Valencia

The Hemispheric at the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències by Santiago Calatrava, Valencia, Spain.

Valencia (Castilian Spanish: Valencia /va'lenθia/; Valencian Catalan: València /va'łεnsia/) is a medium-sized port city (the third largest city in Spain) and industrial area on the Costa del Azahar in Spain. It is the capital of the Land of Valencia and of province of Valencia. Population of the city of Valencia proper was 796,549 as of 2005 estimates. Population of the urban area was 1,012,000 as of 2000 estimates. Population of the metropolitan area (urban area plus satellite towns) was 1,623,724 as of 2005 estimates. As of 2005, the mayor of Valencia is Rita Barberá Nolla.

Valencia has a Mediterranean climate, with warm dry summers and mild winters.

Architecture

The ancient winding streets of the Barrio del Carmen contain buildings dating to Roman and Arabic times. The Cathedral, built between the 13th and 15th century, is primarily of gothic style but contains elements of baroque and Romanesque architecture. Beside the Cathedral is the gothic Basilica of the Virgin (Basílica De La Virgen De Los Desamparados). The 15th century Serrano and Quart towers are part of what was once the wall surrounding the city.

UNESCO has declared the gothic silk exchange (La Lonja de la Seda) as a world heritage sight. The modernist Central Market (Mercado Central) is one of the largest in Europe. The main railway station (Estación Del Norte) is built in art deco style.

World-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava produced the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències), which contains a science museum, IMAX cinema, and oceanographic park. Calatrava is also responsible for the bridge named after him in the center of the city. The Music Palace (Palau De La Música) is another good example of modern architecture in Valencia.

Museums

Museums in Valencia include:

  • Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (arts and science)
  • Instituto Valenciano De Arte Moderno (IVAM, modern art)
  • Museo De Bellas Artes (fine art)
  • Museo Fallero & Museo Del Artista Fallero (Les Falles)
  • Museo Taurino (bullfighting)
  • Museo Del Arroz (rice)
  • Museo Valenciano de la ilustración y la Modernidad (MUVIM, various exhibits)
  • Almudín (various exhibits, mainly art and archaeology)

Squares and gardens

The largest square is the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, which contains the town hall (ayuntamiento), a cinema which shows classic movies (Filmoteca), and many restaurants and bars. This is where the noisy fireworks of the mascleta can be heard every afternoon during the Fallas.

The Plaza de la Virgen contains the Basilica of the Virgin and the Turia fountain, and is a popular spot for locals and tourists. Around the corner is the Plaza de la Reina, with the Cathedral, orange trees, and many bars and restaurants.

The Turia river was diverted in the 1950s, and the old river bed is now the Turia gardens, which contain a children’s playground, a fountain, and sports fields. The Palau De La Música is adjacent to the Turia gardens and the City of Arts and Sciences lies at one end.

Other gardens in Valencia include the Real, Monforte, and Botanic gardens.

Education

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Economy

Valencia has enjoyed strong economic growth over the last decade, much of it spurred by tourism and construction.

Valencia’s port is one of the busiest on the Mediterranean coast and handles 20% of Spain’s exports. The main exports are food and drink (the Valencian region is famous for its oranges), furniture, ceramic tiles, fans, textiles and iron products. Valencia’s manufacturing sector focuses on metallurgy, chemicals, textiles, shipbuilding and brewing. Unemployment is lower than the Spanish average. Small and medium sized industries are an important part of the local economy. (See Travel and Tourism in Valencia.)

The city of Valencia and the surrounding area are expected to attract millions of visitors from around the world given that the city of Valencia has been chosen to host the 32nd America's Cup. The first America's Cup competitions took place in June and July 2005 and were key attractions during the summer of 2005. According to official data from the organizing committee, as many as 150,000 visitors flocked to Valencia's port each day during the two-week events.

Criticisms of the Valencian model of economic growth:

  • Focusing on tourism and construction has led to a great deal of building on rural land. The Valencia government's implementation of the LRAU [law regulating urban activity] has been controversial since it involves the expropriation of the homes of both Spanish nationals and foreign residents without compensation. Critics argue that this legislation (which was theoretically designed to protect rural land) is being misused for large urban and industrial developments. The European Union's Committee of Petitions reported on the issue in 2004, finding that the Valencian government was breaching basic European rights.
  • Valencian citizens in the Cabanyal, Malvarosa, and Canyamelar districts claim that the America's Cup is being used as a pretext to fuel property speculation and to demolish historical buildings saved in the past by demonstrations and court rulings. However, the Supreme Court has deemed the action of the local government as legal.

Demography

Culture

It is famous for the Las Fallas festival in March, for paella valenciana and the new City of Arts and Sciences. La Tomatina, an annual tomato fight, draws crowds to the nearby town of Buñol in August. Valencia has a metro system [1], run by FGV. Valencia has a successful football club, Valencia C.F., who won the Spanish league in 2004.

The two official languages spoken in the city are Spanish and Valencian. Due to political and demographic pressure in the past, the predominant language is Spanish, as opposed to areas surrounding the metropolitan area in the province of Valencia. The local government makes sure it emphasizes the use of the local language. For instance, all signs and announcements in the Metro are in Valencian, with Spanish translations underneath in smaller type. In relation to street naming policy, new street signs when erected are always given the Valencian name for street (Carrer) however the older street names bearing the Spanish names are only replaced when necessary. This results in a situation where in longer streets both languages can often be seen on street signs.

Valencia is famous for its vibrant nightlife. In the 1980s and 1990s clubbers would follow the “ruta de bacalao” from Madrid to Valencia. Today, bars and nightclubs are concentrated in the Carmen and university areas. As is normal for Spain, nightlife does not take off until after midnight.


History

Pavement of a Valencia street, with arbour. Many ordinary places in the city are designed with attention to detail, and a sense of aesthetics.

The city was founded by the Romans in 137 BC on the site of a former Iberian town, by the river Turia. It was originally named Valentia, but centuries of changing pronunciations have since altered the name to its modern form.

