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Mexico Reference Information - History - Chronology
Pre-Colonial Mexico
early 1300s Aztec arrive in the Valley of Mexico.
1325 Foundation of Tenochtitlan by the Aztecs
1376 First Aztec king crowned.
1502-20 Reign of Moctezuma II (Montezuma).
Colonial Mexico
1519-21 Hernán Cortés and about 700 men conquer the Aztec Empire.
early sixteenth century Colonial administration established. European settlers pour into colony seeking wealth. Native population decimated by disease and harsh labor practices.
late sixteenth century Ranching and industry grow, and mining expands.
seventeenth century Colony stagnates. Society becomes stratified along racial and social lines.
eighteenth century Reforms by new Bourbon monarchs in Spain revitalize colony. Immigration increases, and economy and trade expand.
late eighteenth century Pressure for independence builds, especially among criollos.
1808-13 French occupation of Spain throws colonies into political turmoil.
1810 Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores)--Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla's call for independence--on September 16.
1811 Hidalgo executed. Independence movement led by José María Morelos y Pavón.
1815-20 Morelos executed. Independence movement degenerates into sporadic guerrilla fighting. Vicente Guerrero most important guerrilla leader.
Early Independence
1821 Colonization grant given to Moses Austin to settle Texas. Plan of Iguala proclaims Mexican independence. Augustín de Iturbide and Spanish envoy sign Treaty of Córdoba recognizing Mexico's independence; treaty not honored by Spanish government, however.
1822 Army of the Three Guarantees occupies Mexico City under Iturbide's command. Iturbide becomes emperor of Mexico as Agustín I. Iturbide deposed, and republic proclaimed by Antonio López de Santa Anna Pérez de Lebrón.
1823 Guadelupe Victoria becomes first Mexican president.
1824 Federal republican government is established under new constitution. Guerrero becomes president.
1828 Santa Anna repels Spain's attempt to regain control of Mexico. Guerrero abolishes slavery as means of discouraging migration of United States southerners to Texas.
1830 Political disturbances. Rebellion drives Guerrero from presidency. Immigration to Texas from United States prohibited but not enforced.
1833-34 Santa Anna elected president in 1833. Dictatorship established in 1834. End of first liberal reforms. Tithes abolished.
1835-36 Texas pioneers seek independence from Mexico in 1835, achieving it in March 1836. Santa Anna defeated and forced to recognize independence of Texas. Spain and Vatican recognize Mexican republic in 1836.
1837 Anastasio Bustamante becomes president, initiating a process of centralization.
1841 Conservative rebellion against Bustamante. Santa Anna's dictatorship.
1842 Santa Anna retires to his hacienda and leaves government to Nicolás Bravo.
1843 Santa Anna chosen as president of Mexico.
1844 Santa Anna forced into exile.
1845 Santa Anna returns to Mexico. Annexation of Texas by United States.
1846 Mexico severs diplomatic relations with United States. Beginning of Mexican-American War.
1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends Mexican-American War. Texan independence confirmed. United States annexes territories of Upper California and New Mexico.
1853 Santa Anna returns to Mexico and becomes president. Sells additional territory to United States under Gadsden Purchase.
1854 Triumph of Plan of Ayutla under leadership of Benito Juárez.
1855 Santa Anna resigns in August. Juárez Law ends fueros ( privileges) enjoyed by military and clergy.
1857 Constitution of 1857 promulgated.
1858-61 War of the Reform between conservatives/clericalists and liberals engulfs country in three years of bitter struggle. After liberal victory, Juárez promulgates Reform Laws, establishing nationalization of ecclesiastical properties without compensation, as well as suppression of religious orders.
1861 Moratorium on foreign debt payments. Tripartite agreement for intervention signed by Britain, France, and Spain.
French Intervention
1862 French forces march on capital but suffer defeat at Puebla.
1863 French enter Puebla, then Mexico City. Juárez forced to abandon the city.
1864 Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph's reign as Maximilian I begins. He confirms Reform Laws, except for those that refer to indigenous communities.
1866 French troops depart.
1867 Juárez offensive takes place. Maximilian surrenders at Querétaro and is executed. Juárez moves his government to Mexico City and becomes president.
Restoration and Porfiriato
1872 Death of Juárez. Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada inaugurated president.
1873 Reform Laws incorporated into Mexican constitution confirming separation of church and state.
1876 José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz leads rebellion on platform of "no reelection" and starts his presidential career, which lasts for thirty-four years (except 1880-84), of "order and progress." Finances, trade, industry, and mining sector modernized. Political ideology based on positivism.
1880 United States railroad companies receive favorable concessions; railroad boom.
1880-84 Presidency of Manuel González.
1884 Mining code reformed. Subsoil ownership given to landowners. Reelection of Díaz.
1888 Constitution changed to allow Díaz to succeed himself.
1904 Constitution changed to allow for six-year presidential term.
1906 Proclamation against Díaz issued by the liberals in St. Louis, Missouri.
1908 Díaz states his intention of not seeking reelection in interview. Francisco I. Madero publishes The Presidential Succession of 1910 .
