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|Zoom School Mexico|
Mexico was the home to highly developed civilizations, including the Mayas and the Toltecs (later called the Aztecs), since at least the 10th century. In the early 1500s, Spanish conquistadors (like Hernan Cortes) came to Mexico, brutally toppling the local rulers, claiming the land for Spain, enslaving many Indians, and looting what they could of Mexico's treasures. For over 300 years, Mexico, then called New Spain, was a part of Spain's empire.
On September 16, 1810, the priest Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla started a revolt against Spanish rule. He and his untrained Indian followers fought against the Spanish, but his revolt was unsuccessful and Father Hidalgo was executed. After this setback, Father Jose Maria Morelos led the revolutionaries, but he also failed and was executed. These two men are still symbols of Mexican liberty and patriotism.
After the Mexican-born Spanish and the Catholic Church joined the revolution, Spain was finally defeated in 1821. Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on September 16 of each year, the anniversary of the start of Father Hidalgo's revolt.
Cinco de Mayo is a completely different celebration related to a victory over the French army in 1862.
Do a fill-in-the-blank activity on the Mexican Revolution against Spain.
Zoom School Mexico
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Mexico Map: Information Printout
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