The city has been occupied by the Visigoths, Moors and the Aragonese. In 1094, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (El Cid) conquered Valencia (this victory was immortalised in the Lay of the Cid), but the city returned to the Almoravids in 1102. The king James I of Aragon reconquered the city in 1238 and incorporated it to the new formed Kingdom of Valencia, one of the kingdoms forming the Crown of Aragon.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, Valencia was one of the major cities in the Mediterranean. The writer Joanot Martorell, author of Tirant lo Blanch, and the poet Ausias March are famous Valencians of that era.

The first printing press in the Iberian Peninsula was located in Valencia. The first printed Bible in a Romance language, Valencian, was printed in Valencia circa 1478, attributed to Bonifaci Ferrer.

Valencian bankers loaned funds to Queen Isabella for Columbus' trip in 1492.

A narrow street of the Old Medieval City.

War of the Germanies 1519–1522.

Expulsion of Moriscos in 1609.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, Valencia sided with Charles of Austria. After the victory of the Bourbons at the Battle of Almansa (April 25, 1707), the city lost its privileges or furs.

After the fall of Madrid in the Spanish Civil War, the capital of the Republic was moved to Valencia. The city suffered from the blockade and siege by Franco's forces. The postwar period was hard for Valencians. During the Franco years, speaking or teaching Valencian was discouraged (nowadays it is compulsory for every child studying in Valencia, even if their parents don't want it). In 1957 the city suffered a several flood by the Turia River, with 2 meters in some steets. One consequence of this was that a decision was made to drain and reroute the river and it now passes around the Western and southern suburbs of the city. A plan to turn the drained area into a motorway was dropped in favour of a picturesque 7 km park which bisects the city.

Valencia was granted Autonomous Statutes in 1982.

Valencia was selected in 2003 to be the first city in continental Europe ever to host the historic America's Cup regatta, to take place in 2007.

The name

The original Latin name of the city was Valentia /wa'lentia/, meaning "Strength", "Vigour". (And during the Moorish occupation it was known as Balansiya.) By regular sound changes this has become Valencia /ba'lenθja/ in Spanish and València in Valencian. The latter name is pronounced /bə'łεnsjə/ in Central Catalan. One possible pronunciation in Valencian (South-west Catalan) is /va'lensja/. (See International Phonetic Alphabet for the symbols used to represent pronunciation.)

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(See International Phonetic Alphabet for the symbols used to represent pronunciation.). Dictionary definitions from Wiktionary
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News stories from Wikinews. One possible pronunciation in Valencian (South-west Catalan) is /va'lensja/. In the Nahuatl language, from which the name originally derived, the name for Mexico is Mēxihco (International Phonetic Alphabet /meː.ɕiʔ.ko/). The latter name is pronounced /bə'łεnsjə/ in Central Catalan. Méjico on the other hand could easily be mispronounced as well, because the letter j stands for /ʒ/, /dʒ/ or /j/ in other languages. (And during the Moorish occupation it was known as Balansiya.) By regular sound changes this has become Valencia /ba'lenθja/ in Spanish and València in Valencian. On the other hand, some Peninsular scholars (such as Ramón Menéndez Pidal) prefer to apply the general spelling rule, arguing that the spelling with an x could encourage non-Mexicans to mispronounce México as /'meksiko/ (as is generally the case in the English-speaking world).

The original Latin name of the city was Valentia /wa'lentia/, meaning "Strength", "Vigour". The mere act of using the j spelling is interpreted by some as a form of colonial aggression. Valencia was selected in 2003 to be the first city in continental Europe ever to host the historic America's Cup regatta, to take place in 2007. A cultural side-effect of the fact that Mexicans use México /'mexiko/ and Spaniards sometimes use Méjico is the occasional boiling-over of negative sentiment towards the old colonial oppressor. Valencia was granted Autonomous Statutes in 1982. Also, in the placenames "Oaxaca" and "Xalapa", the x is pronounced as /x/; in "Xochimilco", however, it sounds as a /ʃ/. A plan to turn the drained area into a motorway was dropped in favour of a picturesque 7 km park which bisects the city. Today, even outside of the country, México is preferred over Méjico by ratios ranging from 10-to-1 (in Spain) to about 280-to-1 (in Costa Rica).

One consequence of this was that a decision was made to drain and reroute the river and it now passes around the Western and southern suburbs of the city. The Real Academia Española states that both spellings are correct, and most dictionaries and guides recommend México first, and present Méjico as a variant. In 1957 the city suffered a several flood by the Turia River, with 2 meters in some steets. Mexicans have tended to demand that other Spanish-speakers use this spelling, rather than following the general rule, and the demand has largely been respected. During the Franco years, speaking or teaching Valencian was discouraged (nowadays it is compulsory for every child studying in Valencia, even if their parents don't want it). It is regarded as more authentic and less jarring to the reader's eye. The postwar period was hard for Valencians. In Mexico, it has become almost a matter of national pride to maintain the otherwise archaic x spelling in the name of the country.

The city suffered from the blockade and siege by Franco's forces. Thus, although xabón is now incorrect and archaic, alongside many millions of people called "Jiménez", there also are plenty called "Giménez" or "Ximénez" — a matter of personal choice and tradition. After the fall of Madrid in the Spanish Civil War, the capital of the Republic was moved to Valencia. Proper nouns and their derivatives are optionally allowed to break this rule. After the victory of the Bourbons at the Battle of Almansa (April 25, 1707), the city lost its privileges or furs. The old pronunciation is maintained in French "Quichotte", and the English word "quixotic" maintains the spelling while pronouncing it with its English value.). During the War of the Spanish Succession, Valencia sided with Charles of Austria. (Another example is the old spelling of Don Quixote which is now Don Quijote.

