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About

A federal republic covering almost two million square kilometres, Mexico is the thirteenth largest independent nation in the world and contains a population of over 113 million people, making it the second most populated country in Latin America. 

The nation itself is comprised of thirty-one states and has been home to some of the oldest civilizations in the world including the Maya, the Aztect, the Olmec, the Zapotec, the Teotihuacan and the Toltec. Following first contact with the European peoples, these groups were mainly wiped out, but even to this day large stone structures and forgotten reminders of an age past remain.


Stone Age History

Mankind has existed in the region for over 23,000 years and the very oldest remains are believed to be a campfire dating back to this time in the Valley of Mexico. However, the tribes of the region only began to cultivate the land and grow maize since around 8000 BC.

The Olmec people of the time are believed to have their origins in the State of Tabasco and began developing farming techniques as far back as 5000 BC. Additionally, the Mayan Calendar begins on the date 11th August 3114 BC and this is believed to mark the beginning of any records of the Mayan civilization.

Bronze Age History

Around 2300 BC, the peoples of the land started to create pottery and basic forms of artwork in the region, in 1800 BC. They also began to grow corn rapidly as a staple source of food.

Some of the oldest Olmec structures were discovered at the time including a Sacrificial Bog in El Manati, dating back at least to 1600 BC. However, it wasn’t until 1400 BC that the Olmec civilization fully flourished in the form of the city of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan. It is believed that a combination of well-watered soil and easy-access transportation network via the Coatzacoalcos River basin formed the basis of their civilization. The elite class of the Olmec peoples created a demand for incredibly beautiful artifacts to be produced and today these mark some of the most prominent pieces preserved from the region, adorned with jewels such as magnetite, obsidian and jade.

The Maya began to develop some of their oldest buildings at the time, starting with ones in Cuello, Belize in 2600 BC but larger Mayan civilizations being developed in 1800 BC in Soconusco on the Pacific Coast. Additionally, pottery and fired clay figurines have been found in the region and are believed to be linked with the Maya.

Iron Age History

The start of the Iron Age saw the first mention of the Toltecs by the Aztecs, who saw the Toltec civilization as their predecessors. However, as much of Aztec-recorded history is mythological, it is uncertain how much precedence should be given to these reports which date back up to 1000 BC. It is known that the Toltecs did rule the region from about 700 BC onwards and established an incredibly successful turquoise trade route with the northern civilization of Pueblo Bonito.

In San Lorenzo, many monuments were destroyed in 950 BC by what is believed to be either an invasion or, more likely, an internal uprising or civil war. Over the next fifty years, San Lorenzo declined in activity and the city of La Venta became the prominent centre for the Olmec civilization. La Venta also is host to the largest ancient Mesoamerican structure, the Great Pyramid, which houses a plethora of incredibly labour-intensive offerings such as 48 deposits of pottery, figurines, hematite mirrors, polished jade celts, 1000 tons of smooth serpentine blocks and large mosaic pavements. 

The Maya began to build a multitude of sites along the southern lowlands at the time, these include El Mirador, Nakbe, San Bartolo and Cival, as well as site in the highlands such as Kaminaljuyu around 800 BC. Later sites built in 600 BC such as Chocola, Izapa and Takalik Abaj controlled and produced Cacao, whilst the former-mentioned sites developed obsidian and jade resources. Smaller sites emerged in the northern lowlands as well such as Dzibilchaltun and Komchen but generally speaking these were not as prominent as their northern counterparts. The first written Maya hieroglyphics also appeared around 250 BC, which is when a lot of the smaller sites began to develop.

Around 350 BC, suddenly the Olmec population sharply dropped and it wasn’t until the 19th century that any sort of populous group resided in the region; to this day it’s still unknown what caused these circumstances. Although it is theorized that due to volcanic activity, the majority of the Olmec peoples may have migrated away from the area. Additionally, the Olmec culture sparked a range of other civilizations around the western edge of the Olmec heartland, such as Tres Zapotes.

Settling in 300 BC, a mysterious civilization began to build a large city, the largest ancient city of Latin America in fact, Teotihuacan. It’s believed these people may have been the Totonac influenced by the Zapotec, the Mixtec and Mayan peoples but scholars are still not entirely certain. The earliest buildings of Teotihuacan date back to 200 BC and the very largest structure, the Pyramid of the Sun, was finished around 100 AD. 


