Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Mexico versus Mexico versus Mexico

A Venn Diagram
How it looks geographically

Mexico the country, Mexico the state, and Mexico City. When you hear "Mexico" elsewhere in the world most of the time people mean the country. When you hear "Mexico" within the country of Mexico then people probably are referring to the city.
The city is surronded by the state but is in its own federal district

When I checked into the hotel in Mexico City I was asked, "Is this your first time in Mexico?" I responded with a "yes" because of my time spent in the Yucatan Peninsula exploring the abandoned Mayan city of Tulum. But this was my first time in Mexico City. However, the hotel desk clerk did not mean Mexico the country but rather Mexico City, also referred to as DF (pronounced 'day f-A') meaning federal district. Her response of "Oh, then you really don't need a map of downtown" confirmed what she meant.

One must know that there are really three things that can be called México. There is the country which official name is the United Mexican States (Estados Unidos Mexicanos), there is the state of Mexico (Estado de México, often refered to as Endomex), and then there is Mexico City (Ciudad de México) which is the land mass of the Federal District (Districto Federal).

Within the United Mexican States, if a person is not talking about international events such as soccer, then they are probably referring to the city. Historically this is because the country obtained the name from the city because before independence the region was called New Spain. Now the the city is without a doubt Mexico's primate city which dominates the commanding heights of the country (there can be an agreement that the north with its economic ties to the United States and the south being undeveloped are culturally free of Mexico City but there can be no doubt Mexico cannot function without Mexico City). Having officially about 18% of Mexico's population (but more likely over 20% because of the amount of Mexicans living legally and illegally in the United States) makes the city the demographic mammoth of the country.

When people inside Mexico want to refer to the country they use the terms La República (the republic) or La Patria (the fatherland).

It can be said that having Mexico City be such a primate city is unhealthy for the country. Mexico City eats up many of the resources that leaves much of the rest of the country impoverished. A friend stated that the relationship between the city and the country is New York City's to New York state only to a much greater and obscene extreme. This trend was heightened by Presidents Benito Juarez and Porfirio Díaz and the Institutional Revolutionary Party by their centralizing the politics and culture of the country on and in Mexico City.

For previous versus posts read England versus Great Britain versus the United Kingdom, Netherlands versus the Netherlands, nation versus state versus nation-state, and Hawaii versus Hawai'i


Cioara Andrei said...

Foarte interesant subiectul postat de tine. M-am uitat pe blogul tau si imi place ce am vazut.Cu siguranta am sa il mai vizitez.
O zi buna!

sgenius said...

Glad you had a good time at "la capital" ('the capital', another term we mexicans from outside Mexico City use to refer to the aforementioned city).

By the way, the common contraction for Estado de México (Mexico State) is spelled "Edomex" (that's without an 'n'), and comes from the "official" abbreviation, which is "Edo. Mex." ("Edo" coming from the spanish "Estado").

Anonymous said...

Love your blog, but this is a bad example of a Venn diagram. It looks like Mexico City is part of the State of Mexico - but the City is not part of the State. While this diagram would be accurate from a geographic perspective, as a Venn diagram it is confusing.

Catholicgauze said...

A "Edomex", okay, thanks!

Catholicgauze said...

Thanks. I made a Venn one as well. I meant to do a geographic display but I guess it came out too close like a Venn.

Michael said...

"but there can be do doubt Mexico cannot function without Mexico City"

Is the reverse also true? Can Mexico City function without the rest of the country?

Catholicgauze said...

It's a sort of vampiric relationship. They both need each other but Mexico City clearly is benefiting more from the relationship.

Michael said...

Has there ever been a Capitol city that DIDN'T have that kind of relationship with whatever it was Capitol of?

Catholicgauze said...

Perphaps I should have clarified better. Many capitals also give something back or produce their own wealth (think trade capitals like Tokyo, Venice, etc). Mexico City, according to my observations and readings, consumes and produces little to nothing (for itself or the rest of the country)