Expulsion of Moriscos in 1609. So, modern Spanish has ejercicio, ejército, jabón, perplejo, etc. War of the Germanies 1519–1522. It was j/g that was chosen. Valencian bankers loaned funds to Queen Isabella for Columbus' trip in 1492. The coalescence of the two phonemes into a single new one encouraged scholars to use the same letter for the sound, regardless of its origin (Spanish scholars have always tried to keep the orthography of their language faithful to the spoken tongue). The first printed Bible in a Romance language, Valencian, was printed in Valencia circa 1478, attributed to Bonifaci Ferrer. The /ʒ/ sound also started to be pronounced this way.

The first printing press in the Iberian Peninsula was located in Valencia. Words like Ximénez, exercicio, xabón and perplexo started to be pronounced with a /x/ (this phonetic symbol represents the sound in the word "loch"). The writer Joanot Martorell, author of Tirant lo Blanch, and the poet Ausias March are famous Valencians of that era. Over the centuries, the pronunciation of Spanish changed. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Valencia was one of the major cities in the Mediterranean. These old pronunciations of j and x are still found in Portuguese and Ladino. The king James I of Aragon reconquered the city in 1238 and incorporated it to the new formed Kingdom of Valencia, one of the kingdoms forming the Crown of Aragon. Meanwhile, the letter j (or, rather, the letter i when used as a consonant, since j had not been invented yet) was used for the /ʒ/ sound (as in "vision"), as was g before e or i.

In 1094, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (El Cid) conquered Valencia (this victory was immortalised in the Lay of the Cid), but the city returned to the Almoravids in 1102. Ximénez); consequently, the letter x was used to write down words like Mexitli. The city has been occupied by the Visigoths, Moors and the Aragonese. The Nahuatl language had a /ʃ/ sound (like English "shop"), and this sound was written x in Spanish (e.g. It was originally named Valentia, but centuries of changing pronunciations have since altered the name to its modern form. When the Spaniards encountered this people and transcribed their language, they naturally did so according to the spelling rules of the Castilian language of the time. The city was founded by the Romans in 137 BC on the site of a former Iberian town, by the river Turia. So, Mexico is the home of the people of Mexitli (the Mexicas), co meaning "place" and ca meaning "people".


. The Mexi part of the name is from Mexitli, the war god, whose name was derived from metztli (the moon) and xictli (navel) and thus meant "navel (probably implying 'child') of the moon". As is normal for Spain, nightlife does not take off until after midnight. Mexico is named after its capital city, whose name comes from the Aztec city Mexico-Tenochtitlan that preceded it. Today, bars and nightclubs are concentrated in the Carmen and university areas. The Mexican distance learning secondary education is also transmitted to some Central American countries and to Colombia, and it is used in some southern regions of the United States as a method of bilingual education. In the 1980s and 1990s clubbers would follow the “ruta de bacalao” from Madrid to Valencia. Schools that use this system are known as telesecundarias in Mexico.

Valencia is famous for its vibrant nightlife. In 2005 this system included 30,000 connected schools, 3 million students and 300,000 teachers, who use televised lectures and education science programs, pre-recorded and transmitted through "EduSat", via satellite. This results in a situation where in longer streets both languages can often be seen on street signs. In the 1970's, Mexico became the first country to establish a system of "distance-learning" satellite secondary education, aimed for the little towns and rural communities. In relation to street naming policy, new street signs when erected are always given the Valencian name for street (Carrer) however the older street names bearing the Spanish names are only replaced when necessary. Even though different bilingual education programs have existed since the 1960s for the indigenous communities, after a constitution reform in the late 1990s, these programs have had a new thrust, and free text books are produced in more than a dozen indigenous languages. For instance, all signs and announcements in the Metro are in Valencian, with Spanish translations underneath in smaller type. Primary and secondary education (9 years) is free and mandatory.

The local government makes sure it emphasizes the use of the local language. In 2004, the literacy rate was at 92%, and the youth literacy rate (ages 15-24) was 96%. Due to political and demographic pressure in the past, the predominant language is Spanish, as opposed to areas surrounding the metropolitan area in the province of Valencia. Mexico has made impressive improvements in education in the last two decades. The two official languages spoken in the city are Spanish and Valencian. Scandinavian languages and traditions can also be heard in Chihuahua, like Swedish and Norwegian in Nueva Escandinavia and other Scandinavian colonies in the north of the country. Valencia has a successful football club, Valencia C.F., who won the Spanish league in 2004. Another important French village in Mexico is Santa Rosalía in Baja California Sur, where French language and culture/architecture are still found.

Valencia has a metro system [1], run by FGV. Another important French group were the "Barcelonettes" from the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence département, whom interestingly the whole town and surrounding towns immigrated specifically to Mexico to find jobs and work in merchendising, they are very notorious in Mexico City, Puebla, and Veracruz. La Tomatina, an annual tomato fight, draws crowds to the nearby town of Buñol in August. These French immigrants came from Haute-Saône département in France, especially from Champittle and Borgonge. It is famous for the Las Fallas festival in March, for paella valenciana and the new City of Arts and Sciences. French is also heard in Veracruz, Jicaltepec, San Rafael and Mentideros, where the architecture and food is also very French. Criticisms of the Valencian model of economic growth:. Other strong German communities lie in Sinaloa (Mazatlan), Nuevo Leon, Chiapas (Tapachula) and other parts of Puebla (Nueva Necaxa) where the german culture and language have been preserved to different extents.

According to official data from the organizing committee, as many as 150,000 visitors flocked to Valencia's port each day during the two-week events. Other German communities lie in Puebla, Mexico City, Sinaloa and Chiapas, with the largest German school outside of Germany being in Mexico City (Alexander von Humboldt school), these represent the large German populations where they still try to preserve the German culture and language. The first America's Cup competitions took place in June and July 2005 and were key attractions during the summer of 2005. A similar case is that of the Plautdietsch language, spoken by the descendants of German and Dutch Mennonite immigrants in the states of Chihuahua and Durango. The city of Valencia and the surrounding area are expected to attract millions of visitors from around the world given that the city of Valencia has been chosen to host the 32nd America's Cup. In Huatusco and Colonia Gonzalez, Veracruz, Veneto is still heard too. (See Travel and Tourism in Valencia.). Nowadays, most of the people who live in the city of Chipilo (and many of those who have migrated to other cities) still speak the unaltered Veneto dialect spoken by their great-grandparents making the Veneto dialect an unrecognized minority language in the city of Puebla.

