When the Spaniards discovered Mexico it was the home of the highest civilization in the New World. The Aztecs lived there and built large cities, mined copper and stone and other materials. Their King, Montezuma, was captured by Cortez, and the Aztecs, as a people, have disappeared.
The present Republic of Mexico com-prises twenty-seven States, a federal district and the Territory of Lower California, embracing altogether 767,316 square miles and a population of 12,619,949. It is bounded on the north by the United States of America, south by Central America, west by the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California, east by the Gulf of Mexico. The principal industries are agriculture, mining and stock-raising. Climate, mild and heathful in the elevated interior, but hot and pestilential along the coast. The Mexicans are a very mixed race, 20 per cent, being of the Caucasian race, 43 per cent. natives of mixed race, and 37 per cent. Indians. Religion - Prevailing religion, Roman Catholic, though by law there is toleration of all other religions. Protestant churches have about 26,000 adherents. Government - A confederate republic. Executive, the President. Legislative, the Congress, consisting of the House of Representatives with 227 members, and the Senate with fifty members. Education - 9,000 elementary schools with over 500,000 pupils, and 140 higher schools with 17,000 scholars. Government grant, $3,-400,000. Finance - Revenue (estimated), $35,000,000 ; expenditures (estimated), $28,-100,000. Chief articles exported, precious metals, textile fibres. Industries - Chiefly mining and cattle-raising. Between 1821 and 1880 silver to the value of $900,000,000, and gold to the value of $4,841,000 were produced. Ninety-six cotton factories, with over 14,000 employees, were also in operation in 1898.
Mexico is a marvelously picturesque country. The surface is a high plateau crossed by several ranges of white-capped mountains. The rivers are shallow and rapid streams, none of them navigable above tide-water except the Rio Grande and Colorado . Owing to the difference of elevation, Mexico has a variety of climate and productions. The coast regions are low, hot and pestilential. The elevated regions are cool and healthful. The city of Mexico, the capital, is a walled city, entered by gates. General Porfirio Diaz, the President of Mexico, was born in 1830 and became President of the Republic in 1884.