The first people to arrive in Mexico were the ancestors of today’s Native Americans. Native Americans came to Mexico thousands of years ago. From about 1200 B.C to the A.D. 1500s, these people built a series of brilliant, highly advanced civilizations on Mexican soil. Of these, the Olmec, Mayan, and Aztec are the best known. Mexico’s Native American heritage has shaped the country’s culture. So has Mexico’s European heritage, brought by Spaniards, who conquered the area in the 1500s. This heritage is mainly Catholicism, which 90 percent of Mexicans follow today.
Questions to Consider:
- What groups influenced Mexico’s history?
- How did Spaniards change life in Mexico?
- What were the major advancements of Native American civilizations?
- Who were the major players that helped Mexico achieve independence?
1200 B.C. Olmec Civilization arises
500 B.C. Zapotec Build Monte Alban
1325 Aztecs build Tenochtitlan
1492 Columbus Sails to Hispanola
1521 Coretes conquers Aztecs
1821 Mexico declares independence
1833 Santa Anna Becomes President
1840s Benito Juarez begins liberal reform movement
1847 U.S. wins Mexican American War
1867 Juarez reelected president after France defeated
1867 Porfirio Diaz comes to power
1910 Mexican Revolution begins
1968 Mexico City hosts the first Olympic Games ever held in Latin America
1994 A violent rebellion breaks out in Chiapas. Unrest continues today.
2000 Vicente Fox is sworn in as the first president elected who did not belong to the ruling party (PRI).
|Major Advancements of Native American Civilizations|
|Built first civilization in the Americas||Developed 365 day Calendar||Built an empire|
|Carved statues and jewelry||Built Pyramids||Built a city on a lake between two islands|
|Grew Maize||Developed Hieroglyphics||Created ‘Floating Gardens’|
|Built Drainage Systems||Painted Wall Murals||Sun Stone Calendar|