Mexico is a nation that was founded in 1821 after achievement of independence from the Spanish rulers who had exercised colonial rule over it. Mexico is among the North American countries. It shares common boundaries with the United States of America to the north, Guatemala and Belize to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Gulf of Mexico to the east. Mexico is a large country with the total area being two million square kilometers. The capital city of Mexico is Mexico City which houses administrative, commercial and social structures. It should be appreciated that Mexico City ranks as the second largest city in the world. The Mexican population is enormous standing at approximately one hundred million as at 2000 when the population census was last carried out.
The history of Mexico spans almost two millennia. From the indigenous civilizations, to the Spanish conquest and rule from the sixteenth century, the nation that is Mexico has a rich history. The native civilization has since continuous fused with the European civilization. Today, Mexico boasts of being host to the largest group of people that speak Spanish while retaining the largest number of Native American language speakers. Spanish control began way back in 1519 with the establishment of the vast Spanish empire that reigned in Mexico for almost three centuries. Mexico was to struggle for liberation and independence in the nineteenth century in war that historians recorded as protracted. However, in 1810, Mexico declared its independence from Spain. Hardly thirty years after then did the Mexican American War start in 1846. The war saw Mexico lose close to half of its territory to its rather strong and superior neighbors, the United States of America.
France was later to invade Mexico in the early 1860’s in which they established French ruled that only lasted for seven years. It was from then on that Porfirio Diaz took power and started off the process of economic and societal progression. It was under him, that Mexico’s economic journey began with developments in public safety, transportation, mining and industry, international trade and taxation systems. In 1910 to 1929, the consequences of economic individualism sufficed to haunt the nation through the Mexican Revolution in which the poor revolted against the government. The contest that claimed the lives of close to a tenth of the entire population of Mexicans then resonated around creating opportunities and services to the poor. The latter had felt that the government was skewed towards the rich and that their (poor) interests were not taken care of at all. The revolution concluded through the assumption of power by the Partido Revolucionario institucional (PRI) in 1929. The new government introduced measures and policies that addressed the poor’s plight including the nationalization of the oil industry. This meant that from hence the Mexican oil industry would be under the full control of the government.
Trade and industry
Mexico practices capitalist system of trade in which the market is free and unregulated. Mexico had left the old restrictive tradition and adopted globalization, privatization deregulation. It has continuously integrated its economy to the United States specifically and the world generally. As such, Mexico thrives on a free marked based economy. The main economic spheres in Mexico today are services, industry and agriculture. However, the role of drugs and illegal trade, such as, money laundering cannot be overlooked. It Mexico drug abuse and smuggling is a crisis. Noteworthy is that the main destination of the drugs is the United States of America. Mexico essentially ranks one in North America in money laundering. On the other hand, Mexico thrives in international legal trade. They export several products such as oil, manufactured commodities like machinery, automobiles, clothing and textiles, among other products. The United States of America and Canada are Mexico’s most vital trading partners a concept resultant of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
People and social stratification
The development of the Mexican identity began in 1821 with the achievement of independence. The Mexican people come from a rich blend of pre Columbian Europeans and the indigenous Indians. The main language is Mexican Spanish. However, the total indigenous groups approximate over sixty two each with its own language. The original inhabitants of Mexico are actually the Indian indigenous communities.
Today, Mexico has not only the Indian communities, but also the white communities, the black communities and the latest immigrants. Of the entire Mexican nationals, it is approximately that the larger majority of about seventy eight percent live in Mexico while the other minority of about twelve percent live oversees with the United States of America accounting for the larger proportion of the Diaspora Mexicans.
Mexico’s social stratification is largely class based. The society tends to fold into class segments that reflect the economic abilities usually commensurate to the academic and educational qualifications. In addition, the rural dwellers tend to be poorer compared to the urban dwellers. Interestingly, the indigenous communities especially the Indian groups show high levels of poverty. On the other hand, age tends to influence the economic conditions and consequent social stratification. The younger age groups are less economically independent. They are more susceptible to drug abuse and illegal trade as compared to the older age groups that apply themselves to legal and decent economic endeavors.
Mexican families enjoy strong bonds among the members. The people have been culturally brought up to appreciate the institution of the family and its associated benefits. On the overall, the people have courtesy, respect and mutual understanding for one another. They believe in humanity and display social love and humanism for one another. The family is the basic unit in the societal set up in Mexico. They range from nuclear family set ups to the extended families. The strong bond among family members facilitates interaction and engagement among one another. The typical Mexican values the fellow human being, let alone the relatives.
Food, culture and nutrition
The Mexican eating habits can be traced to their history. The Mayans, who constitute a portion of Indigenous Indian communities, believed that food could enrich people both physically and spiritually. They hence consumed traditional foods such as chocolates, peanuts, beans, and vanilla, among others. It is these foods that form the typical Mexican dish. In addition, the Mexican dishes have European cuisines such as cheese, beef, wine and pork. These additional were probably an influence on them by their Spanish masters who controlled and ruled Mexico for three centuries. The Mayans for instance, were nomadic hunters always having to move from one place to another. This has affected the eating habits of typical Mexicans who prefer ready to eat or easy to prepare foods. Today, most Mexicans prefer restaurant and fast food outlets rather than preparation of food at home.
Mexico as a nation continues to thrive economically, socially and politically. In the economic sphere, it has adopted globalization, integration and deregulation so as to open its economy to international markets. Socially, Mexico’s complex cultural origins lay the foundation for a comprehensively diverse yet cohesive society.
Beezley, William H. A Companion to Mexican History and Culture. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
Hamnett, Brian R. A Concise History of Mexico. Cambrigde: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Noble, John. Mexico. New Mexico: Lonely Planet, 2010.
Streissguth, Thomas. Mexico. New Mexico: Lerner Publications, 2007.