Document Type


Publication Date



Estados Unidos Mexicanos is the successor State of Spain in the Northern region of the former Spanish empire in the Americas. Pope Alexander VI issued a papal bull on May 4, 1493, fixing the line of demarcation of conquered territories between the Kings of Spain and Portugal thereby avoiding future conflict; this papal bull in effect granted the then-unexplored territory of what is now Mexico to the Spanish crown. Heman de Cortes conquered the Aztec empire in 1521 and Spain ruled the territory until Mexican independence in the early 19th century. The territory was called Nueva Espana (New Spain) and its political capital was in what is today Mexico City.


Editors: Ralph Gaebler and Alison Shea.

Citation Information

Please cite to the original publication