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After the Brief History of Mexico

After the Brief History of Mexico

Written by Alfonso Elizondo

If we analyze objectively Mexico’s five-hundred year history, three hundred as a Spanish colony and two hundred as a sovereign nation, we may arrive at some startling conclusions:

 

1- The majority of Mexico’s different aboriginal ethnic groups had a collective myth telling them about the existence of a divine power that made all decisions and that it was coming from the outside and was of a different race from theirs, with white skin and blue eyes . This belief is known as the myth of Quetzalcoatl which was associated with the myth of Tlaloc, the god of rain and fertility, as well as two other minor deities, Chalchiuhticue, goddess of lakes and rivers and her husband Huehuetótl, the god of fire.

 

2. Nearly all the indigenous ethnic groups that existed in Mexico at the start of the Conquest were descended from the Olmecs who were the first to arrive in Mesoamerica. Out of their migration to the center of the country, towards the southeast and the north emerged the diverse ethnic groups of Mexico and Central America. Most outstanding among them all were the Teotihuacans who were able to form the most organized indigenous population in Mesoamerica, a very peaceful people with great productive capacity, in the first centuries of the first millennium.

 

3. From the Olmecs also came the Mayans, the Toltecs, the Mixtecs, the Zapotecs, and almost all the ethnic groups that inhabited southern and central Mexico, with the exception of the Purépechas (Tarascos), about whom there is still no knowledge of exactly how they reached Mexico.

 

4. What is disconcerting is the fact that about one hundred Spaniards, who mostly came from prison or were chattel or galley slaves, succeeded in conquering a nation of more than four million indigenous people who could have liquidated them as soon as they reached the Mexican coast in Veracruz.

 

5. There can be no explanation of how not a single one of the 63 viceroys in New Spain and the countless  clergymen who came to evangelize thought that the indigenous people had a brain similar to that of all human beings and that they were being treated like beasts of burden. The person who finally expressed his doubt about this to his superiors, Fray Junípero de la Serra, was exiled from the country and wandered through the south of what is now the United States, ending up in California where he died.

 

6. It was obvious that the main reason for the material success of the large landowners and the ecclesial patriarchs who lived in New Spain was the fact that they had enslaved the indigenous people and the operational cost of their businesses was zero, given that the indigenous people were barely fed with the leftover crumbs of the landowners and the fruits, vegetables and animals they found in the area where they lived.

 

7. This explains why in three hundred years of colonialism only two important figures emerged in the field of Literature, that is, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, one important architect, Manuel de Tolsá, Manuel del Río, an occasional scientist who discovered vanadium and Pedro Romero de Terreros, a circumstantial philanthropist who was the founder of the National Monte Pío and creator of microcredit worldwide.

 

8. Many of the traditions and institutions that still form part of the collective culture of the present society emerged during the viceroyalty.

 

9. When the French invaded and dominated the Spanish monarchy in the Napoleonic era, a political crisis developed in New Spain, ending with the removal of the viceroy Iturrigaray through a plot orchestrated by the religious hierarchy and the landowners. And although there were conspiracies in other regions of the viceroyalty, they were all violently suppressed.

 

10.  On September 16, 1810, the priest from the town of Dolores in Guanajuato, Miguel Hidalgo and Costilla, called for a revolt of the faithful and that was the genesis of the War of Independence and the abolition of slavery. This insurgent movement was continued by José María Morelos y Pavón who declared the Independence of North America in 1815 and created the First Constitution which was promulgated in Apatzingán. Both national heroes were shot by conservative forces: Hidalgo in 1811 and Morelos in 1815.

 

 

Addendum: I will leave the history of the colony and continue with an analysis of Mexico from independence until the present day.