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Geographic Location of Mexico

Mexico has a diverse landscape with rich nature. There are large deserts, rainforests, mangrove forests and high mountain areas. More than half of the country's territory is located above 1000 m above sea level. In the center of the country is the high plain and plateau of La Mesa, surrounded by the three mountain ranges of the Sierra Madre. The highest parts of the plateau are in the south and reach 2000 m above sea level. This area is the economic center of the country and the most densely populated. The country has two large rivers: The Rio Grande, which borders the United States in the north, and the Rio Usumacinta, which borders Guatemala in the south. The climate is tropical and subtropical along the coast, temperate in the highlands and dry in the desert regions. Hurricanes and tropical storms are common between June and November. There is also a risk of earthquakes and there are several active volcanoes in the country.

Most of the country's energy needs are met by oil and gas, which creates serious environmental problems. The capital of Mexico City is one of the most polluted cities in the world. Another problem is deforestation, half of the primeval forest has disappeared, which has led to the fact that many animal species are threatened with extinction. A serious environmental problem is that access to clean drinking water is constantly declining. Mexico has strict environmental laws, but corruption, lack of funding, and low public interest in the environment mean that the laws are not enforced.

Brief History of Mexico

The oldest human footprints in Mexico are ten thousand years old, and the area has been home to several highly developed cultures. The first was the Olmec culture, which arose around 1200 BC. Later, the Zapotec, Maya and Toltec cultures arose.

In 1519, when the brutal Spanish conquest began, the country was ruled by the Aztecs. In two years, the society and culture of the indigenous people were destroyed, and they had to work in slave conditions in mines and plantations. It is estimated that there were about 20 million indigenous people living in the area before the Spanish began colonization. Wars and new European diseases killed 90 percent of the native population in a few generations.

After the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, the Spanish king was overthrown and so the Mexicans began a war of independence to secede. In 1821 Mexico gained independence. Mexico was later in conflict with the United States which ended with Mexico losing half of its land to the United States in 1848. After the victory of the United States, it became clear that Mexico had to be reformed in order to survive as an independent country. The goal of the reforms was to get rid of the remnants of the colonial era by reducing the power of the church and the army.

After a period of reform, Mexico was ruled dictatorially by Porfirio Diaz towards the end of the 19th century. Under his rule, the country became more modernized and industrialized, and the economy grew. His policies have deprived a number of people of their land, and class divisions have intensified. The dissatisfaction of the population with the authorities grew, and in 1910 the Mexican Revolution began. Diaz was overthrown the following year, but the bloody civil war continued for several more years. In 1917, a radical new constitution was drawn up, which stated that the authorities were obliged to ensure the socio-economic well-being of the population. The Mexican Revolution ended three years later. After the 20th century, the economy was unstable despite major oil discoveries, and the social policies defined in the constitution were not enforced.

Society and Politics of Mexico

Mexico is a federal republic divided into 31 states and the city of Mexico City. Each state has its own governor and state government. On paper, the states enjoy considerable autonomy, but in practice power is largely concentrated in the hands of the national authorities. Executive power is vested in the president, who is the head of state and head of government. The president appoints the government. The president is elected for six years and can only be elected for one term. Legislative power belongs to the Congress, which consists of two chambers - the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.

The 1917 constitution declared Mexico a democratic federation. However, there was then one party that dominated politics throughout the 20th century. The party ruled the country as an authoritarian one-party state for 71 years. The legal reforms of the 1980s and 1990s opened up the multi-party system, and it was only during this period that democracy began to take shape. By 2000, dissatisfaction with the party had become so strong that it lost power. Mexico today is considered a partially free democracy.

In recent years, politics has revolved around a major structural reform that all major parties have agreed to. The reform was supposed to strengthen the rule of law, even out social divisions, and boost economic growth. However, corruption, especially in the police and government, is still high and violence is a serious social problem. The war on drugs has led to an increase in violence and organized crime. Several human rights violations are committed by both civilians and government officials, and those who commit violations are rarely punished. About half of the population is considered poor, and there are huge differences between classes.

Economy and Trade of Mexico

Mexico is now one of the largest economies in the world. It is an ancient agricultural country that is still among the world's largest producers of corn and vegetables. Today, agriculture makes up only a small part of GDP, but just over an eighth of the population works in agriculture. Mexico is rich in natural resources. The country is the world's largest producer of silver and also has large deposits of oil, gas, gold and other minerals.

After the 20th century, first oil production and then industry took an increasingly important place in the economy. This happened because major oil discoveries were made in the country. But an economy built on oil is vulnerable to international fluctuations in oil prices. In recent years, Mexico has invested in industrial production, especially in the automotive industry, to reduce its dependence on oil. The service sector dominates the economy, and tourism in particular generates large revenues.

An important part of the economic policy of recent years has been deregulation, privatization and free trade. The country has more free trade agreements than any other country. One of the most important is the free trade agreement with the United States and Canada (USMCA) - both are important trading partners, although the United States is clearly the largest. An obstacle to the economic development of the country is the shadow economy, especially the drug trade, which accounts for one third to one half of all economic activity. This results in low tax revenues for the country.

Mexican Cuisine and Culinary Traditions of Mexico

Mexican cuisine is one of the most interesting and popular national cuisines in the world, it is popular not only in Mexico itself, but also in many other countries, primarily in the United States of America, which even has its own version of Mexican cuisine - Tex-Mex, or Tex-Mex cuisine. Mexican cuisine is based on local products, among which a significant proportion is occupied by corn, potatoes, beans and other legumes, and of course, various varieties of hot chili peppers. Although the traditions of the indigenous peoples who previously inhabited the territory of Mexico are traced in Mexican cuisine, Spanish cuisine had a great influence on the formation of national cuisine in its modern form. In Mexico and far beyond its borders, many Mexican dishes are known and popular - chili con carne, tacos and fajitas, tortillas and quesadillas, nachos and tamales, guacamole sauces and various types of salsa. Speaking of Mexican cuisine, one cannot fail to mention the world-famous alcoholic drinks made from blue agave juice - mezcal and tequila.

Flag of Mexico
Coat of Arms of Mexico

Basic Information About Mexico

  • Full name - United Mexican States
  • Capital - Mexico City
  • Language - Spanish
  • Population - 128,932,753
  • Form of government - federal republic
  • Area - 1,964,380 km2
  • Currency - Peso
  • National Day - September 16