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Introduction: The site of advanced Amerindian civilizations, Mexico came under Spanish rule for three centuries before achieving independence early in the 19th century. A devaluation of the peso in late 1994 threw Mexico into economic turmoil, triggering the worst recession in over half a century. The global financial crisis beginning in late 2008 caused another massive economic downturn the following year. As the economy recovers, ongoing economic and social concerns include low real wages, underemployment for a large segment of the population, inequitable income distribution, and few advancement opportunities for the largely Amerindian population in the...

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Economic Overview: According to the IMF, Mexico's economy is ranked 14th in the world (only Brazil has a larger GDP among Latin American countries). It is currently one of only two Latin American members of the OECD (the other is Chile), which is evidence of the growing transparency and improved governance across the Mexican economy. Mexico is also one of the WTO members with the greatest number of Free Trade Agreements (it currently has a network of 12 FTAs with 44 countries).

The interconnectedness of the Mexican and US economies is well known, stimulated by the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which groups Canada, the US and ...

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History: Highly developed cultures, including those of the Olmecs, Mayas, Toltecs, and Aztecs, existed long before the Spanish conquest. Hernan Cortes conquered Mexico during the period 1519-21 and founded a Spanish colony that lasted nearly 300 years.

Independence from Spain was proclaimed by Father Miguel Hidalgo on September 16, 1810. Father Hidalgo's declaration of national ...

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History: 300–900 The Classical Period; Construction of Teotihuacan complex; Monte Albán and the Zapoteca Culture; The Maya Culture
900–1521 The Post Classical Period; Pre-Hispanic Era in Oaxaca; The Tolteca and Chichimeca Cultures
1325–1521 The Aztecs and the Founding of Tenochtitlan
1519 Founding of Veracruz by Hernan Cortés
1521–1810 The Spanish Conquest; The Colonial Period
1531 The Apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe (the Madonna with Indian features who miraculously appeared to an Indian, St Juan Diego near Mexico City)
1551 Founding of the University of Mexico, Mexico City. The first University on the ...

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Mexico's many archaeological treasures, its architectural wealth, and its diverse population provide physical clues to a past that has given rise to stories of migration, settlement, conquest, and nation-building. The cultural heritage of the Aztec, the Maya, and other advanced civilizations, seen in the ruins of their temples and in their artifacts, bears witness to the achievements of the early ...

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Area Handbook Series
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