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Mexican state

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Mexican state

"States of Mexico" redirects here. It is not to be confused with the state-type political division of Mexico named Mexico, see State of Mexico.
For the various countries named Mexico historically, see History of Mexico.

The United Mexican States (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos) is a federal republic composed of 32 federal entities: 31 states and 1 federal district.

According to the Constitution of 1917, the states of the federation are free and sovereign.[1] Each state has its own congress and constitution, while the Federal District has only limited autonomy with a local Congress and government. The territory of the Federal District, commonly known and referred to as Mexico City, serves as the national capital.


Constitutional empire

On September 27, 1821, after three centuries of Spanish rule, Mexico gained its independence. The Treaty of Córdoba recognized part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain as an Independent Empire, which was recognized as "Monarchist, constitutional and moderate."[2] The new country took the name of Mexican Empire. The morning after the Army of the Three Guarantees entered Mexico City on September 28, 1821, Agustín de Iturbide ordered the Supreme Provisional Governmental Junta (September 1821-February 1822) to meet to elect a president of the Imperial Regency and to issue a declaration of independence for the new nation. Iturbide was elected president of the Regency, and that afternoon the members of the Regency and the Supreme Junta signed the Declaration.

A minority of the Constituent Congress, looking for stability, elected Agustín de Iturbide as emperor. On July 21, 1822, Iturbide was crowned Emperor of Mexico.[3] However, the Constitutional Empire quickly demonstrated the incompatibility of its two main parts: the Emperor and the Constituent Congress. The deputies were imprisoned just for expressing their opinions and finally, Iturbide decided to dissolve the Congress and establish instead a National Board.[4]

The lack of a legitimate legislature, the illegitimacy of the Emperor and the absence of real solutions to the nation's problems increased revolutionary activity.[5] Antonio López de Santa Anna proclaimed the Plan of Casa Mata, to which later joined Vicente Guerrero and Nicolás Bravo. Iturbide was forced to reestablish the Congress and in a vain attempt to save the order and keep the situation favorable to his supporters, he abdicated the crown of the Empire on March 19, 1823.[6]

However, the Congress nullified the designation of Iturbide and therefore the recognition of the abdication and made the coronation of Iturbide seem a logical mistake in consummation of Independence.[6]

The dissolution of the Empire was the first political realignment of independent Mexico.

Federal republic

After the fall of the Empire a triumvirate called the Supreme Executive Power was created. The provisional government would be responsible for the creation of the Federal Republic, and it was in effect from April 1, 1823 to October 10, 1824.[7]

Unrest in the provinces was huge. On May 21, 1823, was enacted The Basic Project of the Federal Republic. In it sixth article pointed that: The component parts of the Republic are free, sovereign and independent in its administration and government.[8] Most of the Free States which were invited to form the Federal Republic joined the Union, except for the former Captaincy General of Guatemala which formed their own Federal Republic.[9]

On January 31, 1824, the decree to create a Constitutive Act of the Mexican Federation was issued, which incorporated the basic structure of the Federal Republic. It was determined that the criteria for inviting states to the federation should be that they... Weren't so few that by its size and wealth in a few years could aspire to become independent nations, breaking the federation, nor so many that lack of manpower and resources come to be an unworkable system.[10]

Between 1823 and 1824, some of the free states created their own constitutions and others had already installed a Constituent Congress. Special cases were those of Yucatan, which on December 23, 1823 decided to join the federation but as a Federated Republic and Chiapas, which decided by referendum to join the federation on September 14, 1824.[11]

On October 4, 1824, the Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1824 was enacted. The constitution officially created the United Mexican States. The country was composed of 19 states and 4 federal territories.[12] After the publication of the constitution, on November 18, the Federal District was created.[13] On November 24, Tlaxcala which had retained a special status since the colonial era, was incorporated as a territory.[14]

On October 10, 1824, Guadalupe Victoria took office as the first President of Mexico.[15]

Centralist republic

The political structure of the Republic was amended by a decree on October 3, 1835, when the centralist system was established.

