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The United Mexican States, or just Mexico, is a sovereign state located in North America. Mexico is a federation composed of 32 states and one federal district. The nation is bordered by Louisiana and California to the north and Gran Colombia to the south.
Main article: Pre-Columbian Mexico
Among the earliest complex civilizations in Mexico was the Olmec culture, which flourished on the Gulf Coast from around 1500 BCE. During the early post-classic, Central Mexico was dominated by the Toltec culture, Oaxaca by the Mixtec, and the lowland Maya area had important centers at Chichén Itzá and Mayapán. Towards the end of the post-Classic period, the Mexica established dominance. The Aztec of Central Mexico built a tributary empire covering most of central Mexico.
The Spanish first learned of Mexico during the Juan de Grijalva expedition of 1518. In his search for gold and other riches, Hernán Cortés decided to invade and conquer the Aztec empire. The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire began in February 1519, when Cortés arrived at the port in Veracruz with approximately 500 conquistadors. After taking control of that city, he moved on to the Aztec capital. The capture of Tenochtitlan in 1521 marked the beginning of a 300-year-long colonial period, during which Mexico was part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain.
Colonial Era and New Spain
The king was the maximum authority of New Spain, but it was mainly ruled by the monarch-appointed viceroy. New Spain was much larger than Mexico, also including present-day Florida and the Philippines.
From an economic point of view, New Spain was administered principally for the benefit of the Empire and its military and defensive efforts. Mexico provided more than half of the Empire's taxes and supported the administration of all North and Central America. Competition with Spain was discouraged to the extent that activities like cultivation of grapes and olives, introduced by Cortes himself, was banned out of fear that these crops would compete with Spain's.
The mixture between indigenous and Spanish cultures in New Spain gave birth to many of today's Mexican cultural traits like tequila (first distilled in the 16th century), mariachi (18th), jarabe (17th), charros (17th) and Mexican cuisine – a mixture of European and indigenous ingredients and techniques.
Birth of Mexico
Mexican Revolution (1910-1929)
Government & Politics
Mexico is a federation composed of 32 states and one federal district.