Administrative divisions of Mexico

Last updated

Mexican States and Mexico City
Estados mexicanos y la Ciudad de México (Spanish)
Also known as:
Free and Sovereign State
Estado Libre y Soberano
Political divisions of Mexico-en.svg
Category Federated state
Location United Mexican States
Number31 States
+ Mexico City
Populations(States only) 637,026 (Baja California Sur) – 12,851,821 (México)
Areas(States only) 3,990 km2 (1,541 sq mi) (Tlaxcala) – 247,460 km2 (95,543 sq mi) (Chihuahua)
Government State government/Mexico City Government
SubdivisionsStates and Mexico City: Municipality
Coat of arms of Mexico.svg
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The United Mexican States (Spanish : Estados Unidos Mexicanos) is a federal republic composed of 31 states and the capital, Mexico City, an autonomous entity on par with the states.

Mexico country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian is a Western Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Federation A union of partially self-governing states or territories, united by a central (federal) government that exercizes directly on them its sovereign power

A federation is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government (federalism). In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states, as well as the division of power between them and the central government, is typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of either party, the states or the federal political body. Alternatively, federation is a form of government in which sovereign power is formally divided between a central authority and a number of constituent regions so that each region retains some degree of control over its internal affairs. It is often argued that federal states where the central government has the constitutional authority to suspend a constituent state's government by invoking gross mismanagement or civil unrest, or to adopt national legislation that overrides or infringe on the constituent states' powers by invoking the central government's constitutional authority to ensure "peace and good government" or to implement obligations contracted under an international treaty, are not truly federal states.


According to the Constitution of 1917, the states of the federation are free and sovereign in all matter concerning their internal affairs. [1] Each state has its own congress and constitution.

Federal entities of Mexico


Roles and powers of the states

Location of Socorro Island and the rest of the Revillagigedo Archipelago, and extent of Mexico's western EEZ in the Pacific. The islands are part of Colima state, but under federal jurisdiction. Localisation de l'ile de Clipperton.png
Location of Socorro Island and the rest of the Revillagigedo Archipelago, and extent of Mexico's western EEZ in the Pacific. The islands are part of Colima state, but under federal jurisdiction.

The states of the Mexican Federation are free, sovereign, autonomous and independent of each other. They are free to govern themselves according to their own laws; each state has a constitution that cannot contradict the federal constitution, which covers issues of national competence. The states cannot make alliances with other states or any independent nation without the consent of the whole federation, except those of defense and security arrangements necessary to keep the border states secure in the event of an invasion. The political organization of each state is based on a separation of powers in a congressional system: legislative power is vested in a unicameral congress (the federal congress has two chambers); executive power is independent of the legislature and vested in a governor elected by universal suffrage; and judicial power is vested in a Superior Court of Justice. Since states have legal autonomy, each has its own civil and penal codes and judicial body.

Universal suffrage Political concept

The concept of universal suffrage, also known as general suffrage or common suffrage, consists of the right to vote of all adult citizens, regardless of property ownership, income, race, or ethnicity, subject only to minor exceptions. In its original 19th-century usage by political reformers, universal suffrage was understood to mean only universal manhood suffrage; the vote was extended to women later, during the women's suffrage movement.

Court judicial institution with the authority to resolve legal disputes

A court is any person or institution with authority to judge or adjudicate, often as a government institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law. In both common law and civil law legal systems, courts are the central means for dispute resolution, and it is generally understood that all people have an ability to bring their claims before a court. Similarly, the rights of those accused of a crime include the right to present a defense before a court.

In the Congress of the Union, the federative entities – the States and Mexico City – are each represented by three senators, two elected by universal suffrage on the principle of relative majority and one assigned to the party that obtains the largest minority. In addition, the federation makes up a constituency in which 32 senators are elected by the method of proportional representation. Federal Deputies, however, do not represent the states, but rather the citizens themselves. The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate together comprise the Congress of the Union.

Mexico City Capital in Mexico

Mexico City, or the City of Mexico, is the capital of Mexico and the most populous city in North America. Mexico City is one of the most important cultural and financial centres in the Americas. It is located in the Valley of Mexico, a large valley in the high plateaus in the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,350 ft). The city has 16 boroughs.

Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. If n% of the electorate support a particular political party, then roughly n% of seats will be won by that party. The essence of such systems is that all votes contribute to the result - not just a plurality, or a bare majority. The most prevalent forms of proportional representation all require the use of multiple-member voting districts, as it is not possible to fill a single seat in a proportional manner. In fact, the implementations of PR that achieve the highest levels of proportionality tend to include districts with large numbers of seats.

