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United Mexican States

Estados Unidos Mexicanos  (Spanish)
Coat of arms of Mexico
Coat of arms
Motto: 
La Patria Es Primero  (Spanish)
("The Homeland is First")
Anthem: Himno Nacional Mexicano
("Mexican National Anthem")
Location of Mexico
Capital
and largest city
Mexico City
19°26′N 99°08′W / 19.433°N 99.133°W / 19.433; -99.133
Official languages
  • None at federal level
Recognized regional languages Spanish and 68 Amerindian languages
National language Spanish (de facto)
Ethnic groups
56 Amerindian and diverse foreign ethnic groups
Religion
(2020)
  • 88.9% Christianity
  • —77.7% Catholicism
  • —11.2% Other Christian
  • 10.6% No religion
  • 0.2% Others
  • 0.3% Unspecified
Demonym(s) Mexican
Government Federal presidential
republic
Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Olga Sánchez Cordero
Sergio Gutiérrez Luna
Legislature Congress
Senate
Chamber of Deputies
Independence 
from Spain
16 September 1810
27 September 1821
28 December 1836
• First constitution
4 October 1824
• Second constitution
5 February 1857
• Current constitution
5 February 1917
Area
• Total
1,972,550 km2 (761,610 sq mi) (13th)
• Water (%)
1.58 (as of 2015)
Population
• 2020 census
126,014,024 (10th)
• Density
61/km2 (158.0/sq mi) (142nd)
GDP (PPP) 2020 estimate
• Total
Increase $2.715 trillion (11th)
• Per capita
Increase $21,362 (64th)
GDP (nominal) 2020 estimate
• Total
Increase $1.322 trillion (15th)
• Per capita
Increase $10,405 (64th)
Gini (2018)  41.8
medium
HDI (2019) Increase 0.779
high · 74th
Currency Mexican peso (MXN)
Time zone UTC−8 to −5 (See Time in Mexico)
• Summer (DST)
UTC−7 to −5 (varies)
Driving side right
Calling code +52
ISO 3166 code MX
Internet TLD .mx
  1. Article 4 of the General Law of Linguistic Rights of the Indigenous Peoples.
  2. Spanish is de facto the official language in the Mexican federal government.

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Mexico covers 1,972,550 square kilometers (761,610 sq mi), making it the world's 13th-largest country by area; with approximately 126,014,024 inhabitants, it is the 10th-most-populous country and has the most Spanish-speakers. Mexico is organized as a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, its capital and largest metropolis. Other major urban areas include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, and León.

Pre-Columbian Mexico traces its origins to 8,000 BC and is identified as one of the six cradles of civilization; it was home to many advanced Mesoamerican civilizations, most notably the Maya and the Aztecs. In 1521, the Spanish Empire conquered and colonized the region from its base in Mexico City, establishing the colony of New Spain. The Catholic Church played an important role in spreading Christianity and the Spanish language, while also preserving some indigenous elements. Native populations were subjugated and heavily exploited to mine rich deposits of precious metals, which contributed to Spain's status as a major world power for the next three centuries, and to a massive influx of wealth and a price revolution in Western Europe. Over time, a distinct Mexican identity formed, based on a fusion of European and indigenous customs; this contributed to the successful Mexican War of Independence against Spain in 1821.

Mexico's early history as a nation state was marked by political and socioeconomic upheaval. The Texas Revolution and the Mexican–American War in the mid 19th century led to huge territorial losses to the United States. Liberal reforms were enshrined in the Constitution of 1857, which sought to integrate indigenous communities and curtail the power of the church and the military. This triggered an internal war of Reform and intervention by France, in which conservatives installed Maximilian Habsburg as emperor against the Republican resistance led by Benito Juárez. The last decades of the 19th century were marked by the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz, who sought to modernize Mexico and restore order. The Porfiriato era ended in 1910 with the decade-long Mexican civil war, which killed approximately 10% of the population and after which the victorious Constitutionalist faction drafted a new 1917 Constitution, which remains in effect to this day. The revolutionary generals ruled as a succession of presidents until the assassination of Alvaro Obregón in 1928. This led to the formation of the Institutional Revolutionary Party the following year, which governed Mexico until 2000.

Mexico is a developing country, ranking 74th on the Human Development Index, but has the world's 15th-largest economy by nominal GDP and the 11th-largest by PPP, with the United States being its largest economic partner. Its large economy and population, global cultural influence, and steady democratization make Mexico a regional and middle power; it is often identified as an emerging power but is considered a newly industrialized state by several analysts. However, the country continues to struggle with social inequality, poverty and extensive crime; it ranks poorly on the Global Peace Index.