The constituent states of the Republic lost their freedom, independence, and sovereignty by being totally subordinated to the central government. However, the territorial division itself was the same; the text of Article 8 of the Law determined: The national territory is divided into departments, on the basis of population, location and other leading circumstances: its number, extension and subdivisions, would be detailed by constitutional law.[16]

The Seven Constitutional Laws (Spanish: Siete Leyes Constitucionales) were promulgated on December 30, 1836.[17] The 1st article confirmed the decree of the law October 3, 1835; the Republic would be divided into departments, these in districts and the districts in parties. The 2nd article pointed that the division of the Republic in departments would be under a special law with constitutional character.[18] On December 30, 1835, a transitory decree was added to the Seven Laws. The decree stated that the territory of Tlaxcala and the Federal District would become a part of the Department of Mexico. The territories of Alta and Baja California would form the department of the Californias. Coahuila y Texas would be divided into two departments. Colima would form part of Michoacán and Aguascalientes would be declared a department.

This period of political instability caused several conflicts between the central government and the entities of the country. There were rebellions in several states such as:[19]

  • Yucatán due its condition of Federated Republic declared itself independent in 1840 (officially in 1841). The Republic of Yucatán (English: Republic of Yucatán) rejoined Mexico in 1848.
  • Texas declared its independence and declared war against the central government of Mexico. The Republic of Texas was created. Texas remained independent until 1845, when it joined the United States of America. From 1861-1865, Texas was part of the Confederate States of America. After the defeat of the Confederacy in the American Civil War (1861–65) and Reconstruction, Texas rejoined the United States of America in 1870.
  • The states of Nuevo León, Tamaulipas and Coahuila declared themselves independent from Mexico for just under 250 days; the República del Río Grande never consolidated because independent forces were defeated by the centralist forces.
  • Tabasco declared its separation from Mexico in February 1841, in protest against centralism and the imposed sanctions by centralist president Anastasio Bustamante. It rejoined in December 1842.

On September 11, 1842, the region of Soconusco joined Mexico as part of the department of Chiapas.

Restoration of the Republic and Second Empire

The Federal Republic was restored by the interim president José Mariano Salas on August 22, 1846. The state of Guerrero was erected in 1849 (provisionally), conditioned to the acceptance of the legislatures of the states of México, Puebla and Michoacán; which would be affected in their territories.

On February 5, 1857, was enacted the Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1857. On 1864, however, after the French intervention, the conservative Mexicans restored the constitutional monarchy, known as the Second Mexican Empire, led by the emperor Maximilian of Habsburg and supported by the French army of Napoleon III. The Empire was deposed in 1867 by the republican forces of Benito Juarez and the Federal Republic was restored again under the Constitution of 1857.

The Political Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1917 was the result of the Mexican Revolution. The third Constitution of Mexico confirmed the federal system of government that is currently in force.[20]

Federal entities of Mexico

Federal district

Entity Official Name Flag Area Population (2010)[21] Date of establishment
Ciudad de México Distrito Federal 0 1,485 km2
(573.4 sq mi)
08,720,916 181912141824-11-18[22]


States of Mexico
State Official Name

Estado Libre y Soberano de:

Flag Capital Largest city Area[23] Population (2010)[21] Order of Admission
to Federation
Date of Admission
to Federation
Aguascalientes Aguascalientes Aguascalientes Aguascalientes 0056185,618 km2 (2,169 sq mi) 011849961,184,996 2424 185702051857-02-05[24]
Baja California Baja California Mexicali Tijuana 07144671,446 km2 (27,585 sq mi) 031550703,155,070 2929 195201161952-01-16[25]
Baja California Sur Baja California Sur La Paz La Paz 07392273,922 km2 (28,541 sq mi) 00637026637,026 3131 197410081974-10-08[26]
Campeche Campeche San Francisco de Campeche San Francisco de Campeche 05792457,924 km2 (22,365 sq mi) 00822441822,441 2525 186304291863-04-29[27]
Chiapas Chiapas Tuxtla Gutiérrez Tuxtla Gutiérrez 07328973,289 km2 (28,297 sq mi) 047965804,796,580 1919 182409141824-09-14[28]
Chihuahua Chihuahua Chihuahua Ciudad Juárez 247455247,455 km2 (95,543 sq mi) 034064653,406,465 1818 182407061824-07-06[28]
Coahuila1 4 Coahuila de Zaragoza Saltillo Torreón 151563151,563 km2 (58,519 sq mi) 027483912,748,391 1616 182405071824-05-07[28]
Colima6 Colima Colima Manzanillo 0056255,625 km2 (2,172 sq mi) 00650,555 650,555 2323 185609121856-09-12[29][30]
Durango Durango Victoria de Durango Victoria de Durango 123451123,451 km2 (47,665 sq mi) 016329341,632,934 1717 182405221824-05-22[28]
Guanajuato Guanajuato Guanajuato León 03060830,608 km2 (11,818 sq mi) 054863725,486,372 022 182312201823-12-20[28]
Guerrero Guerrero Chilpancingo de los Bravo Acapulco 06362163,621 km2 (24,564 sq mi) 033887683,388,768 2121 184910271849-10-27[31]
Hidalgo Hidalgo Pachuca Pachuca 02084620,846 km2 (8,049 sq mi) 026650182,665,018 2626 186901161869-01-16[32]
Jalisco Jalisco Guadalajara Guadalajara 07859978,599 km2 (30,347 sq mi) 073506827,350,682 099 182312231823-12-23[28]
México México Toluca de Lerdo Ecatepec de Morelos 02235722,357 km2 (8,632 sq mi) 1517586215,175,862 011 182312201823-12-20[28]
Michoacán Michoacán de Ocampo Morelia Morelia 05864358,643 km2 (22,642 sq mi) 043510374,351,037 055 182312221823-12-22[28]
Morelos Morelos Cuernavaca Cuernavaca 0048934,893 km2 (1,889 sq mi) 017772271,777,227 2727 186904171869-04-17[33]
Nayarit Nayarit Tepic Tepic 02781527,815 km2 (10,739 sq mi) 010849791,084,979 2828 191701261917-01-26[34]
Nuevo León4 Nuevo León Monterrey Monterrey 06422064,220 km2 (24,800 sq mi) 046534584,653,458 1515 182405071824-05-07[28]
Oaxaca Oaxaca Oaxaca de Juárez Oaxaca de Juárez 09379393,793 km2 (36,214 sq mi) 038019623,801,962 033 182312211823-12-21[28]
Puebla Puebla Puebla de Zaragoza Puebla de Zaragoza 03429034,290 km2 (13,240 sq mi) 057798295,779,829 044 182312211823-12-21[28]
Querétaro Querétaro de Arteaga Santiago de Querétaro Santiago de Querétaro 01168411,684 km2 (4,511 sq mi) 018279371,827,937 1111 182312231823-12-23[28]
Quintana Roo Quintana Roo Chetumal Cancún 04236142,361 km2 (16,356 sq mi) 013255781,325,578 3030 197410081974-10-08[35]
San Luis Potosí San Luis Potosí San Luis Potosí San Luis Potosí 06098360,983 km2 (23,546 sq mi) 025855182,585,518 066 182312221823-12-22[28]
Sinaloa Sinaloa Culiacán Culiacán 05737757,377 km2 (22,153 sq mi) 027677612,767,761 2020 183010141830-10-14[36]
Sonora2 Sonora Hermosillo Hermosillo 179503179,503 km2 (69,306 sq mi) 026624802,662,480 1212 182401101824-01-10[28]
Tabasco5 Tabasco Villahermosa Villahermosa 02473824,738 km2 (9,551 sq mi) 022386032,238,603 1313 182402071824-02-07[28]
Tamaulipas4 Tamaulipas Ciudad Victoria Reynosa 08017580,175 km2 (30,956 sq mi) 032685543,268,554 1414 182402071824-02-07[28]
Tlaxcala Tlaxcala Tlaxcala Vicente Guerrero 0039913,991 km2 (1,541 sq mi) 011699361,169,936 2222 185612091856-12-09[37]
Veracruz Veracruz de
Ignacio de la Llave
Xalapa Veracruz 07182071,820 km2 (27,730 sq mi) 076431947,643,194 077 182312221823-12-22[28]
Yucatán3 Yucatán Mérida Mérida 03961239,612 km2 (15,294 sq mi) 019555771,955,577 088 182312231823-12-23[28]
Zacatecas Zacatecas Zacatecas Zacatecas 07553975,539 km2 (29,166 sq mi) 014906681,490,668 1010 182312231823-12-23[28]


