|This page is designed to give a small amount of background information about the country as it stands in the game.|
|Anthem: "National Anthem of Mexico"|
|Capital: Mexico City|
|Official Language: Spanish|
|Government: Federal presidential republic|
|Leader: Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa|
|Formation: September 16, 1810|
|Area: 1,972,550 km2|
|Population: 86,416,624(Jan 1990)|
|GDP: $461.19(Jan 1990)|
|Currency: Mexican peso|
|Timezone: (UTC-8 to -6)|
The United Mexican States is a federation comprising thirty-one states and a federal district, the capital Mexico City, whose metropolitan area is one of the world's most populous.
Covering almost 2 million square kilometers, Mexico is the fifth-largest country in the Americas by total area and the 14th largest in the world. With an estimated population of 109 million, it is the 11th most populous country and the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world.
Geography and ClimateEdit
Situated in southern North America at about 23° N and 102° W, Mexico comprises much of Middle America. Physiographically, the lands east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec including the Yucatán Peninsula (which together comprise around 12% of the country's area) lie within Central America; geologically, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt delimits the region on the north. Geopolitically, however, Mexico is commonly considered a North American country.
The Tropic of Cancer effectively divides the country into temperate and tropical zones. Land north of the twenty-fourth parallel experiences cooler temperatures during the winter months. South of the twenty-fourth parallel, temperatures are fairly constant year round and vary solely as a function of elevation.
Areas south of the twenty-fourth parallel with elevations up to 1,000 meters (the southern parts of both coastal plains as well as the Yucatán Peninsula), have a yearly median temperature between 24 and 28 °C. Temperatures here remain high throughout the year, with only a 5 °C difference between winter and summer median temperatures. Although low-lying areas north of the twentieth-fourth parallel are hot and humid during the summer, they generally have lower yearly temperature averages (from 20 to 24 °C) because of more moderate conditions during the winter.
Many large cities in Mexico are located in the Valley of Mexico or in adjacent valleys with altitudes generally above 2,000 m, this gives them a year-round temperate climate with yearly temperature averages (from 16 to 18 °C) and cool nighttime temperatures throughout the year. Many parts of Mexico, particularly the north have a dry climate with sporadic rainfall while parts of the tropical lowlands in the south average more than 200 cm of annual precipitation.
Before the Europeans came, many great Native American cultures existed in Mexico. The earliest was the Olmec culture. The Olmecs are famous for the large stone heads they made. On the Yucatan peninsula lived the Mayans. The Mayans lived in city states ruled by kings. The Mayans were most powerful between 200 and 900 A.D. Another powerful culture was the one of Teotihuacan. Teotihuacan was a very large city, one of the largest that time. After Teotihuacan declined the Toltecs became powerful. Toltec influence has been found from the southern parts of the U.S. all the way to Costa Rica. A famous Toltec ruler was Quetzalcoatl. The Toltec culture declined too, and it was succeeded by the Aztecs. The Aztecs called their own empire Mexico. A famous Aztec king was Montezuma II.
In 1519 the Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés came to Mexico. The Aztecs thought he was the returned Quetzalcoatl, so they did not want to fight against him. Cortes allied himself with the enemies of the Aztecs. In 1521 they conquered the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan. The Aztec Empire became part of Spain. It was called New Spain.
In 1810 the Mexican priest Miguel Hidalgo started the Mexican war of independence. In 1821 the Spanish finally retreated and Mexico became independent. The first leader of independent Mexico was Agustin de Iturbide, he became emperor. But the Mexicans were not happy with him, and in 1823 the country became a republic.
A man who was very important in Mexico in the early 19th century was Antonio López de Santa Anna. He was the president of Mexico 11 times. When he was president Texas declared independence (1836). In this war the famous Battle of the Alamo took place. Between 1846 and 1848 there was war between Mexico and the United States again. In this war Mexico lost many areas. After this war Santa Anna was sent away to Venezuela.
Between 1858 and 1861 there was war again, between liberals and conservatives. The liberal Benito Juarez won the war and became president afterwards. Juarez stayed president until France invaded Mexico and made Maximilian of Habsburg emperor. But Maximilian was very unpopular. He was executed in 1867, and Juarez became president again.
Conservatives thought Juarez had too much power. In 1876 they ousted him, and made Porfirio Diaz, a general who had won a battle against the French, president. Porfirio Diaz made the country wealthier, but the poor people became poorer. The poor were so unhappy they started the Mexican Revolution in 1910.
The next 10 years the country was in chaos. There were many presidents who ruled for a short time and all kinds of people fought against each other. Famous people from this period are Emilio Zapata, Pancho Villa and Francisco Madero. When Álvaro Obregón became president in 1920 the fighting calmed down.
In 1929 President Plutarco Elías Calles founded the National Mexican Party, PNM. The party was later renamed Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI. The party would rule for a very long time. Most PRI presidents weren't popular, it was said that they were only president to become richer themselves. An exception was president Lázaro Cárdenas. He was president between 1934 and 1940.
he United Mexican States are a federation whose government is representative, democratic and republican based on a congressional system according to the 1917 Constitution. The constitution establishes three levels of government: the federal Union, the state governments and the municipal governments. All officials at the three levels are elected by voters through first-past-the-post plurality, proportional representation or are appointed by other elected officials.
The federal government is constituted by the Powers of the Union, the three separate branches of government:
- Legislative: the bicameral Congress of the Union, composed of a Senate and a Chamber of Deputies, which makes federal law, declares war, imposes taxes, approves the national budget and international treaties, and ratifies diplomatic appointments.
