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Ancient Mexican Cultures
Once the Spaniards invaded Mexico new ancient Mexican cultures emerged. As Spanish blood mixed with the Aztec blood new castes were born. These castes were dependent on how pure the Spanish blood was in an individual. The more Spanish blood, the higher the caste.
The Españoles were Spaniards that were actually born in Spain. This was the highest caste in Mexican during the Spanish conquest. These people repesented the Church and/or government officials, the large land owners and the slave masters.
Next in line of the ancient Mexican cultures were the Criollos. These people were individuals of Spanish blood but born in Mexico. Most of them were part of the land-owning aristocracy. Very few occupied high positions in the government. Those spots were reserved for the Españoles. In the 19th century, discrimination against these people by the highest class led to a rebellion and the Mexican War of Independence and the South American Wars of Independence. As a result Spain was separated from South America and this new independent country was broken up into different states.
Moving down the hierarchy of these ancient Mexican cultures are the Mestizos. These were Mexican people of mixed blood, Spanish and Indian. They formed the highest population of people in Mexico. It was this group of people that were quick to convert to Catholicism, the predominant religion of Mexico today.
Indigenes (Indios, indígenas, amerigenas)
Finally, the lowest caste of these ancient Mexican cultures was the Indigenes. These were the people of pure Indian blood. These were the true Mexicans, inheritors of the Aztec and Mayan cultures. And, because of their pure Indian blood they were subject to all of the ailments and diseases brought over from Europe by the Spanish. As a result their populations quickly diminished during the early massacres.. These were also the slaves of the great landowners and government officials.
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