Mexico DF History

Mexico DF Old Map

Originally built on an island of Lake Texcoco by the Aztecs in 1325 as Tenochtitlan, Mexico D.F was almost completely destroyed in the 1521 siege of Tenochtitlan, and consequently redesigned and rebuilt in line with Spanish urban standards. In 1524, the municipality of Mexico City was established; known as México Tenochtitlán and, just 61 short years later in 1585, it was officially changed to the current name of Mexico City (Ciudad de Mexico). Mexico City was the political, administrative and financial center of a large part of the Spanish colonial empire. After independence from Spain was achieved, the Federal District or locally know as DF was established in 1824.

In 1997 and after years of demanding greater political freedom, residents of Mexico DF were given the right to directly elect the Head of Government and the representatives of the unicameral Legislative Assembly through popular vote. Since 1997, the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) has controlled both facets of the local government. Mexico DF has been at the forefront of liberal views because in recent years, the local government has passed a barrage of liberal policies, such as abortion on request, a restricted form of euthanasia, same-sex marriage and even no-fault divorces.

The speedy modern development finally led to the Mexican Revolution. The most significant episode of this period for the city was the La decena trágica (“The Ten Tragic Days”), a military coup against President Francisco I. Madero and his vice president, José María Pino Suárez. The military uprising began when Victoriano Huerta, chief general of the Federal Army identified a chance to take power, forcing Madero and Pino Suarez to sign their joint resignations. The two were then subsequently murdered later while on their way to prison.