Small and medium sized industries are an important part of the local economy. While other European immigrants assimilated into the Mexican culture, the people of Chipilo retained their language. Unemployment is lower than the Spanish average. The immigrants that founded the city of Chipilo in 1882 came from the Veneto region in northern Italy, and thus spoke a northern variant of the Venetian dialect. Valencia’s manufacturing sector focuses on metallurgy, chemicals, textiles, shipbuilding and brewing. With respect to other European languages brought by immigrants, the case of Chipilo, in the state of Puebla, is unique, and has been documented by several linguists like Carolyn McKay. The main exports are food and drink (the Valencian region is famous for its oranges), furniture, ceramic tiles, fans, textiles and iron products. There are also Mennonite colonies in Chihuahua where education is delivered in English.

Valencia’s port is one of the busiest on the Mediterranean coast and handles 20% of Spain’s exports. expatriate communities such as those along the coast of Baja California and the town of San Miguel de Allende. Valencia has enjoyed strong economic growth over the last decade, much of it spurred by tourism and construction. English is the main language spoken in U.S. Other gardens in Valencia include the Real, Monforte, and Botanic gardens. Also, the majority of private schools in Mexico offer what they like to describe as "bilingual" education, both in Spanish and English. The Palau De La Música is adjacent to the Turia gardens and the City of Arts and Sciences lies at one end. border, in big cities, and in beach resorts.

The Turia river was diverted in the 1950s, and the old river bed is now the Turia gardens, which contain a children’s playground, a fountain, and sports fields. It is also spoken along the U.S. Around the corner is the Plaza de la Reina, with the Cathedral, orange trees, and many bars and restaurants. As a result, English language skills are much in demand and can lead to an increase in the salary offered by a company. The Plaza de la Virgen contains the Basilica of the Virgin and the Turia fountain, and is a popular spot for locals and tourists. Although Spanish is the official language of Mexico, English is widely used in business. This is where the noisy fireworks of the mascleta can be heard every afternoon during the Fallas. The Mexican government has promoted and established bilingual education programs in indigenous rural communities.

The largest square is the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, which contains the town hall (ayuntamiento), a cinema which shows classic movies (Filmoteca), and many restaurants and bars. Of these Nahuatl, and Maya are each spoken by 1.5 million, while others, such as Lacandon, are spoken by fewer than 100. Museums in Valencia include:. The government officially recognizes 62 Amerindian languages. The Music Palace (Palau De La Música) is another good example of modern architecture in Valencia. About 7% of the population speak an Amerindian language. Calatrava is also responsible for the bridge named after him in the center of the city. Spanish is the official language of Mexico and is spoken by the majority of the population.

World-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava produced the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències), which contains a science museum, IMAX cinema, and oceanographic park. Main article: Languages of Mexico. The main railway station (Estación Del Norte) is built in art deco style. Islam is mainly practiced by members of the Arab, Turkish, and other expatriate communities, though there is a very small number of the indigenous population in Chiapas state that practice Islam. The modernist Central Market (Mercado Central) is one of the largest in Europe. Judaism has been practiced in Mexico for centuries, and there are estimated to be more than 45,000 Jews in Mexico today[2]. UNESCO has declared the gothic silk exchange (La Lonja de la Seda) as a world heritage sight. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) has a growing presence in the major border cities of northeastern Mexico, and over 205,000 members nationwide[1].

The 15th century Serrano and Quart towers are part of what was once the wall surrounding the city. [3]. Beside the Cathedral is the gothic Basilica of the Virgin (Basílica De La Virgen De Los Desamparados). Wolf, the Guadalupe symbol links family, politics, and religion; the colonial past and the independent present; and the Indian and the Mexican. The Cathedral, built between the 13th and 15th century, is primarily of gothic style but contains elements of baroque and Romanesque architecture. According to anthropologist Eric R. The ancient winding streets of the Barrio del Carmen contain buildings dating to Roman and Arabic times. The Virgin of Guadalupe has long been a symbol enshrining the major aspirations of Mexican society.

. Some of the country's Catholics (notably those of indigenous background) syncretize Catholicism with various elements of Aztec or Mayan religions. Valencia has a Mediterranean climate, with warm dry summers and mild winters. Also, 6% of the population adheres to various Protestant faiths (mostly Pentecostal), and the remaining 5% of the population adhering to other religions or professing no religion. As of 2005, the mayor of Valencia is Rita Barberá Nolla. It is the second nation with the largest Catholic population, behind Brazil and before the United States. Population of the metropolitan area (urban area plus satellite towns) was 1,623,724 as of 2005 estimates. Mexico is predominantly Roman Catholic (about 89% of the population).

Population of the urban area was 1,012,000 as of 2000 estimates. The most common reasons for death in 2001 were heart problems (14.6% for men 17.6% for women) and Cancer (11% for men and 15.8% for women). Population of the city of Valencia proper was 796,549 as of 2005 estimates. The mortality rate in 1970 was 9.7/1000 people and by 2001 the rate had dropped to 4.9/1000 for men and 3.8/1000 for women. It is the capital of the Land of Valencia and of province of Valencia. The lowest levels are found in Chiapas (72.9), Oaxaca (73.2) and Guerrero (73.2 years), although the first two have had the highest increase (19.9 and 22.3% respectively). Valencia (Castilian Spanish: Valencia /va'lenθia/; Valencian Catalan: València /va'łεnsia/) is a medium-sized port city (the third largest city in Spain) and industrial area on the Costa del Azahar in Spain. The Federal District has a life expectancy of the same level as Baja California.

