Native Mexican Americans first settled along what used to be the shores of shallow lake Texcoco, present day Mexico City, in 1500 BC. By the early 1300 AD, the Aztecs established roots on an Island in this lake which later became the capital of the Aztec Empire: the City of Tenochtitlan. At least three great civilizations: the Mayas, the Olmecs, and the Toltecs,preceded the wealthy Aztec empire, conquered in 1519–1521 by the Spanish under Hernando Cortés. Spain ruled Mexico as part of the viceroyalty of New Spain for the next 300 years until Sept. 16, 1810, when the Mexicans first revolted. They won independence in 1821.
Independence from Spain was proclaimed by Father Miguel Hidalgo on September 16, 1810. Father Hidalgo’s declaration of nationalindependence, known in Mexico as the "Grito de Dolores", launched a decade long struggle for independence from Spain. Prominent figures in Mexico’s war for independence were Father Jose Maria Morelos; Gen. Augustin de Iturbide, who defeated the Spaniards and ruled as Mexican emperor from 1822-23; and Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana, who went on to dominate Mexican politics from 1833 to 1855. An 1821treaty recognized Mexican independence from Spain and called for a constitutional monarchy. The planned monarchy failed; a republic was proclaimed in December 1822 and established in 1824.
Mexico, has a bloody Political Strife and Trouble with the U.S. years after the fall of the dictator Porfirio Diaz (1877–1880 and 1884–1911) were marked by bloody political-military strife and trouble with theU.S., culminating in the punitive U.S. expedition into northern Mexico (1916–1917) in unsuccessful pursuit of the revolutionary Pancho Villa. Since a brief civil war in 1920, Mexico has enjoyed a period of gradual agricultural, political, and social reforms. The Partido Nacional Revolucionario (PNR; National Revolutionary Party), dominated by revolutionary and reformist politicians from northernMexico, was established in 1929; it continued to control Mexico throughout the 20th century and was renamed the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI; Institutional Revolutionary Party) in 1946. Relations with the U.S. were disturbed in 1938 when all foreign oil wells were expropriated, but a compensation agreement was reached in 1941.
The Mexican Flag has a rich and colorful history. Beforethe Spanish came, the Aztecan flag had snakes and panthers pictured on it. Following the conquest, a flag resembling that of Castille was adopted, and on August 13, 1530, the first flag parade was ordered by the Government of Don Alonso de Estrada to commemorate the fall of Tenochtitlan nine years before. New leaders and new flags were brought about by the outbreak of the War of Independence,almost three hundred years later. Igniting the revolution, Don Miguel Hidalgo introduced the flag of the Virgen of Guadalupe. The General don Jose María Morelos adopted several different flags during the same struggle, and upon recieving independence in 1821, the Flag of the Three Guarantees was added.
The modern flag still has the traditional colors of red, green, and white, along with the nationalcrest in the center, similar to many older versions. Mexico has celebrated Flag Day on March 12 every year since 1937 in a ceremony before the Monument to General don Vicente Guerrero. He was the first military leader to swear allegiance to the flag, in Acatempan on 12 March 1821. The colors of the Mexican flag represent the following: Green: Hope, Fertility of the soil, White: Purity, Red: Theblood shed during Independence. A legend explains the national seal, which is the symbol found in the center of the flag. According to it the Aztecs were told by their god, Huitzilopochtli that they were to found a city on the spot where they found an eagle devouring a serpent on a cactus. This city was to be named Tenochtitlan, and is now more commonly known as Mexico City.