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Our new brief text highlights Mexico's stunning geographical, ethnic, and social diversity. In the sixteenth century, diseases brought by the Spanish conquerors wiped out almost 90 per cent of the indigenous population. Since then, Mexico - first as a colony of Spain and, after 1821, as an independent nation - has exported thousands of tons of silver, affecting currencies and prices as far away as China and India. In the century following independence, Mexico was invaded six times by three different European nations (Britain, France, and Spain) as well as the United States, the latter conflict resulting in the loss of half of Mexico's territory. More recently, Mexico has played an ever more important part in the world economy. Focused primarily on the period since independence in 1821, this brief text effectively summarizes Mexico's rich history, delineating some of the major processes at the national level and hinting at regional and local counter-currents.