However, the Supreme Court has deemed the action of the local government as legal. The states with the highest life expectancy are Baja California (75.9 years) and Nuevo Leon (75.6 years). Valencian citizens in the Cabanyal, Malvarosa, and Canyamelar districts claim that the America's Cup is being used as a pretext to fuel property speculation and to demolish historical buildings saved in the past by demonstrations and court rulings. Life expectancy in Mexico increased from 34.7 for men and 33 years for women in 1930 to 72.1 for men and 77.1 years for women in 2002. The European Union's Committee of Petitions reported on the issue in 2004, finding that the Valencian government was breaching basic European rights. 4.2% of male immigrants and 3.8% of female immigrants did not have formal education while 20.2% of male immigrants and 17.7% of female immigrants had a college degree [INEGI, 2004. Critics argue that this legislation (which was theoretically designed to protect rural land) is being misused for large urban and industrial developments. More than 54.6% of the immigrant population are 15 years old or younger, while 9% are 50 or older.

The Valencia government's implementation of the LRAU [law regulating urban activity] has been controversial since it involves the expropriation of the homes of both Spanish nationals and foreign residents without compensation. The five states with more immigrants are Baja California (12.1% of total immigrants), Federal District (11.4%), Jalisco (9.9%), Chihuahua (9%) and Tamaulipas (7.3%). Focusing on tourism and construction has led to a great deal of building on rural land. The official figures for foreign-born citizens in Mexico are 493,000 (since 2004), with a majority (86.9%) of these born in the United States (with the exception of Chiapas, where the majority of immigrants are from Central America). Almudín (various exhibits, mainly art and archaeology). A clear example of the latter phenomenon is provided by San Miguel de Allende and many towns along the Baja California peninsula and around Guadalajara, Jalisco. Museo Valenciano de la ilustración y la Modernidad (MUVIM, various exhibits). This may be due to the growing economic and business interdependence of the two countries under NAFTA, and also that Mexico is considered an excellent choice for retirees.

Museo Del Arroz (rice). Mexico is the country where the greatest number of U.S citizens live outside the United States. Museo Taurino (bullfighting). The states of Aguascalientes (0.2%), Coahuila (0.2%), Zacatecas (0.2%) and Nuevo León (0.5%) have the lowest proportion of speakers of indigenous languages ([INEGI, 2004]). Museo Fallero & Museo Del Artista Fallero (Les Falles). Judging by the proportion of people speaking indigenous languages, the states with the highest proportion of indigenous people are Yucatán (37.3%), Oaxaca (37.1%), Chiapas (24.6%) and Quintana Roo (23%). Museo De Bellas Artes (fine art). In 2004, the National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Informatic had estimated this figure to be 12,089,094 (~11.4% of Mexico's population) of indigenous people of which, more than one million do not speak Spanish and almost five million are bilingual (INEGI, 2004).

Instituto Valenciano De Arte Moderno (IVAM, modern art). However, the Mexican government does not collect racial information during censuses. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (arts and science). According to the Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas ("The National Council for the Development of Indigenous People") the Amerindian population in Mexico is approximately 12.7 million. In Mexico the biggest foreign colonies are:. There are also a few Lebanese and Arabs.

Mexico has a sizeable population of Asians numbering around 200,000, many of them Chinese and Japanese, the majority of which reside in Mexicali, Baja California. The PRI governments in power for most of the 20th century had a policy of granting asylum to fellow Latin Americans fleeing political persecution in their home countries. Mexico is also home for many other Latin American groups: mostly Argentines, but also Brazilians, Cubans, Nicaraguans, Colombians and Venezuelans. The remaining 1% includes Afro-Mexicans, Asians, Jews, and Middle Easterners.

Some 9% is white (of European descent), the majority being from Spain, though there are also large numbers of people of German, Italian, French, Portuguese, British, Irish, Russian (Molokans), Dutch, Greek, and Scandinavian (particularly in Nueva Escandinavia, Chihuahua) ancestry. According to the CIA World Factbook, about 60% of the population is mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white), another 30% is Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian. Mexico is ethnically and culturally diverse. With an estimated 2005 population of about 106.5 million, Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world.

Main article: Demographics of Mexico
See also: Indigenous peoples of Mexico. The government is seeking to sign an additional agreement with Mercosur. Government authorities expect that by putting more than 90% of trade under free trade agreements with different countries Mexico will lessen its dependence on the United States. However more than 85% of the trade is still done with the United States.

Mexico has opened its markets to free trade like few other countries have done, lowering its trade barriers with more than 40 countries in 12 Free Trade Agreements, including Japan and the European Union. Trade with the United States and Canada has tripled since NAFTA was implemented in 1994. dollar. Positive developments in 2001 included a drop in inflation to 6.5%, a sharp fall in interest rates, and a strong peso that appreciated 5% against the U.S.

Following 6.9% growth in 2000, real GDP fell 0.3% in 2001, with the United States' economic slowdown appearing to be the principal cause. Income distribution is very unequal, with the top 20% of income earners accounting for 55% of income. Mexico still needs to overcome many structural problems as it strives to modernize its economy and raise living standards. Private consumption became the leading driver of growth, accompanied by increased employment and higher wages.

A strong export sector helped to cushion the economy's decline in 1995 and led the recovery in 1996–1999. The administration of President Ernesto Zedillo (1994–2000) continued a policy of privatizing and expanding competition in sea ports, railroads, telecommunications, electricity, natural gas distribution, and airports which was initiated by his predecessors Miguel de la Madrid and Carlos Salinas. The number of state-owned enterprises in Mexico has fallen from more than 1,000 in 1982 to fewer than 200 in 1999. Mexico has a free-market economy with a mixture of modern and outmoded industry and agriculture, increasingly dominated by the private sector.