1910 Mexico's 100 years of independence celebrated. Seventh reelection of Díaz. Madero's Plan of San Luis Potosí. Rebellion breaks out in north and in Puebla.
1911 Rebellion spreads throughout Mexico. After attack on Ciudad Juárez, Díaz resigns. Madero returns in triumph to Mexico City and is elected to presidency. Emiliano Zapata publishes Plan of Ayala demanding quick reforms.
1912 Pascual Orozco rebels against Madero. Victoriano Huerta's troops crush rebellion. Huerta exiled to France. Zapata and Francisco "Pancho" Villa enter Mexico City. Venustiano Carranza establishes constitutional government at Veracruz.
1913 Madero overthrown by coup d'état staged by Felix Díaz and Huerta. Madero assassinated. Carranza, Villa, and Álvaro Obregón lead northern rebellion
  while Zapata remains in charge of southern rebel forces. Huerta deposed and Congress dissolved.
1914 United States troops land at Veracruz. Huerta defeated and forced into exile.
1915 Obregón turns against Villa. Villa continues to fight and raids United States border towns for next five years. Carranza recognized by United States as chief of government forces.
1916 General John J. "Blackjack" Pershing's punitive expedition pursues Villa and provokes bitterness between Mexico and United States.
1917 Constitution of 1917 promulgated. Carranza elected president.
1920 Obregón rebels. Carranza dies. Obregón elected president.
1923 United States recognizes Obregón government.
1924 Plutarco Elías Calles elected president.
1926 Anticlerical policies spark Cristero Rebellion.
1927 Constitution of 1917 amended to extend presidential term to six years.
1928 Calles succeeded by Obregón, who is assassinated before taking office. Calles, who is to remain political strongman through 1935, chooses Emilio Portes Gil as president.
1929 Cristero Rebellion suppressed. Founding of official political party--National Revolutionary Party (Partido Nacional Revolucionario--PNR). Pascual Ortiz Rubio elected president of country, but Calles remains as recognized political boss.
1930 Portes Gil succeeded by Ortiz Rubio as president.
1932 Ortiz Rubio resigns; Abelardo Rodríguez chosen to complete term.
1934-40 Lázaro Cárdenas presidency. Forced exile of Calles (1936). Cárdenas begins socialist policies. Agrarian reform establishes ejidos (see Glossary) and collectivization. Official party renamed Party of the Mexican Revolution (Partido de la Revolución Mexicana--PRM); includes representatives from all sectors of society. Nationalization of oil industry in 1938.
Modern Mexico
1940-46 Manuel Ávila Camacho presidency. Mexico joins Allies in declaring war on Axis powers. PRM reorganized to provide wider representation and renamed Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional--PRI). Bracero (migrant Mexican worker) agreement established between Mexico and United States.
1946-52 Miguel Alemán Valdés presidency. Industrialization, public works, and creation of a new campus for the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México--UNAM).
  Urban growth at expense of agrarian improvements. Per capita agricultural production reaches prerevolutionary levels. Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance signed in 1947.
1952-58 Adolfo Ruiz Cortines presidency. Women's suffrage extended to national level. Beginning of political stability through appointment of PRI candidates to presidency.
1958-64 Adolfo López Mateos presidency. Increased foreign investments in Mexico and control of economy by foreign (mainly United States) interests. Land redistribution policies and increased agricultural production. Greater participation of minority parties in political process.
1964-70 Gustavo Díaz Ordaz presidency. Termination of bracero program. Foreign firms operate in Mexico on grand scale. Student unrest leads to Tlatelolco Massacre in 1968.
1970-76 Luis Echeverría Álvarez presidency. Emphasis by Mexico on participation in Third World policies against imperialism and foreign economic control. Oil boom in Chiapas and Tabasco. Economic difficulties.
1976-82 José López Portillo y Pacheco presidency. Mexico becomes world's fourth largest producer of oil and also one of world's leading debtor countries. Political reform, leading to increase of minority party representation in Chamber of Deputies by proportional representation system. Foreign debt and inflation soar. Government corruption rampant.
1982-88 Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado presidency. Economy contracts, and standard of living falls. Foreign debt renegotiated. Government adopts economic austerity measures.
1988-94 Carlos Salinas de Gortari presidency. Continuation of austerity policies leads to upturn in economy. Government takes steps to control corruption. Free-trade measures introduced. Mexico joins North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Measures taken to open governorships to opposition parties. Guerrilla group, Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional--EZLN) appears in Chiapas. PRI nominee for next sexenio , Donald Luis Colosio Murrieta, assassinated.
1994- Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León presidency. Devaluation of new peso leads to investor panic and near-economic collapse; massive foreign intervention required to stabilize situation. Military action against Zapatistas results in stalemate. Former President Salinas leaves country in disgrace amid charges of corruption and possible involvement in series of assassinations.
  Source: Library of Congress, Country Studies, Mexico.



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