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Mexico Collection

History Archive - Mexico Collection

Mexico is a nation that lies between the United States and Guatemala, in North America. It is as large as Great Britain, France, Germany and Austria together, and is 2,000 miles long and from 130 to 1,000 wide. (Area 767,005 sq. miles.) Lying between the Gulf and the Pacific, it has a coast-line of 6,000 miles and numerous ports on both coasts. The peninsulas of Yucatan and Lower California belong to it.

Mexico was discovered for the Europeans when the Spaniards under Cortez landed at Vera Cruz in 1519, and the story of the latter's conquest of Mexico is one of the romances of history. In 1540 all the American territory belonging to Spain, including Mexico, was united under the name of New Spain, and governed by viceroys appointed by the home government.

The policy of the government, however, hindered the development of the country. Mexico was looked upon simply as a mine to be worked for the benefit of Spain. The natives were distributed as slaves on the plantations, and trade with any country but Spain was forbidden under penalty of death. In spite of this policy, however, it was one of the richest and most prosperous of the Spanish colonies.

After three centuries of submission the spirit of discontent, which had been growing during the wars of Spain with France under Napoleon, broke out in rebellion in 1810, under the leadership of a country priest named Hidalgo. In 1821 the last of a series of 57 Spanish viceroys, O'Donoju, surrendered the capital. General Iturbide was proclaimed emperor in 1822, but General Santa Anna raised the standard of the republic, and Iturbide was banished to Italy, and shot the next year when he attempted to return. From that time on the history of Mexico is one of civil war until 1876. Fifty-two presidents or dictators, one emperor and a regent ruled the country in that time.

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Mesoamerica

The early history of Mexico, as learnt from its monuments and picture-writings, includes two periods that of the Toltecs and the Aztecs. The Toltecs are thought to have reached the country about the 8th century; they cultivated the land, introduced corn and cotton, made roads and built temples, cities and monuments whose ruins still prove their skill. To their invention are thought to belong the Mexican hieroglyphics, or system of writing by pictures, and the Mexican calendar. They are believed to have been driven south by famine and pestilence to Guatemala and Yucatan in the 11th century. After an interval, about the end of the 12th century, the Aztecs entered the land and founded, about 1325, the city of Mexico. They were a less cultivated race than the Toltecs, but more so than the North American tribes, though they are considered now as belonging to the same family. (See Mesoamerica collection)

Later History

Texas secured its independence in 1836, and in 1845 became a part of the United States. The boundary line was unsettled, and a dispute over a strip of land brought on war with the United States, with its battles of Monterey, Palo Alto, Cerro Gordo, Buena Vista and Chapultepec, ending with the taking of the City of Mexico by the Americans under General Scott. Peace was concluded in 1848, Mexico ceding to the United States half a million square miles of her territory. In 1861, under the presidency of Juarez, the country was again involved in war with the allied troops of England, France and Spain, partly as the result of some of the internal changes made by Juarez, such as the separation of church and state and the confiscation of church property, and partly because of acts of injustice to foreigners during this period of disorder.

The difficulties were regulated by a treaty, to which the French commander, however, did not agree. Spain and England withdrew their forces, but France declared war, and entered the City of Mexico in 1863. The crown was offered to Archduke Maximilian of Austria, who was declared emperor. After the withdrawal of the French troops from the country, owing to the remonstrance of the United States based on the principle of the Monroe doctrine, the republican troops under Juarez defeated the army of the emperor, who was taken and shot in 1867. Juarez remained president until his death in 1872, when Tejada succeeded; and in 1876, after another revolution, Porfirio Diaz, the ablest of Mexican rulers, became president.

He was re-elected continuously, his eighth term beginning Dec. 1, 1910. Early in 1911 a revolution resulted in the resignation of Diaz and the election of Francisco Madero, who, in turn, was deposed, and General Victoriana Huerta, one of the leaders in both revolutions, made provisional president. Madero was shot dead in the streets of Mexico on the night of February 22, 1913, while being transferred from one prison to another. The people of Mexico, numbering in 1911 15,063,207, are over one-third Indians, embracing 35 tribes, living in communities in villages; the Mestizos, the half-breeds, with a mixture of Spanish and Indian blood, who form about one half the population; and the higher class, which is largely Spanish.

