10/2004, An arrest warrant was
issued for Luis
Echeverria, now aged 82.
27/6/2004, 250,000 people in Mexico
City demonstrated against violent crime. Mexico then had the second-highest
rate of kidnappings in the world, after Colombia.
11/3/2002, March by the Zapatistas
National Liberation Army (ENZL) in Mexico City to demand civil rights for
indigenous Mexicans. 175,000 people greeted the Zapatista leader, Marcos.
11/9/1995, After 9 months conflict,
the Mexican government and the Zapatista national Liberation Army (ENZL) agreed
an accord to settle some of the Zapatista�s grievances.
1/1/1994, In Mexico�s Chiapas State,
near the Guatemalan border, campesinos, mostly indigenous peoples, rebelled.
They named themselves Zapatistas, after Emilio Zapatista, a hero of the
1910 Revolution. They seized control of some large estates and turned them into
communal farms. Chiapas was the poorest State in Mexico. 26.4% of its people
were of Mayan origin (average for Mexico was 7.5%). The State had large areas
unserved by electricity, despite containing dams that generated it for other
areas of Mexico, A third of the people in Chiapas did not speak Spanish, and
nearly 60% of Chiapas workers earned under US$3.33 an hour in 1990, the
National Minimum Wage for Mexico at that time. 19% of the labour force were
unwaged, working on subsistence agriculture. The main cash crop, coffee, had
fallen in price considerably. 1/1/1994 was the day NAFTA came into effect,
and the Zapatistas described NAFTA as the �death certificate� for Mexico,
unable to compete with US and Canadian enterprises. NAFTA� would sharply lower coffee and grain prices,
ruining many small farmers.
The army was deployed to
counter the rebellion; casualties were low by past Mexican standards, with some
150-400 killed. Eventually Salinas entered negotiations with the rebels.
2/2002, Mexico began to accept and
deal with its bloody past few decades. Newspapers carried pictures of those
shot on 2/10/1968.
7/2000, Mexicans, disillusioned
with the previous decades of government by the PRI, elected Vicente Fox,
National Action Party, as President.
1995, Mexico introduced austerity meaures.
19/12/1994, A financial meltdown began in Mexico, unleashing
the �Tequila Crisis� on world markets.� Mexican consumer price inflation rose to over
50%, and interest rates soared to over 100%, impoverishing many poor,indebted,
Mexicans. The Clinton
administration bailed out Mexico with US$50,000 billion.
1993, The Mexican economy was in serious
trouble, with an average annual decline in output of 0.5%, 1980-93.
22/4/1992, Gas leaked into sewers in Guadalajara, Mexico,
then exploded, killing 230.
19/9/1985, Major earthquake in Mexico resulted in 4,700 dead
and 30,000 injured.� The quake measured
8.1 on the Richter Scale, killing 9,000 people and injuring a further 30,000.
95,000 were made homeless. A second quake the following day hampered rescue
operations. The political fall-out from this was that Cuauthemoc Cardenas, son of the Reverend
Lazaro Cardenas, broke with the ruling PRI (Institutional
Revolutionary Party) and formed a Centre-Left coalition. He then challenged the
PRI candidate, Carlos
Salinas de Gortari. Cardenas had considerable support but two days
before the election two oif his key aides were murdered; the crimes were never
solved. A few hours after the voting closed, the computers counting the votes
crashed. When they came back online, Salinas had won the elction with just over
50% of the vote; a few months later, the PRI destroyed the ballot papers.
19/11/1984, An explosion at the PEMEX
chemical plant at Ecatepec, Mexico, killed 540.
Mexican Debt Crisis, 1970-82
was unable to service its massive foreign debt, triggering the
Latin Amreican debt crisis.