Chamber of Deputies (Mexico) lower house of the parliament of Mexico

The Chamber of Deputies is the lower house of the Congress of the Union, the bicameral legislature of Mexico. The other chamber is the Senate. The structure and responsibilities of both chambers of Congress are defined in Articles 50 to 70 of the current constitution.

Internal organization of states

The states are internally divided into municipalities. Each municipality is autonomous in its ability to elect its own council. The council is headed by a mayor elected every 3 years with no possibility of immediate reelection. Each municipality has a council composed of councilors in terms of population size. The council is responsible, in most cases, to provide all utilities required for its population. This concept, which arises from the Mexican Revolution, is known as a "free municipality". In total there are 2438 municipalities in Mexico; the state with the highest number of municipalities is Oaxaca, with 570, and the state with the lowest number is Baja California, with only 5. [2]

Mexican Revolution major nationwide armed struggle in Mexico between 1910 and 1920

The Mexican Revolution, also known as the Mexican Civil War, was a major armed struggle, lasting roughly from 1910 to 1920, that radically transformed Mexican culture and government. Although recent research has focused on local and regional aspects of the Revolution, it was a genuinely national revolution. Its outbreak in 1910 resulted from the failure of the 35-year-long regime of Porfirio Díaz to find a managed solution to the presidential succession. This meant there was a political crisis among competing elites and the opportunity for agrarian insurrection. Wealthy landowner Francisco I. Madero challenged Díaz in the 1910 presidential election, and following the rigged results, revolted under the Plan of San Luis Potosí. Armed conflict ousted Díaz from power; a new election was held in 1911, bringing Madero to the presidency.

Oaxaca State of Mexico

Oaxaca, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Oaxaca, is one of the 31 states which, along with Mexico City, make up the 32 federative entities of Mexico. It is divided into 570 municipalities, of which 418 are governed by the system of usos y costumbres with recognized local forms of self-governance. Its capital city is Oaxaca de Juárez.

Baja California Federal entity in Mexico

Baja California, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Baja California, is a state in Mexico. It is the northernmost and westernmost of the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. Before becoming a state in 1952, the area was known as the North Territory of Baja California. It has an area of 70,113 km2 (27,071 sq mi), or 3.57% of the land mass of Mexico and comprises the northern half of the Baja California Peninsula, north of the 28th parallel, plus oceanic Guadalupe Island. The mainland portion of the state is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by Sonora, the U.S. state of Arizona, and the Gulf of California, and on the south by Baja California Sur. Its northern limit is the U.S. state of California.

Mexico City

Mexico City has a special status within the federation, being a federal district. Until January 2016, Mexico City was officially called Federal District. It is the seat of government of the Union and the capital of the United Mexican States.

Mexico City was separated from the State of Mexico, of which it was the capital, on November 18, 1824, to become the capital of the federation. As such, it belonged not to any state in particular but to all of them and to the federation. Therefore, it was the president of Mexico, who represented the federation, who designated its head of government (previously called regente, "regent" or jefe del departamento del Distrito Federal, "head of the department of the Federal District"). However, the Federal District received more autonomy in 1997, and its citizens are now able to elect their chief of government, the head of the boroughs (or delegaciones) and the representatives of the unicameral legislature called the Asamblea Legislativa, "Legislative Assembly".

In 2016, the Mexican Congress approved a constitutional reform eliminating the Federal District and establishing Mexico City as a fully autonomous entity on par with the states but with financial advantages. Unlike the states of the Union, it would receive funds for education and health. With full autonomy, Mexico City would have its own constitution (it previously had only an organic law, the Statute of Autonomy) and its boroughs became municipalities. [3]

If the federal government were to move to another city, Mexico City would be transformed into another state of the Union, called "State of the Valley of Mexico," with new borders and the area given by the Congress of the Union.

Internal divisions of Mexico City

Until the ratification of Mexico City's constitution, the city is still divided for administrative purposes into 16 "delegaciones" or boroughs. While not fully equivalent to a municipality or to the concept of a municipio libre, the 16 boroughs have gained significant autonomy, and since 2000, the heads of government of the boroughs are elected directly by plurality vote; they had previously been appointed by the head of government of the Federal District.

