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Notice these physical features: 1) a very mountainous interior(an extension of the Rockies), 2) coastal lowlands on the Gulf and Paciﬁc (fertile areas), 3) the Yucatan peninsula, 4) the Baja peninsula.
Rainfall and topography affect growing season... ...which affects population. Areas along both coastlines receive the most annual rainfall, providing lush conditions for agriculture as mountainous regions are far enough inland to provide farming areas. The southern central highlands receives less rainfall, but because of altitude has a very moderate climate with temperatures in the 70s year round.
As a result, the majority of the population lives in the southerncentral highlands, and along the coast, where climate is favorable, both for agriculture (which provides jobs) and comfort.
Plate Tectonics affect Mexico Parts of Mexico are earthquake and volcano prone because of the movement of 4 different tectonic plates in the region. The volcanoes in Mexico occur because of subduction. The earthquakes are related to the shifting plates.
Coastal Regions of MexicoNorthern Paciﬁc Coastincludes Baja peninsula, arid, sparsly populated.Southern Paciﬁc Coast bounded closely by steepmountians; scenic port cities; tropical climate Gulf Coastal Plainwide agricultural plain; more importantly, a source of oil and natural gas Yucatan Peninsula ﬂat land undergirded by porous limestone; sparselypopulated; tourism along theCaribbean coast; home of the ancient Mayan civilization
Historic Mexico (1824)Notice that Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, andUtah were all part of Mexico before they were part of the US.
La Plaza de las Tres CulturasAztec Ruins, a Spanish Church and a modern ofﬁce building
Aztecs Aztec CalendarAztec SunstoneThe Aztecs were a very sophisticated civilization that lived in south central Mexcio in the 13th through the 15th centuries until they were conquered by Hernan Cortes in 1519. The Spaniards had come inland from the Gulf Coast 2 years earlier, befriending enemies of the Aztecs along the way. After defeating the Aztecs, the Spanish proceeded to conquer the remaining native groups in Mexico, claiming the new territory for Spain.
The Spanish Conquistadores and New SpainAs the Spanish conquered native groupsin the 16th century, 4 social classesemerged:Peninsularespeople born in Spain; recieved grants ofland from the King of Spain; held highofﬁcial positions; most wealthyCriollospeople of Spanish ancestry born inMexico (or the Americas); part of thewealthy higher classMestizospeople of mixed ancestry (Spanish and Haciendas, large Spanish-owned estates, werenative) usually run as farms or cattle ranches. IndiansIndians provided the labor. Their welfare was in the hands ofnatives of Mexico; labor class; poorest the Peninsulares and many Natives ended up living agroup slave-like existence.
Mexican Democracy Miguel Hidalgo the father of MexicoFeudalism continuted in Mexico for more than 2 centuries. By the early1800s, the Criollos begn to feel resentment towards the privilegedPeninsulares.In 1810, Miguel Hidalgo called for a rebellion against Spanish Rule and sparkeda war of independence that resulted in the esablishment of the independentnation of Mexico in 1821.While Mexico became an independent nation, she was ruled by a series ofdictators that resulted in a series of political struggles and civil war. Even so, asa soverign nation Mexico attracted foreign investmens. Railroads were built,ranches were expanded, oil reserves were developed, and the rich got richerand the poor got poorer.
Mexican Revolution 100 years after Hidalgo’s rebellion, peasants and middle-class Mexcians overthrew the militarydictator and landlords who ruled the country. In1920, after 10 years of bloody revolution, Mexico emerged as a democratic republic with a new Constitution and a new president. During the Mexican Revolution, Pancho Villa led guerrilla uprisings across the country that forced governmental change.
Life After the Revolution... most Mexicans are Roman Catholic and Spanish is the ofﬁcal language, however, a minority still hold the majority of the wealth Prior to the Revolution in 1910, nearly all of the land suitable for farming was part of about8000 haciendas. After the Revolution, the government began a Land Redistribution policy, buying out the landowners, breaking up their Haciendas, and dividing land among landless peasants. This policy continues today. The governmental reclaimed land was awarded collectively to members of a community for subsistence farming. These farms were known as Ejidos.About 1/3 of all farms in Mexico are commercial farms owned by individuals or companies and raise cash crops for proﬁt. These farms are known as Latifundios. Many Mexicans who neither own land nor work on a particular farm become Migrant Workers, traveling from place to place where extra workers are needed to clutivate crops.
Mexican Economics NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) phased out trade barriers (tarifs) between the US, Canada and Mexico; signiﬁcantly increased trade and improved Mexican economy. Petroleum and Tourism are Mexico’s Greatest Industries The petroleum industry is owned by the government (PEMEX) so as demand rises and falls, so do government revenues; richhistory, tropical beaches, and a mild climate create opportunity for a lucrative tourism industry (Acapulco, Cancun, Cozumel) Maquiladoras factories clustered along the US/Mexico border that assemble products exclusively for US consumers; has led to economic and population growth in northern Mexico