International banks agreed to lend Mexico 800 million Eurodollars to aid its
4/71976, Jose Lopez
Portillo succeeded Luis Echeverria as President. The Peso was
devalued. By 1976 Mexico�s foreign debt
had risen to US$ 20 billion. However the oil price boom of the 1970s enabled
Mexico, with its huge oil reserves, to borrow yet more money; another US$ 60 billion debt was taken
on by the time Portillo
left power in 1982
1970, Luis Echeverria, who was Interior Minister during the 2/10/1968 massacre, became
President. In the late 1960s the Mexican Government had bought up bankrupt
enterprises in oerer to preserve jobs. Whilstbpassing laws to restrict foreign
investment, Mexico had borrowed money from abroad to fund these buyouts. By 1970 Mexico�s foreign debt stood at US$5
2/10/1968, Large demonstration by
tens of thousands, mostly students, in Tlatelolco Plaza, Mexico City, against
police brutality, political corruption and economic hardship. The army
responded with force, shooting at least 300 civilians. This was ten days before
the Olympic games began in Mexico City; athletes and visitors could see tanks
deployed on the city streets.
Aleman, a civilian, was elected as President of Mexico. This led to
closer ties between the US and Mexico.
18/3/1938, PEMEX, Petroleos Mexicanos, was created by President
Lazaro Cardenas. He seized the assets of foreign (mainly British)
companies to create PEMEX, the companies being compensated in Mexican
Government Bonds, after they failed to implement a Mexican wage agreement.
PEMEX was virtually autonomous within Mexico until the 1982 Debt Crisis.
2/3/1937, Mexico nationalised the
2/7/1934, Populist candidate Lazaro
Cardenas was elected President of Mexico. He held post until 1940.
He speeded up land redistribution (see 1910) but this was halted after 1937, when
army Generals complained that he had gone too far. Cardenas then, 3/1938,
attempted to focus popular discontent on external agencies, especially the US
and European companies who owned large parts of the Mexican economy, expecially
in the oil sector. Mexico had to pay US$ 200 million compemnsation to the oil
30/11/1928, Emilio Portes Gil was sworn in
as President of Mexico.
17/7/1928, Alvaro Obregon, newly-elected
President of Mexico, was assassinated before taking office. Congress appointed Emilio Portes
Gil as successor.
1/7/1928, Alvaro Obregon was elected
President of Mexico.
27/9/1924, Following Mexican
Calles became President of Mexico. He took office on 1/12/1924.
3/9/1923, The US recognised the Mexican government.
20/7/1923, Francisco �Pancho� Villa, Mexican revolutionary leader, born 1878, son of a
farm worker, was shot dead. His killers were members of the Herrera family,
four of whom Pancho had executed during the Revolution.
1/12/1920, Alvaro Obregon became President of Mexico, bringing stability after a decade of civil
5/9/1920, Alvaro Obregon was elected President of
Mexico; he took office on 1/12/1920.
Carranza, President of Mexico, was assassinated; in response the USA
suspended diplomatic relations. Adolfo de la Huerta became provisional
Supporters of �Pancho Villa in Mexico
killed 16 US citizens near Chihuahua.
2/7/1915, Porfirio D�az, 29th President of Mexico (born
9/1/1915, Mexico and the US signed a peace treaty, ending
13/8/1914, In Mexico, interim president Francisco S. Carvajal officially
resigned from office to make way for the inauguration of Venustiano Carranza.
Huerta (opposed by USA) 1913-14
15/7/1914, President Huerta of Mexico
fled the country as the US invaded.
13/6/1914, Pancho Villa defeated
President Huerta�s troops
2/1/1914, The Battle of Ojinaga. An estimated
1,000 casualties were reported as the battle moved into its second day, with Pancho Villa�s troops
under the command of Gen. Toribio Ortega Ram�rez slowly gaining against
defending Federal troops in Ojinaga, Mexico in spite of constant artillery bombardment.
Many Federal troops deserted and crossed the U.S. border into Presidio, Texas
where the United States Army assisted the Red Cross in setting up a mobile
hospital to treat wounded while at the same time disarming and turning away
hundreds of others.
24/11/1913, The USA
threatened sanctions against Huerta.
15/11/1913, In Mexico,
rebel leader Pancho Villa took Ciudad Juarez.