Self-determination of indigenous peoples

The second article of the constitution recognizes the multicultural composition of the nation, which is founded upon the indigenous peoples. The government grants them the right of self-(free) determination and autonomy. According to this article, the indigenous peoples are granted

The nation commits to and demands the constituent states and municipalities to promote the economic and social development of the indigenous communities, as well as an intercultural and bilingual education. According to the General Law of Linguistic Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, the nation recognizes 68 indigenous languages as "national languages", with the same validity as Spanish in the territories in which they are spoken. The indigenous peoples are entitled to request public services in their languages.

Postal abbreviations and ISO 3166-2 codes

Political divisions of Mexico in two letters Mexico labeled coloured.svg
Political divisions of Mexico in two letters
Abbreviations for the states of Mexico
Name of federative entityConventional
2-letter code*3-letter code
(ISO 3166-2:MX)
Flag of Aguascalientes.svg  Aguascalientes Ags.MX - AGMX-AGU
Flag of Baja California.svg  Baja California B.C.MX - BCMX-BCN
Flag of Baja California Sur.svg  Baja California Sur B.C.S.MX - BSMX-BCS
Flag of Campeche.svg  Campeche Camp.MX - CMMX-CAM
Flag of Chiapas.svg  Chiapas Chis.MX - CSMX-CHP
Flag of Chihuahua.svg  Chihuahua Chih.MX - CHMX-CHH
Flag of Coahuila.svg  Coahuila Coah.MX - COMX-COA
Flag of Colima.svg  Colima Col.MX - CLMX-COL
Flag of Mexican Federal District.svg  Mexico City CDMXMX - DFMX-CMX
Flag of Durango.png  Durango Dgo.MX - DGMX-DUR
Guanajuato Flag.svg  Guanajuato Gto.MX - GTMX-GUA
Flag of Guerrero.svg  Guerrero Gro.MX - GRMX-GRO
Flag of Hidalgo.svg  Hidalgo Hgo.MX - HGMX-HID
Flag of Jalisco.svg  Jalisco Jal.MX - JAMX-JAL
Flag of Mexico (state).svg  México Edomex. or Méx.MX - EMMX-MEX
Flag of Michoacan.svg  Michoacán Mich.MX - MIMX-MIC
Flag of Morelos.svg  Morelos Mor.MX - MOMX-MOR
Flag of Nayarit.svg  Nayarit Nay.MX - NAMX-NAY
Flag of Nuevo Leon.svg  Nuevo León N.L.MX - NLMX-NLE
Flag of Oaxaca.svg  Oaxaca Oax.MX - OAMX-OAX
Flag of Puebla.svg  Puebla Pue.MX - PUMX-PUE
Flag of Queretaro.svg  Querétaro Qro.MX - QTMX-QUE
Flag of Quintana Roo.svg  Quintana Roo Q. Roo. or Q.R.MX - QRMX-ROO
Flag of San Luis Potosi.svg  San Luis Potosí S.L.P.MX - SLMX-SLP
Flag of Sinaloa.svg  Sinaloa Sin.MX - SIMX-SIN
Flag of Sonora.svg  Sonora Son.MX - SOMX-SON
Flag of Tabasco.svg  Tabasco Tab.MX - TBMX-TAB
Flag of Tamaulipas.svg  Tamaulipas Tamps.MX - TMMX-TAM
Flag of Tlaxcala.svg  Tlaxcala Tlax.MX - TLMX-TLA
Flag of Veracruz.svg  Veracruz Ver.MX - VEMX-VER
Flag of Yucatan.svg  Yucatán Yuc.MX - YUMX-YUC
Flag of Zacatecas.svg  Zacatecas Zac.MX - ZAMX-ZAC

*Mexico's post agency, Correos de México, does not offer an official list. Various competing commercially devised lists exist. The list here reflects choices among them according to these sources.


Constitutional empire

Political divisions of the First Mexican Empire.
Treaty of Cordoba
Acquisitions (1821-1822) Political divisions of Mexico 1821 (location map scheme).svg
Political divisions of the First Mexican Empire.
  Treaty of Córdoba
  Acquisitions (1821–1822)

On September 27, 1821, after three centuries of Spanish rule, Mexico gained independence. The Treaty of Córdoba recognized part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain as an Independent Empire – "monarchist, constitutional and moderate". [4] The new country took the name of Mexican Empire. The morning after the Army of the Three Guarantees entered Mexico City on September 28, 1821, Agustín de Iturbide ordered the Supreme Provisional Governmental Junta (September 1821 – February 1822) to meet to elect a president of the Imperial Regency and to issue a declaration of independence for the new nation. Iturbide was elected president of the Regency, and that afternoon the members of the Regency and the Supreme Junta signed the Declaration.

