of folded mountains formed of shales and limestones, is situated on the eastern side of the Mexican Plateau. Mexico City has the highest elevation and is oldest city in North America. While it is more than 1,850 miles (3,000 km) across from northwest to southeast, its width varies from less than 135 miles (217 km) at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to more than 1,200 miles (1,900 km) in the north. Omissions? In the north the Chihuahuan Desert covers a section of the plateau that is more extensive than the U.S. state of California. Mexico remained under Spanish control for nearly 300 years until the Mexican people, led by a priest named Father Hidalgo, rose up against the Spanish on September 16, 1810. The Mesa Central covers large parts of Michoacán, Guanajuato, Querétaro, Hidalgo, and México states and the Federal District (Mexico City). Under the rule of Montezuma II, 12,000 victims were sacrificed in one day. Many of the basins were once sites of major lakes that were drained to facilitate European and mestizo settlement. Mexico’s flag is made up three vertical stripes. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. During an Aztec human sacrifice, five priests, sometimes with their faces painted with different colors, held the sacrificial victims’ arms and legs. LATIN AMERICA- HISTORY MEXICO- HISTORY MEXICO, [STATE] - HISTORY MEXICO, [STATE], [CITY]- HISTORY The following are only a few of the many historical sources on Mexico that are available. Amerindian people or predominantly Amerindian people account for 21 percent, while 10 percent of the population is white. Mexico also administers such islands and archipelagoes as the Tres Marías in the Pacific and Cozumel and Mujeres off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. A group of highly dissected, folded, and faulted mountains is located between the valley and the Tabasco Plain, a southeastern extension of the Gulf Coastal Plain. The triangular northern portion of the plain, which is characterized by lagoons and low-lying swampy areas, reaches a width of more than 100 miles (160 km) near the U.S. border but tapers toward the south. For over 3000 years before the Europeans arrived these civilizations flourished. Throughout its history, Mexico has been home to great artists. It is also the largest monument ever constructed in the world. Mexico introduced chillies, corn and chocolate to the world. Mexico introduced chocolate, chilies and … Mexico is an ancient land that, long before the arrival of the Europeans, had already seen the rise and fall of great Indian empires. In states such as Oaxaca or Chiapas, small communal villages remain where indigenous peasants live much as their ancestors did. The country's main religion is Roman Catholicism, embraced by 89% of the population. The Indian civilizations made important breakthroughs in agriculture and science. The largest valleys rarely exceed 100 square miles (260 square km) in area, and many others are quite small. Panoramic view of the coastal resort of Acapulco, Mex. The cultural remnants of great pre-Columbian civilizations, such as Teotihuacán or the Mayan pyramids at Chichén Itzá and Tulum, provide a contrast to colonial towns such as Taxco or Querétaro. He went to the United States, where he called on Mexicans to rise up and overthrow Diaz. What country has the largest Muslim population? Although the vast Sonoran Desert dominates their northern section, parts of the lowlands have been irrigated and transformed into highly productive farmland. There is little surface drainage, and subterranean erosion has produced caverns and sinkholes (cenotes), the latter being formed when cavern roofs collapse. 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