3/11/1913, The US demanded the removal of General
Huerta from Mexico.
23/2/1913, Madero, the deposed President of Mexico, was assassinated.
18/2/1913, In Mexico the army commander, Victoriano
Huerta, joined rebel soldiers and forced President Madero
to resign. Huerta declared himself President; civil war
broke out, and the US refused to recognise Huerta.
3/3/1912, Mexican General Pascual
Orozco, who had helped Francisco Madero win the revolution of 1911 and become President of
Mexico, declared a revolt against the Madero government after having been
denied a major role. Orozco and his followers, the
"Orozquistas", then assisted Victoriano Huerta in overthrowing Madero.
Porfirio Diaz, 1876-1911
25/5/1911, The Mexican dictator Portofirio Diaz was ousted after
45 years rule.
Mexican President Francisco Madero established a new capital at Ciudad Juarez.
2/10/1911, Francisco Madero was elected President of
1910, Mexico was a very
unequal country, with 96% of rural households possessing ni land at all,
whilst less than� 850 families owned 97%
of Mexico�s arable land. The new post-Revolution 1917 Constitution promised
land reform, but before the Presidency of populist candidate Lazaro Cardenas
(1934-30), fewer than 10% of rural families had benefitted from any land
20/11/1910, Francisco Madero began a
rebellion against the corrupt and repressive regime of Porfirio Diaz.
officially created the post of Vice President.
8/8/1879, Emiliano Zapata,
revolutionary, was born. He played a major role in the 1910
5/6/1878, Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary, was born.
2/5/1877, Porfirio Diaz became President of Mexico. He
ruled as dictator for most of the period until 1911.
24/7/1876, President Lerdo de Tejada re-elected as
President of Mexico. However he was expelled in 1/1877 by Porfirio Diaz.
5/1876, Porfirio Jose de la Cruz Diaz
led an unsuccessful rebellion against President Sebastian lerdo de Tejada. Diaz
fled to the USA, but returned in 11/1876, defetated a Mexican Government army at Tecoac, and
seized power. He encouraged public works projects and brought stability to
1872, President Juarez died; succeeded by
19/6/1867, Emperor Maximillian of
Mexico was executed by firing squad, despite international appeals for
clemency. Born in Vienna, brother of Emperor Francis Joseph and Archduke of Austria,
he became Emperor of Mexico in 1864, following France�s invasion of Mexico in
1862. Mexicans opposed his rule, and further resentment arose from Maximillian�s
lavish lifestyle, and the corruption and inefficiency of his regime. In October
1866 he fled Mexico, intending to abdicate, but was persuaded to return, then
arrested and court-martialled.
15/5/1867, Maximilian, Emperor
of Mexico, surrendered to Juarez�s forces. He had bene betrayed by Miguel Lopez,
a defender of Queretaro who defected to the Juaristas and showed thekm a weak
spot in its defences.
attempted breakout by besieged Imperialists in Queretaro failed. A second
attempt was planned for May b
13/2/1867, Maximilian left Mexico City with a
small army of 1,500 men to try and relieve Imperialist/Conservative forces
under siege by Juaristas in
Queretaro, 210 km NW of Mexico City. Maximilian believed that
victory here would restore national confidence in his regime. However the
Imperialilist forces in Queretaro, 9,000 strong, were outnumbered by the
5/2/1867, The last
French soldiers left Mexico. By ths time Maximilian controlled just the
Mexico City area and a string of forts along the road to Vera Cruz, a possible
escape route to Europe. However he did not leave, see 13/2/1867.
11/1/1867, Mexican President Benito Juarez returned to Mexico
City following the defeat of French forces.
9/1866, Unpaid Mexican soldiers
(see 12/1865) were now defecting to the Juaristas and Maximilian attempted
to retain power by a political U-turn; he dismissed Liberals from his
Government and entrenched the Conservatives instead. However France now stated
that the planned final troop withdrawal (see 1/1866) was to be brought forward
12/2/1866. Invoking the Monroe Doctrine, the USA called for the withdrawal of French troops
from Mexico. Maximilian, having failed to secure recognition
of his regime from the US, now sought help from Napoleon III and the Pope, but
his cause was hopeless.
