Chronography of Mexico

Page last modified 26 November2023


Home Page


Maps, Growth of Mexico City


October 2004, An arrest warrant was issued for Luis Echeverria, now aged 82.

27 June 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 March 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 September 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 January 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 January 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. NAFTAwould 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.


February 2002, Mexico began to accept and deal with its bloody past few decades. Newspapers carried pictures of those shot on 2 October 1968.

July 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 December 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.

21 September 1992, Mexico and the Vatican resumed diplomatic relations. The position of the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico was legally normalised, and could provide religious education and officially wear religious garb in public.

22 April 1992, Gas leaked into sewers in Guadalajara, Mexico, then exploded, killing 230.

19 September 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 November 1984, An explosion at the PEMEX chemical plant at Ecatepec, Mexico, killed 540.


Mexican Debt Crisis, 1970-82

August 1982, Mexico was unable to service its massive foreign debt, triggering the Latin Amreican debt crisis.

1 October 1976, International banks agreed to lend Mexico 800 million Eurodollars to aid its economic development.

4 July 1976, 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 October 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 billion.


2 October 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.

1 December 1946, Miguel Aleman Valdes was inaugurated as President of Mexico.

7 July 1946, M|iguel Aleman, a civilian, was elected as President of Mexico. This led to closer ties between the US and Mexico.

18 March 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 March 1937, Mexico nationalised the oil industry.

2 July 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 companies.

21 June 1929, A US-brokered peace deal ended the Cristero war in Mexico.

30 November 1928, Emilio Portes Gil was sworn in as President of Mexico.

17 July 1928, Alvaro Obregon, newly-elected President of Mexico, was assassinated before taking office. Congress appointed Emilio Portes Gil as successor.

1 July 1928, Alvaro Obregon was elected President of Mexico.

2 January 1927, Catholic rebels in Mexico launched the Cristero War against the Mexican Government (until 1929)

27 September 1924, Following Mexican elections, Plutarcho Calles became President of Mexico. He took office on 1 December 1924.

3 September 1923, The US recognised the Mexican government.


20 July 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 December 1920, Alvaro Obregon became President of Mexico, bringing stability after a decade of civil conflict.

5 September 1920, Alvaro Obregon was elected President of Mexico; he took office on 1 December 1920.


21 May 1920, Venustiano Carranza, President of Mexico, was assassinated; in response the USA suspended diplomatic relations. Adolfo de la Huerta became provisional President.

9 August 1917, Jose Ines Salazar, Mexican revolutionary leader, killed in battle (born 1884)

16 January 1916, Supporters of Pancho Villa in Mexico killed 16 US citizens near Chihuahua.

2 July 1915, Porfirio D�az, 29th President of Mexico (born 1830) died.

9 January 1915, Mexico and the US signed a peace treaty, ending border disputes.

13 August 1914, In Mexico, interim president Francisco S. Carvajal officially resigned from office to make way for the inauguration of Venustiano Carranza.


President Huerta (opposed by USA) 1913-14

15 July 1914, President Huerta of Mexico fled the country as the US invaded.

13 June 1914, Pancho Villa defeated President Huerta�s troops at Zacatecas.

2 January 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 November 1913, The USA threatened sanctions against Huerta.

15 November 1913, In Mexico, rebel leader Pancho Villa took Ciudad Juarez.

3 November 1913, The US demanded the removal of General Huerta from Mexico.

23 February 1913, Madero, the deposed President of Mexico, was assassinated.

18 February 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.


14 March 1912, The US Government forbade the export of arms to Mexico, where revolutionary fighting was in progress.

3 March 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.



President Porfirio Diaz, 1876-1911

25 May 1911, The Mexican dictator Portofirio Diaz was ousted after 45 years rule.

11 May 1911, The Mexican President Francisco Madero established a new capital at Ciudad Juarez.

2 October 1911, Francisco Madero was elected President of Mexico,

1910, Mexico was a very unequal country, with 96% of rural households possessing ni land at all, whilst less than850 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 redistribution.