A minority of the Constituent Congress, looking for stability, elected Agustín de Iturbide as emperor. On July 21, 1822, Iturbide was crowned Emperor of Mexico. [5] However, the Constitutional Empire quickly demonstrated the incompatibility of its two main parts: the Emperor and the Constituent Congress. The deputies were imprisoned just for expressing their opinions and finally, Iturbide decided to dissolve the Congress and establish instead a National Board. [6]

The lack of a legitimate legislature, the illegitimacy of the Emperor, and the absence of real solutions to the nation's problems increased revolutionary activity. [7] Antonio López de Santa Anna proclaimed the Plan of Casa Mata, to which later joined Vicente Guerrero and Nicolás Bravo. Iturbide was forced to reestablish the Congress and, in a vain attempt to save the order and keep the situation favorable to his supporters, he abdicated the crown of the empire on March 19, 1823. [8]

Congress nullified the designation of Iturbide and therefore the recognition of the abdication. It made the coronation of Iturbide seem a logical mistake in consummation of Independence. [8] The dissolution of the Empire was the first political realignment of independent Mexico.

Federal republic

Political divisions of Mexico after the Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1824 was enacted.
Federal territory
Sovereign state Political divisions of Mexico 1824 (location map scheme).svg
Political divisions of Mexico after the Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1824 was enacted.
  Federal territory
  Sovereign state

After the fall of the Empire, a triumvirate called the Supreme Executive Power was created. The provisional government created the Federal Republic, and it was in effect from April 1, 1823, to October 10, 1824. [9]

Unrest in the provinces was widespread. On May 21, 1823, The Founding Plan of the Federal Republic was enacted. Its sixth article stated, "The component parts of the Republic are free, sovereign and independent States in that which touches internal administration and government". [10] Most of the Free States, which were invited to form the Federal Republic, joined the Union, except for the former Captaincy General of Guatemala, which formed their own Federal Republic. [11]

On January 31, 1824, the decree to create a Constitutive Act of the Mexican Federation was issued, which incorporated the basic structure of the Federal Republic. It was determined that the criteria for inviting states to the federation should be that they "...not be so few that through expansion and wealth in a few years they be able to aspire to constitute themselves as independent nations, breaking the federal bond, nor so many that through lack of manpower and resources the system should come to be unworkable." [12]

Between 1823 and 1824, some of the free states created their own constitutions, and others had already installed a Constituent Congress. Special cases were those of Yucatán, which on December 23, 1823, decided to join the federation but as a Federated Republic, and Chiapas, which decided by referendum to join the federation on September 14, 1824. [13]

On October 4, 1824, the Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1824 was enacted. The constitution officially created the United Mexican States. The country was composed of 19 states and 4 federal territories. [14] After the publication of the constitution, on November 18, the Federal District was created. [15] On November 24 Tlaxcala, which had retained a special status since the colonial era, was incorporated as a territory. [16]

On October 10, 1824, Guadalupe Victoria took office as the first President of Mexico. [17]

Centralist republic

The Centralist Republic with the separatist movements generated by the dissolution of the Federal Republic.
Territory proclaimed its independence
Territory claimed by the Republic of Texas
Territory claimed by the Republic of the Rio Grande
Rebellions Political divisions of Mexico 1836-1845 (location map scheme).svg
The Centralist Republic with the separatist movements generated by the dissolution of the Federal Republic.
  Territory proclaimed its independence
  Territory claimed by the Republic of Texas
  Territory claimed by the Republic of the Rio Grande

The political structure of the Republic was amended by a decree on October 3, 1835, when the centralist system was established.

The constituent states of the Republic lost their freedom, autonomy, independence, and sovereignty by being totally subordinated to the central government. However, the territorial division itself was the same; the text of Article 8 of the Law determined: The national territory is divided into departments, on the basis of population, location and other leading circumstances: its number, extension and subdivisions, would be detailed by constitutional law. [18]

The Seven Constitutional Laws (Spanish : Siete Leyes Constitucionales) were promulgated on December 30, 1836. [19] The 1st article confirmed the decree of the law October 3, 1835; the Republic would be divided into departments, these in districts and the districts in parties. The 2nd article pointed that the division of the Republic in departments would be under a special law with constitutional character. [20] On December 30, 1835, a transitory decree was added to the Seven Laws. The decree stated that the territory of Tlaxcala and the Federal District would become a part of the Department of Mexico. The territories of Alta and Baja California would form the department of the Californias. Coahuila y Texas would be divided into two departments. Colima would form part of Michoacán and Aguascalientes would be declared a department.