1st Century – 15th Century History

It was around 100 AD that the first series of large Maya cities were abandoned and their populations declined. However, this was not the complete collapse of the civilization. Starting in 250 AD, the Maya people strongly developed their agricultural techniques and built a plethora of cities centred around these practices including Calakmul, Bonampak, Xunatunich, Altun Ha, Copan, Uaxactun, Palenque, Cahal Pech, Tikal, Dos Pilas, Caracol and Lamanai.

It was at this time that the Mayan population flourished as well, numbering in the millions and building up a multitude of kingdoms in the region centred around the cities. Many of these cities features large palaces and temples used for many religious ceremonies and rituals as well as educative sectors for developing one of the most advanced hieroglyphic writing systems of the era. These cities also are responsible for a variety of trade within the region including long-distance trade with other Mesoamerican cultures such as the Zapotec and Teotihuacan, as well as the tribes of the Carribean Islands such as the Tainos. Trade included cacao, salt, seashells, jade, obsidian and even gold.

Around 450 AD the city of Teotihuacan had grown to be one of the most prominent sites in all of Mesoamerica, covering over thirty kilometres squared and holding a population of over 200,000. Despite the large amount of craftsmen and trade, especially that surrounding Obsidian, strangely there are no signs of any fortifications or military structures within the city. It is believed that the Teotihuacan and Mayan civilizations conversed on a political level frequently and later on in history, the Teotihuacan people are believed to have conquered several Mayan regions and centres of activity, these include Peten and Tikal. The height of the civilization was around 550 AD and by that time it had become a thriving centre of trade for Mesoamerica and many had begun to strongly refine the arts in the region with unrivalled paintings across the region, only comparable to the painters of Renaissance Florence, Italy.

In the 7th Century, it is believed an uprising of sorts lead to the decline of the Teotihuacan population as well as the destruction of many of its structures due to a series of droughts lasting for years at a time in the region. The Maya also perished, likely for the same reasons as Teotihuacan, in the 9th Century. The collapse of these groups stood as a prequel for what was due to come for other civilizations with the city of Xochicalco falling in 900 AD and Tula following suit in 1150 AD.

Many city-states of the Aztec civilization appeared when the Aztecs arrived in the Valley of Mexico as a nomadic tribe in 1248, settling and building a settlement on Chapultepec, a hill on the western shores of Lake Texcoco. The Aztecs were driven out of the area by the Tepanecs of Azcapotzalco, but their ruler allowed them to resettle in Tizaapan in 1299 at which time they assimilated into the Aztec culture. However, in 1323 the Aztec priesthood killed, skinned and wore the daughter of the Tepanec ruler to a festival dinner as part of a ritual. Upon seeing this, the Tepanec ruler forced the Aztec people to flee from the area.

In 1315 the Aztecs began to construct the city of Tenochtitlan on a small island on the west side of Lake Shinshu, building up the mass of the land. The story goes that the Aztec god, Huitzlipochtli, told the people to build their city where they saw an eagle on a cactus carrying a snake in its talons. To this day this image appears on the Mexican flag. Meanwhile more Aztecs settled on the north side of the island and built the city of Tlatelolco, eventually joining with Tenochtitlan. Finally, in 1376 the first tlatoani, or leader, was elected, Acamapichtli.

From 1376 onwards, the leaders of the Aztecs, Acamapichtli, Chimalpopoca and Huitzilihuitl, were controlled by Tezozomoc, the Tepanec ruler of Azcapotzalco.In 1425, Tezozomoc died and his son Maxtla took the throne. Through Maxtla’s tyrannical efforts on the region, he had Chimalpopoca assassinated and forced the leader of Texcoco, Nezahualcoyotl, into exile. These actions sought to strengthen the bonds between the cities of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan and between them they forged an alliance known as the Aztec Triple Alliance.

The Aztec Triple Alliance was led by Itzcoatl and he, with the now-exiled Nezahualcoyotl, began to expand the territory of the alliance southwards, conquering Cuauhnahuac and Culhuacan, some of the biggest cities of the Tepanec people. They additionally took over Huexotla, Tepoztlan, Mixquic, Coatlinchan and Xochimilco. In 1440, the half-brothers Tlacaelel and Moctezuma took the reins of power from Itzcoatl and reconquered the cities that had rebelled against him with Tlacaelel being the power behind the throne and government while Moctezuma became the architect of the Aztec war machine.

