Pre-Columbian Civilizations Flourish
Before Spanish conquest, advanced societies like the Maya, Aztec, and Olmec thrived. The Maya developed a complex calendar and the Aztecs showcased remarkable architecture and infrastructure in Tenochtitlan.
Spanish Conquest Alters History
Hernán Cortés arrived in 1519, forming alliances with indigenous peoples. The Spanish overthrew the Aztec Empire by 1521, marking the start of colonial rule and significant cultural and demographic shifts.
Mexico's Struggle for Independence
After nearly 300 years of Spanish rule, Miguel Hidalgo's 'Grito de Dolores' in 1810 sparked the Mexican War of Independence. Victory came in 1821, establishing Mexico as a sovereign nation.
Reform and Revolution Era
The mid-19th to early 20th century saw the tumultuous Reform War, French Intervention, and the Mexican Revolution, which overthrew Porfirio Díaz's dictatorship and led to major political and social reforms.
PRI's Prolonged Political Control
Post-revolution, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) dominated Mexican politics for over 70 years, a period characterized by stability and authoritarian rule, until the historic election of 2000.
NAFTA Reshapes the Economy
The 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) transformed Mexico's economy, making it an export-oriented powerhouse, but also creating economic disparity and environmental concerns.
Cultural Legacy and Recognition
Mexican culture, with its rich indigenous and Spanish influences, has been globally recognized. UNESCO World Heritage sites abound, and traditional Mexican cuisine was declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage.