Mexico's History (brief)

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brief history of Mexico for class

Transcript of Mexico's History (brief)

  • 1. History of Mexico

2. Pre-Columbian Societies

  • Mayans
  • Aztecs

3. Mayans

  • Were greatest civilization and were on decline when Spanish arrived.
  • Are regarded as the fathers of first hieroglyphic writings in Western Hemisphere.
  • Invented own calendar.Why was this important?


  • Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Mayanspan were three important Mayan cities.


  • They worshipped the sun god with blood sacrifice.Often, bloodletting was used instead of whole life sacrifice.Stingray spines were used as knives.Blood was drained from strange places on body.
  • Mayans were warriors and often their captives were double-sacrificed.Their hearts were cut out for the sun and their heads were drained of blood for the earth.


  • By the time the Spanish arrived their empire had experienced famine, drought and they were undergoing a civil war.
  • Important to note that archaeologists have found evidence of advanced trade routes established by Mayans throughout the New World by unearthed pottery in various locations as far away as the Mississippi River area.

7. Aztecs 8.

  • Aztecs
  • Settled mainly in Valley where Mexico City is now located.
  • Overcame swampy location of Tenochtitlan.(Swamp explains the 1985 earthquake devastation of Mexico City because the Spanish filled in the swamp.)


  • Aztecs also worshipped the sun.Really dug the human sacrifice thing.
  • Modern day coat of arms on Mexicos flag comes from Aztec religion where an ancient leader was told to settle where an eagle was killing a serpent on a blue cactus.

10. 11. 12. Exploration and Colonization

  • Hernan Cortez landed at Vera Cruz in 1519
  • Destroyed Tenochtitlan in 1521
  • Killed Montezuma
  • Ushered in 300 years of Iberian domination of Mexico.


  • Church doctrine allowed the Requirement to vanquish and enslave those who did not submit to it.
  • This led to encomienda system where Indian labor was used and abused.
  • Creole elite rose from Spanish colonizers.Began to have own desires.

14. What did Spanish Crown do to bring drive for Independence?

  • Allowed Mexico to be ruled almost autonomously in line with crown.
  • Provided an army that at times did not do enough to protect creoles.
  • Allowed itself to fall victim to wars in Europe and massive inflation due to influx of silver and gold from the New World to the old, thus devaluing and weaking the crown.
  • Lost the hereditary line to the Bourbons who then eroded legitimacy of the Church and the creoles themselves.

15. Aftershocks of Napoleon

  • Real calls for independence arose when during the Napoleonic Wars, Nappy put his brother Joseph Bonaparte (1808 to 1813 ) on the throne of Spain. Brought into question the idea of legitimacy. A revolutionary Junta had sprung up in Spain as well.It declared itself the ruling body of Spain in absence of the Monarch.
  • Who did the Mexicans owe allegiance to, the deposed monarch, the Junta, Joseph or themselves?Eventually Joseph is forced to leave the throne of Spain by force and the Spanish Crown is restored, but the seeds of revolution were sown.

16. Father Miguel Hidalgo

  • Led first armed revolt
  • Against Spanish.
  • He had 80,000
  • Supporters.
  • Equivalent to a
  • Race war in some
  • Regards.Creoles
  • Killed as well as
  • Spanish.


  • Hidalgo went to war in 1810 against Spanish troops.
  • He had several victories but the creole elite turned against him.
  • He was betrayed and killed.
  • He is regarded as a Mexican patriot and there is a state named after him.

18. Augustine de Iturbide

  • Supported by Creole ranchers
  • And land owners.
  • Declared himself Emperor
  • Upon defeat of Spanish in
  • 1821.
  • Inept administrator.


  • Enlightened urbanites force Iturbide to abdicate with the help of the army.
  • The army, oddly enough, was not paid well under Iturbide. hmmwhat kind of dictator doesnt pay his army well?


  • Elections were held and a constitution was drafted based on the U.S. Constitution.
  • Central American States split from Mexico.
  • Ineffective leadership by presidents led to a worsening economy.

21. General Santa Anna 22. Santa Anna

  • Originally supported Iturbide.
  • Had kicked the Spanish out of Vera Cruz fortress.
  • 1829, he helped defeat invading Spanish forces at Tampico.
  • 1833, he won elections as a liberal and became President.He had ousted Bustamantes government by force in 1832.
  • 1834 established dictatorship and conservatives placed in high offices.

23. By 1835

  • Illegal Aliens from the US outnumbered citizens of Mexico in Texas
  • These illegal aliens violated the Mexican anti-slavery laws.
  • Texans decided to leave Mexican rule and the US sent troops to help.

24. The Alamo

  • Santa Anna messed up because his tactics from previous campaigns involved the execution of POWs and other vicious practices.
  • Santa Anna led a military campaign against the separatist insurgents and took the Alamo, leaving no survivors.
  • Remember the Alamo

25. The Alamo 26.

  • The Defenders of the Alamo, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, etc. were killed.
  • One woman was said to have survived and been released with her daughter.

27. Battle of San Jacinto

  • Ended the Texas War of Independence (1835-1836)
  • Santa Anna was captured. Mexico lost Texas to forces of Stephen Austin and Sam Houston.


  • Republic of Texas would remain disputed until 1845 when it was annexed by the US and finally the question of Texas statehood was solved by the Mexican-American War of 46-48.
  • Santa Anna deposed at home while being captured by the Americans.

29. Throughout the rule of Santa Anna

  • Santa Annas fellow leaders were corrupt.Also, the opposition was usually bribed into compliance.
  • Bandits roamed the countryside and robbed people without much to deter them.
  • Creole landlords and the Church held the most political sway.


  • Benito Juarez

31. Benito Juarez

  • He came to power because Mexicos population was in revolt against Santa Annas policies.The poor were angry.
  • In 1855 liberals took power and stripped the military and church of many of their privileges and re-distributed land to non-whites.
  • This prompted a civil war that lasted from 1858 to 1860.
  • Benito, a full-blooded Indian, becomes president in 1861

32. Benito Juarez, the Poor Mans President

  • In order to stop Mexicos poor from paying so much taxes and to stop inflation, Juarez stops paying foreign debt to France, England and Spain


  • So France, England and Spain invade.
  • French continue to occupy Vera Cruz and march on Mex. City to install an Emperor.
  • Archduke Maximilian of Austria is Napoleon IIIs choice.
  • Juarez and others fight.An important General is Porfirio Diaz.
  • Max is defeated and executed in 1871.

34. 35. 36.

  • Juarez returns in 1871 to rule but dies shortly thereafter.
  • Another liberal president comes to power but

37. General Porfirio Diaz ! 38. While Juarez brought a type of egalitarian ideal to Mexico, Diaz brought Mexico out of the Stone Age

          • This is not Porfirio Diaz.
          • It is a professional wrestler.
          • Wrestling is popular in Mexico, too.
          • See, other countries are crazy just like us.


  • Diaz had been instrumental in defeating the occupying French.
  • After Juarezs death, Diaz held a successful coup de etat
  • Mestizos were allowed in the political structure.
  • Diazs Rurales were efficient in putting down insurrection.


  • Porfirios followers are Porforistas.
  • Diazs regime is good for conservatives.
  • Diaz encouraged foreign investments in oil and minerals.
  • He had railroads, schools, universities and hospitals built.
  • His style of rule has been called paternalistic despotism