Politically, Mexico comprises thirty-one states plus the federal district. Population is about seventy million and growing fast. (Only forty years ago the population was about thirty-five million.)
Geographically Mexico is part of North America even though the Mexicans refer to U.S. residents as Norte Americanos. Its extensive coastline borders the Pacific on the west and the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean on the east. The Sierra Madre mountains dominate the topography. In the southern state of Oaxaca the Sierra Madre divides and runs northward. The Sierra Madre Oriental mountains form the eastern edge, the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains the western edge of the high central plateau region, where most of the population, government, and industry takes place. Hundreds of volcanic peaks punctuate the landscape while deep valleys and canyons support luxurious vegetation. In the south Mexico borders Guatemala and Belize (formerly British Honduras).
History of Mexico: The community that formed in Statia consisted of a stable core of prosperous long-term residents and their slaves, who were increasingly living alongside a more mobile immigrant population. Mexico Map The profits Statia generated by the 1730s brought a multinational group of merchants (usually unmarried) from some two dozen countries and colonies; these newcomers facilitated the existing international illicit trade. The diversity of the island’s population was remarkable, including Jewish, Anglican, Catholic, and Lutheran communities alongside the Dutch and trading in goods from all over the globe. Increasingly, Statian merchants and ships traded with the mainland Country colonies, becoming their principal supplier of tea by 1770 and a steady supplier of gunpowder. It was from Statia that the United States received the first foreign salute to its flag on November 16, 1776. After 1776, Statia’s continued illicit trade in armaments to Country touched off Britain’s anger with the Dutch and with English merchants trading with the rebel colonies through Statia.
By 1775, Britain had vessels stationed off Holland’s coast to intercept Statian trade, while British privateers stopped Dutch vessels in the Caribbean from 1777. To prevent Holland from joining the League of Armed Neutrality, which would have given the Dutch powerful allies in its defense of neutral countries’ rights in wartime trade, Britain declared war on Holland in December 1780. Immediately a squadron under Admiral Sir George Rodney sailed for Statia, seizing the island on February 3, 1781. Rodney captured vast amounts of goods, sent away English merchants operating there, and deported one-third of the Jewish merchants. The loss of trade for the Dutch was substantial, but much of the material auctioned off by Rodney was bought back by its former owners, and trade briskly resumed in the 1790s.
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