Official name United Mexican States
Formation 1836 / 1848
Capital Mexico City
Population 111 million / 150 people per sq mile (58 people per sq km)
Total area 761,602 sq. miles (1,972,550 sq. km)
Languages Spanish*, Nahuatl, Mayan, Zapotec, Mixtec, Otomi, Totonac, Tzotzil, Tzeltal
Religions Roman Catholic 77%, Other 14%, Protestant 6%, Nonreligious 3%
Ethnic mix Mestizo 60%, Amerindian 30%, European 9%, Other 1%
Government Presidential system
Currency Mexican peso = 100 centavos
Literacy rate 93%
Calorie consumption 3245 kilocalories
As you would expect, Mexico got a fair amount of early attention from British buccaneers and privateers.
In 1568, for instance, Francis Drake was almost killed in a battle near San Juan de Ulua. Sir Christopher Myngs, English admiral and pirate, mercilessly sacked San Francsico de Campeche so brutally in 1663 that Charles II was prompted to suspend such attacks for a while.
British raiding in the area continued in the eighteenth century. In 1743, Commodore Anson, on his lengthy and challenging jaunt around the world, intercepted Spain’s yearly Manila galleon from the Philippines off Cape Espiritu Santo and seized more than 1 million gold coins. He must have been a happy man.
And in the nineteenth century, when the President of Mexico suspended interest payments to foreign countries, we sent in the ships again, this time in alliance with the French and Spanish. The Royal Navy arrived in Vera Cruz in 1861 and helped put troops ashore there. However, we soon realised that the French were in for rather more long-term aims than just getting their money. So we left the French to get stuck into a lengthy and messy civil war, while we got out.