20 November 1910, Francisco Madero began a rebellion against the corrupt and repressive regime of Porfirio Diaz.

21 May 1906, The USA and Mexico reached agreement about water rights on the Rio Grande, which had increasingly been diverted for US irrigation.

6 May 1904, Mexico officially created the post of Vice President.

2 February 1901, Mexico was facing an ongoing insurrection by the Yaqui indigenous people. This day the Yaqui ambushed government troops, killing 100.

8 August 1879, Emiliano Zapata, Mexican revolutionary, was born. He played a major role in the 1910 Revolution.

5 June 1878, Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary, was born.

2 May 1877, Porfirio Diaz became President of Mexico. He ruled as dictator for most of the period until 1911.

24 July 1876, President Lerdo de Tejada re-elected as President of Mexico. However he was expelled in 1/1877 by Porfirio Diaz.

May 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 November 1876, defeated a Mexican Government army at Tecoac, and seized power. He encouraged public works projects and brought stability to Mexico.


1872, President Juarez died; succeeded by President Lerdo de Tejada.


Emperor Maximillian 1864-67

19 June 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 May 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.

27 April 1867, An attempted breakout by besieged Imperialists in Queretaro failed. A second attempt was planned for May.

13 February 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 30,000+ Juaristas.

5 February 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 February 1867.

11 January 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 to 3/1867.

12 February 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 Treaty of 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 US-French war.

1865, Maximilian 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 June 1864, Maximilian arrived in Mexico City. French troops helped him drive Juarez�s forces over the border into the USA.

28 May 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 April 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.


Mexican financial crisis, France extends its influence 1861-63

7 June 1863, French forces occupied Mexico City.

5/1863, The French sent reinforcements to Mexico, and finally siucceeded in capturing Puebla.

5 May 1862. A French army was defeated at Puebla, Mexico. Napoleon 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 April 1862, British and Spanish troops were withdrawn from Mexico as it became clear that Napoleon III intended to set up a French Catholic Empire there.

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 and Spain.


Mexican War of Reform 1858 (1855)-61

1 January 1861, Benito Juarez, Liberal, backed by the USA, entered Mexico City and took control of the country. However Mexico was now bankrupt.

20 December 1860, Victory by Jesus Gonzalez Ortega (1824-81) and his Liberal forces at Guadalajara, mexico, against Miguel Miramon (Conservative, 1832-67).

11 April 1859, In Mexico, Liberal forces under Santos Degollado were defeated by the Conservatives at Tacubaya.

4 August 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 Conservatives.

23 November 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 September 1855, General Carrera, provisional President of Mexico, proved too centralist and was replaced by Alvarez.


21 June 1867, Santa Anna, Mexican leader, died.

16 December 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.


War with USA 1845-46. Mexico surrenders large territories to the US

2 February 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 September 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 territory.

18 April 1847, US troops under General Winfield Scott defeated Mexican forces under Santa Anna at Cerro Gordo.

4 March 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 February 1847, US forces under General 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 May 1846, Battle of Resaca de la Palma. Mexico was heavily defeated, and withdrew across the Rio Grande.

8 May 1846, Battle of Palo Alto. US General Zachary Taylor defeated a Mexican force of 6,000 soldiers with his 2,000 troops.

13 January 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 unpopular.


8/1845, General Herrera was elected President of Mexico by an overwhelming majority.

29 May 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 at Anna�s departure.

29 March 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 March 1845)

28 March 1845. Mexico severed relations with the USA following America�s ratification of the annexation of Texas on 1 March 1845, after an almost unanimous vote in favour by the Texas electorate. On 29. December 1845 Texas became the 28th state of the USA.

4 January 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 President.��������������������������������������

21 October 1842, The US returned Monterrey to Mexico, Commodore Jones having concluded that the threat to the Californias was untrue.

19 October 1842, Commodore 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 September 1842.

7 September 1842, Commodore Jones set sail for Mexico.

5 September 1842, Rear Admiral Thomas, British, set sail from Callao in the Dublin with secret orders. Commodore Jones of theUS 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 April 1842.