According to the director for Colombia and Mexico of the World Bank, the population below the poverty level has decreased from 24.2% to 17.6% in the general population and from 42% to 27.9% in rural areas from 2000-2004 [2]. Since the economic crisis of 1994–1995 the country has made an impressive economic recovery. According to the World Bank, Mexico ranks 12th in the world in regard to GDP and has the highest per capita income in its region; and it is firmly established as an upper middle-income country.
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Estimates of the number of dead range from 6,500 to 30,000 (see 1985 Mexico City earthquake). On September 19, 1985, an earthquake measuring approximately 8.0 on the Richter scale struck Michoacán and inflicted severe damage on Mexico City. Mexico's major rivers include the Río Bravo del Norte (Rio Grande) and the Usumacinta on its northern and southern borders, respectively, together with the Grijalva, Balsas, Pánuco, and Yaqui in the interior. The terrain and climate vary from rocky deserts in the north to tropical rain forest in the south.

Mexico is about one-fourth the size of the United States. (See list of mountains in Mexico). The center of Mexico is a great, high plateau, open to the north, with mountain chains on the east and west and with ocean-front lowlands lying outside of them. In the east are the Gulf of Mexico and the Bay of Campeche, which is formed by Mexico's other peninsula, the Yucatán.

Baja California in the west is a 1,250-km peninsula and forms the Gulf of California. Mexico is bordered by the United States to the north, and Belize and Guatemala to the southeast. Its width is varied, from more than 2000 km in the north and less than 220 km at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in the south. Situated in the southwestern part of mainland North America and roughly triangular in shape, Mexico stretches more than 3000 km from northwest to southeast.

Main article: Geography of Mexico. The following is a list of the biggest Metropolitan Areas of Mexico in order of population:. Much of the capital city's metropolitan area overflows the limits of the Federal District. It enjoys more limited local rule than the nation's "free and sovereign states": only since 1997 have its citizens been able to elect a Head of Government, whose powers are still more curtailed than those of a state governor.


The Federal District is a special political division in Mexico, where the national capital, Mexico City, is located. Each state has its own constitution and its citizens elect a governor as well as representatives to their respective state congresses. Mexico is divided into 31 states (estados) and a federal district. The three most important political parties in Mexico are the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the National Action Party (PAN), and the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).

His victory ended the Institutional Revolutionary Party's 71-year hold on the presidency. Fox began his six-year term on December 1, 2000. The PRI did not lose a senate seat until 1988 or a gubernatorial race until 1989.[1] It wasn't until July 2, 2000, that Vicente Fox of the opposition "Alliance for Change" coalition, headed by the National Action Party (PAN), was elected president. After it was founded in 1929, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) monopolized all the political branches.

There is no vice-president in the republic. The president is elected by universal adult suffrage for a six-year term and may not hold office a second time. The president also legislates by executive decree in certain economic and financial fields, using powers delegated from Congress. Congress has played an increasingly important role since 1997, when opposition parties first formed a majority in the legislature.

Historically, the executive is the dominant branch, with power vested in the [[President of Mexico|president who promulgates and executes the laws of the Congress. The 1917 Constitution provides for a federal republic with powers separated into independent executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Mexico’s political model has much in common with that of the United States. On March 23, 2005, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America was signed by the elected leaders of those countries.

On January 1, 1994, Mexico became a full member of the North American Free Trade Agreement, joining the United States of America and Canada in a large and prosperous economic bloc. In 2000, after seventy years, the PRI lost a presidential elections to a candidate of the National Action Party (PAN), Vicente Fox. Through the electoral reforms started by president Carlos Salinas de Gortari and consolidated by president Ernesto Zedillo, by the mid 1990s the PRI had lost its majority in Congress. It was not until the 1980s that the PRI lost the first state governorship, an event that marked the beginning of the party's loss of hegemony.

Accused many times of fraud, the PRI's candidates held almost all public offices until the end of the 20th century. However the management of the economy collapsed several times afterwards. This was in spite of falling foreign confidence in investment, first through the assumption of mineral rights and subsequent nationalisation of the oil industry into Pemex during the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas del Río. During the next four decades, Mexico experienced impressive economic growth, and historians call this period "El Milagro Mexicano", the Mexican Miracle.

The creation of the National Revolutionary Party (which later became the Institutional Revolutionary Party or PRI), in 1929 ended the struggles, uniting all generals and combatants of the revolution. Revolutionary forces defeated the federal army, but were left with internal struggles, leaving the country in conflict for two more decades. His fraudulent victory in the 1910 elections sparked the Mexican Revolution. Growing social inequalities, restricted freedom of the press, and his insistence to be reelected for a fifth term led to massive protests.

His mandate, however, was mostly undemocratic and benefited the middle and upper classes, while the Amerindian indigenous population continued to live in precarious conditions. This period of relative peace and prosperity is known as the "Porfiriato". Foreign investment allowed the development of the oil industry and the construction of a railroad system across the country. After Juárez's death, Mexico experienced economic growth under the liberal and pro-European rule of Porfirio Díaz.

From then on, Juárez remained in office until his death in 1872. In mid-1867, following repeated losses in battle to the Republican Army, Maximilian was captured and murdered by Juárez's soldiers, along with his last loyal generals, in Querétaro. Napoleon III of France, Emperor of France, returned Maximillian as Emperor of Mexico from 1864 to 1867. However, after his death, the city was lost in early 1863, following a renewed French attack which penetrated as far as Mexico City, forcing Juárez to organize an itinerant government.

General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated the French Army (arguably the most powerful in the world at the time) at the city of Puebla on May 5, 1862, celebrated as Cinco de Mayo ever since. The Second Mexican Empire was then overthrown by President Benito Juárez, with diplomatic and logistical support from the United States and the military expertise of General Porfirio Díaz. In the 1860s, the country again suffered a military occupation, this time by France, seeking to establish the Habsburg Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria as Emperor of Mexico, with support from the Roman Catholic clergy and conservative criolloss. Mexico was defeated by the United States, resulting in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo, where the United States purchased the remaining disputed territories for $15 million, from which were formed the modern states of California, Nevada, and Utah, and most of Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado (see Mexican-American War).

