Mexico Modern History

Spanish conquest

According to, the conquest of Mexico by the Spanish began in 1517 [5] [6] when Diego Velázquez, governor of the island of Cuba, authorized the explorer Francisco Hernández de Córdoba to carry out an expedition to find lands south of the island of Cuba; Hernández de Córdoba makes landfall at Cape Catoche in the current Yucatan peninsula after skirting the coast, he also does so in Campotón in the current state of Campeche, upon his return to Cuba where he dies as a result of injuries caused in an indigenous attack. that he saw and discovered in the new lands. The following year, Diego Velázquez He sent 4 boats under the command of Juan de Grijalva, who arrived in Tabasco and sailed the river that today bears his name. The expedition of 1519 [6] , led by Hernán Cortés, made landfall first in Cozumel and reached the coast of Tabasco, where the Battle of Centla was fought against the Mayans of Potonchán.

Cortés later founded Santa María de la Victoria [5] , the first Spanish town in Mexico. At that point, the indigenous people presented Malintzin, whose role as an interpreter was of great help in the conquest of the Mesoamericans. From there, the Spaniards embarked for Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz, the second Spanish town founded in Mexican territory on July 10, 1519 [5] .

The Spanish managed to establish alliances with various indigenous peoples, including the Totonacs and the Tlaxcalans. Together they advanced towards central Mexico and on the way defeated some allies of the Mexica, such as Cholula. Moctezuma Xocoyotzin received the newcomers peacefully. I thought it was the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. After the Tóxcatl massacre, the Mexica rose up against the Spanish and their allies. Cuitláhuac invaders defeated the 30 of June of 1520, and died shortly afterwards during the epidemic of huey cocoliztli. Cuauhtémoc, abandoned by most of his allies, was captured on August 13, 1521 [5] , and executed by the Spanish in 1525. Capturing the city of Mexico-Tenochtitlán, the Spanish proceeded to the subjugation of other peoples. Some voluntarily submitted, and others put up military resistance. Some indigenous peoples did not submit until the 19th century.

With the Spanish military, missionaries also arrived who played an important role in the conquest while evangelizing the indigenous people. Of the religious who arrived in the country, Vasco de Quiroga, Motolinía, Martín de Valencia, Bernardino de Sahagún, Diego de Landa, Junípero Serra, Sebastián de Aparicio and Bartolomé de las Casas stood out.

Viceroyalty of New Spain (1521-1810)

Once Tenochtitlan was subdued, Hernán Cortés assumed the government as captain general of New Spain. In 1527 the Audiencia de México was established. The first viceroy was Antonio de Mendoza and he ruled from 1535 [7] . New Spain was ruled by 63 viceroys during the nearly 300 years of Spanish rule.

Throughout the viceregal period, the power of the Spanish was consolidated through the subjugation of the indigenous peoples. The Mixtón War (1540 – 1551) and the Chichimeca War (1546) manifest the conflicts that the Spanish faced when expanding their dominions towards the north of New Spain. The process of expansion to the north continued until the independence of Mexico. In the Californias and New Mexico, this process was reinforced by the mission system to Christianize the Indians, which caused episodes of violence such as the Rebellion of the Pericúes (1734 – 1737).

Mining allowed the development of other associated activities, especially obrajes and agriculture, which turned the regions of the Bajío and the valleys of Mexico and Puebla into agricultural regions and incipient industrial activity [8] .

The trade of the viceroyalty was carried out through two ports: Veracruz (Gulf of Mexico) and Acapulco (Pacific Ocean) [8] . The Nao de China arrived at the latter, which transported products from the Philippines to New Spain and from there they were transported by land, arriving in Puebla, where the oriental influence is notorious in its crafts and in its traditions such as that of the “china poblana”, to the City Hall of Mexico and to Veracruz from where it was sent to Spain or the Atlantic ports. Trade contributed to the flourishing of these ports, of Mexico City and the intermediate regions. It should be noted that until the end of the 18th century With the introduction of the Bourbon reforms, trade between the Spanish viceroyalties was not allowed.

The viceroyalty was the base of the cultural and racial mosaic of present-day Mexico. In its bosom, indigenous and European cultures merged over 300 years. Likewise, there was a lot of racial mixing. Figures such as Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and Juan Ruiz de Alarcón stand out as their most notable contributors to New Hispanic literature, as well as Manuel Tolsá in architecture. Regarding financial institutions, Pedro Romero de Terreros, founder of the Sacro y Real Monte de Piedad de Ánimas, the antecedent of the National Monte de Piedad (also called Monte Pío), the genesis of microcredit worldwide, stood out. Also noteworthy are the chemical discoveries of Andrés Manuel del Río, discoverer of Erythronium, later renamed Vanadium, in the periodic table of chemical elements.

Most of the New Hispanic society professed the Catholic religion [9] . The Holy Inquisition —which sought to suppress indigenous idolatries— had its offices installed in the territory. The territory of New Spain was large enough for a large number of indigenous peoples and a great variety of languages to exist in it, not excluding Europeans. During the three hundred years of New Spain, there were different legal provisions that affected the commerce and prosperity of New Spain. In general, their level of prosperity was the highest in America, especially the residents of the municipalities of Mexico, Puebla de los Angeles, Villa Rica de la Veracruz, Acapulco and Zacatecas. Although an integration policy was proposed as a general rule, the political reality that imposed the granting of important positions for the Spanish bureaucracy (especially since the arrival of the Bourbons, who advocated the French model of colonization, against which Creoles or children of Spaniards born in Mexico began to rebel) [7] . In addition, divisions as serious as the castes were created in Yucatán [7] .

Mexico Modern History