Tlacaelel helped to reform the Aztec nation and reinforced the belief that they were a chosen people under guidance of a king of gods, as well as passing laws forbidding common people from wearing lip plugs, cotton cloaks, gold armbands and many other adornments in an attempt to preserve the nobility. Additionally, to appease the Aztec god, Huitzilopochtli, he increased the frequency of human sacrifices and started the flower wars with Tlaxcala as a means of providing fresh sacrifices.

Moctezuma conquered much Huastec territory as well as Coixtlahuaca, inhabited by the Mixtecs, and brought many Mixtec artisans back to the Aztec capital. Following this he marched on the Totonacan cities of Vera Cruz and took Ahuilizapan, Cotaxtla, Cosamaloapan and Xalapa before marching even further north and taking Tuxpan and Xilotepec.

Through the rule of the half-brothers, the Aztec civilization flourished dramatically and developed into a huge empire with a multitude of cities under their rule. In 1469, Axayacatl, Moctezuma’s son, took the throne and it was at this time that Tenochtitlan took control of the kingdom of Tlatelolco. As Axayacatl’s sister was married to the leader of this kingdom, he declared she had been mistreated and used this as an excuse for war. After taking Tenochtitlan, he went on to take Malinalco, Ocuillan and Tollocan before having to deal with a civil war back in Tlatelolco.

The Tlatelolco people had rebelled against the Aztec rule under their leader Moquihuix while attempting to forge an alliance with the Tenochca, the Huexotzinca, the Chololteca, the Chalca and the Tlaxcalteca. However, Axayacatl easily quelled the rebellion and executed all of the rulers who had aided Moquihuix. Moving on, he moved to fight further west but suffered a defeat by the Tarascans at Tzintzuntzan in 1479. Shortly afterwards he was replaced by his brother Tizoc but through humiliation by bringing only 40 prisoners home from war against the Otomies at Metztitlan for his coronation ceremony’s sacrifices, he was replaced and likely poisoned by his younger brother Ahuitzotl.

Ahuitzotl suppressed the Huastec rebellion right at the start of his reign and fully conquered the Mixtec and Zapotec people following this. Additionally he supervised the rebuilding of Tenochtitlan as well as expanding the Great Pyramid in 1487 and is responsible for the earliest case of human-mediated bird introduction in the western hemisphere, the introduction of the Great-tailed Grackle. Upon passing away in 1502, Ahuitzotl was succeeded by Moctezuma II who marched forth on the lands around and took the cities of Tapachula and Xicallanco.

Some Maya cities were known to survive the widespread genocide of Mesoamerican antiquity. The cities of the northern lowlands, such as Coba, Edzna, Uxmal and Chichen Itza, flourished for centuries under the rule of Mayapan, the governing city of the region. However, a revolt in 1450 destroyed the control the city of Mayapan held on the region and in turn, the area degenerated into warring city-states.

16th Century – 19th Century History

In 1502, Christopher Columbus arrived in Guanaja just off of the coast of Honduras and sent his brother Bartholomew to scout the island. As they approached the island, a large canoe carrying cotton textiles, ceramics, flint-studded war clubs, yellow stone axes, copper axes, cacao and copper bells floated out manned by Maya and owned by a rich Maya captain. Bartholomew’s crew took all that they could, as well as the captain in an attempt to develop a translator, before letting the canoe go on its way.

In 1517 the governor of Cuba, Diego Velazquez de Cuellar, commissioned a fleet of three ships to land on the South American Yucatan peninsula, commanded by Hernandez de Cordoba. Upon landing, the Mayans at Cape Catoche invited them to their settlement and the Spaniards read the Requirements of 1513 to them, offering them the protection of the King of Spain should they submit. Cordoba took two prisoners in an attempt to develop translators but he and his crew were later attacked in the night by Mouchcouoh, the Mayan chief. Cordoba was mortally wounded and returned to Cuba with only a small fragment of his crew, as twenty had been killed.

In 1519, Hernan Cortes re-landed on the Yucatan peninsula and began to march on the Aztec empire, slowly taking the cities one by one until even the capital, Tenochtitlan, had fallen in 1521. At first it seemed the Aztecs could still survive under Spanish rule as the Spaniards allowed their nobles to learn to speak and write Spanish and even Latin. However, it all dramatically changed when laws passed forbidding them to learn of their cultures as well as speaking and writing Spanish.

