Mexican History

The history of Mexico is amazing. From thousands of years of traditions that shaped sophisticated pre-Columbian civilizations to the present day, the country has passed through intense periods of colonization, war, revolution, and peace.
Mexican history includes the rise and fall of great civilizations, the dramatic collision and fusion of Spanish and indigenous cultures, and a revolutionary war that would change the political landscape of the country and renew its sense of cultural identity.

The Olmecs established a civilization here about 3,000 years ago. Over the centuries, empires developed fascinating traditions and uncovered important scientific secrets. In the 16th century, the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan was a flourishing island city, where majestic temples towered over floating gardens, busy markets, and extensive bridges. Shortly after the Spanish conquistadors arrived, they destroyed most of the city and laid the groundwork above the ruins for what would later become today’s Mexico City.

Mexico remained part of the Spanish Empire for three centuries before gaining independence in 1810. In 1846, the country lost almost half of its land to the US as a result of the Mexican-American War. In the early 20th century, popular revolutionary figures Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata helped lead a revolution that would later be famously depicted in many of the vivid murals painted by Mexican muralists such as Diego Rivera. Later, Mexico would experience its most politically stable era accompanied by a growing economy and a burgeoning middle class. To learn more about the history of Mexico, read more below or see it for yourself on your next visit by taking a close look at Rivera's many murals that celebrate Mexican culture even as they recount the country's bittersweet history.