32 terms

Ch. 2 Mexico

Section 1 Physical Geography Section 2 History and Culture Section 3 Mexico Today
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peninsula
land surrounded by water on three sides
Baja California
Long, narrow, peninsula, it extends south from Mexico's northwestern border with the United States
Gulf of Mexico
A body of water that forms the eastern boundary of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico is seperated from the Caribbean Sea by the a parf of Mexico call the Yucatan (yoo-kah-TAHN) Peninsula.
Sierra Madre'
3 Chains of Mountains which make up the "mother range" in Mexico.
1. Sierra Madre Oriental (East side of Mexico)
2. Sierra Madre Occidental (West side of Mexico)
3. Sierra Madre Del Sur (Southwest side of Mexico)
Rio Bravo (Mexico)/Rio Grande (U.S.)
River which forms a partial border between the U.S. and Mexico
empire
An land with different terrtitories and peoples under a single ruler. The Aztecs build a great empire through conquest and war. They forced their captives to pay taxes and sacrificed them to the Aztec gods.
Tenochtitlan
Capital city of the Aztecs located on an island in a lake in central Mexico. Built in 1325 and became one of the most impressive and largest cities of its time.
mestizos
A person of mixed Native American and European ancestory. These two cultures mixted after the Spanish explorers came to the Americas.
missions
Churches set up by Spanish priests and missionaries in northern Mexico to spread Christianity. The Roman Catholic Church wanted to convert American Indians to Catholocism.
haciendas
Large pieces of farm or ranch land granted by the Spanish monarch to people of Spanish ancestry after the Spanish conquest.
Hernan Cortez
Spanish soldier who led the conquistadors in a war against the Aztecs in 1519 and beat them.
conquistadors
Group of Spanish soliers who defeated the Aztecs using never seen before guns and horses. They also brought small pox which killed many natives.
chinampas
Raised fields or floating gardens constructed by the Aztecs along lake shores in Mesoamerica to increase agricultural yields.
maquiladora
Factories built by US companies in Mexico near the US border to take advantage of much lower labor costs in Mexico.
Mexico City
National capital of Mexico. The world's second largetst city.
inflation
A rise in prices of goods and services that occurs when currency loses its buying power.
slash and burn agriculture
a farming technique in which trees are cut down and burned to clear and fertilize the land
cash crop
a readily salable crop that is grown and gathered for the market (as vegetables or cotton or tobacco)
smog
air pollution by a mixture of smoke and fog
Yucatan Peninsula
The peninsula located in the southern portion of Mexico. Separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea. Former home of the Maya.
Olmec
Ancient civilization before the Maya (1500 B.C.) who lived on southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Carved giant stone heads that may have represented rulers or gods.
Maya
Ancient civilization located on the Yucatan Pen. and northern parts of Guatemala and Ecuador. (AD 250-900) Classic Age
Aztec
Ancient civilization located in central Mexico that developed into an empire. Tenochtitlan (cap. city) built on an island in Lake Texcoco.
Benito Juarez
Mexico's first president of Indian heritage. (1806-1872). Considered a national hero. Laid the foundation for a democratic gov.
Miguel Hidalgo
Priest who called for independence from Spain in 1810.
Day of the Dead
Day of celebration (Nov. 1st) to remember and honor dead ancestors. Families visit graveyards to clean them and put out flowers, candles, and food (sugar skulls, chocolate coffins, and sweet bread)
Enrique Peña Nieto
Current president of Mexico. Elected in 2012.
1812
Mexico won its independence from Spain.
1910
Mexican Revolution began and lasted 10 years. Positive results included land reform that took land from large landowners and gave it back to peasants and Native Americans.
Roman Catholicism
Religion practiced by 90% of Mexicans. (ex. Cultural diffusion - Spanish influence)
Spanish
Language spoken by most of the Mexicans because of Spanish influence during colonial times
Flag of Mexico
Green, white and red flag with an eagle perched on a prickly pear cactus with a snake in its mouth
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