1/1866, France was unwilling to
make large financial commitments in Mexico, as it was already involved in an
expensive colonial war in Algeria, which was tying down 100,000 French
troops. The USA now threatened to declare war on France if France retained a
military presence in Mexico; |France agreed to a phased wiuthdrawal of troops,
the last to leave by end-1867. Maximilian now wanted to
abdicate but his wife Carlotta accused him of cowardice and
prevailed on him to remain until a formal succession could be arranged.
Carlotta travelled to France to try and persuade Napoleon III to commit more
money but this initiative failed. She tried and also failed to gain support
form the Pope, then deteriorated mentally. Too ill to return to Mexico, she
passed into the care of her Belgian family, dying there in 1927.
12/1865, Mexico�s finances had
deteriorated even further, not helped by profligate spending by Maximilian
on luxurious furnishings, china and crystal by for his various palatial
residences, also much was spend by him on high end food and drink. This and the
Miramar meant that debt repayments now accounted for 80% of Mexico�s
State revenue. Mexican soldiers and government officials were going unpaid. Maximilian
now asked France for more money, but see 1/1866.
8/1865, French forces entered the
Mexican provincial capital of Chihuahua State in an attempt to capture Juarez.
However he had fled to the border town of Paso del Norte (today, Ciudad Juarez).
The French did not dare pursue Juarez to there for fear of provoking a
attempted to reconcile the warring factions in Mexico by adopting many of the
reforms the Juarists wanted. He
improved the education system, instiuting an Academy of Arts and Sciences. He
also improved conditions for labourers, giving them lunch breaks, limited
working hours and days off. However his reforms were simply not implememted
much beyond the capital, and the Juarists
continued their guerrilla fight. Meanwhiole Mexico was still bankrupt, but owed
money to France in return for maintaining its army there, under the Treaty of
Miramar. Heavy handed French repression of the Juarists, using the tactics of French colonial forces in North Aftrica,
with destruction of entire villages and torture of captives,� merely stiffened their resolve.
12/6/1864, Maximilian arrived in
Mexico City. French troops helped him drive Juarez�s forces over the border
into the USA.
28/5/1864, Maximillian�s ship arrived
at the port of Vera Criz. Ominously, there were no crowds waiting to greet him,
because most Mexicans supported Juarez as ruler.
10/4/1864, Maximillian, an Austrian
archduke, accepted the position of Emperor of Mexico. As second son of the Holy
Ro,man Emperor amd junior brother to Franz Josef, he was ambitions but excluded
from political power, until this opportunity arose. He then sailed from Austria
to take up the position.
financial crisis, France extends its influence 1861-63
7/6/1863, French forces occupied Mexico City.
5/1863, The French sent
reinforcements to Mexico, and finally siucceeded in capturing Puebla.
5/5/1862. A French army was defeated at Puebla,
III of France had maintained a military presence in Mexico after the
withdrawal of Spanish and British troops, and had hoped to establish a
Mexican Empire for France. France
was hoping to extend its influence in Mexico whilst the USA
was distracted by their civil war (1861-65).
8/4/1862, British and Spanish troops were withdrawn
from Mexico as it became clear that Napoleon III intended to set up a French Catholic
10/1861, Mexico�s three mani
creditors sent military forces to oiccupy the main Mexican port, Vera Cruz, and
force the Mexican Government to start repayments again.
7/1861, Mexico, bankrupt,
suspended international debt repayments, mostly owed to Britain but also to France
of Reform 1858 (1855)-61
1/1/1861, Benito Juarez, Liberal, backed by the USA,
entered Mexico City and took control of the country. However Mexico was now
20/12/1860, Victory by Jesus Gonzalez Ortega (1824-81)
and his Liberal forces at Guadalajara, mexico, against Miguel Miramon (Conservative,
11/4/1859, In Mexico, Liberal forces under Santos
Degollado were defeated by the Conservatives at Tacubaya.
