1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mexico (state)

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MEXICO, a state of the republic of Mexico, bounded N. by Hidalgo, E. by Tlaxcala and Puebla, S. by Morelos and Guerrero, and W. by Michoacan. Pop. (1900), 934,468, largely Indian. Area, 9247 sq. m., a large part of which lies within that great depression of the Mexican plateau known as the Valley of Mexico. Enclosed within its boundaries, except on the south, is the Federal District and capital city of Mexico with an area of 463 sq. m., which is not included in that of the state. The state is divided into two unequal parts by the Sierra de Ajusco a.nd Montes de las Cruces, which form a wooded ridge across it from east to west, with a. general elevation of about 10,000 ft. above sea-level, or about 2500 above the plateau level. These ranges are part of a broken irregular chain which sometimes bears the name of Anahuac. A considerable part of the northern plateau consists of a broad plain, once the bed of a great lake but now covered with swamps, sodden meadows and lakes. The surrounding country drains into this depression, but an artificial outlet has been created by the opening of the Tequixquiac tunnel. Beyond its margin the plateau drains westward to the Pacific through the Lerma, and north-east to the Gulf through the San Juan and Panuco. South of the Sierra de Ajusco the country is roughly mountainous and drains to the Pacific through tributaries of the Balsas. Within the lacustrine depression of the north are the lakes of Zumpango, San Cristobal, Xaltocan, Chalco, Xochimilco, and Texcoco, the latter three lying partly or wholly in the Federal District. Texcoco has the lowest level and its water is brackish and undrinkable, though that of the streams flowing into it and of the other lakes is sweet. Lake Xochimilco is celebrated for its “floating gardens” or chinampas (see Mexico, Federal District of). The principal industries of the state are agricultural, and the principal products are cereals, sugar, maguey (from which “pulque” is made), coffee, and fruit. Stock-raising has also had a profitable development, owing to the proximity of the national capital. The manufacturing industries are important; among the manufactures are cotton and woollen fabrics, flour, dairy products, glass-ware, pottery, bricks, wines and spirits. The making of “pulque” from the sap of the maguey plant (A gave Americana) is the chief industry of the state, and the product is exported in large quantities to the national capital. The state is traversed by the Central, National, Mexican International and Interoceanic railways, and by short lines from the national capital to neighbouring towns. The capital is Toluca, and other important towns are Zumpango (pop. 5942 in 1900), 30 m. N. of the national capital, Tenango del Valle (5881 in 1900), 15 m. S.E. of Toluca, and Lerma (estimated, 7200), near the western frontier of the state.

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