Mexico ranks first in the Americas and seventh in the world for the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is also one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries, ranking fifth in natural biodiversity. Mexico's rich cultural and biological heritage, as well as varied climate and geography, makes it a major tourist destination: as of 2018, it was the sixth most-visited country in the world, with 39 million international arrivals. Mexico is a member of United Nations, the G20, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the Organization of American States, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, and the Organization of Ibero-American States.

History

Before the Europeans came, many Native American cultures existed in Mexico. The earliest was the Olmec culture in the south. The Olmecs are famous for the large stone heads they made. On the Yucatán peninsula lived the Mayans. The Mayans lived in city states ruled by kings. The Mayans were most powerful between 200 and 900 A.D. Another powerful empire belonged to Teotihuacan. Teotihuacan was a very large city, one of the largest at that time. After Teotihuacan declined the Toltecs became powerful. Things made by the Toltecs have been found from the southern parts of the U.S. all the way to Costa Rica. A famous Toltec god is Quetzalcoatl. The Toltec culture declined too, and it was succeeded by the Aztecs. The Aztecs called their own empire Mexico. A famous Aztec king was Moctezuma II.

CodexMendoza01
Depiction of the founding myth of Mexico-Tenochtitlan from the Codex Mendoza.
15-07-13-Teotihuacan-RalfR-WMA 0257
View of the Pyramid of the Moon and entrance to the Quetzalpapálotl Palace. During its peak in the Classic era, Teotihuacan dominated the Valley of Mexico and exerted political and cultural influence in other areas, such as in the Petén Basin.

In 1519 the Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés came to Mexico. The Aztecs thought he was the returned Quetzalcoatl, so they did not want to fight against him. Cortes allied himself with the enemies of the Aztecs. In 1521 they conquered the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan. The Aztec Empire became part of Spain. It was called New Spain.

In 1810 the Mexican priest Miguel Hidalgo started the Mexican war of independence. In 1821 the Spanish finally retreated and Mexico became independent. The first leader of independent Mexico was Agustin de Iturbide. He set up the First Mexican Empire and became emperor. But the Mexicans were not happy with him, and in 1823 the country became a republic.

A man who was very important in Mexico in the early 19th century was Antonio López de Santa Anna. He was the president of Mexico 11 times. When he became a dictator, Texas declared independence (1836). The Battle of the Alamo was part of this Texas Revolution. Between 1846 and 1848 there was war between Mexico and the United States. In this war Mexico lost its large northern areas, which became the southwestern United States. After this war Santa Anna was sent away to Venezuela.

Between 1858 and 1861 there was war again, between liberals and conservatives. The liberal Benito Juárez won the war and became president afterwards. Juarez stayed president until France invaded Mexico and made Maximilian of Habsburg emperor of the Second Mexican Empire. But Maximilian was very unpopular. After more war he was executed in 1867, and Juarez became president again.

Conservatives thought Juarez had too much power. In 1876 they ousted him, and made Porfirio Díaz, a general who had won a battle against the French, president. Porfirio Díaz made the country wealthier, but the poor people became poorer. Franciso I. Madero started the Mexican Revolution in 1910.

The next 10 years the country was in chaos. There were many presidents who ruled for a short time and all kinds of people fought against each other. Famous people from this period are Emiliano Zapata, Pancho Villa and Francisco I. Madero. When Álvaro Obregón became president in 1920 the fighting calmed down.

In 1929 President Plutarco Elías Calles founded the National Mexican Party, PNM. The party was later renamed Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI. The party would rule for a very long time. Most PRI presidents were not popular, it was said that they were only president to become richer themselves. An exception was president Lázaro Cárdenas. He was president between 1934 and 1940.

After several decades more and more people became unhappy with the PRI. In 1968 security forces shot at protesters, this caused several hundred deaths and became known as the Tlatelolco massacre. Another uprising was in 1994 when Zapatistas rebelled in the province Chiapas.

Mainly through ballot box fraud the PRI managed to stay into power until 2000, when Vicente Fox of the National Action Party, PAN, was elected president. In total the PRI had governed Mexico for 71 years.

Politics

Mexico is a constitutional federal democracy ruled by a president. The president is elected every 6 years. The current president is Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Parliament has a Senate and House of Deputies.

