The History Of Mexico Essay

2408 words - 10 pages

The History of Mexico

Before the Spanish
Mexico was occupied by a large number of Indian groups with very
different social and economic systems. In general the tribes in the north
were relatively small groups of hunters and gatherers who roamed
large areas of sparsely vegetated deserts and dry lands. These people
are often called the Chichimecs, though they were a mixture of several
cultural groups who spoke different languages.
In the rest of the country the natives were agriculturists, which helped
to support the more dense populations. Some of these tribes were the
Maya of the Yucatan, Totonac, Huastec, Otomi, Mixtecs, Zapotecs,
Tlaxcalans, Tarascans, and Aztecs. Some of these groups made
advanced civilizations with fancy buildings and temples used for
religious, political, and commercial purposes. The Mayan cities of
Chichen Itza, Uxmal, and Palenque, the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan,
Tzintzuntzan of the Tarastec, and Monte Alban of the Zapotecs are a
few examples.
By 1100 AD the Toltecs had taken over a lot of central and southern
Mexico and had built their capital at Tula in the Mesa Central. They
also built the city of Teotihuacan kind of by present-day Mexico City.
At about the same time, the Zapotecs had control of the Oaxaca
Valley and parts of the Southern Highlands. The cities they built at
Mitla and Monte Alban are still here today, though they were taken
over by the Mixtecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish.
When the Spanish came to central Mexico, the Aztecs controlled most
of the central part of Mexico through a state payment system that got
taxes and stopped them from being able to act independently from
conquered tribal groups. The Aztecs moved into the central part of
Mexico from the north and accomplished a tribal story by establishing
a city where an eagle with a snake in its beak rested on a cactus. This
became the national symbol for Mexico and was put on the country's
flag and seal. The Aztecs started the city of Tenochtitlan in about the
early 1300s, and then it became the capital of their empire. The
Tlaxcalans in the east, the Tarascans on the west, and the Chichimecs
in the north were outside the Aztec Empire and they would sometimes
have wars with them....

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