This period of political instability caused several conflicts between the central government and the entities of the country. There were rebellions in several states such as: [21]

On September 11, 1842, the region of Soconusco joined Mexico as part of the department of Chiapas.

Restoration of the Republic and Second Empire

The Federal Republic was restored by the interim president José Mariano Salas on August 22, 1846. The state of Guerrero was erected in 1849 (provisionally), conditioned to the acceptance of the legislatures of the states of México, Puebla and Michoacán; which would be affected in their territories.

On February 5, 1857, was enacted the Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1857. In 1864, however, after the French intervention, the conservative Mexicans restored the constitutional monarchy, known as the Second Mexican Empire, led by the emperor Maximilian of Habsburg and supported by the French army of Napoleon III. The Empire was deposed in 1867 by the republican forces of Benito Juárez and the Federal Republic was restored again under the Constitution of 1857.

The Political Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1917 was the result of the Mexican Revolution. The third Constitution of Mexico confirmed the federal system of government that is currently in force. [22]

See also


Related Research Articles

Guadalupe Victoria first president of Mexico

Guadalupe Victoria, born José Miguel Ramón Adaucto Fernández y Félix, was a Mexican general and political leader who fought for independence against the Spanish Empire in the Mexican War of Independence. He was a deputy in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies for Durango and a member of the Supreme Executive Power following the downfall of the First Mexican Empire. After the adoption of the Constitution of 1824, Victoria was elected as the first President of the United Mexican States.

Municipalities of Yucatán Wikimedia list article

Yucatán is a state in Southeast Mexico that is divided into 106 municipalities, organized into 7 administrative regions. Most of the names of the municipalities come from the Yucatec Maya language, which is still spoken by more of 30% of the population, according to INEGI (2000).

First Mexican Empire independent Mexico under a monarchical regime from 1821 to 1823

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Municipalities of Tlaxcala Wikimedia list article

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1824 Constitution of Mexico

The Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1824 was enacted on October 4 of 1824, after the overthrow of the Mexican Empire of Agustin de Iturbide. In the new constitution, the republic took the name of United Mexican States, and was defined as a representative federal republic, with Catholicism as the official and unique religion. It was replaced by the Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1857.

Municipalities are the second-level administrative divisions of Mexico, where the first-level administrative division is the state. As of the establishment of two new municipalities in Chiapas in September 2017, there are 2,448 municipalities in Mexico, not including the 16 delegaciones of Mexico City. The internal political organization and their responsibilities are outlined in the 115th article of the 1917 Constitution and detailed in the constitutions of the states to which they belong.

Name of Mexico

Several hypotheses seek to explain the origin of the name "Mexico", which dates back to 14th century Mesoamerica. The Nahuatl word Mexico means place of the Mexica but the ethnonym Mexicatl itself is of unknown etymology. An alternate possibility is that the name may come from the word mexixin, a cress that grew in the swamplands of Lake Texcoco. It was an edible grass that the Aztecs or Mexica survived on as they settled where today lies México City.

Mexico has experienced many changes in territorial organization during its history as an independent state. The territorial boundaries of Mexico were affected by presidential and imperial decrees. One such decree was the Law of Bases for the Convocation of the Constituent Congress to the Constitutive Act of the Mexican Federation, which determined the national land area as the result of integration of the jurisdictions that corresponded to New Spain, the Captaincy General of Yucatán, the Captaincy General of Guatemala and the autonomous Kingdoms of East and West. The decree resulted in the independence from Spain.

Republic of Yucatán former country

The Republic of Yucatán was a sovereign state during two periods of the nineteenth century. The first Republic of Yucatán, founded May 29, 1823, willingly joined the Mexican federation as the Federated Republic of Yucatán on December 23, 1823, less than seven months later. The second Republic of Yucatán began in 1841, with its declaration of independence from the Mexican Federation. It remained independent for seven years, after which it rejoined the United Mexican States. The area of the former republic includes the modern Mexican states of Yucatán, Campeche and Quintana Roo. The Republic of Yucatán usually refers to the Second Republic (1841–1848).

Mexican nationality law

Nationality in Mexico is defined by multiple laws, including the 30th article of the Constitution of Mexico and other laws. The Constitution's 32nd article specifies the rights granted by Mexican legislation to Mexicans who also possess dual nationality. This article was written to establish the norms in this subject in order to avoid conflicts which may arise in the case of dual nationality. This law was last modified in 2005.