4/8/1858, Liberal forces in Mexico, outgunned by the
Conservatives who were supported by the church and the wealthy, established a
capital at the Mexican port of Vera Cruz. The US Government favoured the
Liberal faction. This was the start of tye Mexican War of Reform (1858-61)
1857, The new Mexican
Constitution was supported by the Liberals, but its reforms were opposed by the
23/11/1855, Mexico enacted the Ley (Law) Juarez,
removing the privelige of clergy to be tried solely by ecclesiastical courts,
and a similar privelige enjoyed by the military was also removed. The clergy
protested, and some church property was confiscated by the State; this
confiscation was subsequently partially reversed.
24/9/1855, General Carrera, provisional President of
Mexico, proved too centralist and was replaced by Alvarez.
21/6/1867, Santa Anna,
Mexican leader, died.
16/12/1853, Santa Anna made himself Dictator of Mexico. He was soon deposed.
1848, The Republic of Yucatan,
which had maintained independence from the rest of Mexico since 1841, rejoined
the country � but not before considering following Texas in seceding from
Mexico and joining the USA.
USA 1845-46. Mexico surrenders large territories to the US
2/2/1848. Mexico finally collapsed after nearly 2 years
of war with the USA, in which 13,000 US soldiers were killed. Under the
Treaty of Hidalgo, signed at Vera Cruz, Mexico
surrendered Texas, New Mexico, and
California for a payment of US$15million. The size of the USA was thus increased by nearly a third. The Mexicans
feared US occupation of their own country and had no money left to fund the war.
14/9/1847. US troops stormed and captured Mexico City,
ending the US war with Mexico. With US forces capturing Texas, New Mexico and
California, Mexico lost a third of its
18/4/1847, US troops
Winfield Scott defeated Mexican forces under Santa Anna at Cerro Gordo.
4/3/1847, US ships
landed troops 13 miles from Vera Cruz, witrh the ultimate objectibe of
capturing the capital, Mexico City.
See also USA for Mexican War 1846-48
23/2/1847, US forces
Zachary Taylor defeated the Mexicans under Santa Anna at Buena Vista. The US had ambitions to
occupy the entire North American continent (the Manifest Destiny), including
possibly Mexico itself. The US had taken what is now New Mexico and California
(Upper California to Mexico).
7/1846, Santa Anna became President of Mexico again, in a revolution
against Paredes. Paredes was
suspected of wanting to import a foreign, European, monarch to make Mexico a
Kingdom. Then, he hoped, the European
powers would join to crush back the resurgent USA.
9/5/1846, Battle of
Resaca de la Palma. Mexico was heavily defeated, and withdrew across the Rio
8/5/1846, Battle of
Palo Alto. US General
Zachary Taylor defeated a Mexican force of 6,000 soldiers with his
13/1/1846, US troops
were directed to advance to the Rio Grande, in anticipation of the failure of
negotiations with Mexico.
12/1845, General Paredes, backed by
the military, overthrew Herrera. Herrera had become despised for his willingness to negotiate
with the USA. However Paredes proved to be too autocratic and he soon became
8/1845, General Herrera was elected President of Mexico by
an overwhelming majority.
29/5/1845, Under an
amnesty, Santa Anna was
allowed to depart from Mexico for Cuba, with his wife and daughter. A
provisional government was established under General Herrera. Mexicans rejoiced in the streets
29/3/1845, The UK
and France laid proposals before Mexico, that Texas should become independent
but should not seek to ally with any other country; they were concerned about
the rapid growth of the US (see 1/3/1845)
severed relations with the USA following America�s ratification of the
annexation of Texas on 1/3/1845, after an almost unanimous vote in favour by
the Texas electorate. On 29./12/1845 Texas became the 28th state of the USA.
