Pre-Columbian Mexico


Humans arrive in Mexico



One of the first civilizations to emerge in Mexico



Little is known about the builders of the massive Pyramid of the Sun. Reached its height between 150 and 450 AD and controlled an area from northern Mexico to Guatemala.

When Teotihuacan collapsed, three cities in central Mexico remained, Cholula,Xochicalco and El Tajijn.


El Tajin

El Tajin had much influence on the Gulf coast. Reached its peak 600-900AD.



A holy city with the largest pyramid in the world. Most of its notable architecture built between about 700 and 1000 AD



Unlike Teotihuacan, it was fortified with moats and parapets. Most standing structures built 700-900 AD.


When Teotihuacan was powerful, it acted as a buffer between the cultures of the Valley of Mexico and the nomadic peoples to the north .

With its downfall, nomadic warriors entered the area from the north,such as the Toltecs. Toltecs found Tula in 968 AD, the most important city in Mexico between the fall of Teotihuacan and the rise of the Aztec




The Zapotecs dominated the area around Oaxaca with their city of Monte Alban for centuries.

 The Mayans were famous for with their amazing art, architecture, glyph writing system and astronomical knowledge .By the close of the Pre-Classic period, around 250 A.D., the Mayans were already building their famous stepped temple pyramids in cities such as Uxactum and Tikal.By the early 900s ,many of the major cities were abandoned .

When the Spanish arrived they found only the impoverished descendants of the glory that was Mayan civilization .Yet the Mayans were able to fight off the Spanish for over a hundred years. The last independent Maya kingdom of Tayasal, fell as late as 1697.


With the collapse of Tula in the 12th century, the primitive Chichimecs groups again poured into the Valley of Mexico from the north. One of these were the Aztecs,who would start to control central Mexico in the 1400s.


 Oxford History of Mexico

A fully current narrative history by twenty of the most esteemed historians of Mexico writing today

Cortes and the Spanish Conquest 1517-1521


Spanish Expeditions
to Mexico

Story of Cortes-

part 5:Montezuma


Story of Cortes-part1:

Early Life, Cuba(1506-19), Cozumel


Story of Cortes

part 6
Retreat (NocheTriste)
June 1520

Story of Cortes

part 2:

Tabasco, Marina,Verzcruz
early 1519

 Story of Cortes part 7

Aztecs Surrender
August 1521


Story of Cortes-part 3

Cortes Burns Ships, Tlascala


Modern View of Cortes


Story of Cortes

part 4:

Cholula,March to

Aztec capital 

Colonial Mexico 1519 - 1821



Converting the Indians  The Encomiendas

Gov in New Spain

Mixton War of 1540 -41

Virgin of Guadalupe

The Inquisition in Mexico

Cultural Life in New Spain

The Social Classes

Economy of New Spain

Colonial Architecture

Bourbon Reforms

Mexican Colonial Coins


 Conquistador: Hernan Cortes

The worlds of Cortes and Montezuma collide and come to life

Mexican War of Independence   Republic of Mexico   Mexican-American War   French Intervention   Porfiriato


 War for Independence 1810 -1821

Napoleon's conquest of Spain spurs calls for independence


Miguel Hidalgo and his Grito de Dolores

("Cry of Dolores")


Congress of Chilpancingo

Declaration of Independence


Colonel Iturbide switches sides

First Mexican Empire 1821

General Agustín de Iturbide declares himself emperor.

Leader of the antimonarchists  Antonio Lopes de Santa Anna restores republic.

Early Mexican Republic

Centralist and Federalists vie for power

Constitution of 1824

Pres.Victoria,Guerrero& Bustamante

1829 Spanish invasion

Santa Anna
1833 - 47
Mayan Caste War
Republic of Rio Grande

Public was roused against Bustamante for execution of Guerrero and repression.

Santa Anna elected pres.

Recinds reforms and becomes centralist,states lose power.

Constitiution of 1836

His corruption and extravagence.

Rebellions against rule.

Revolt of Texas
Prelude to the Mexican American War 1846-4


Anglo-Americans allowed to settle Texas.


Reasons for Texas Rebellion.


Santa Anna captured at Battle of San Jacinto

Santa Anna deposed

Treaty of Velasco

1838 Pastry War with France. Santa Anna leads army to drive out the French, becomes pres. again


Mexican American War

Mexican-American War Timeline

American plans for Manifest Destiny,dispute over Texas.

Reasons for Mexican defeat.

Loss of half of Mexico


Santa Anna of Mexico

An elegantly-written and engaging study about one of Mexico's most notorious and misunderstood leaders

 Revolution of Ayutla,
1857 Constitution
War of the Reform 1857-61

Santa Anna sells Gadsen Purchase in 1853.

Revolution of Ayutla to oust Santa Anna,restore federal rule.

Constitution of 1857

Reforms to curb power of military and church.