This resulted in the Mexican-American War from 1846 to 1848. Mexico declared war on 23 May. Polk requested a declaration of war and the US Congress voted in favor on 13 May 1846. President James K.

Mexican troops then attacked and captured one of the American detachments near the Rio Grande. Mexico saw this as an US intervention on internal affairs by supporting a rebel province. The US government sent troops to Texas in order to secure the territory ignoring the Mexican demands of withdrawal. In 1845, voters in Texas approved to be annexed by the United States, and was passed by Congress and signed into law by President John Tyler.

Texas won its independence in 1836, further reducing the territory of the fledgling republic. The inhabitants of Tejas, calling themselves Texans and led mainly by relatively recently-arrived English-speaking settlers, declared independence from Mexico at Washington-on-the-Brazos, giving birth to the Republic of Texas. While negotiations eventually brought Yucatán to again recognize Mexican sovereignty, Santa Anna's army turned to the northern rebellion. Both areas sought independence from the Mexican government.

As president, in 1834 Santa Anna abrogated the federal constitution, causing insurgencies in the southern state of Yucatán and the northernmost portion of the northern state of Coahuila y Tejas. The first Republic was formed with Guadalupe Victoria as its first president, followed in office by Santa Anna. The Empire soon fell to rogue republican forces led by Antonio López de Santa Anna. It also forbade the importation of slaves, a condition that, like the others, was largely ignored.

Soon after achieving its independence from Spain, the Mexican government, in an effort to populate its sparsely-settled hinterlands, awarded land grants in a remote area of the northernmost state of Coahuila y Tejas to hundreds of immigrant families from the United States, on the condition that the settlers convert to Catholicism and assume Mexican citizenship. After independence, Spanish possessions in Central America which also proclaimed independence were all incorporated into Mexico from 1822 to 1823, with the exception of Chiapas. Then, as the war escalated, the objective change to independece from Spain. The initial intention of the movement then, was to be obtain independence from France, but still being part of Spain.

Actually, Hidalgo declared the independence from France, as José Bonaparte (Napoleon's brother), also known in Mexico as Pepe Botella (Spanish: Bottle Joe, as he had a fame of a heavy drinker), was ruling Spain at that time. On September 16, 1810, independence from Spain was declared by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest in the small town of Dolores, causing a long war that eventually led to the official recognition of independence from Spain in 1821 and the creation of the First Mexican Empire. At the end of the 16th century, New Spain was an underpopulated country with abandoned cities, which would be the main cause of collapse of the Mesoamerican cultures. Of the estimated 15 to 20 million of the original prehispanic population, less than two million survived.

There were three separate epidemics that decimated the population: Smallpox (1520-1521), measles ( 1545-1548) and typhus (1576-1581). Most of the settlers had developed an immunity from childhood, but the indigenous peoples had not. Spanish settlers brought with them smallpox, typhus, and other diseases. Louis) and "Vera Cruz" ("True Cross").

Numerous churches and other buildings were constructed in the Spanish style, and cities were named after various saints and objects of veneration, such as "San Luis Potosí" (after St. During the following centuries, under Spanish rule, a new culture developed that combined the customs and traditions of the indigenous peoples with that of Catholic Spain. In modern México, mestizo has became more a cultural term, since a Native American that abandons his traditional ways is considered a mestizo, also most Afromexicans prefer to be considered mestizo, since they feel more identified with this group. Mestizos, while they no longer have a separate legal status from other groups, comprise approximately 60% of the population.

With independence, the caste system and slavery were abolished. Mestizos and criollos were not allowed in the upper levels of the government, and eventually they joined forces for the independence of México. Those who were wealthy enough also tried to have a Spanish wife, who was sent to give birth in Spain to prevent their children from becoming criollos. The Spanish "peninsulares" tried by all means to keep their status, even if they took native women.

Mestizos and then mulattos were next, followed by the unmixed natives, zambos (amerindian mixed with black), and blacks, respectively. There were even two different kinds of whites, those born in Spain, or "peninsulares", and in a lower level, those born in America, or "criollos". Each different mix had a name and different privileges or prohibitions. A system was created to keep each mix in a different social level: "El sistema de castas" (the caste system).

But even if mixes were allowed, the white population tried to keep their status. As a result of these unions, as well as concubinage, a vast class of people known as "Mestizos" and mulattos came into being. However, they eventually mixed with the population resulting in only a few black communities left to date (see Afro-Mexican). After the native population was decimated by epidemics and forced labor, black slaves were imported, and for a time in certain areas they even outnumbered the white populations (few modern Mexicans are aware of or acknowledge this).

The first Spanish colonists were mainly only males, so they took native women, and although rarely, also black women. Unlike the English-speaking colonists of North America, the majority of the Spanish colonists married the natives, and were even encouraged to do so by Queen Isabella during the earliest days of colonization. Bartolome later repented when he saw the treatment given to the black slaves. Due to some horrifying instances of abuse against the indigenous peoples, Bishop Bartolome de las Casas suggested bringing black slaves to replace them.

Although officially they could not become slaves, the system, known as encomienda, came to signify the oppression and exploitation of natives, although its originators did not set out with such intent. Eventually, the natives were declared minors, and forbidden to read and write, so they would always need a white man in charge of them to be responsible of their indoctrination. The Mesoamerican sex education system was set aside and replaced by church education; even some foods associated with religion, like amaranto, were forbidden. Hundreds of thousands of codices were destroyed, priests and teachers were persecuted, and the temples and statues of the gods were destroyed.

As a result, a second wave of missionaries began a process attempting to completely erase the old beliefs, and thus wiped out many aspects of Mesoamerican culture. While it was an important god, because it was the god of the conquerors,they did not see why they had to abandon their old beliefs. The colonists brought with them the Catholic faith, to which the population seemingly converted rapidly, but soon they found that the natives had adopted "the god of the heavens", as they called it, as just one of their gods. Particularly fierce were the "Chichimeca wars" in the north of Mexico (1576-1606).

