This page of the book is from "The New Student's Reference Work: Volume 3" by Chandler B. Beach, Frank Morton McMurry and others.
MEXICO I2l6 MEXICO
olicism, but the church is independent of the state, and all religions are tolerated.
Commerce. The principal exports of Mexico are precious metals, sisal hemp (henequen), coffee, cattle etc., while the principal imports are machinery, cotton textiles, iron and steel, wines and liquors, wood and paper and textile fibers. The total exports for the year 1905—oŏ amounted to $271,138,809, while the imports were $220,651,074. In 1906 in the foreign trade 1,639 vessels entered, and 1,599 cleared. In 1906 there were 13,515 miles of railway open. The Tehuantepec (interoceanic). railway was formally opened on Jan. 23, 1907. The total length.of telegraph lines in 1906 was 35,205 miles.
Government. Mexico is a federative republic. The constitution, originally promulgated on Feb. 5, 1857, and subsequently amended, declares that the Mexican Republic is established under the representative, democratic and federal form of government, composed of states free and sovereign in everything relating to their internal administration, but united in one single federation. The Supreme Government is divided into three coordinate branches : Legislative, Executive and Judicial. The legislative power of the nation is vested in a general Congress, consisting of two Chambers, the Deputies and the Senate. The executive power is lodged in a single individual known as the "President of the United Mexican States," whose term of office is four years. By an amendment to the Constitution, under date of Dec. 20, 1900, he may be re-elected indefinitely. The judicial power is vested in the supreme court and the district and circuit courts.
Territorial Division. The territory of the United Mexican States is divided into 1 Federal District, 27 States and 2 Territories, whose organization is almost identical with that of the American Union. The States, as before indicated, are free and sovereign in all matters pertaining to their internal administration, their government being vested in three heads, namely : State government, State legislature and State judicial power. The States and Territories are, for convenience, classified as follows, according to their situation :
Central States. Federal District, Aguas-calientes, Durango, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Mexico, Morelos, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosi, Tlaxcala and .7ĭ>.catecas.
Northern States. Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Sonora.
67ulf States. Campeche, Tabasco, Tam-aulipas, Vera Cruz, Yucatan and Territorio de Quintana Roo.
Pacific States. Baja California, Colima, Chiapas, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Sinaloa and Tepic.
The two Territories are Tepic and Baja (Lower) California.
History. The early history of Mexico, as learnt from its monuments and picture-writings, includes two periods — that of the Toltecs and the Aztecs. The Toltecs are thought to have reached the country about the 8th century; tney cultivated the land, introduced corn and cotton, made roads and built temples, cities and monuments whose ruins still prove their skill. To their invention are thought to belong the Mexican hieroglyphics, or system of writing by pictures, and the Mexican calendar. They are believed to have been driven south by famine and pestilence to Guatemala and Yucatan in the nth century. After an interval, about the end of the 12th century, the Aztecs entered the land and founded, about 1325, the city of Mexico. They were a less cultivated race than the Toltecs, but more so than the North American tribes, though they are considered now as belonging to the same family. (See Aztecs.) The Spaniards under Cortez (a.v.) landed at Vera Cruz in 1519, and the story of the latter's conquest of Mexico is one of the romances of history. In 1540 all the American territory belonging to Spain, including Mexico, was united under the name of New Spain, and governed by viceroys appointed by the home government. The policy of the government, however, hindered the development of the country. Mexico was looked upon simply as a mine to be worked for the benefit of Spain. The natives were distributed as slaves on the plantations, and trade with any country but Spain was forbidden under penalty of death. In spite of this policy, however, it was one of the richest and most prosperous of the Spanish colonies. After three centuries of submission the spirit of discontent, which had been growing during the wars of Spain with France under Napoleon, broke out in rebellion in 1810, under the leadership of a country priest named Hidalgo. In 1821 the last of a series of 57 Spanish viceroys, O'Donoju, surrendered the capital. General Iturbide was proclaimed emperor in 1822, but General Santa Anna raised the standard of the republic, and Iturbide was banished to Italy, and shot the next year when he attempted to return. From that time on the history of Mexico is one of civil war until 1876. Fifty-two presidents or dictators, one emperor and a regent ruled the country in that time.
Texas secured its independence in 1836, and in 1845 became a part of the United States. The boundary line was unsettled, and a dispute over a strip of land brought on war with the United States, with its battles of Monterey, Palo Alto, Cerro Gordo, Buena Vista and Chapultepec, ending with the taking of the City of Mexico by the Americans under General Scott. Peace was concluded in 1848, Mexico ceding to the United States half a million square miles