The military history of Mexico consists of several millennia of armed conflicts within what is now that nation's territory and includes activities of the Mexican military in peacekeeping and combat related affairs worldwide. Wars between prehispanic peoples marked the beginning of Mexico's military history, the most notable of these fought in the form of a flower war. After the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century, indigenous tribes were defeated by Spain, thus beginning a three century era of Spanish dominance. Mexico's struggle for independence began primarily in the 19th century, and was marked by internal conflict of early rulers after defeating the Spanish in 1821. The Mexican-American War in the mid 19th century ended in the defeat of Mexican forces, and the loss of two-fifths of the national territory. In the remainder of the 19th century, a series of conflicts began in Mexico, as the War of the Reform and the defeat of the French during their intervention in Mexico marked events in that era.
Key military campaigns in the early 20th century include the Mexican Revolution and the Cristero War. These two conflicts, respectively, overthrew the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz and challenged the largely anticlerical nature of the post-Revolutionary governments. Mexico stood among the Allies of World War II and was one of two Latin American nations to send combat troops to serve in the Second World War.
Recent developments in the Mexican military include deployment of troops to the United Nations, a cooperation with the United States in terms of patrolling borders, and relief sent during Hurricane Katrina.
in|Spanish]] conquest of Mexico, several wars ensued between the Aztecs, and several other native tribes. Alliances between the Aztec state and Texcoco had become central to these pre colonial wars. Several of these conflicts were evolved to an organized warfare, known as the flower wars.
In flower wars the primary objective was to injure or capture the enemy, rather than killing as in Western warfare. Prisoners-of-war were ritually sacrificed to Aztec gods. Cannibalism was also a center feature to this type of warfare, as well. Historical accounts such as that of Juan Bautista de Pomar state that small pieces of meat were offered as gifts to important people in exchange for presents and slaves, but it was rarely eaten, since they considered it had no value; instead it was replaced by turkey, or just thrown away.
Perhaps the most famous of the Native Mexican states is the Aztec Empire. In the 13th and 14th centuries, around Lake Texcoco in the Anahuac Valley, the most powerful of these city states were Culhuacan to the south, and Azcapotzalco to the west. Between them, they controlled the whole Lake Texcoco area.
The Aztecs hired themselves out as mercenaries in wars between Nahuas, breaking the balance of power between city states. Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan formed a "Triple Alliance" that came to dominate the Valley of Mexico, and then extended its power beyond. Tenochtitlan, the traditional capital of the Aztec Empire, gradually became the dominant power in the alliance.
It should be noted that the Chichimeca, a wide range of nomadic groups that inhabited the north of modern-day Mexico, were never conquered by the Aztecs.
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