It is believed that the first pre-Hispanic inhabitants of the Americas arrived from Siberia. These early inhabitants were hunters at first before learning and developing agricultural techniques that would help them expand. One of the first great civilizations to appear were the Teotihuacanos, who was located 50km from modern Mexico City.
The Tectihuacán civilization was quite extensive, with its major city hosting a population of around 125,000 during its peak. They developed writing and books, a calendar system, and a numbering system. Despite these successes, as other civilizations began to develop, the Teotihuacanos began to weaken and their city was eventually abandoned in the 8th century.
After the fall of Teotihuacán, the Toltec empire took over. As a militaristic kingdom, their influence spread, but they too were abandoned by the start of the 13th century. By the 15th century, the Aztecs had become one of the most powerful groups in the Valley of Mexico. The Aztecs made their capital in Tectihuacán and as time passed, this city, as well as neighbouring Tlatelolco housed more than 200,000 citizens.
While the Aztec Empire was very powerful, its demise came relatively quickly following the arrival of the Spanish at the beginning of the 16th century. The empire was already facing struggles as hostility from other groups spread. The Spanish capitalized on such hostilities and within two years had taken control. They viewed the New World as an opportunity for wealth to come to Spain, without much thought for the people who they were now ruling.
For the next three centuries, Spanish rule was focused on taking advantage of Mexico’s vast silver reserves and making local populations into slaves. Such mistreatment meant that a rebellion was inevitable and fighting began in 1810. This fighting would continue for eleven years before the terms of independence were agreed upon in 1821. The next forty years were quite tumultuous for Mexico as three different countries invaded it. Much territory was lost to the United States and there were approximately 50 different heads of state during that time.
With the end of the 19th century came a great deal of industrialization in Mexico, however, the local populations did not see much of the benefits. There were terrible working conditions and wealth and land became accessible to a small minority. This unrest led to the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Allegiances changed over ten years and there was much fighting. Eventually, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional emerged as its leader for the next seven decades.
Mexico has become an increasingly popular tourist destination over the years. With its incredible history and natural beauty, it brings visitors from around the world each year. There is truly something for everyone here from incredible beaches, impressive festivals, amazing wildlife viewing opportunities and unmatched cuisine. Mexico is a destination that has to be seen to be believed
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