By this time, the Europeans had brought disease and sicknesses from their homeland that the natives had no immunity to and thus, waves of monkeypox in 1511, mono in 1545, yellow fever in 1576 and other illnesses swept across the region, wiping out vast civilizations of Aztec, Mixtec, Maya and many other groups. It’s estimated that in under a century, 75% of the Mesoamerican population was wiped out and by 1581 the population had dropped to two million from a previous population in 1500 at fifteen million. In order to have a source of labour, African slaves were imported but most of them merged with the population very quickly.

In 1524, King Charles V of Spain created the Council of the Indies to help manage the conquered land dubbed ‘New Spain’ in order to prevent the creation of viceroyalties which could potentially threaten the Crown of Castile, Spain’s governing monarchy. In turn the council created the first mainland Audiencia in 1527, in order to encourage further exploration in the region. However, management via the Audiencia proved to be unsuccessful and as a result, King Charles V promoted Antonio de Mendoza as the first Viceroy of New Spain. Through the Viceroy’s commissions and campaigns, the Council of Indies and the Churches moved across the region attempting to convert the populations to Catholicism while generating capital for the Crown. Through their efforts the native population began to labour for the Crown and the Spaniard men and women intermarried with the indigenous tribes.

This formed the basis of Colonial Mexico and after a time, the population was divided into four main castes. The first and most powerful group were the pureblood Spaniards, born to Spanish parents and originating from Spain, and only they could hold the highest-level jobs in the government. The second group were called the Creoles, people who were born in Mexico but were born to both Spanish parents, but despite their ethnicity matching the pureblood Spaniards, even the wealthiest Creoles had little to no say in the government. The third group were the halfblood Mestizos, even those with only a single native Indian ancestor could be considered Mestizos and these were looked down upon by the Spaniards and the Creoles alike due to a common view of Caucasian superiority shared by the Spanish populace. The only group lower than the Mestizos were in fact the original owners of the land: the Native Indians. The Indians were often forced into labour on the ranches and farms of the Spaniards and Creoles alongside the less-visible fifth class, the imported African slaves.

The educative sector flourished dramatically with encouragement and funding from the Crown with schools opening in 1523, printing houses in 1524 and universities in 1551. Trade between the region and other civilizations, however, did not flourish as significantly as the only means of trade with the outside world was by sea and the only ports open to foreign trade were Veracruz on the Atlantic shores and Acapulco on the Pacific. This was in an attempt to dissuade the English, Dutch and French pirates but it was not very successful, as the pirates pillaged the cities of Campeche in 1557, Veracruz itself in 1568 and Alvarado in 1667.

The Spanish finally began to subdue the last city states one-by-one. In 1697, the last states, the Ko’woj city of Zacpeten and the Itza polity of Tayasal, were dissolved. Over a hundred years later in the beginning of the 19th Century, the then-dubbed ‘New Spain’ wished to take its independence and have the Spaniards who held all of the political power divulge it among the castes of the Indians, Creoles and Mestizos. Inspired by the records of the American and French Revolutions, insurgents in the region saw the opportunity to take the country’s independence in 1808 when the King abdicated in Madrid as Spain was forced into war.

Issuing The Cry of Dolores in 1810 on the 16th of September, the day celebrated as Mexico’s Independence day, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla began to shout “Independence and death to the Spaniards!” Rallying a large peasant army and marching on the New Spanish Capital, they attempted to take the city but failed miserably and Father Hidalgo was executed. However, this inspired another priest, Jose Maria Morelos began to fight in his place and was moderately more successful, but he too was captures and executed in 1815. In turn, the Creoles led by Augustin de Iturbide, joined the fight and formulated the Plan of Iguala, in another attempt to demand independence from the Spaniard rule. On the 27th of September 1821, Iturbide and the ruling Viceroy signed the Treaty of Cordoba and Spain withdrew, granting the new nation of Mexico its independence.