Government of Mexico

In the early 1900s Mexico was a federative republic. The constitution, originally promulgated on Feb. 5, 1857, and subsequently amended, declares that the Mexican Republic is established under the representative, democratic and federal form of government, composed of states free and sovereign in everything relating to their internal administration, but united in one single federation. The Supreme Government is divided into three cordinate branches: Legislative, Executive and Judicial. The legislative power of the nation is vested in a general Congress, consisting of two Chambers, the Deputies and the Senate. The executive power is lodged in a single individual known as the "President of the United Mexican States," whose term of office is four years. By an amendment to the Constitution, under date of Dec. 20, 1900, he may be re-elected indefinitely. The judicial power is vested in the supreme court and the district and circuit courts.

The territory of the United Mexican States is divided into 1 Federal District, 27 States and 2 Territories, whose organization is almost identical with that of the American Union. The States, as before indicated, are free and sovereign in all matters pertaining to their internal administration, their government being vested in three heads, namely: State government, State legislature and State judicial power. The States and Territories are, for convenience, classified as follows, according to their situation:

Central States. Federal District, Aguascalientes, Durango, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Mxico, Morelos, Puebla, Quertaro, San Luis Potosi, Tlaxcala and Zacatecas.

Northern States: Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Sonora.

Gulf States: Campeche, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Vera Cruz, Yucatn and Territorio de Quintana Roo.

Pacific States: Baja California, Colima, Chiapas, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacn, Oaxaca, Sinaloa and Tepic.

Territories: Tepic and Baja (Lower) California.

Economy of Mexico

In the early 20th century the principal exports of Mexico were silver, gold, copper, henequen, coffee, rubber, hides, guayule, cattle, chick peas, chicle and sugar. They largely imported: Machinery, iron, steel, textiles and manufactures, lumber, coal, iron, vegetable oils, coke, grain, wines, liquors, paper and textile fibers. Exports for (1911-12) totaled $148,994,564; while imports totaled $91,331,155.

There are 24 ports on the Gulf and 31 on the Pacific. Many of the former have steamship lines direct to the Gulf ports of the United States and Europe. In 1911 there were 1,545 miles of railway open. Many brilliant pictorial works have been created regarding the railroads in Mexico during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Mexico has not been a manufacturing country, but with the extension of railroads and the influx of foreign capital and enterprising men a decided impulse has been given to manufacturing industries. One hundred and fourteen cotton mills were in operation in 1904. There also are numerous woolen-mills, and silk-weaving is rapidly increasing. Sugar-mills and flour-mills are many, but do not supply the local demands. Iron-foundries are numerous and profitable, but have been hindered by lack of transportation facilities.

Pottery is made in many places, the cities of Guadalajara, Zacatecas, Guanajuato and Puebla being centers of the industry. Other industries are cotton-seed mills, tanneries, manufactures of glassware, hardware, drawn work and feather work. A noteworthy industry is the exporting of hides and skins. Mexico occupies the fourth rank among nations of the earth in this particular branch, the annual export amounting to more than $6,000,000 Mexican silver. The government is doing all in its power to foster home manufacture and has offered great inducements to those who will establish upon Mexican soil enterprises which will utilize its great resources. As a result the country is now making great strides in the industrial and manufacturing field. Smelting and reduction works, waterworks and electric plants are springing up throughout the country.

The capital invested in Mexico by United States companies, firms and individuals, has been stated to be in round numbers $1,000,000,000 gold, and a large part of this investment has been made within a few years. Of the total 70 per cent. is invested in railroads, the rest in mining and agriculture. United States firms have recently built many electric light and power plants, waterworks plants, telephone systems and similar plants. English capitalists have also invested heavily in Mexican enterprises, particularly in connection with the development of the oil fields.