- Executive: the President of the United Mexican States, who is the head of state and government, as well as the commander in chief of the Mexican military forces. The President also appoints, with Senate approval, the Cabinet and other officers. The President is responsible for executing and enforcing the law, and has the authority of vetoing bills.
- Judiciary: The Supreme Court of Justice, comprised by eleven judges appointed by the President with Senate approval, who interpret laws and judge cases of federal competency. Other institutions of the judiciary are the Electoral Tribunal, collegiate, unitary and district tribunals, and the Council of the Federal Judiciary.
All elected executive officials are elected by plurality (first-past-the-post). Seats to the legislature are elected by plurality and proportional representation at the federal and state level. The Chamber of Deputies of the Congress of the Union is conformed by 300 deputies elected by plurality and 200 deputies by proportional representation with closed party lists for which the country is divided into 5 electoral constituencies or circumscriptions. The Senate is conformed by a total of 128 senators: 64 senators, two per state and the Federal District elected by plurality in pairs; 32 senators assigned to the first minority or first-runner up (one per state and the Federal District), and 32 elected by proportional representation with closed party lists for which the country conforms a single electoral constituency.
According to the constitution, all constituent states must have a republican form of government composed of three branches: the executive, represented by a governor and an appointed cabinet, the legislative branch constituted by a unicameral congress and the judiciary, also called a Supreme Court of Justice. They also have their own civil and judicial codes.
In the 2006–2009 Congress of the Union, eight parties are therein represented; five of them, however, have not received neither in this nor in previous congresses more than 4% of the national votes. The other three parties have historically been the dominant parties in Mexican politics:
- National Action Party (Partido Acción Nacional, PAN): a center-right conservative party founded in 1939.
- Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI): a center party that ascribes to social democracy, founded in 1929 to unite all the factions of the Mexican Revolution. Prominent right-wing as well as left-wing Mexican politicians have been members of the party.
- Party of the Democratic Revolution (Partido de la Revolución Democrática, PRD): a center-left party founded in 1989 by the coalition of socialists and liberal parties, the National Democratic Front which had presented the candidacy of Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas in the 1988 elections.
The current President of Mexico is Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado.
|Leader||Method of Departure|
|Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado||Incumbent.|
Mexico has a free market mixed economy, and is firmly established as an upper middle-income country. It is the 12th largest economy in the world as measured in Gross Domestic Product in purchasing power parity. After the 1994 economic debacle, Mexico has made an impressive recovery, building a modern and diversified economy. Recent administrations have also improved infrastructure and opened competition in seaports, railroads, telecommunications, electricity generation, natural gas distribution and airports. Oil is Mexico's largest source of foreign income. According to Goldman Sachs BRIMC review of emerging economies, by 2050 the largest economies in the world will be as follows: China, United States, India, Japan, Brazil, and Mexico.
Approximately 90% of Mexican trade has been put under free trade agreements with over 40 countries, of which the North American Free Trade Agreement remains the most significant. Almost 90% of Mexican exports go to the United States and Canada and close to 65% of its imports come from these two countries. Other major trade agreements have been signed with the European Union, Japan, Israel and many countries in Central and South America. As such, Mexico has become a major player in international trade and an export power. Measured in the dollar value of exports, Mexico was the 15th largest exporter in the world—tenth if the European Union is treated as a single entity. Mexican exports roughly equal the total exports of all Mercosur members together, Venezuela inclusive.
Ongoing economic concerns include the commercial and financial dependence on the US, low real wages, underemployment for a large segment of the population, inequitable income distribution (the top 20% of income earners account for 55% of income), and few advancement opportunities for the largely Amerindian population in the impoverished southern states. Lack of structural reform is further exacerbated by an ever increasing outflow of the population into the United States, decreasing domestic pressure for reform.
Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. It is also the second most populous country in Latin America (after Brazil). 60% of the Mexicans have Native American and European forefathers, they are called mestizos. Almost 15% of the Mexicans are pure Native American and 10% are European. Most Mexicans (90%) speak Spanish. 10% of the Mexicans speak a Native American language, like Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, Maya or Zapotec. Most people in Mexico are Roman Catholic (89%). 6% are Protestant.
Mexican culture reflects the complexity of the country's history through the blending of pre-Hispanic civilizations and the culture of Spain, imparted during Spain's 300-year colonization of Mexico. Exogenous cultural elements mainly from the United States have been incorporated into Mexican culture. As was the case in most Latin American countries, when Mexico became an independent nation, it had to slowly create a national identity, being an ethnically diverse country in which, for the most part, the only connecting element amongst the newly independent inhabitants was Catholicism.
The Porfirian era (el Porfiriato), in the last quarter of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth century, was marked by economic progress and peace. After four decades of civil unrest and war, Mexico saw the development of philosophy and the arts, promoted by President Díaz himself. Since that time, though accentuated during the Mexican Revolution, cultural identity had its foundation in the mestizaje, of which the indigenous (i.e. Amerindian) element was the core. In light of the various ethnicities that formed the Mexican people, José Vasconcelos in his publication La Raza Cósmica (The Cosmic Race) (1925) defined Mexico to be the melting pot of all races (thus extending the definition of the mestizo) not only biologically but culturally as well. This exalting of mestizaje was a revolutionary idea that sharply contrasted with the idea of a superior pure race prevalent in Europe at the time.