The History of Mexico

A Quick Look into the Most Important Events in Mexican History

Here's an overview of the most important events that happened in the history of Mexico.


Pre-columbine history of Mexico

Olmec statue

Before the arrival of the first Europeans to the Americas, the civilizations of ancient Mexico achieved important advances in military strategy, architecture, mathematics and agriculture. The Olmec culture was the mother of all Mesoamerican civilizations. They lived between 1200 BC and 800 BC, and among their achievements is a complex system of numbers, which is the predecessor
of the Maya Calendar.

After the Olmecs disappeared, several other cultures raised. The most known of those cultures were the Maya, unparalleled architects, and the Aztecs, who greeted the Spanish Conquerors on 1519.


The Spanish supremacy

At the arrival of Hernán Cortés and his men, the natives of Mexico thought the Spaniards were sent by a God to help the Aztecs in their battles against other tribes. However, Cortés showed his intentions soon, and the war between Aztecs and Spaniards (the first big Mexican war) began. In 1521, Cortés defeated the Aztecs and claimed the land for the Spanish Crown. Although the Aztecs were superior in strategy and military organization, the Spaniards had more advanced weapons.


Through this part of the history of Mexico, the land of New Spain outgrew the borders of the Aztec empire due to several Spanish mission trips to Mexico, and also because of a permission given to explorers by the kings of Spain. They could explore and keep all treasures they found, in exchange of one fifth of those treasures. As a result of those explorer’s quests and mission trips, most natives were made slave. That slavery system prevailed for many years through the history of Mexico.


Forging the Mexican Independence

After hundreds of years of Spanish domination, the population of Mexico began to dream about having a country of their own.


At those times, Mexican society was formed by a minority of pure native descendants, by “Mestizos” (people with mixed Native-Spanish blood), by Spanish immigrants who came to Mexico to accumulate wealth, and by a majority of “Criollos” (people with pure Spanish descent who were born in Mexico). Tired of the taxes imposed by the Spanish Crown, the Criollos initiated an insurrection that resulted in the proclamation of the Mexican Independence in 1821. With the Spanish out of the land, the Criollos became the ruling class in Mexico.


Modern times

The process of organizing Mexico wasn't an easy task. It took years of wars (the most important of which was the war against the US, maybe the largest in the history of Mexico) to achieve peace.


Nowadays, Criollos and Mestizos form the largest part of the population, while descendants continue to be a minority. However, thanks to the protectionist administration of several Mexican presidents, there are many federal programs designed to preserve the beauty of the native traditions. With a huge cultural heritage, the richness of its natural resources and the huge amount of tourists visiting Mexico from almost every place in the world, the economy seems to be in its highest point of all the history of Mexico.