  1. Joined the federation with the name of Coahuila y Texas.
  2. Joined the federation with the name of Estado de Occidente also recognized as Sonora y Sinaloa.
  3. Joined the federation as República Federada de Yucatán[38] (English: Federated Republic of Yucatán) formed by the current states of Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo. Became independent in 1841 constituting the second Republic of Yucatán and definitely rejoined in 1848.
  4. States of Nuevo León, Tamaulipas and Coahuila became independent de facto in 1840 to form the República del Río Grande (English: Republic of the Rio Grande); never consolidated its independence because independent forces were defeated by the centralist forces.[39]
  5. State of Tabasco seceded from Mexico on two occasions, the first on February 13, 1841, rejoining again on December 2, 1842. And the second time was from November 9, 1846 to December 8 of that year.
  6. Includes the remote Revillagigedo Islands, which are federally administered.

Mexican states

The states of the Mexican Federation are free, sovereign, autonomous and independent of each other. They are free to govern themselves according to their own laws; each state has a constitution that cannot contradict the federal constitution, which covers issues of national competence. The states cannot make alliances with other states or any independent nation without the consent of the whole federation, except those of defense and security arrangements necessary to keep the border states secure in the event of an invasion. The political organization of each state is based on a separation of powers in a congressional system: legislative power is vested in a unicameral congress (the federal congress has two chambers); executive power is independent of the legislature and vested in a governor elected by universal suffrage; and judicial power is vested in a Superior Court of Justice. Since states have legal autonomy, each has its own civil and penal codes and judicial body.

In the Congress of the Union, the federative entities – the States and the Federal District – are each represented by 3 senators, 2 elected by universal suffrage on the principle of relative majority and 1 assigned to the party which obtains the largest minority. In addition, the federation makes up a constituency in which 32 senators are elected by the method of proportional representation. Federal Deputies, however, do not represent the states, but rather the citizens themselves. The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate together comprise the Congress of the Union.

Internal organization of states

The states are internally divided into municipalities. Each municipality is autonomous in its ability to elect their own council. The council is headed by a Mayor elected every 3 years with no possibility of immediate reelection. Each municipality has a council composed of councilors in terms of population size. The council is responsible, in most cases, to provide all utilities required for its population. This concept, which arises from the Mexican Revolution, is known as a "free municipality". In total there are 2438 municipalities in Mexico, the state with the highest number of municipalities is Oaxaca, with 570, and the state with the lowest number is Baja California, with only 5.[40]

Distrito Federal

Mexico City has a special status within the federation. According to Article 44 of the federal constitution, Mexico City is the Federal District, seat of government of the Union and the capital of the United Mexican States. The city is coextensive with the Federal District territorially and administratively. If the federal government moves to another city, the Federal District would be transformed into another state of the Union, called "State of the Valley of Mexico" with new borders and area that the Congress of the Union would give it.

Mexico City was separated from the State of Mexico, of which it was the capital, on November 18, 1824, to become the capital of the federation. As such, it does not belong to any state in particular but to all (i.e., to the federation). Therefore, it was the president of Mexico, in representation of the federation, who designated its head of government (previously called regente, "regent" or jefe del departamento del Distrito Federal, "head of the department of the Federal District"). However, the Federal District received full autonomy in 1997 and its citizens now elect directly their chief of government, the head of the boroughs (or delegaciones) and the representatives of the unicameral legislature called the Asamblea Legislativa, "Legislative Assembly". It does not have a constitution but a statute of autonomy. Nonetheless it enjoys many privileges as the capital of the federation.

