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Brief History of Mexico

Updated on February 27, 2012

Mexico is one of those destinations that have a unique history. Its history has stories that involved love, drama war, genocides, and tradition. Mexico’s past is one of revolution and one of mystery, yet we are still attracted to the wonders of this great country.

Some of the most advanced of ancient cultures have called Mexico home for hundreds of years. Their descendants now have scattered all over Central America. Some of their descendants are no longer with us dying out without the ability to pass on the once admired traditions of their culture. Many have kept alive these traditions of the Olmecs, Maya and Aztec,

The first recorded settling of an ancient civilization in Mexico started with the Olmacs. Around the year 1000 B.C, the Olmecs were in control of much of the territory now known as Veracruz and Tabasco. They left remnants behind that today still mystify and inspire archeologists and the amateur historian alike. They were the first civilization to start the construction of massive cities, Temples to their gods, and bring organized religion.. They built massive head stone carvings to their jaguar gods that are still seen in place today. Yet, little else is can be seen of these once thriving civilizations that just up and disappeared around 300 B.C. but, the remnants of a lot of their traditions seemed to stay with the people even till today in the form of festivals and traditional foods.

After, the famed Olmec Civilization disappeared all was quiet for the next couple hundred years in Mexico. Just small bands of roaming nomads dotted the landscapes herding their sheep. Then these nomad tribes started to get together and form more prominent civilizations like the Zapotecs, and Teoithuacans. In a movement, to pacify their gods and unite the people in the Yucatan and southern Mexico, theses civilizations started the practice of human sacrifice. This practice no matter how deplorable also led to some great achievements in astronomy, mathematics, and architecture. Not to mention some of the most fantastic artistry to ever come out of pre-Colombian civilization in Mexico. These pre Colombian civilizations achieved what no prior civilization had done before them but at what cost to please their gods? The remnants of this civilization sand the practices they were famous for being still available to be seen today in and around the Yucatan.

Of course out of the rise of these three civilizations that seemed to band together what was left of these civilizations after their collapse due to internal strife. The Aztecs were then on the scenes they used the past civilizations achievements to refocus their energies on the great mathematical, political, and scientific achievements. They revitalized the essence of pure scientific thought that was lost. They created many more expansive temples to their gods, achieved higher scientific knowledge and continued to thrive until the Spaniards came.

In 1493 when the first Spaniards arrived in the area they were greeted by the Aztecs with honor. But, when the explorers found tons of gold that cities seemed to have inlaid they laid waste to the entire Aztec civilization because of stubborn greed. One of the worst genocides in Latin American history was completed by none other than Cortez himself.

There is much,much, more to Mexico’s history that even encyclopedias could be written. But, do not miss any opportunity to see what has made North American culture what it is today and how Mexico’s traditions have followed them for more than three thousand years. These are where the true beauty of Mexico comes from. Which can still be seen today in the food, dance, music, art, and the traditions of Mexico’s people.


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