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World Geography - Unit 3, Chapter 10: Mexico

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Zach White

on 16 September 2013

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Transcript of World Geography - Unit 3, Chapter 10: Mexico

Chapter 10: Mexico What types of maps are these? By looking at this map of the physical geography of Mexico what do you think is a key feature of Mexico's geography? Most of Mexico's people live in the central plateau area. In general the south gets more rain than the northern part of the country. Why? Oil and Gas! Tourism! Tourism! Farming! (through the use of irrigation) Section 1: Geography of Mexico A Place of Three Cultures Mexico's culture is made up of Native American (especially Aztec), Spanish, and mestizo (or mixed) cultures. The Aztecs ruled over the land that would eventually become Mexico from the 1300's all the way up until they were conquered by the Spanish between 1519-1521. The Aztec people created a huge city that would later become Mexico City. This was one of the biggest and most advanced cities in the world at this time (1400s). After the Spanish had conquered the Aztecs they created the colony of New Spain. In New Spain there were 4 social classes.
Peninsulares: born in Spain
Criollos: born in Americas but both parents are Spanish
Mestizos: people of mixed ancestry
Indians: both parents are Native American Native Americans, being the lowest class, were forced (socially and economically) to provide the manual labor that this new colony needed by working for low wages and being forced into constant debt on haciendas. Spanish colonial rule continued into the early 1800s before erupting into violence. The criollos felt resentment for the privileged lives of the peninsulars. So criollos led a rebellion to cut ties with Spain. In 1821, Mexico became an independent nation. All of Mexico's issues didn't immediately go away though...military leaders ruled as dictators over the country. Mexico slowly industrialized by building railroads and tapped their large oil reserves. Modernization mostly benefited the rich so the country had a hard time moving forward because the gap between rich and poor widened. The Mexican Revolution helped change this. In 1910, peasants and middle-class Mexican citizens rebelled. They fought the landowning class and the military dictator. By 1920, Mexico had a new President, a new government, and a new Constitution. Social conditions in Mexico have improved but most of the wealth is still held by a small percentage of the people. Spanish is the official language. Mexicans can practice any religion they want but the dominant religion is Catholicism. Most people in rural Mexico work in agriculture and while most land in Mexico is owned by a relatively small amount of people, the government is redistributing land to peasants to try and fix this problem. About 2/3's of all farms in Mexico are farmed by poor farmers who practice subsistence farming. The other 1/3 of farms raise cash crops on large haciendas. Life in urban Mexico has more opportunities for a wider variety of work, more opportunities for eduction, and much more. Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world. Mexico's major industries include oil and tourism. The Gulf coast of Mexico is rich with oil. The beaches of Mexico offer tourists great climate and scenery. Mexico and the United States are big trade partners. The United States relies on Mexico for the assembly of many products that are built in Mexico and then shipped to the U.S.
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