4/1/1845, Santa Anna was
deposed as President of Mexico in a coup by Paredes. Santa Anna attempted to flee towards the coast but was captured
at the village of Jaco, to be arrested and held at Jaco.
1/1844, The Mexican Congress agreed to
pay 4 million dollars for President Santa Anna�s effort to
reconquer Texas. Santa Anna, however, asked for 10 million dollars, a sum
rejected by Congress as they feared it would be wasted on government
favouritism and nepotism. Santa Anna then retired from the Presidency to his estate at
Manga de Clavo; his friend Don Valentin Canalizo stepped in as interim
21/10/1842, The US
returned Monterrey to Mexico, Commodore Jones having concluded that the
threat to the Californias was untrue.
Jones, in the frigate United States,
along with Captain Stribling in the Cyane,
arrived at Monterrey, Mexico. They demanded the surrender of Monterrey to the
US; this was in response to events of 5/9/1842.
7/9/1842, Commodore Jones
set sail for Mexico.
5/9/1842, Rear Admiral
Thomas, British, set sail from Callao in the Dublin with secret orders. Commodore Jones
of the� US believed he was going to
Panama to link up with troops from the West Indies to take possession of the
Californias, as reported in the Boston media, 19/4/1842.
19/4/1842, The New Orleans Advertiser asserted that
Mexico had offered to cede the Californias to England in return for seven
million dollars. See 5/9/1842.
1841, John Lloyd Stephens�s book, Incidents of travel in Central America,
Chiapas and Yucatan, was published. The book reported on the relics of ther
Mayan civilization, and sparked great interest in the Maya in the US and
Government in Washington refused to admit Texas to the Union. The US was
anxious to maintain its neutrality in the dispute between Texas and Mexico, and
did not want to, therefore, take the step of admitting one of the belligerents
to the Union.
20/8/1837, The US
President demanded reparations from Mexico for alleged incursions and damages.
By 1840 these damages had been quantified by the US at just over US$ 2 million.
started their campaign for independence from Mexico by starting an armed
rebellion against the government of Antonio de Santa Anna in
the town of Gonzales. Americans had settled the area from 1825, when Texas was
largely undeveloped and there was little interference from the Mexican
Government. However the current administration was changing Mexico from a
federation of states into a centralised state.
8/1835, US President Jackson, seeking to
ensure the US had a Pacific Coast presence and usage by the US Navy of San
Francisco Bay, began to attempt to force Mexico to cede territory east of the
Rio Grande, also north of 37 latitude, so as to give California to the US.
1833, The Mexican state of Texas, having been promised a separate
constitution in May 1824 if it applied for one, now did apply but was refused
by the Mexican Government.
29/9/1832, Miguel Miramon,
Mexican soldier, was born (died 19/6/1867).
6/7/1832, Emperor Maximillian, Austrian Archduke and
Emperor of Mexico, was born in Vienna, the half-brother of Franz Joseph. He was made
Emperor of Mexico by the French.
26/6/1832, Mexico began to assert a more authoritarian rule
over the US colonists in its territory of Texas. On this day the US colonists
rebelled, and captured the Mexican Army fort of Velasco.
6/4/1830, Mexico passed a law forbidding further settlement
by immigrants from the US.
21/12/1826, An American, Haydon Edwards, along with 200 White families
and some Cherokee Amerindians, declared the �Independent Republic of Fredonia�
near Nacogdoches, eastern Mexico. In 1821 both Texas and Mexico had begun
encouraging American settlement, (see 8/1824)�
but the land was noe claimed by Mexican settlers, without clear title.
The Mexican Government tried to evict Edwards, eventually (1/1827) overwhelming him
with a larger force.
25/4/1825, Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada, President of Mexico
1872-77, was born.
became a republic.
8/1824, Mexico passed a General
Colonisation Law permitting foreign settlement in Coahuila and Texas.
19/7/1824, Former Emperor Iturbide was executed in Mexico for
having returned in defiance of exile. He had landed in disguise on 14/7/1824 at
Soto la Marina but was immediately recognised.