19 April 1842, The New Orleans Advertiser asserted that Mexico had offered to cede the Californias to England in return for seven million dollars. See 5 September 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 Europe.

25 August 1837. The 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 August 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.

2 October 1835, Texan-Americans 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 September 1832, Miguel Miramon, Mexican soldier, was born (died 19 June 1867).

6 July 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 June 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 April 1830, Mexico passed a law forbidding further settlement by immigrants from the US.

21 December 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 April 1825, Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada, President of Mexico 1872-77, was born.

4 October 1824, Mexico became a republic.

8/1824, Mexico passed a General Colonisation Law permitting foreign settlement in Coahuila and Texas.

19 July 1824, Former Emperor Iturbide was executed in Mexico for having returned in defiance of exile. He had landed in disguise on 14 July 1824 at Soto la Marina but was immediately recognised.


1821-4; Rule,deposition and execution of Augustin de Iturbide.

11 May 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 February 1823, Permission for the colony in what is now Texas (see 17 January 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 July 1822, Agostin de Turbide was crowned Emperor of Mexico. He wanted to use military force to bring other newly-independent Latin American states into his empire.

27 September 1821, Mexico achieved independence under General Iturbe, who proclaimed himself Emperor as Augustin I.

24 February 1821, Augustin de Iturbide, an officer in the Mexican Army, published his plan for an independent Mexico.


17 January 1821, Mexico granted permission for emigrants from the US east coast to found a colony in what is now Texas. See 18 February 1823.

1819, The 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 Texas.

6 November 1813. Jose Maria Morelos proclaimed Mexican independence from Spain at the Congress of Chilpancingo.

31 July 1811, Mexican Nationalist leader Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was executed.

17 January 1811, Mexican Nationalist leader Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was defeated and captured at Calderon by forces of the Viceroyalty of New Spain.

16 September 1810, The Mexican Revolution, a campaign for independence from Spain, began.

21 February 1794, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the Mexican revolutionary who freed his country from Spanish rule, was born.

27 September 1783, Augustin de Iturbide, Emperor of Mexico 5/1822 � 3/1823, was born in Valladolid (now Morelia), Mexico.

8 May 1753, Miguel Hidalgo, Mexican patriot, was born (died 1811).


End of the Aztec Empire; 400 Spanish versus 250,000 Aztecs

1697, The last independent Maya Kingdom, the Itza of Tayasal, fell to the Spanish,

1605, 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 December 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 February 1525, Aztec Emperor Cuahtemoc was executed by Hernando Cortez.

1521, Hernando Cortez conquered the city of Technochtitlan, now Mexico City, after an 85 day battle.

28 December 1520, Cortes 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.

1520, Cortes learned that a fleet had arrived in Mexico to arrest him. Governor Velazquez, who had financed Cortes, feared that Cortes was now asserting control of Mexico under the direct authority of the King of Spain. Cortes 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 November 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 throne.

1486-1502, Reign of Aztec Emperor Ahuitzotl.

1480, The last Aztec Emperor, Montezuma 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 leaders Moctezuma 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 unstable.

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 region began.

13 March 1325, The 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 Chichemec territory.

1168, The nomadic Chichimec people overran the Toltec Empire.

1000, The Toltec Empire now extended from coast to coast across Mexico.

900, The Toltec capital was established at at Tula.


Mayan Culture

978, The Toltec and Maya kingdoms merged in the Yucatan Peninsula.

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 July 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 Yucatan Peninsula.

378, War between the city of Tikal and Uaxactun.

374, Spearthrower Owl became Emperor of Teotihuacan.

350. Mayan 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.

200 BCE. Urban centres emerged in the Maya region of Mexico. See 350 AD.

1,200 BCE, Olmec rule began in western Mexico. Chavin culture emerged in the Andes, see Peru.

3,372 BCE, First date in the Mayan calendar.


Back to top