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is named after the Aztec name of the lands and people. The Nahuatl word Mexihco
refers to the region where Mexico City now stands, as well as the Aztec people of
that region. The origin or meaning of the word Mexihco is unknown. Among
the more popular beliefs, the word may mean "sun," a leader named "Mexihtli,"
a local plant, and others.
WARNING: Parts of Mexico are unsafe,
please read this travel warning
Mexican culture has undertaken a few major changes over time, the first coming with
the arrival of the Europeans in the 1400s and 1500s. The Europeans brought with
them diseases and great changes as the people warred. It also created a new people
as many of the Spanish and locals intermarried, creating the mestizos.
The culture of the native people was fairly advanced in numerous ways; they had
very organized political and social systems as the sciences, most particularly astronomy,
was studied and those with great knowledge were prized. This culture though also
had a social hierarchy, a cultural aspect that indirectly assisted the Spanish conquest.
Mexico's flag stands on a green,
white, and red background; colors that represent hope, joy, and love for green,
peace and honesty for white, and hardiness, bravery, strength, and valor for red.
In the center of the flag is the country's coat of arms. The coat of arms is
based on an Aztec legend that stated they should settle in a location where they
see an eagle on a cactus eating a snake; after supposedly seeing this scene, they
built the city of Tenochtitlan, which is now Mexico City.
Name: United Mexican States
Independence: September 16, 1810;
recognized September 27, 1821
Capital: Mexico City
Currency: Mexican Peso
Population: 116,220,947 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Mestizo, Amerindian, & European
Religion: Roman Catholic
The Spanish took most of modern day Mexico with ease due to advanced weapons and
confusion among the local people, some of whom viewed the Spanish as gods. The Spanish
quickly subjugated the local people as their earlier remnants of a social hierarchy
allowed the Spanish to place the local people below themselves with relative ease.
Despite various social levels, the Spanish and local people intermarried and soon
the country was controlled by the upper class, which consisted of those who were
primarily Spanish. This led to great controversy, arguments, and political chaos
for hundreds of years despite Mexican independence from Spain in the early 1800s.
Sadly Mexico established a pattern of political instability early in its history
and this instability has led to a lack of trust in politics. Starting a business
was confined to those who had political connections and people feared the government
instead of viewing it as a medium for change. As many countries focused on economic
growth and power, the people of Mexico focused on maintaining survival from harsh
rulers as the people placed their trust in the hands of the Catholic Church. As
many countries experienced technological and economic progress they turned to the
government to make changes to achieve these goals. In Mexico, the people clung to
religion as they feared the government and avoided the dangerous implications of
getting involved politically and in many cases economically.
Although the political situation in Mexico has greatly settled down, the people
still turn to religion and their neighbors as the most trustworthy institutions.
Also, due to political instability in the past and a lack of technology in the present,
farming remains the primary and most important industry as a huge number of people
partake in this industry to make a living. Despite this, another huge change in
the culture of the Mexican people came more recently as foreign countries invest
in Mexico, most notably the United States. This investment has led to cities in
Mexico quickly growing as factories arise and provide a new means to make a living,
and more importantly a new way of life as rural people are migrating to the cities
to find better paying jobs.
Today the people of Mexico continue to distrust the government as many farmers struggle
to make ends meet. This has led to a massive urban migration in recent decades and
a severe case of emigration, primarily to the United States, as these people seek
a better future for themselves or their children. The people are well aware of the
technology and opportunities that surround them but are frustrated with corruption
and crime which prevent them from obtaining many of these items. This means the
people continue to rely on the church, family, and friends for support as Mexican
culture today continues to be strongly tied to the church and family, while sports,
most particularly soccer, and food contribute greatly to making their time with
friends and family more enjoyable.
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