Throughout its history Mexico has been convulsed by a series of epic, violent and bloody struggles that have defined the culture and identity of this complex nation.
This 4x 1 hour mini-series looks at this often-overlooked history of America’s next-door neighbour, a history that has both been influenced and involved the United States. Despite this, relatively little is known of the events that have shaped Mexico, and how those events are reflected in the character of the country today.
While the world maybe aware of the Spanish conquest led by Hernan Cortes and his fellow Conquistadors in the 16th century, and the devastating impact this conquest had on Mexico’s pre-Hispanic civilizations, an exploration of how events unfolded in the subsequent four hundred years until the Mexican revolution, has largely been ignored.
While the names of Cortes, Zapata, Villa, Santa Ana and Rivera are familiar, and the Battle of the Alamo identified as an iconic American historic event, the precise role played by these names and places and events, such as the American Mexican War, remain somewhat of a mystery to anyone outside Mexico.
This is a history of conquest with all its bloody and dramatic consequences; not just of battles and wars, but of feuds, shifting alliances, trickery, intrigue, executions, assassination and exile.
Episode One: The Spanish Conquest
The Spanish Conquest laid the ground for 300 years of colonial rule which made Spain the richest country in Europe and divided the country with a class system which still impacts today. After the conquest Mexico became the world’s largest producer of silver which provided eagerly sought exchange for Europe’s trade with Asia. Meantime, conquistadors and friars spread out along so called “ royal roads “ which linked new with the desert frontiers of the north. Here they tried to convert hostile Apache and Comanche tribes who would battle Spaniards, Mexicans and Americans for centuries.