State governments of Mexico

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First Mexican Republic 1824-1864 federal republic in Central America

The First Mexican Republic, known also as the First Federal Republic, was a federated republic and nation-state officially designated the United Mexican States. "Independence transformed Mexico from Spain's largest and most prosperous colony to a sovereign nation suffering economic decline and political strife." The First Mexican Republic lasted from 1824 to 1835, when conservatives under Antonio López de Santa Anna transformed it into a centralized state, the Centralist Republic of Mexico.

Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1857 constitution

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Constitution of Yucatán

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Provisional Government of Mexico 1823-1824 government in Mexico

The Provisional Government of Mexico, was an organization denominated Supreme Executive Power which served as Executive to govern México between 1823 and 1824, after the fall of the Mexican Empire of Agustín I. The organization was responsible for convening the creation of a Federal Republic, the United Mexican States and was in effect from April 1, 1823 to October 10, 1824.

Second Federal Republic of Mexico

The Second Federal Republic of Mexico is the name given to the second attempt to achieve a federalist government in Mexico. Officially called the United Mexican States, a federal republic was implemented again on August 22, 1846 when interim president José Mariano Salas issued a decree restoring the 1824 constitution. Like the Mexican Empire, the First Federal Republic and the Centralist Republic it was a chaotic period, marked by political instability that resulted in several internal conflicts. Mexico's loss of the war with the United States saw half the territory Mexico claimed become part of the United States. Even though Antonio López de Santa Anna played a major role in much of this history, he returned to the presidency yet again, selling northern territory coveted by the United States contiguous to territory it just gained in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The sale of the Mesilla Valley was for many the final straw, and liberals promulgated of the Plan of Ayutla, calling for the overthrow of Santa Anna. Santa Anna went into exile and the liberals set about implementing their vision of Mexico.

Centralist Republic of Mexico unitary political regime established in Mexico in 1835

The Centralist Republic of Mexico, or in the anglophone scholarship, the Central Republic, was officially the Mexican Republic. It was a unitary political regime established in Mexico on October 23, 1835, under a new constitution known as the Seven Laws after the repeal of the federalist Constitution of 1824. Mexican conservatives attributed the political chaos of the federal era to the empowerment of states over the federal government, participation of non-elite men in the political system through universal male suffrage, rebellions, and economic stagnation to the weakness of the federal government. Conservative elites saw the solution to the problem as abolishing the federal system and creating a centralized one, reminiscent of the colonial era. Federalism had given a range of powers to Mexican states, their legislatures and municipalities. It was favored by the states outside the center of Mexico. Those favoring a centralized state were the conservative urban elites. Mexican conservatives saw federalism as a failure and Mexico not prepared for such a system. They considered the ideal form of government as a centralized, administrative republic, with the states losing power to the central government. Conservatives with the support of the Mexican army created the Central Republic, which lasted eleven years, 1835–46. The unitary regime was formally established on December 30, 1836, with the enactment of the Siete Leyes. However, the Seven Laws proved unworkable and were abandoned four and a half years later, and replaced by a military dictatorship under Antonio López de Santa Anna. On August 22, 1846, acting President José Mariano Salas issued the decree that restored the Constitution of 1824 and, with this, the return to federalism.


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  11. "01 de julio de 1823. Las Provincias Unidas del Centro de América se independizan de México". Gobierno Federal. Archived from the original on September 20, 2010. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
  12. "Acta constitucional presentada al soberano Congreso Constituyente por su comisión" (in Spanish).
  13. "Aniversario de la Federación de Chiapas a México" (in Spanish).
  14. "Decreto. Constitución federal de los Estados-Unidos Mexicanos" (in Spanish).
  15. "Decreto. Se señala á México con el distrito que se expresa para la residencia de los supremos poderes de la federación" (in Spanish).
  16. "Decreto. Se declara á Tlaxcala territorio de la federación" (in Spanish).
  17. "Guadalupe Victoria".
  18. "Bases Constitucionales Expedidas por el Congreso Constituyente", en Felipe Tena Ramírez", Op.cit. p. 203
  19. "La Suprema Corte en las Constituciones Centralistas" (PDF) (in Spanish). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 12, 2007. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  20. "Division Territorial de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos de 1810 a 1995 (Page 27)" (PDF) (in Spanish).
  21. "Division Territorial de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos de 1810 a 1995 (Page 28)" (PDF) (in Spanish).
  22. "Division Territorial de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos de 1810 a 1995 (Page 29)" (PDF) (in Spanish).