States

Map of México divided into states

1. Aguascalientes
2. Baja California
3. Baja California Sur
4. Campeche
5. Chiapas
6. Chihuahua
7. Coahuila
8. Colima
9. Durango
10. Guanajuato
11. Guerrero

12. Hidalgo
13. Jalisco
14. Mexico
15. Michoacan
16. Morelos
17. Nayarit
18. Nuevo Leon
19. Oaxaca
20. Puebla
21. Queretaro
22. Quintana Roo

23. San Luis Potosí
24. Sinaloa
25. Sonora
26. Tabasco
27. Tamaulipas
28. Tlaxcala
29. Veracruz
30. Yucatán
31. Zacatecas
32 Mexico City

Geography

Mexico is in the southern part of North America. It is roughly shaped like a triangle. Mexico is more than 3000 km (1,850 miles) long from northwest to southeast. Mexico is between two large seas: the Pacific Ocean in the West and the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea in the East. Mexico has two large peninsulas. Baja California in the northwest, and Yucatán in the southeast. In central and western Mexico are the Sierra Madre mountains. In the Sierra Madre is the Pico de Orizaba, the highest mountain of Mexico. In central Mexico there are also a few volcanoes like the Popocatépetl and the Iztaccíhuatl. The Pico de Orizaba is also a volcano. In the north of Mexico are deserts. In the south are tropical rainforests. Some rivers in Mexico are the Río Bravo (known in the US as the Rio Grande), the Río Balsas, the Río Pánuco, and the Río Yaqui.

People

Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. It is also the second most populous country in Latin America (after Brazil). 60% of Mexicans have Native American and European forefathers; these are called mestizos. Almost 30% of Mexicans are pure Native American and 10% are European. Most Mexicans (90%) speak Spanish. 10% of the Mexicans speak a Native American language, like Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, Maya or Zapotec. Most people in Mexico are Roman Catholic (89%) and 6% are Protestant.

Economy

HarlekinKaefer
A limited edition mexican made 1996 Volkswagen Sedán Harlekin

The electronics industry of Mexico has grown enormously within the last decade. Mexico has the sixth largest electronics industry in the world after China, 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. The industry produces technologically complex components and engages in some research and development activities. The "Big Three" (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler) have been operating in Mexico since the 1930s, while Volkswagen and Nissan built their plants in the 1960s. In Puebla alone, 70 industrial part-makers cluster around Volkswagen. In the 2010s expansion of the sector was surging. In 2014 alone, more than $10 billion in investment was committed. In September 2016 Kia motors opened a $1 billion factory in Nuevo León, with Audi also opening an assembling plant in Puebla the same year. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan currently have plants in construction.

Tourism

Calle del centro de morelia
Street in the historic center of Morelia. Mexico has historical architecture in most of its towns being the country with the highest number of Colonial buildings and structures in all of the Americas and also placing a vast number of Pre-colonial monuments.

Mexico has traditionally been among the most visited countries in the world according to the World Tourism Organization and it is the most visited country in the Americas after the United States.

The most notable attractions are the Mesoamerican ruins, cultural festivals, colonial cities, nature reserves and the beach resorts. The nation's wide range of climates, from temperate to tropical, and unique culture – a fusion of the European and the Mesoamerican – make Mexico an attractive destination. The peak tourism seasons in the country are during December and the mid-Summer, with brief surges during the week before Easter and Spring break, when many of the beach resort sites become popular destinations for college students from the United States.

Cuisine

The first chocolate version (liquid) was made by indigenous people in present-day Mexico, and was exported from Mexico to Europe after the Spanish conquest.
Mole sauce, which has dozens of varieties across the Republic, is seen as a symbol of Mexicanidad and is considered Mexico's national dish.

In 2005, Mexico presented the candidature of its gastronomy for World Heritage Site of UNESCO, being the first occasion in which a country had presented its gastronomic tradition for this purpose. However, in a first instance the result was negative, because the committee did not place the proper emphasis on the importance of corn in Mexican cuisine. Finally, on November 16 of 2010 Mexican gastronomy was recognized as Intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.

The origin of the current Mexican cuisine is established during the Spanish colonization, being a mixture of the foods of Spain and the native indigenous. Of foods originated in Mexico is the corn, the pepper vegetables (together with Central and South America), calabazas (together with the Americas), avocados, sweet potato (together with Central and South America), the turkey (together with the Americas) and other fruits and spices. Other Indigenous products are many beans. Similarly, some cooking techniques used today are inherited from pre-Hispanic peoples, such as the nixtamalization of corn, the cooking of food in ovens at ground level, grinding in molcajete and metate. With the Spaniards came the pork, beef and chicken meats; peppercorn, sugar, milk and all its derivatives, wheat and rice, citrus fruits and another constellation of ingredients that are part of the daily diet of Mexicans.

From this meeting of millennia old two culinary traditions, were born pozole, mole sauce, barbacoa and tamale is in its current forms, the chocolate, a large range of breads, tacos, and the broad repertoire of Mexican street foods. Beverages such as atole, champurrado, milk chocolate and aguas frescas were born; desserts such as acitrón and the full range of crystallized sweets, rompope, cajeta, jericaya and the wide repertoire of delights created in the convents of nuns in all parts of the country.

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