Despite now having control of the country, Iturbide rapidly became a tyrannical dictator and declared himself the emperor of Mexico, copying the ceremony Napoleon used to declare himself emperor of France. Anyone who spoke against Iturbide was executed and he quickly filled the government with corrupt officials who worked on bribes and dishonest business deals. By 1823, just two years after Spain had pulled out, the Mexican public had enough and forced Iturbide into exile, reforming the country as a Republic in 1824. The new constitution saw its modelling on the US Constitution guaranteeing basic human rights and dividing the responsibilities of the government between the ruling body of the country and each of the individual states within. At this time, the United Mexican States had been established and Catholicism had been named its state religion.

The attention of the Mexican government largely was drawn to the northern states where Comache Indian raids frequently ravaged the towns and villages of the northern reaches. They formulated a strategy and began to allow American Citizens to settle in Coahuila y Tejas on condition that they convert to Catholicism and become Mexican Citizens, as well as not to bring any slaves in. However, these conditions were largely ignored and through a combination of settling far from the standard Comanche raid locations as well as using the Mexican government’s failure as an excuse, the state rose up against the government and after a war lasting from 1835 to 1836. Upon defeat at the hands of the Texian army, the Republic of Texas was created later on the same year the war ended.

In response to the massacre of an American army in disputed territory during the war, the United States Congress declared war in May 1846 on Mexico and in turn, Mexico did the same later on the same month. The following year the US moved into Mexico and in just twelve days after arrival in Veracruz, the city was captured under order of General Winfield Scott. The General pushed on, taking Puebla and Chapultepec before Mexico surrendered and signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, selling Mexico’s northern territories to the US for $15 Million.

In 1855, Mexico began to undergo a large series of reforms under guidance of new young political leaders such as Benito Juarez, Santos Degollado, Juan Alvarex, Jose Maria Inglesias and Ignacio Comonfort, Melchor Ocampo as well as the brothers Miguel and Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada. Through their strategy of limiting the traditional privilege land holding of the Catholic Church and therefore effectively revitalize the market in land. Additionally in the same year the now squanderer of Mexico’s governmental funding, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, was overthrown and replaced. After a series of other reformations, liberalism dominated the region politically and endured into the 20th Century.

In the 1860s the country was invaded by France and the country successfully installed Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria as Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico. Through support by the church, some indigenous communities and conservative elements of the upper class, the new Emperor married his consort: Empress Carlota of Mexico and the two settled in at Chapultepec Castle. However, despite the views of the French Emperor Napoleon III who looked to exploit the country’s mines, the new Emperor and Empress sought to ensure the human rights of the people of Mexico.

Despite the quite takeover of the country, the French didn’t make any profit through it and the Mexican expedition decreased in popularity. Eventually the US demanded in 1865 that the French withdraw their troops from Mexico to which Napoleon complied. In just a couple of years Maximillian was captured and executed but Juarez, Federal Government visionary, remained in power as the Republic was restored and he was re-elected. He was re-elected again in 1971 as his reforms rapidly developed the country into a powerful new nation. Just a year later he died but was succeeded by Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada.
In 1876 the dictator Porfirio Diaz took over the country but dedicated himself to law and order, modernizing the country through higher tax but in turn better administration and improvements in national finances, industry, railways, public safety, foreign trade, mining and public health. Through the dictatorship’s efforts the country moved from international ridicule to pride and this mass development lasted for over thirty years until 1911.

20th Century History

In 1910, the now elderly Diaz decided to hold another election expecting to win in a landslide due to the lack of any other serious opposition. However, an academic from a rich family named Francisco I. Madero ran against him and gained overwhelming support despite being imprisoned by Diaz. When the results were announced Diaz had an overwhelming victory. The fraud was far too blatant and the public rose up, breaking out in riots across the nation. Through these riots, Madero was able to rally the Mexican public against their dictator and escape prison, fleeing to San Antonio, Texas, to prepare the overthrow of Diaz. Although Diaz attempted to use the military to quell the uprising, the ranking generals were simply unable to move swiftly enough and in 1911 Diaz resigned and was exiled into France, passing away four years later.

The revolutionary force lead by Emiliano Zapata, Pascual Orozco and Pancho Villa were honoured for their actions and their leaders were instated as members of the new government under Madero. However, due to the different objectives each of the politicians shared, conflict again broke out and lasted for 20 years, seeing the assassination of revolutionaries Pancho Villa in 1923 and Emiliano Zapata in 1919. Madero himself was assassinated in 1913 under order of Victoriano Huerta, one of Diaz’ generals, in a coup d’état but due to his brutality, he lost support and was overthrown by Venustiano Carranza in 1915. Carranza was assassinated in 1919 by Alvaro Obregon, an ally who had plotted against him.