References:

The New Student's Reference Work (1914) pg 1214-1217

Regional Sub-Divisions

Available Books

Related Images

Image Name
Mexico To-Day - Toltec Palace at Tula (1883)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Figures representant des Rois du Mexique (1820)
Vues des Cordilleres et Monumens de l'Amerique - Fragment d'un manuscrit hieroglyphique conserve a la bibliotheque royal de Dresde (1813)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Segundo Viage - Lamina 40 (1820)
Vues des Cordilleres et Monumens de l'Amerique - Vue du Corazon (1813)
Viaje Pintoresco y Arqueolojico de la Republica Mejicana - Front Cover (1840)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Segundo Viage - Lamina 2 (1820)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Le Dieu O-kee (1820)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Front Cover (1820)
Mexico y sus Alrededories - Plaza de Armas de Mexico (1869)
Mexico y sus Alrededories - Interior de la Catedral de Mexico (1869)
Costumes Civils, Militaires et Religieux du Mexique - Cocher d'une maison noble. Chausse d'une seule botte (1828)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Segundo Viage - Lamina 48 (1820)
Viaje Pintoresco y Arqueolojico de la Republica Mejicana - Idolos y Ornamentos de Barro (1840)
Costumes Civils, Militaires et Religieux du Mexique - Miliciens provinciaux de Guazacualco (1828)
Vues des Cordilleres et Monumens de l'Amerique - Poste aux lettres de la province de Jaen de Bracamoros (1813)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Etablissemens des habitans du Port des Francais (1820)
Vues des Cordilleres et Monumens de l'Amerique - Buste d'une pretress azteque [II] (1813)
Six Months Residence and Travels in Mexico - Title Page (1824)
Viaje Pintoresco y Arqueolojico de la Republica Mejicana - Tampico de Tamaulipas (1840)
Six Months Residence and Travels in Mexico - Book Display (1824)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Tercer Viage - Lamina 31 (1820)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Carta Etnografica (1885)
Mexico y sus Alrededories - La Fuente del Salto del Agua (1869)
Costumes Civils, Militaires et Religieux du Mexique - Dispute de deux Indiennes (1828)
Album del Ferro-Carril Mexicano - Illustrated Title Page (1877)
Mexico y sus Alrededories - Indios Kikapoos presentados a Sm. Maximiliano 1865 (1869)
Mexico To-Day - Entrance to Limestone Cave at Cacahuamilpa (1883)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Caracteres numeriques, et figures emblematiques (1820)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Segundo Viage - Lamina 32 (1820)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Regolo ou Cacique accompagne de ses femmes (1820)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Title Page (1885)
Viaje Pintoresco y Arqueolojico de la Republica Mejicana - Plan de la Piedra de Sacrificio y Figuras de Barro (1840)
Costumes Civils, Militaires et Religieux du Mexique - Pelea de Gallos. Combat de Coqs (1828)
Album del Ferro-Carril Mexicano - Estacion de Maltrata (1877)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Vue interieure et exterieurs des habitations de Noutka [I] (1820)
Costumes Civils, Militaires et Religieux du Mexique - Moctetzouma Xocotzin. Dernier Empereur du Mexique, peint par ordre de Fernand Cortez (1828)
Six Months Residence and Travels in Mexico - Ancient Mexican Sculpture - Plate I (1824)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Portrait de Washington (1820)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Tercer Viage - Lamina 20 (1820)
Mexico To-Day - Obsidian Knives and Arrow Head (1883)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Habillement des Mexicains (1820)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Segundo Viage - Lamina 10 (1820)
Vues des Cordilleres et Monumens de l'Amerique - Plan d'une maison fortifiee de l'Inca, situee sur le dos de la Cordillere-de l'Assuay (1813)
Mexico To-Day - Prison at Cholula (1883)
Album del Ferro-Carril Mexicano - Cordoba (Tomado desde el camino de Coscomatepec) (1877)
Viaje Pintoresco y Arqueolojico de la Republica Mejicana - Monte Virgen (1840)
Six Months Residence and Travels in Mexico - [Untitled View] (1824)
Viaje Pintoresco y Arqueolojico de la Republica Mejicana - Vista Norte-Oeste del Panorama de Mexico (1840)
Viaje Pintoresco y Arqueolojico de la Republica Mejicana - Papantala - Pueblo de Indios Totnacos (1840)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Calendrier hieroglyphique Chretien en stile Azteque (1820)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Maniere de faier le pain (1820)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Tercer Viage - Lamina 29 (1820)
Costumes Civils, Militaires et Religieux du Mexique - Moine de la Merced en voyage (1828)
Vues des Cordilleres et Monumens de l'Amerique - Costumes dessines par des peintres mexicains du temps de Montezuma (1813)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Tercer Viage - Lamina 6 (1820)
Mexico y sus Alrededories - Illustrated Title Page (1869)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Tercer Viage - Lamina 34 (1820)