Brutal War of the Reform 1857-61

Juarez becomes pres,country bankrupt,huge foreign debts

 French Intervention Second Mexican Empire1864-7

English,Spaninsh and French troops land to collect debt.

Napoleon III uses this as pretext to invasion,Spanish,English depart.

French defeat at Puebla

Maximilian becomes the Emperor of Mexico

Emperor issues the Black Decree

  American Support for Juarez -Confederate Offer

Execution of the Emperor

Restored republic

Juarez elected pres. 1867


Educational,political,economic and church reforms.


Rurales established to stop banditry


Mexico City-Veracruz railway


Juarez dies 1876, Gen.Diaz,hero of the French invasion,seizes power

Diaz and the Porfiriato

Foreign investment encouraged through stability,low wages and low taxes

Farmers and Indians cheated of lands,put into debt peonage-no education


Railways,industry make great advances




Mexican Revolution   Modern Mexico

 Madero,Villa,Zapata overthrow Diaz.

Madero becomes pres., coup by Gen.Huerta.

Huerta resigns, Carranza becomes pres.

Carranza's Gen.Obregon defeats Villa.

Constitution of 1917

Zapata and Villa assassinated

Obregon overthrows Carranza

Mexican Revolution



Villa and Zapata: A

History of the Mexican Revolution 


Obergon, Callas and the The Cristero War 1920-1934

1921 Mexico was the worlds third largest producer of oil


Jose Vasconcelos as secretary of education


Diego Rivera murals


Obregon assassinated by Cristeno


Pres.Callas the Maximato


El General.A film on Pres. Callas by his great grand-daughter. Featured on NPRs's POV.

Cardenas and Oil Nationalization 1934-40

Callas and his supporters exiled

49,000,000 acres.  redistributed

 Nationalization of the Oil Companies

Retiring in Mexico

Mexico vaction safety

Is it safe to travel to Mexico ?

World War II


Gov bank established to help industry


Each one teach one


Mexican tankers were torpedoed by German submarines

 Mexico declares war on Axis


Squadron 201 of the Mexican airforce  fights in  Pacific theater

1947 - 2013
Post war economic
Boom and Bust

Postwar Mexico prosperous


1951 Mexican segment of the Pan-American Highway finished


1952 Women were allowed to vote


1968 Tlatelolco massacre and Olympics


maquiladoras started late 60s

70-80s massive Peso devaluation, huge debt IMF bailout

90s decline of Columbian drug cartels leads to rise of Mexican drug cartels,which now control 70% of the illegal drug flow into the U.S.

2006 Pres.Calderon intensifies war on cartels.

Mexican History Maps
Map of Mexican archeological sites

map of the The Viceroyalty of New  Spain

Map of the Mexican-American War

map of modern Mexico

Google map of Mexico

Quiz on Mexican history

Top Heroes and Villains in Mexican History

Mexican History Mp3s

Glossary with pronunciation

Epidemics in Mexican History


Mexican History Time Lines

Time line of Mexican History

Mexican RevolutionTimeline

Mexican-American War Timeline

Mexican History News

Mexico urged to rebuild public’s trust

Mexico has learned to stick with flexible peso:


Mexico's Vigilante Groups Continue On, But Remove Masks


Obama Plays Risky Game in Mexico With Embrace of Enrique Peña


Mexico's next president faces tough economy


Partial recount in Mexico presidential election ordered

Mexico's PRI party 'dinosaurs' roar back to life

Mexico's youngest police chief seeks asylum in U.S.

Maya tomb find could help explain collapse

New reality emerging on illegal immigration

Lost Mayan city of Mirador

Tomb of Aztec Emperor Ahuitzotl found

Museums honor Mexico’s milestones

Rise and Fall of the Maya

London show sheds light on Aztec Emperor

Mexico unveils archeological park

Mexico Quick Facts

Population: 111,211,789   11th largest in the world

GDP 1.47 Trillion    12th largest economy

7th Largest oil producer


Baja Cave Paintings


National Museum of Mexican Art

Museo Nacional de Historia

Anahuacalli Museum

San Juan de Ulúa


War of the Pacific

War of the Triple Alliance



Mexico has a rich history, going back 20 centuries .The Pre-Columbian cities in Mexico were the most populous in the world at their time with great advancements in art and building .Prior to the Spanish,the Mayans developed superbly built city-states in the Yucatan  and the city of Tectihuacan with a population of 200,000 in 600 A.D., made it the largest city in the world .Their Successors the Aztecs ruled over most of central Mexico . 
 Mexico a mestizo society where the native population and Spanish have blended to make the country what it is today, the native peoples still make up to 30% of the population.The country has been rocked by upheavals and the loss of almost half its territory in war, foreign invasion and revolution, yet still remains a vibrant country with a unique cultural identity which started to be called mexicanidad during the Mexican Revolution .





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