Stamps issued: 1856-PRESENT
A republic in North America, situated between the United States and Central America, bordering on the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Mexico was the center of a number of Indian cultures dating from c. 800 B.C. By the 15th century, the central portion of the country was ruled by the Aztec Empire, which was conquered by the Spanish in 1519-21. Mexico, as the viceroyalty of New Spain, was the center of Spain's North American Empire for 300 years. The Mexican revolution against Spain began in 1810 and finally succeeded in 1821. The Mexican Empire of 1822-23 included Central America, but this area soon became independent. The republican government that succeeded the empire was marked by instability and strife. The weakened condition of the country cost it Texas (1836) and the large northern area that now comprises the southwestern United States (1848). An additional area in the north was sold to the United States in 1853. During 1861-67, Mexico was torn by a civil war between the aristocracy, supported by France, and the lower classes, led by Benito Juarez.