Mexico y sus Alrededories - Interior de la Alameda de Mexico (II) (1869)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Naturels de Sithanak et d'Unalaschka (1820)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Le mariage des Canadiens (1820)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Vue de la cataracte du fer a cheval etc [II] (1820)
Costumes Civils, Militaires et Religieux du Mexique - Ecrivain public, sur la grand place a Mexico (1828)
Mexico To-Day - Hacienda of Tepenacasco (1883)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Segundo Viage - Lamina 55 (1820)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Segundo Viage - Lamina 39 (1820)
Mexico y sus Alrededories - Plaza de Santo Domingo (1869)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Peche de la baleine etc [II] (1820)
Mexico y sus Alrededories - Trajes Mexicanos (II) (1869)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Segundo Viage - Lamina 6 (1820)
Costumes Civils, Militaires et Religieux du Mexique - Aguador. Porteur d'eau (1828)
Vues des Cordilleres et Monumens de l'Amerique - Vases de granit trouves sur la cote de Honduras (1813)
Vues des Cordilleres et Monumens de l'Amerique - Peintures hieroglyphiques de la Raccolta di Mendoza [I] (1813)
Costumes Civils, Militaires et Religieux du Mexique - Femme de Cuidad Rodrigo. Province de Yucatan (1828)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - L'Amerique representee sous des figures allegoriques (1820)
Mexico y sus Alrededories - La Villa de Guadalupe Tomada en Globo el Dia 13 de Diciembre (1869)
Mexico To-Day - Cathedral by Moonlight (1883)
Six Months Residence and Travels in Mexico - Ancient Mexico from the original map made by order of Montezuma for Cortes (1824)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Danse (1820)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Vue de Boston (1820)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Mexico y Sus Cercanias (1885)
Album del Ferro-Carril Mexicano - Puente de Wimer (Cumbres de Maltrata) (1877)
Mexico y sus Alrededories - Interior de la Alameda de Mexico (I) (1869)
Costumes Civils, Militaires et Religieux du Mexique - Dame elegant a Mexico (1828)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Primer Viage - Lamina 10 (1820)
Mexico To-Day - Facsimile of Heading of Inquisition Manuscript (1883)
Mexico y sus Alrededories - El Sagrario de Mexico (1869)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Monument d'Oaxaca representant un guerrier (1820)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Tercer Viage - Lamina 7 (1820)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Segundo Viage - Lamina 22 (1820)
Mexico To-Day - The Market (1883)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Segundo Viage - Lamina 7 (1820)
Mexico To-Day - Interior of the Cathedral (1883)
Mexico To-Day - Clay heads found in great quantities on the sites of ancient Aztec cities (IV) (1883)
Costumes Civils, Militaires et Religieux du Mexique - Garde civique d'Alvarado, descendant (1828)
Viaje Pintoresco y Arqueolojico de la Republica Mejicana - Templo Antiguo de los Totonacos en Tusapan (1840)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Tercer Viage - Lamina 21 (1820)
Album del Ferro-Carril Mexicano - Estacion de la Soledad (1877)
Coleccion General de Laminas de los Antiguos Monumentos de Nueva Espana - Primer Viage - Lamina 5 (1820)
Vues des Cordilleres et Monumens de l'Amerique - Chute du Tequendama (1813)

Related Maps

Map Name
Six Months Residence and Travels in Mexico - Ancient Mexico from the original map made by order of Montezuma for Cortes (1824)
Six Months Residence and Travels in Mexico - A Plan of the City of Mexico by Lt. Col. Don Diego Garcia - AD 1793 (1824)
Album del Ferro-Carril Mexicano - Plano Orografico de la Zona Recorrida por el Ferro-Carril Mexicano de Veracruz a Mexico (1877)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Amerique] Vol. 1 - Carte geografique de L'Amerique (1820)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Carta Politica (1885)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Carta Etnografica (1885)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Carta Eclesiastica (1885)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Vias de Comunicacion y Movimiento Maritimo (1885)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Instruccion Publica (1885)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Carta Orografica (1885)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Carta Hydrografica (1885)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Carta Agricola (1885)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Carta Minera (1885)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Carta Historica y Arqueologica (1885)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Reyno de la Nueva Expana a Principios del Siglo XIX (1885)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Valle De Mexico (1885)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Mexico y Sus Cercanias (1885)

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