1821-4; Rule,deposition and execution of Augustin
11/5/1824, Iturbide, who had been deposed for his
totalitarian method of rule, attempted to return to Mexico, setting sail from
Italy this day.Mexico immeidately declared him an outlaw, forbidden to enter
Mexico on pain of death.
18/2/1823, Permission for the colony in what is now
Texas (see 17/1/1821) was withdrawn by Mexico, following the accession of Iturbide.
1822, English antiquarian William Bullock
explored the ruins of Teotihuacan and other Aztec cities. He brought back
relics of these cities for an exhibition in England in 1824, which sparked
interest in New World ancient civilizations.
25/7/1822, Agostin de Turbide was
crowned Emperor of Mexico. He wanted to
use military force to bring other newly-independent Latin American states into
achieved independence under General Iturbe,
who proclaimed himself Emperor as Augustin I.
24/2/1821, Augustin de Iturbide, an officer in the Mexican Army, published his plan
for an independent Mexico.
granted permission for emigrants from the US east coast to found a colony in
what is now Texas. See 18/2/1823.
US concluded a treaty with Spain substituting the River Sabine (present
day boundary between Louisiana and Texas) for the Rio Grande as boundary
between them. Spain/Mexico thereby gained the right to govern what is now
6/11/1813. Jose Maria Morelos proclaimed Mexican
independence from Spain at the Congress of Chilpancingo.
31/7/1811, Mexican Nationalist leader Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was executed.
17/1/1811, Mexican Nationalist leader Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was
defeated and captured at Calderon by forces of the Viceroyalty of New Spain.
16/9/1810, The Mexican Revolution, a campaign for independence from Spain,
21/2/1794, Antonio Lopez de Santa
Anna, the Mexican revolutionary who freed his country from Spanish rule, was
27/9/1783, Augustin de Iturbide, Emperor of
Mexico 5/1822 � 3/1823, was born in Valladolid (now Morelia), Mexico.
8/5/1753, Miguel Hidalgo, Mexican patriot,
was born (died 1811).
End of the Aztec Empire;
400 Spanish versus 250,000 Aztecs
The last independent Maya Kingdom, the Itza of Tayasal, fell to the
The indigenous population of central Mexico, which had stood at 25 million when
Cortez landed, but had shrunk to 6 million in 1550, now stood at just 1
million. New diseases brought in by Europeans to which the indigenous
population had no resistance, were mainly to blame. The Europeans saw this
decimation as a judgement of God against non-Christians.
2/12/1547, Hernando Cortez, Spanish conqueror of Mexico in 1521,
died near Seville.
1546, Spanish explorers found
silver near Zacatecas, NW of Mexico City. This made the region a huge source of
wealth for Spain, but the indigenous Indians, forced to labour 12 hours a day
in the mines, suffered greatly.
28/2/1525, Aztec Emperor Cuahtemoc was executed
Cortez conquered the city of Technochtitlan, now Mexico City, after
an 85 day battle.
returned to attack Tenochtitlan with a Tlaxacalan
army, who were sworn enemies of the Aztecs. He laid siege to the city, and destroyed
the aqueduct that brought in fresh water.
learned that a fleet had arrived in Mexico to arrest him. Governor Velazquez, who had
feared that Cortes
was now asserting control of Mexico under the direct authority of the King of
left Tenochtitlan to challenge Velazquez. Whilst Cortez was away, Spanish
forces massacred some 600 Aztecs durting a festival. Cortez returned to
find Tenochtitlan in confusion. Montezuma appeared on a balcony to appeal for
calm, but was hit by a stone thrown from the crowd and died instantly. The Spanish soldiers attempted to flee; three
quarters of the force wsas killed but the reminder were allowed to escape.
