Geography - Mexico

  1. A Land of Mountains
    • *two large ranges are on each coast
    • 1) Sierra Madre Occidental
    • 2) Sierra Madre Oriental
    • *Mexico's largest region, the Central Plateau, is between the ranges
    • *Baja California is on the western side
    • *Yucatan Peninsula is on the eastern side
  2. The Central Plateau
    • *Mexico's most important region
    • *contains about 80% of the population
    • *region is very unstable geologically
    • -four tectonic plates meet under the plateau
    • --this causes frequent earthquakes
    • *climate conditions make this a popular region to live in
    • *higher elevations help keep the climate stable
  3. Coastal Regions
    • 1) Northern Pacific Coast
    • 2) Southern Pacific Coast
    • 3) Sierra Madre del Sur
    • 4) Gulf Coastal Plain
    • 5) Yucatan Peninsula
  4. Northern Pacific Coast
    • *very dry and hot
    • *population is limited by climate and terrain
  5. Southern Pacific Coast
    *very narrow (14 miles wide)
  6. Sierra Madre del Sur
    • *towers above the coast
    • *very popular region for tourism
  7. Gulf Coastal Plain
    • *vital to Mexico's economy
    • *petroleum and natural gas are found here
  8. Yucatan Peninsula
    • *generally flat
    • *many sinkholes develop under the limestone
    • *ancient Mayan ruins attract many visitors
  9. From Empire to Colony
    • *Mayans built large cities in Mexico and Central America between 250 and 900 AD
    • -known for studying the stars and creating a detailed calendar
    • *their civilization suddenly collapsed sometime after 900 AD
    • *Aztecs built a powerful empire
    • *their capital, Tenochtitlan, is on the present site of Mexico City
    • *Spanish conquistadors, led by Hernan Cortes, destroyed the Aztec empire (in 1521)
    • *four social classes settled into New Spain
    • *Indians worked on haciendas
    • -these were large, Spanish-owned states
    • -almost was like slavery
    • *the catholic priest, Miguel Hidalgo, led the Criollos rebellion against the Spanish
    • *Mexico gained its independence in 1821
    • *Mexican revolution began in 1910
    • -this led to the current democratic republic
  10. Mexico Today
    • *official language is Spanish
    • *most people are catholic
    • *the government uses land redistribution to break up haciendas
    • *most of the land became ejidos
    • -farmland owned collectively
    • -most ejido farmers are subsistence farmers (farm for themselves)
    • *commercial farms are called latifundios
    • -cash crops are popular on commercial farm
    • *many landless, jobless peasants became migrant workers
    • *major industries are petroleum and tourism
Card Set
Geography - Mexico
All About Mexico