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Mexico. 1200BCE-1521CE - Olmec the Maya and the Aztecs dominate Mexican region 1519 -Spanish arrive in Mexico 1521 - Aztec Capital Falls to Hernan Cortez and his Native allies 1521-1810 - Mexico becomes the Largest Spanish colony in the World. Origins of Modern Day Mexico.

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origins of modern day mexico
1200BCE-1521CE- Olmec the Maya and the Aztecs dominate Mexican region

1519-Spanish arrive in Mexico

1521- Aztec Capital Falls to Hernan Cortez and his Native allies

1521-1810- Mexico becomes the Largest Spanish colony in the World

Origins of Modern Day Mexico
an independent mexico
1810- Father Miguel Hidalgo Declares Mexican Independence

1821- Mexico is officially recognized as an independent nation

1821- 1836- Unstable government marked by constant turmoil

1848- Santa Ana led forces loose Mexican-American War

1860’s- Military occupation by the French

An Independent Mexico
modern mexico
1860’s- Military occupation by the French

1867- The French are expelled

1913- Civil wars end, and Venustiano Carranza takes power

Modern Mexico

-Mexico is bound to the north by the US(California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas)

-Bound to south and west by the Pacific Ocean

-Bound to the east by the Gulf of Mexico

-Bound by the southeast by Belize, Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea

-shares a border of 3,141 km with the US


Mexico is divided into multiple regions according to landscape and elevation. These include the central plateau, Pacific Lowlands, Gulf Coast plains, Yucatan Peninsula, Southern Highland, Chiapas Highlands and the Baja California Peninsula.

The central plateau is characterized by Sierra Madre Occidental in the west and the Sierra Madre Oriental in the east.

physical features
Physical Features

Terrain- rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus; desert

The Grande de Santiago and the Lerma rivers together form the the largest and most important river system and are an important source of hydroelectric power

The Rio Bravo(known as the Rio Grande in the US) is the border between the US and Mexico and provide water for irrigation for both countries

physical features8
Physical Features

- Lowest point is Laguna Salada at -10 Meters

  • Highest point is Pico de Orizaba at 5,700 Meters (3rd highest peak in North America)
  • 9,330 km of coast line and 4,353 km of land boundaries
natural hazards
Natural Hazards

Mexico is located on top of 3 tectonic plates causing it to experience a high degree of seismic activity

Tsunamis- located along the pacific coast

Volcanoes & Earthquakes- located in the center and south

Hurricanes- located in the gulf of Mexico and Caribbean coasts.


Because Spain had the most control over Mexico, Spanish became the dominant language of the country

80 percent speak both Spanish and another indigenous language

different languages
Different Languages
  • Spanish is not the only language spoken
  • Many indigenous languages still spoken
    • Nahuatl
    • Maya
    • Mixteco
    • Zapoteco
  • Maya- 13%
  • Mixteco and Zapoteco – 7%
  • Other- less than 5%
  • Spanish- more than 80%
  • Nahuatl-spoken by millions of Mexicans
mexico s economy
Mexico’s Economy

Income per Capita: $7,130 USD.

GDP: 1.134 Trilion USD (Purchase Power Parity)

Gini Index: 49.5

Human Development Index: 82.1

Currency: Peso

The economy of Mexico is considered reasonably well-developed.
  • The main engines of the economy are:
    • Industry
    • Agriculture
    • Tourism
    • Mining
    • Remittances
Mexican industry has been supported by Free Trade agreements, most notably, NAFTA
  • This led to the rise of Maquiladoras
  • Today, Mexico boasts varied heavy industry, mostly in Northern Mexico.
  • Agriculture accounts for 3.9% of GDP
  • Birthplace of Corn
  • Advocados, Lime/Lemons, Papaya, chilis/peppers
  • Increased Mechanization

Drug Tourism Experience Tourism

“Me” Tourism

mineral resources
Mineral Resources
  • Mexico is ranked 5th globally in oil production, 10th in oil export.
  • Mexico also produces silver.
  • Remittances contribute $18 billion to the Mexican economy.
  • Uno por Dos program
  • Mixed Blessing
There remains wildly uneven economic development in Mexico.
  • While Northern Mexico is industrialized, Southern Mexico, not so much.
  • N. Mexico= HDI of .8
  • S. Mexico= .4
politics and government
Politics and Government

Executive Branch

  • President is elected through popular vote every 6 years with no re-election
  • President controls who his Party chooses to run for national offices (like Congress)
  • Executive branch initiates 90% of all legislation
  • President chooses cabinet members
legislative branch
Legislative Branch
  • Bicameral (2 houses)
    • Chamber of Deputies

*500 members

*3 year terms

    • Senate

*128 members

*6 year terms

  • Not very powerful

 lobbyists, interest groups not common

  • Centered around the Supreme Court
    • Judges appointed by President
    • Must be approved by 2/3 Senate vote
    • Rarely evaluates new laws through judicial precedent