Obregon was successfully able to accommodate all elements of Mexican society except some landlords and the clergymen and as such was able to catalyse social liberalization and improve education as well as taking steps towards instituting women’s civil rights. However, his ineligibility for re-election caused him to choose his interior minister, Plutarco Elias Calles, as his successor. The first populist presidential candidate for the country, Calles did try to make good on his promises presented to the public but mainly failed and the Cristero Wars of 1926 lasted for three years, erupting in reaction to Calles’ anti-Catholic policies. Obregon was also assassinated in 1928. These wars were solved in the end through diplomatic means with assistance of the US Ambassador, Dwight Whitney Morrow, after the war had already claimed ninety-thousand lives.

In 1929 the National Mexican Party formed by the president was able to convince most of the remaining revolutionary generals to hand over their armies to join the Mexican Army. The new system was able to monopolize all of the political branches and it wasn’t until fifty years later that it lost its first senate seat. As the 1930s began, President Lazaro Cardenas rose up into power and dramatically united the country’s political systems, transforming Mexico in the process. He started to distribute free textbooks to children, created the National Polytechnic Institute, reformed the land, nationalized the oil industry and exiled the last dictator, General Calles, as to remove the military’s political power.

During the Second World War, Mexico only played a minor military role but on an economic level it was a country with much on the line. The country at first was exporting oil to countries all over the world but following the Douglas-Weichers Agreement of 1941, the country exclusively dealt with the United States alone. However, this was due to change further when the country lost some of its oil carriers in the Gulf of Mexico through attacks by German ships, and thus Mexico declared war upon the Axis Powers in 1942. Their most famous group, Escuadron 201, or the Aztec Eagles, numbered over three-hundred volunteers and assisted in the liberation of the Phillipines alongside the United States Air Force. Additionally the war created work for over 290 thousand Mexican workers in farms in the US, bringing another stable source of income and produce for both countries.

Averaging 3-4% annual economic growth every year for the next four decades, El Milagro Mexicano, or the Mexican Economic Miracle, occurred. This was mainly due to a large investment into agriculture, energy, transportation and education (tripling the enrolment rate in schools between 1929 and 1949), as well as higher tariffs on any imported domestic goods to encourage exportation over importation and generate excess revenue for the state. Amazingly, even during the Great Depression of the 30s and 40s the country still averaged 3-4% annual economic growth. However, due to the single party’s economic policies, political unrest ensued and in 1968 the resulting Tlatelolco Massacre claimed the lives of students, children and other public protesters as the military gunned them down during a peaceful protest, killing around thirty but seriously wounding hundreds more.

Following this, large-scale economic crisis swept through the country in 1976 and again in 1982, which forced the government to nationalize Mexico’s banks which were largely blamed for the problems, additionally the Mexican Peso was devalued dramatically at the end of each Presidential term. In 1985, the single-party government had to suddenly dispatch relief efforts in an attempt to aid those injured and left homeless from the magnitude 8.1 earthquake of the same year which claimed the lives of up to thirty thousand. They were criticized for their mishandling of the relief efforts and the public were left furious and doubtful of the government’s capabilities.

The results of the 1988 election were disputed furiously and as a response to this the Instituto Federal Electoral (or IFE) was created to ensure the legitimacy and legality of all held elections. Meanwhile the economy stuttered again and the US stepped in, granting $50 Billion in loan guarantees and bringing the peso up to six pesos per dollar. Through these efforts the economy began growing once again and by 1997 Mexico repaid all of its US treasure loans. However, the repeated and blatant fraud of the single-party government pushed the public to realize that a shift in power was needed desperately.

21st Century History

For the first time in over seventy years, the single-party government lost to the National Action Party’s Vincente Fox Quesada and the hegemony of the ruling PRI party collapsed. Following this, Fox was succeeded in the following election by Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, also of the National Action Party, albeit only by a 0.56% margin of votes. During his time in office, Calderon raised the salaries of the Federal Police and the Mexican Military but imposed a cap on the salaries of all high-ranking public servants, as well as enforcing the aggression of the drug war on the cartels in the country. Rising back into power from over twelve years of National Action Party rule, Enrique Pena Nieto of the PRI party was elected President with 38% of the votes in 2012.