Meaning of MEXICO in English
city, seat of Audrain county, central Missouri, U.S. It is situated on the South Fork of the Salt River. Founded (1836) by the Reverend Robert C. Mansfield and James H. Smith, it was named for a tavern sign reading Mexico that-a-way. Its commercial development was stimulated by the arrival (1858) of the railroad. Ulysses S. Grant was appointed a brigadier general of the Union Army there in 1861. Since the establishment of the Western Stove Lining Works (1887), the fireclay industry has been the city's economic mainstay. Agriculture and the manufacture of shoes, as well as the breeding of saddle horses on the surrounding bluegrass pastures, are also important economically. The Audrain County Historical Society Museum displays materials on the American Saddlebred horse. The Missouri Military Academy was established in Mexico in 1889. Inc. 1855. Pop. (1991 est.) 11,380. officially United Mexican States, Spanish Mxico, or Estados Unidos Mexicanos, also spelled Mjico northernmost and the third largest country of Latin America. Situated in the southwestern part of mainland North America and roughly triangular in shape, Mexico stretches more than 1,850 miles (3,000 km) from northwest to southeast. Its width varies from more than 1,200 miles (1,900 km) in the north to less than 135 miles (215 km) at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in the south. Mexico is bordered by the United States to the north, Belize and Guatemala to the southeast, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the south and west. The capital, Mexico City, is one of the largest cities in the world. Area 756,066 square miles (1,958,201 square km). Pop. (1995 est.) 91,145,000. also spelled Mjico, state, on the Central Plateau, Mexico, almost completely surrounding the Federal District (which comprises Mexico City). The general elevation of the state's area of 8,245 square miles (21,355 square km)more than 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above sea levelensures a cool, healthful climate, which, with fertile soils and plentiful rainfall, has resulted in a dense population. The state contains many preconquest ruins, among them Tenayuca, Malinalco, and the great centre of San Juan Teotihuacn, covering 8 square miles (21 square km), about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of central Mexico City. The state capital is Toluca (q.v.). Much of the northern part of the state lies in the Valley of Mexico, or Anhuac, a circular lacustrine plain and intermontane basin from which most of the lakes have disappeared, leaving only swamps, sodden meadows, and lagoons. Chief among these bodies are Zumpango, San Cristbal, Xaltocan, Xochimilco, and Texcoco, the latter three lying partly in the Federal District. The stream flow into and out of the basin was altered greatly by the opening in 1900 of the Tequixquiac tunnel, conducting water eventually to the Gulf of Mexico, and by the system of tunnels and tubes completed in 1951, which provided the state and the Federal District with drinking water and hydroelectric power. Agriculture (cereals, especially corn ; maguey [agave, source of pulque]; coffee; sugarcane; and fruits), mining, and manufacturing (including assembly plants, aluminum processing, and ironworks and steelworks) are the principal mainstays of the economy. Rail and highway transportation in the state is excellent. Its population density is the highest of any Mexican state. Pop. (1990) 9,815,795. officially United Mexican States, Spanish Mxico, or Estados Unidos Mexicanos, also spelled Mjico, country of North America. Sharing a common border throughout its northern extent with the United States, the country is bounded on the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the east by the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, and on the southeast by Guatemala and Belize. Roughly triangular in shape, Mexico covers an area of 756,066 square miles (1,958,201 square kilometres). While it is more than 1,850 miles (3,000 kilometres) across the country from northwest to southeast, the width varies from less than 135 miles at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to more than 1,200 miles in the north. Mexico has a vast wealth of mineral resources, a limited amount of agricultural land, and a rapidly growing population. More than half of the people live in the central core, while vast areas of the arid north and the tropical south are sparsely settled. The long-held stereotype of Mexico as a country where life is slow-paced and the population consists mostly of subsistence farmers has little truth. Petroleum and tourism have come to dominate the economy, and industrialization is increasing in many parts of the country. Internal migration has caused urban centres to grow dramatically, and more than two-thirds of Mexicans now live in cities; in population, Mexico City, the capital, is