Mexico - Country history and economic development

1100s. Aztec civilization begins with first Aztec arrivals in the Valley of Mexico.

1502-20. Montezuma reigns. The empire is organized into a bureaucracy with provinces, governors, and taxation.

1519-20. Montezuma is conquered by Hernan Cortés.

1521-1700. New Spanish colony prospers. Natives are destroyed with overwork and European diseases. Colony begins to founder economically.

1821. Conservatives persuade Spanish officer and creole Augustin de Iturbide to negotiate with guerilla leader Vicente Guerrero for Mexican independence. Agreement called Plan of Iguala declares Mexican independence.

1822. Combined rebel and royal troops control Mexico. Iturbide proclaimed emperor Augustin I, but is deposed. General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna declares Mexico a republic.

1824. Iturbide is assassinated, and Guadelupe Victoria is elected Mexico's first president.

1833. Santa Anna elected president.

1836. Santa Anna gets new constitution that eliminates states' rights. U.S. immigrants to Mexican territory of Texas declare it an independent republic. Texas garrison at the Alamo destroyed by Santa Anna but he is ultimately defeated. He refuses to recognize Texas as an independent republic.

1845. United States annexes Texas. Santa Anna is overthrown.

1847. Mexican-American War. U.S. wins, gets upper California, New Mexico, and pays Mexico US$15 million.

1857. Constitution of 1857 passes.

1858-61. Conservatives and liberals fight War of the Reform.

1861. Conservatives in exile persuade Napoleon III to set up a monarchy in Mexico. Mexico suspends payments on its foreign debt and is invaded by combined forces of Spain, France, and Britain. Britain and Spain leave over dispute on how to divide Mexican assets.

1863. French stay and take the city of Puebla and then Mexico City. President Benito Juarez leaves the city.

1866-67. Napoleon declares campaign a costly failure and pulls out French troops. Juarez amasses sizeable Mexican army, retakes Mexico City, and becomes president again. Maximillian is captured at Querétaro and is executed.

1876. General Jose de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz becomes president by leading revolt. He engages in rational planning, but also repression of political opposition. The economy is modernized, and the U.S. and Europeans help build infrastructure.

1906. New Mexican middle class and new generation of Mexicans ("Regeneration Movement") become politically active and critical of government. Many are jailed.

1908. Díaz is elected to seventh term. Mexico celebrates 100 years of independence. Activist Francisco Madero calls for Rebellion which begins in Puebla and spreads throughout Mexico.

1911. Díaz resigns after attack on Ciudad Juarez. Madero is elected president.

1913-28. Era of political turmoil and assassinations. The United States intervenes again in Mexican politics.

1928. Emilio Portes Gill is appointed president.

1929. Plutarco Elias Calles forms National Revolutionary Party, Mexico's first official political party.

1934-40. Lazaro Cardenas becomes president. He expropriates and redistributes private land to peasants, and expropriates oil company assets and railroads. He sends Calles into exile.

1940-46. Manuel Avila Camacho becomes president. Mexico joins Allies; it has limited military involvement but becomes a significant supplier of material. Mexican industry develops.

1946-70. Presidencies of Aleman (1946), Ruiz (1952), Lopez (1958), Díaz (1964) all characterized by increased industrialization and urbanization. Political party renamed PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) by Aleman with all presidents during this time a member of the party. Nationwide voting rights for women granted in 1958.

1970-76. Presidency of Luis Echeverria Alvarez characterized by leftist rhetoric, alienation of upper classes, and expansion of federal bureaucracy. US$80 billion of foreign debt financed on basis of significant oil deposits found.

1976-82. Presidency of José Lopez Portillo y Pacheco with further increases in foreign debt, inflation, and government corruption. Oil glut leads to collapse of oil prices. Minority political parties increase in Mexican Congress.

1982-88. Presidency of Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado institutes austerity measures, devalues peso, restructures foreign debt. Economy goes into recession.

1988-94. Presidency of Carlos Salinas de Gortari attempts to control corruption, continues to decrease spending, and launches other austerity measures. Mexico signs North American Free Trade Agreement. Rebellion in Chiapas is suppressed, with more than 145 killed. PRI presidential candidate is assassinated (Donald Luis Colosio Murrieta).

1994-2000. Presidency of Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon devalues peso again and gets rescue package from the United States; economy goes into recession. The government privatizes a number of government industries, inflation is controlled, and growth established by the end of his term. The PRI loses majority in Mexican Congress.

2000. President Vicente Fox Quesada becomes the first non-PRI president elected in 70 years. Fox promises to eliminate government corruption and continue austerity measures.

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Sep 28, 2011 @ 11:23 pm
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