As the century ended, however, a vast majority of the nations's inhabitants had realized little if any improvement in their standard of living.
Those residing in rural areas struggled to produce enough to survive from their own small parcels of land, or, much more likely, worked under a debt-peonage system, farming lands owned by someone infinitely wealthier than they were.
From the perspective of the government-controlled political party, first designated as the PNR (Partido Nacional Revolucionario/National Revolutionary Party), and finally, in 1946, as the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional/Institutional Revolutionary Party), a nonviolent revolution was to continue until the goals related to social and economic justice were attained (Ruiz, p. National presidents focused on promoting growth in the industrial sector, but the opening of new jobs did not keep pace with the employment needs of a rapidly expanding population.
Spain's generally repressive colonial regime stifled the growth of commerce and industry, monitored or censored the dissemination of new and possibly revolutionary ideas, and limited access to meaningful political power to anyone but nativeborn Spaniards.
An unequal distribution of land and wealth developed and, as the nation grew in numbers, the disproportion between the rich and poor continued to increase, as did a sense of social unrest among the most neglected of its populace.
After returning to Mexico, however, he was quick to join other military leaders who rejected the accord.
Relations between the United States and Mexico remained strained, at best, during the late 1830s and early 1840s. forces responded to these clashes by moving into New Mexico and California in 1846, as well as southward into Mexico.
The Lone Star Republic was admitted to the Union as the State of Texas in 1845; shortly thereafter the frequency of border skirmishes between the two countries increased. The capture of Mexico City was the final significant armed conflict.
War between Mexico and the United States ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 in which Mexico surrendered 890,000 square miles, close to one-half of its territory.
Most residents of urban areas, if they were lucky enough to have full employment, worked long hours under poor conditions for extremely low wages and lived in housing and neighborhoods that fostered diseases.
The economic depression of 1907 soured the aspirations of the small but growing middle class and brought financial disaster to the newest members of the upper class (Ramón Ruiz, Triumphs and Tragedy, pp. Though he was able to manipulate his reelection in 1910, opposition to the Díaz regime was strong, and when small rebellions began to proliferate in the northern states of the nation, he resigned his post in 1911 and left the country.
Continued single-party rule by the PRI, high levels of unemployment, underemployment, low wages, and the many social problems related to a prolonged period of intense urbanization—coupled with the need for renewed efforts at land redistribution in certain areas of the country— remain as sources of concern for the government and causes of unrest for a significant segment of the population.
In increasing proportions since the late 1970s, those people unable to find dependable sources of employment or subsistence wages have moved to the northern borderlands and crossed into the United States, where the economic prospects are more promising.
By 1521 the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortéz had managed to conquer the Aztec empire, the most powerful Indian nation in Mexico at the time.