the largest city in the world (though the Mexico City metropolitan area ranks third in population when compared to other metropolitan areas). Despite impressive social and economic gains made during the 1960s and '70s, most Mexicans remain poor. Beginning in the 1980s the country was wracked by severe inflation and an enormous foreign debt. These growing pains of modernization are in sharp counterpoint to the traditional life-styles that prevail in the more isolated rural areas. Small communal villages remain, where Indian peasants live much as did their ancestors. The cultural remnants of great Indian civilizations, such as those at Chichn Itz or Tulum, provide a contrast to colonial towns like Taxco or Quertaro. In turn, these towns appear as historical relics when compared to the modern metropolis of Mexico City. It is this tremendous cultural and economic diversity, distributed over an enormously complex and varied physical environment, that gives Mexico its character. Additional reading General works Comprehensive works discussing political, economic, cultural, and social characteristics of the country include James D. Rudolph (ed.), Mexico, a Country Study, 3rd ed. (1985); Robert C. West and John P. Augelli, Middle America, Its Lands and Peoples, 2nd ed. (1976); and Alan Riding, Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans (1985). Guidebooks include Yvette Camp and Andr Camp, Mexico, 2nd rev. ed. (1986; originally published in French, 1973); and Andrew E. Beresky (ed.), Fodor's Mexico 1988 (1987). Diccionario Porra de historia, biografa y geografa de Mxico, 5th rev. ed., 3 vol. (1986), is an encyclopaedic reference source. Geography Information on the geography of the country is provided in Jorge L. Tamayo, Geografa moderna de Mxico, 9th rev. ed. (1980). Natural resources and physical geography are examined in Angel Bassols Batalla, Recursos naturales de Mxico, teora, conocimiento y uso, 16th ed. (1984); Preston E. James and C.W. Minkel, Latin America, 5th ed. (1986); Donald D. Brand, Mexico, Land of Sunshine and Shadow (1966); and Hans G. Gierloff-Emden, Mexico: eine Landeskunde (1970). Ian Scott, Urban and Spatial Development in Mexico (1982), focuses on policies pursued in the traditional regions. People For demographic information, see Francisco Alba, The Population of Mexico: Trends, Issues, and Policies (1982; originally published in Spanish, 1976); Colegio de Mxico, Centro de Estudios Econmicos y Demogrficos, Dinmica de la poblacon de Mxico, 2nd ed. (1981); and Wouter van Ginneken, Socio-Economic Groups and Income Distribution in Mexico (1980). Social conditions are examined in Ramn E. Ruiz, Mexico: The Challenge of Poverty and Illiteracy (1963); Susan Eckstein, The Poverty of Revolution: The State and the Urban Poor in Mexico (1977); and Wayne A. Cornelius, Politics and the Migrant Poor in Mexico City (1975). Education and the intelligentsia are discussed in Mary Kay Vaughan, The State, Education, and Social Class in Mexico, 18801928 (1982); Charles N. Myers, Education and National Development in Mexico (1965); Daniel C. Levy, University and Government in Mexico: Autonomy in an Authoritarian System (1980); and Roderic A. Camp, Intellectuals and the State in Twentieth-Century Mexico (1985). Economy The history of the economy is discussed in D.A. Brading, Miners and Merchants in Bourbon Mexico, 17631810 (1971); Robert A. Potash, Mexican Government and Industrial Development in the Early Republic, rev. ed. (1983); Nora Hamilton, The Limits of State Autonomy: Post-Revolutionary Mexico (1982); Morris Singer, Growth, Equality, and the Mexican Experience (1969); and Clark W. Reynolds, The Mexican Economy: Twentieth-Century Structure and Growth (1970). Claudio Stern, Las regiones de Mxico y sus niveles de desarrollo socioeconmico (1973), studies regional disparities in economic conditions. Economic relations in the 1970s and '80s are analyzed in Robert E. Looney, Mexico's Economy: A Policy Analysis with Forecasts to 1990 (1978); John K. Thompson, Inflation, Financial Markets, and Economic Development: The Experience of Mexico (1979); Jorge I. Domnguez (ed.), Mexico's Political Economy (1982); Carlos Tello, La poltica econmica en Mxico. 19701976, 5th ed. (1982); and Donald L. Wyman (ed.), Mexico's Economic Crisis (1983).The problems of the state versus private economy are explored in Raymond Vernon, The Dilemma of Mexico's Development: The Roles of the Private and Public Sectors (1963); Roger D. Hansen, The Politics of Mexican Development (1971); and Sylvia Maxfield and Ricardo Anzalda Montoya, Government and Private Sector in Contemporary Mexico (1987). Mexico's petroleum industry is examined in Edward J. Williams, The Rebirth of the Mexican Petroleum Industry (1979); George W. Grayson, The Politics of Mexican Oil (1980); and Judith Gentleman, Mexican Oil and Dependent Development (1984). Other industries are surveyed in William E. Cole, Steel and Economic Growth in Mexico (1967); Manuel A. Machado, Jr., The North Mexican Cattle Industry, 19101975 (1981); and Douglas C. Bennett and Kenneth E. Sharpe, Transnational Corporations Versus the State: The Political Economy of the Mexican Auto Industry (1985).The social and economic impact of relations with the United States is studied in Mark T. Gilderhus, Diplomacy and Revolution: U.S.