Located on the southern border of the United States, Mexico holds a long and storied history of remarkable civilizations. In 1521 Spain colonized and controlled the vast territory until Mexico formally achieved independence in 1821. The post independence period was marked by war, including with the United States, and dictatorship. Ultimately, this led to the Mexican Revolution of 1917 which created a new democratic and power limiting constitution.
Despite the new constitution the National Revolutionary Party held democratic power in Mexico for the greater part of a century. The National Revolutionary Party oversaw important reforms such as the nationalization of the oil industry and the steady growth of the Mexican economy. While much of the Mexican population remains poor due to unequal income distribution, the country has the 15th largest economy in the world. After the National Revolutionary Party lost the 2000 elections, multiple parties have vied for power. Since 2006 violence has drastically escalated in Mexico due to cartel violence. Today, this is the greatest problem facing a turbulent Mexico.