Brief Political History of Mexico. An exploratory look to a promising country whose history and politics, starting in 1808, have been a roller coaster of missed opportunities.
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Mexico, the third largest country in Latin America, after Brazil and Argentina. Mexican society is characterized by extremes of wealth and poverty, with a limited middle class wedged between an elite cadre of landowners and investors on the one hand and masses of rural and urban poor on the other. But in spite of its challenges, Mexico is one of the chief economic and political forces in Latin America. It has a dynamic industrial base, vast mineral resources, a wide-ranging service sector, and the world's largest population of Spanish speakers-about two and a half times that of Spain or Colombia. As its official name suggests, the Estados Unidos Mexicanos (United Mexican States) incorporates 31 socially and physically diverse states and the Federal District.
Remember than not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. --Dalai Lama.
Ensenada / La Paz / Los Cabos / Loreto / Mazatlan / Manzanillo / Acapulco / Puerto Costa Maya / Cozumel / Chichen Itza / Uxmal / Tulum / Merida / Cancun /and more.
The keys were originally inhabited by such Native American peoples as the Calusa and Tequesta. The Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León visited the area in 1513. The first permanent settlers arrived about 1822 and engaged in fishing and salvaging shipwrecks. Population growth and economic development in the archipelago have fluctuated over time, reaching one of the highest peaks in the 1890s. The greatest disaster to strike the keys was a hurricane in September 1935 that killed hundreds of people and caused widespread property damage. The western terminus of the Florida Keys is sometimes considered to be Key West, the most populous and economically developed of the islands. The Overseas Highway, running from the mainland to Key West, connects all the main islands and is one of the longest overwater roads in the world, with 42 bridges, including one 7-mile (11- km) span. Completed in 1938, the highway was built over the route of the Florida East Coast Railway, finished in 1912 by financier and developer Henry M. Flagler and destroyed by the 1935 hurricane.
The modern history of the Yucatán, long called Mayapán by the Mexicans, began with the expedition of Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, a Spanish adventurer from Cuba, who discovered the east coast of the Yucatán in February 1517 while on a slave-hunting expedition. In 1519 an expedition, under the conquistador Hernán Cortés, clashed with the inhabitants of Cozumel Island.
The conquest of the peninsula was undertaken in 1527 by Francisco de Montejo. By 1549 Montejo had succeeded in establishing Spanish rule over barely half the peninsula, but it was never extended farther.
The Yucatán seceded from Mexico in 1839 and kept its independence until 1843. In 1847 another revolt followed, and the Maya were virtually independent throughout most of the peninsula almost until the beginning of the administration of Porfirio Díaz (1877).
The people of the Yucatán (mainly Maya) have generally eschewed being called "Mexicans." Mayan culture and traditions have prevailed into the 21st century in the Yucatán Peninsula.
Cozumel, island in the Caribbean Sea, about 10 miles (16 km) off the eastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, in Quintana Roo estado (state), southeastern Mexico. It is the largest of Mexico's inhabited islands. The economy of Cozumel has been based on tourism since the 1970s. In addition to the diving opportunities, other water sports, and fishing, tourists are attracted by Cozumel's tropical climate, sand beaches, and duty-free port shopping, along with its atmosphere, which is more relaxed than that of nearby Cancún. The island's main town and commercial center is San Miguel de Cozumel. Chankanaab National Park, just south of San Miguel, has a museum, botanic garden, and archaeological park. Cruise ships dock regularly at a pier south of San Miguel. Cozumel has regular ferry service from Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos. An international airport is located 2 miles (3 km) south of San Miguel.
Cozumel was a commercial and ceremonial center during the Mayan period and the island has several small archaeological sites. In 1519 Hernán Cortés used the island as a base for Spanish efforts to conquer the Maya. During most of the Spanish colonial era, Cozumel was only sparsely populated, but trading ships and pirates occasionally sought shelter and replenished supplies on the island, which was protected behind offshore reefs.