-Mexican Relations Under Wilson and Carranza (1977); Binational American Assembly on Mexican-American Relations, Mexico and the United States (1981); George W. Grayson, The United States and Mexico: Patterns of Influence (1984); Lawrence A. Cardoso, Mexican Emigration to the United States, 18971931: Socioeconomic Patterns (1980); Wayne A. Cornelius and Ricardo Anzalda Montoya (eds.), America's New Immigration Law: Origins, Rationales, and Potential Consequences (1983); Carlos Vsquez and Manuel Garca y Griego (eds.), Mexican-U.S. Relations: Conflict and Convergence (1983); Jerry R. Ladman, Deborah J. Baldwin, and Elihu Bergman (eds.), U.S.-Mexican Energy Relationships: Realities and Prospects (1981); Peggy B. Musgrave (ed.), Mexico and the United States: Studies in Economic Interaction (1985); and Cassio Luiselli Fernandez, The Route to Food Self-Sufficiency in Mexico: Interactions with the U.S. Food System (1985).Agrarian developments and rural conditions are the subject of Paul Friedrich, Agrarian Revolt in a Mexican Village (1970; reprinted 1977 with an updated bibliography); Merilee Serrill Grindle, Bureaucrats, Politicians, and Peasants in Mexico (1977); Manuel L. Carlos, Politics and Development in Rural Mexico: A Study of Socioeconomic Modernization (1974); George A. Collier, Fields of the Tzotzil: The Ecological Bases of Tradition in Highland Chiapas (1975); Steven E. Sanderson, Agrarian Populism and the Mexican State: The Struggle for Land in Sonora (1981); Billie R. Dewalt, Modernization in a Mexican Ejido: A Study in Economic Adaptation (1979); and P. Lamartine Yates, Mexico's Agricultural Dilemma (1981; originally published in Spanish, 1978). Government A broad survey of administrative and political conditions is provided in Pablo Gonzlez Casanova, Democracy in Mexico (1970; originally published in Spanish, 1965; 16th Spanish ed., 1985); Kenneth F. Johnson, Mexican Democracy: A Critical View, 3rd ed. (1984); L. Vincent Padgett, The Mexican Political System, 2nd ed. (1976); Jos Luis Reyna and Richard S. Weinert, Authoritarianism in Mexico (1977); Judith Adler Hellman, Mexico in Crisis, 2nd ed. (1983); Martin C. Needler, Mexican Politics: The Containment of Conflict (1982); Daniel C. Levy and Gabriel Szkely, Mexico: Paradoxes of Stability and Change, 2nd rev. ed. (1987); and Judith Gentleman (ed.), Mexican Politics in Transition (1987). Modern political leadership is analyzed in Roderic A. Camp, Mexico's Leaders, Their Education & Recruitment (1980), and Mexican Political Biographies, 19351981, 2nd rev. ed. (1982). The development of the Mexican army is studied in Jorge Alberto Lozoya, El ejrcito mexicano, 3rd ed. (1984); and David Ronfeldt (ed.), The Modern Mexican Military, a Reassessment (1984). Art and culture For the role of Mexican thought in Spanish-American culture, see Leopoldo Zea, Amrica en la historia (1957; reissued 1970), and Amrica como conciencia, 2nd ed. (1972); and Solomon Lipp, Leopoldo Zea: From Mexicanidad to a Philosophy of History (1980). Anthony John Campos (ed. and trans.), Mexican Folk Tales (1977), provides insight into the folk tradition. See also Carlos Espejel, Mexican Folk Ceramics, trans. from Spanish (1975), and Mexican Folk Crafts (1978; originally published in Spanish, 1977); and Jos Moreno Villa, Lo Mexicano en las artes plsticas (1948, reissued 1986). A comprehensive survey of the visual arts is provided in Justino Fernndez, A Guide to Mexican Art: From Its Beginning to the Present (1969; originally published in Spanish, 2nd ed., 1961). For more detailed accounts, see Shifra M. Goldman, Contemporary Mexican Painting in a Time of Change (1981). Walter M. Langford, The Mexican Novel Comes of Age (1971), reviews fiction. For other sources on literature, see David William Foster, Mexican Literature: A Bibliography of Secondary Sources (1981). Rodolfo Usigli, Mexico in the Theater (1976; originally published in Spanish, 1932), covers pre-Columbian times to the 1920s. See also Carl J. Mora, Mexican Cinema: Reflections of a Society, 18961980 (1982). Ernst C. Griffin Angel Palerm Henry Bamford Parkes John J. Johnson Howard F. Cline Michael C. Meyer Administration and social conditions Government Mexico is a federal republic composed of 31 states and the Federal District. Governmental powers are divided between executive, legislative, and judicial branches, but in practice the president has strong control. The Constitution of 1917 guarantees personal freedoms and civil liberties and also establishes economic and