Mexico

Mexico

Mexico,[a][b] officially the United Mexican States,[c] is a country in the southern portion of North America. It covers 1,972,550Β km2 (761,610 sq mi),[11] making it the world's 13th-largest country by area; with a population of almost 130 million, it is the 10th-most-populous country and the most populous Spanish-speaking country.[12] Mexico is organized as a federal constitutional republic comprising 31 states and Mexico City, its capital. It shares land borders with the United States to the north, with Guatemala and Belize to the southeast; as well as maritime borders with the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the southeast, and the Gulf of Mexico to the east.[13] Human presence in Pre-Columbian Mexico dates back to 8,000 BC, making it one of the world's six cradles of civilization. The Mesoamerican region hosted various intertwined civilizations, including the Olmec, Maya, Zapotec, Teotihuacan, and Purepecha. The Aztecs came to dominate the area prior to European contact. In 1521, the Spanish Empire, alongside indigenous allies, conquered the Aztec Empire, establishing the colony of New Spain in the former capital, Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City).[14] Over the next three centuries, Spanish expansion enforced Christianity, spread the Spanish language, and exploited rich silver deposits in Zacatecas and Guanajuato.[15] The colonial era ended in the early nineteenth century with the Mexican War of Independence.