Ability to change laws is limited

  • Very little influence
local government
Local Government
  • 31 states + federal district of Mexico City (nation’s capitol)
  • Governors elected to 6 year terms
  • Organization: state municipality city
  • Local governments have little power
    • Because most revenue comes from federal, not local, tax collection
political parties
Political Parties
  • Institutional Revolutionary Party
    • Dominated National Government 1929-2000
  • National Action Party (PAN)
    • Founded 1939
    • Right-leaning: privatization, minimize spending on social services
  • Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD)
    • Founded 1989
    • Left-leaning
    • Usually opposes NAFTA (1994)
post pri politics
Post-PRI Politics
  • Vicente Fox (PAN) wins 2000 election
    • PRI lost control of Congress and presidency for first time in decades
  • 2006 Election: Felipe Calderon (PAN) narrowly beats Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (PRD)
    • Many protests and claims of election fraud

Vicente Fox

Lopez Obrador


comparison with usa
Comparison with USA
  • Major Differences: In Mexico…
    • Local governments less powerful than in USA
    • Executive is much more powerful than other 2


    • Lobbyists/interest groups are uncommon
    • Presidential elections by popular vote
    • Existed period of long domination by one Party
comparison with usa31
Comparison With USA
  • Major Similarities: Both countries…
    • Are federal republics (national AND local governments)
    • Have universal suffrage 18 and older
    • Have 3 branches of government
    • Have a 2-house legislature
    • Have a Supreme Court
ancient mexican religion
Ancient Mexican Religion
  • Nahua, religion of the Nahuatl, main religion of ancient Mexico
  • Mixture of many different Mexican religions including Mayans, Toltecs, and Olmecs
  • Worshipped many deities
          • Tonatiuh, sun deity of the

Nahua faith

ancient mexican religion34
Ancient Mexican Religion
  • Practiced ritualistic cannibalism and performed human sacrifices for many reasons
      • Appease the gods
      • Prevent drought, famine, earthquakes, etc.
      • Guarantee their existence
ancient mexican religion35
Ancient Mexican Religion
  • Arrival of Spaniards in the 1500s changed religion drastically
  • Spaniards introduced Catholicism to Mexican natives
  • Now favor one God as opposed to many
  • Some deities were, however, incorporated to create a unique Catholic faith
  • San La Muerte worshipped on “Dia de los Muertos”
modern religion
Modern Religion
  • Mexico is currently
      • 89% Roman Catholic
      • 6% Protestant
      • 5% Other
  • The most important symbol

of Mexico is “Nuestra

Senora de Guadlupe,”

who first appeared in 1531.

modern religion37
Modern Religion
  • The 5% of Other contains Mormons, Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Tibetan Buddhists
  • Most Mexicans are able to find a place to worship, although there are not any mosques for Muslims.
  • Mexico even holds one of only six “Tibet Houses” in the world.
modern religion38
Modern Religion
  • Mexicans have many religious customs and festivals that are still practiced to date.
  • Every Mexican city holds yearly fiestas to show honor to its local patron saint.
  • Las Posadas begins on December 16th and lasts until the 24th.
  • Traditionally acted out the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.
  • Now usually nine parties celebrated in different friends’ homes before Christmas.
  • Guadalupe Day, December 12th, is the most important day.
mexican food
Mexican Food
  • Basics
    • Rice
    • Beans
      • refried or de la olla
    • Corn
  • Chilies
    • Used to liven up what would be rather bland food
  • Spanish Rice – red in color
    • sauce of tomatoes, cilantro, onions, garlic and chicken bouillon.
  • Yellow Rice - made with saffron
    • a spice used in Spain mainly.
  • White rice
    • cooked only with water and a little bit of milk  and salt.
  • A lot of fish
    • Pacific and Gulf of Mexico close
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Chicken
unique produce
Unique Produce
  • Guanabana
    • a very sweet fruit of white meat with lots of black seeds, 
  • Chayotes
    • green vegetable, has lots of spines on the skin. These are removed when cooked
  • Glass of fresh orange juice
  • Followed by 2 huevos rancheros (2 sunny side up eggs on a fried tortilla with any kind of salsa on top)
  • Cup of hot chocolate or coffee.
  • Torta – sandwich with a special kind of white bread with refried beans, ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, onions and sweet cream
  • Lemonade or
  • Agua de Horchata. (this is rice water with vanilla, sugar and cinnamon)
  • Chiles Rellenos,
    • A poblano pepper stuffed with cheese dressed with a batter of eggs and fried until it is brown.
    • Then put in a sauce made of tomatoes, garlic, onion, cilantro and chicken bouillon
    • Cooked in the sauce for about ten minutes