After the fall of Tenochtitlan, it would take decades of continuous war to pacify Mesoamerica. The arrival of the Spanish in the early 16th century and their defeat of the Mexica in 1521 marked the beginning of the 300 year-long colonial period of Mexico as New Spain. The small Spanish force was reinforced with thousands of indian allies, who were schooled on European warfare. Tlaxcalteca and other nahuatl nations were forced into such wars, so they joined the Spaniard forces against the Aztec.

In order to acquire captives in time of peace, the Aztec resorted to ritual warfare, or flower war. This penchant for human sacrifice proved to be the undoing of the Aztecs, for when they confronted the Spaniards, who fought to the death, their less effective weapons made resistance difficult. As a result, Aztec warfare was conducted with an aim to only injure the enemy, so that he could later be sacrificed, and weapons were constructed with this in mind. This belief was common throughout nahuatl people.

The Aztecs' religious beliefs were based on a fear that the universe would cease functioning without a constant offering of human sacrifice. There were two types of schools: the telpochcalli, for practical and military studies, and the calmecac, for advanced learning in writing, astronomy, statesmanship, theology, and other areas. The Mexica, one of the Aztec groups, were the first people in the world to practice mandatory education for all people, regardless of gender, rank, or station. For them, highly-civilized arts, sculpture, architecture, engraving, feather-mosiac work, and the invention of the calendar were due to the former inhabitants of Tula, the Toltecs, who reached the height of their civilization in the tenth and eleventh centuries.

Latecomers to Mexico's central plateau, the Mexica, or Aztec, as they were sometimes called in memory of Aztlán, the starting point of their tribes wanderings, never thought of themselves as anything but heirs of the brilliant civilizations that had preceded them. Many made war with them, but almost all found themselves within these four spheres of influence. Other regional power players made economic and political alliances with these four civilizations over the span of 4,000 years. They consolidated power and distributed influence in matters of trade, art, politics, technology, and theology.

These four civilizations extended their reach across Mexico and beyond like no others. While many city-states, kingdoms, and empires competed with one another for power and prestige, Mexico had four major, unifying civilizations: The Olmec, Teotihuacan, Toltec, and the Aztec. In turn, they radiated influence outwards onto neighboring cultures. These cities, among several others, blossomed as centers of commerce, ideas, ceremonies, and theology.

At different points in time, three different Mexican cities were the largest cities in the world: Teotihuacan, Tenochtitlan, and Cholula. In fact, the later Mexican civilizations would all carefully build their cities and ceremonial centers according to specific astronomical events. These very early and ancient count-markings were associated with astronomical events and underscore the influence that astronomical activities had upon Mexican natives, even before they possessed civilization. Archaic inscriptions on rocks and rock walls all over northern Mexico (especially in the state of Nuevo León) demonstrate an early propensity for counting in Mexico.

These indigenous civilizations are credited with many inventions: pyramid-temples, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, writing, highly-accurate calendars, fine arts, intensive agriculture, engineering, an abacus, a complex theology, and the wheel. For more than 3,000 years, Mexico was the site of several Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Aztec, the Olmec, Teotihuacan, the Toltec, Mixtec, Zapotec and the Mayan. and the beginning of intensive farming between 1800 and 1500 BC. Evidence shows the explosion of pottery works by 2300 B.C.

Ancient Mexicans began to selectively breed corn plants around 8,000 B.C. Hunter-Gatherer peoples are thought to have discovered and habitated its territory more than 28,000 years ago. . It is the northernmost and westernmost country in Latin America, and also the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world.

The United Mexican States or Mexico (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos or México; regarding the use of the variant spelling Méjico, see section The name below) is a country located in North America, bordered by the United States to the north, and Belize and Guatemala to the southeast. ISBN 0844227838. "When in Mexico, Do as the Mexicans Do." In depth information about life in Mexico, including culture, history, economy, language and more in 176 comprehensive pages. Kernecker, Herbert.

Beezley, editors, The Oxford History of Mexico, 736 pages, Oxford University Press 2000, ISBN 0195112288 – 20 essays, also covers cultural history. Meyer, William H. Michael C. Maciel, Mexico's Cinema: A Century of Film and Filmmakers, SR Books 1999, ISBN 0842026827 – comprehensive survey.

Joanne Hershfield, David R. Julia Preston and Samuel Dillon, Opening Mexico: The Making of a Democracy, Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2004, hardcover, 608 pages, ISBN 0374226687 – recent history since the Tlatelolco massacre of 1968 told by two journalists. A history of Modern Mexico 1810-1996, 896 pages – Perennial 1998, ISBN 0060929170 - standard work by a renowned Mexican author. Enrique Krauze, Mexico: Biography of Power.

Cockcroft, Mexico's Hope: An Encounter with Politics and History, 320 pages, Monthly Review Press 1999, ISBN 0853459258 – leftist view of Mexican history. James D. Most information summarized from articles in Introduction to Comparative Politics, as part of an AP outline (sorry if some of the sources below have been removed). African.

British, Irish, Dutch and Russian. Arab and Lebanese. Central American and South American. Jewish.

East Asian. American and Canadian. Argentinean. German, Italian and French.

Spanish. Chihuahua, Chihuahua (0.7 million). Cuernavaca, Morelos (0.7 million). Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes (0.7 million).

Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro (0.8 million). Mérida, Yucatán (0.8 million). San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí (0.8 million). Torreón, Coahuila (1.1 million).

Toluca, México (1.2 million). León, Guanajuato (1.2 million). Tijuana, Baja California (1.5 million). Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua (1.8 million).

Puebla, Puebla (2.6 million). Monterrey, Nuevo León (3.6 million). Guadalajara, Jalisco (4.7 million). Mexico City, Distrito Federal (22.0 million).

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