8/11/1519, Hern�n Cort�s entered
Tenochtitlan and the court of Aztec ruler Montezuma. The Spanish band of about 400 men
became alarmed at the obvious signs of human sacrifice and realised they were
heavily outnumbered by the 250,000 Aztecs. They feared they were being led into
a trap; in order to escape, Cortes ordered his men to seize Montezuma
as a hostage. Montezuma,
to avert a rebellion amongst his own people, went along and pretended he was
accompanying the Spanish voluntarily. The
position of Absolute Authority held by the Aztec Emperor was both an asset and
a liability here; Montezuma could still control his people from being held by
the Spanish, and any interruption to his power would create a huge power vacuum
leading to total disorder.
1502, Emperor Montezuma II (last Aztec Emperor,
ruled to 1520)
ascended the Aztec
1486-1502, Reign of Aztec Emperor
1480, The last Aztec
II, was born.
1478, Battle of Taximoaroa. Aztec forces were defeated by the Tarascans.
1469, Axayacatl became ruler of the Aztec
empire; ruled until 1481. He conquered several Tarascan
border towns but was halted in 1478.
1458, Military campaigns by the Aztec
I Ilhuicamina and Axayacatl expanded the Aztec Empire.
1450-54, Major famine hit the Aztec Empire.
This led to a drive for territorial expansion to secure more resources. Easily
subjugated areas were taken first, leaving more stubborn areas as independent. Subjugated
areas were left under local control, so long as annual tribute was paoid- this
led to a recurrence of rebellion and reconquest. However the Empire then became too large to
control effectively whilst a shortage of new conquests meant less sacrificial
victims and newly available resources. Continued military campaigns of conquest (or,
often re-conquest) began to produce diminsihig returns, creating more internal
tensions. By the time the Spanish arrived in 1519 the Aztec Empire was already
1440, Moctezuma I, Aztec
emperor, acceded. He ruled until 1469.
1428, The Aztecs formed a Triple Alliance with
the city-states of Texcoco and Tlacopan, promoting further Aztec territorial exopansion.
1425, Aztec domination of the Guatemala
founding of Tenochtitlan on a small island in Lake Texcoco by the Mexica
empire at the dawn of the day. The Aztec capital became Mexico City in 1521.
1300, Founding of the Tarascan Empire, with its capital at
Tzintzuntzan (modern-day Michoacan).
1193, The Aztecs (properly, Mexica) invaded
1168, The nomadic Chichimec people overran the Toltec
1000, The Toltec Empire now extended from
coast to coast across Mexico.
978, The Toltec and Maya kingdoms merged in the Yucatan
850, The Mayan culture was collapsing;
by now the population had plummeted by two thirds. Overpopulation had caused
agriculture to intensify, causing ecological catastrophe,
820, The Mayan city of Copan was abandoned.
731-790, Peak of Mayan civilisation. Thereafter the
demands of the elite upon the agricultiural base were unsustainable, as
deforestation and soil erosion reduced food productivity. The peasants began to
suffer increasing infant mortality and food deficiency diseases. Faced by a
shrinking surplus from peasant food production the elite intensified their
demands, leading to a peasant revolt. Civil conflict, anarchy, and the
abandonment of towns ensued.
694, The 13th Mayan
ruler of Copan, 18-Rabbit,
began a 44-year reign. Numeral-animal names were
derived from the person�s date of birth.
683, End of the reign of Pacal the Great.
29/7/615, �Queen Sal K�uk was
succeeded by her son Pacal the
Great as ruler of the Maya city state
Palenque (Mexico). He began a building program at his capital that produced
some of Maya
civilization's finest art and architecture.
583-604, Reign of Queen Kanal-Ikal.
550, The Toltec people
overran the Teotihuacan culture on
the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.
455, The city of Chichen-Itza was founded by the Mayans on the
378, War between the city of Tikal and
Owl became Emperor of Teotihuacan.
cities, which emerged around 200 BC, were
at the peak of their power.
150, Construction of the Great
Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan began.
50 BCE, Teotihuacan was now the
largest city in the Americas, with a population of 50,000.
BCE. Urban centres emerged in the Maya region of Mexico.
See 350 AD.
BCE, Olmec rule began in western Mexico. Chavin
culture emerged in the Andes, see Peru.
date in the Mayan
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