Internal divisions of the Federal District

For administrative purposes, the Federal District is divided into 16 delegaciones or boroughs. While not fully equivalent to a municipality (nor the concept of a municipio libre), the 16 boroughs have gained significant autonomy and since 2000 the heads of government of the boroughs are elected directly by plurality (they were previously appointed by the head of government of the Federal District). Given that Mexico City is organized entirely as a Federal District most of the city services are provided by the Government of the Federal District and not by the boroughs themselves, while in the constituent states these services would be provided by the municipalities. It should be noted that while other municipalities within the constituent states of the federation exercise their autonomy through the municipal council, some, like Mexicali or Querétaro, have further subdivided the municipality into delegaciones or boroughs for administrative purposes as well.

Self-determination of the indigenous peoples

The second article of the constitution recognizes the multicultural composition of the nation founded upon the indigenous peoples to whom the government grants the right of self-(free) determination and autonomy. According to this article the indigenous peoples are granted

  • The right to decide the internal forms of social, economic, political and cultural organization;
  • The right to apply their own normative systems of regulation as long as human rights and rights of women (gender equality) are granted;
  • The right to preserve and enrich their languages and culture;
  • The right to elect representatives before the municipal council in which their territories are located; amongst other rights.

The nation commits to and demands the constituent states and municipalities to promote the economic and social development of the indigenous communities as well as an intercultural and bilingual education. According to the Law of Linguistic Rights, the nation recognizes 62 indigenous languages as "national languages" with the same validity as Spanish in the territories in which they are spoken and the indigenous peoples are entitled to request public services in their languages.

ISO 3166 codes

Abbrevations for the states of Mexico
Name of state Conventional
2-letter code 3-letter code
(ISO 3166-2)
 Aguascalientes Ags. MX - AG MX-AGU
 Baja California B.C. MX - BC MX-BCN
 Baja California Sur B.C.S. MX - BS MX-BCS
 Campeche Camp. MX - CM MX-CAM
 Chiapas Chis. MX - CS MX-CHP
 Chihuahua Chih. MX - CH MX-CHH
 Coahuila Coah. MX - CO MX-COA
 Colima Col. MX - CL MX-COL
 Federal District D.F. MX - DF MX-DIF
 Durango Dgo. MX - DG MX-DUR
 Guanajuato Gto. MX - GT MX-GUA
 Guerrero Gro. MX - GR MX-GRO
 Hidalgo Hgo. MX - HG MX-HID
 Jalisco Jal. MX - JA MX-JAL
 Mexico State Edomex. MX - ME MX-MEX
 Michoacán Mich. MX - MI MX-MIC
 Morelos Mor. MX - MO MX-MOR
 Nayarit Nay. MX - NA MX-NAY
 Nuevo León N.L. MX - NL MX-NLE
 Oaxaca Oax. MX - OA MX-OAX
 Puebla Pue. MX - PU MX-PUE
 Querétaro Qro. MX - QE MX-QUE
 Quintana Roo Q. Roo. MX - QR MX-ROO
 San Luis Potosí S.L.P. MX - SL MX-SLP
 Sinaloa Sin. MX - SI MX-SIN
 Sonora Son. MX - SO MX-SON
 Tabasco Tab. MX - TB MX-TAB
 Tamaulipas Tamps. MX - TM MX-TAM
 Tlaxcala Tlax. MX - TL MX-TLA
 Veracruz Ver. MX - VE MX-VER
 Yucatán Yuc. MX - YU MX-YUC
 Zacatecas Zac. MX - ZA MX-ZAC

See also


  • ^a Some of these flags are used in states like Civil or Historic Flags (Yucatán, Hidalgo, Baja California, Michoacán) and are even more recognized by people as the official state flags assigned by President Ernesto Zedillo in 1999 and can be found waving in homes of the people. The others are proposed by citizen or groups to state legislatures, but have not yet been approved. Only two states in Mexico have changed the flags and have formalized their own, Jalisco and Tlaxcala.


  • Political Constitution of the United Mexican States; articles 2, and 42 through 48
  • Law of Linguistic Rights or "Ley de los Derechos Lingüísticos" approved in 2001.juihu b

lb:Kategorie:Mexikanesch Bundesstaaten
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