political principles for the country. Suffrage is universal for those over 18 years of age, and voting is mandatory. The legislative branch has a Senate of 64 members, two from each state and the Federal District, as well as a Chamber of Deputies with one representative for each 250,000 people. Senators serve six-year terms and deputies three-year terms; members of the legislature cannot be reelected for the immediately succeeding term. Three-fourths of the deputies are elected directly by popular vote while the remainder are selected in proportion to the votes received by each political party. The legislature ratifies elections and thus has been able to declare candidates elected, regardless of vote totals. Although it has the right to verify presidential elections, pass the budget, and initiate tax bills, the legislature seldom does so and thus has lost much of its power and prestige. The president is popularly elected and can serve only one six-year term. He is empowered to select a Cabinet as well as the governor of the Federal District, the attorney general, diplomats, high-ranking military officers, and supreme court justices, who serve life terms. As the leader of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional; PRI), the president selects the candidate to succeed him. Because the PRI is the dominant political party and has never lost a major election, the president in effect chooses his successor. It is also common for him to approve legislative and state gubernatorial candidates. The president also has the right to issue reglamentos, or basic rules that have the effect of law. In practice, because the PRI is firmly entrenched, Mexico is a one-party democracy. The main opposition party is the National Action Party (Partido Accin Nacional; PAN), but others, such as the Socialist Peoples and Communist parties, represent small minorities. At the state and local levels, governors, unicameral legislatures, and mayors are elected by popular vote. Governors serve for six years, deputies for three. States can levy taxes and have all powers not delegated to the federal government, but in fact they have relatively little revenue-generating potential or political power. The courts are responsible for the administration of justice. The Supreme Court of Justice is the highest tribunal, and there are state superior courts as well as civil and criminal courts. The constitution protects the rights of the accused and guarantees a free trial with due process. The military has long been an apolitical force in the country, but its high-ranking officers are appointed by the president and serve at his pleasure. Conscripts serve a year's compulsory service. The military's primary role is maintenance of internal order, and for this reason about three-fourths of military personnel are in the army. Education Mexico has made great efforts to improve educational opportunities for its people. It is the goal of the federal government to eradicate illiteracy and to assure at least a primary education for all citizens. Attendance is required for those age six to 14. In addition to increasing the number of schools for children, adult literacy programs have been promoted vigorously since the 1970s. By the mid-1980s Mexico's literacy rate was estimated to be approximately 85 percent, up nearly 15 percent since 1970. Public schools in Mexico are funded by the federal government. Although nearly three-fourths of all primary public schools are located in rural areas, such schools are the least well-developed in the nation and often do not cover the primary cycle. Many internal migrants move to cities because of the availability of better schools for their children and the social opportunities that derive from an education. In rural areas, as well as many low-income urban areas, teachers need only a secondary education to be certified to teach. Despite increases in the numbers of schoolrooms, teachers, and educational supplies, nearly 15 percent of all school-age children do not attend school. Secondary schools are virtually nonexistent in rural areas, and universities are found only in the largest cities. As with primary education, private secondary schools are considered vastly superior to public ones, and families who can afford it send their children to private schools. This helps to maintain the socioeconomic imbalance in educational levels that greatly favours the middle and upper classes. Of the more than 50 universities in the country, one-fifth are located in Mexico City, and a high percentage of all university students study there. The National Autonomous University of Mexico, the College of Mexico, and the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education are among the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the country. A college degree is a passport to social mobility in Mexico.
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