Why is Mexico called ‘United Mexican States’ and not ‘Mexico’?

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Republic of Mexico or United Mexican States?

In January 1825, His British Majesty’s Minister George Canning sent Henry G. Ward a series of observations that he should consider when approaching the Mexican government to “avoid certain minor inconveniences that may arise in the diplomatic relations of the two countries “.

The English representative arrived in Mexico authorized to sign with the administration of President Guadalupe Victoria a treaty “that would place on a regular and permanent basis the existing commercial relations “between Great Britain and Mexico. Beyond Ward’s diplomatic work, Canning’s comments allow us to assess the concern in London about the dismemberment of the overseas Hispanic Empire and the birth of new countries in the Western Hemisphere.

Among Canning’s “observations “there is one that is particularly striking: the one that reminded Ward that his powers empowered him to “conclude and sign a treaty with him? State ?? of Mexico “then, although it was recognized that such a “State “had assumed “the title of Republic “, it was worth pointing out at the time the Mexican plenipotentiaries “1º. What the word ?? State ?? It is a generic term, which includes all the forms and modifications of the popular government; 2nd. Which has been adopted for the express purpose that it does not appear that the peculiar shape of the ?? Republic?? Mexican is the reason or motive for our recognition that rests on very different foundations and that surely would have been loaned with no less will to a monarchical or mixed government than to a Republican one; 3rd. That the United States of America has never found it necessary to require that they be designated in diplomatic documents as one? Republic ??; and 4th, that wishing, as we sincerely do, that the example we now offer will be followed in due time by other Powers of Europe, we consider it extremely convenient for the good of Mexico itself, that no unnecessary obstacle be placed on such a result by the simple reason for a term that is irrelevant for any practical purpose “.


What actually happened is that the minister, in constant contact with the Madrid court, did not rule out the possibility of giving a monarchical solution to the process that, sooner rather than later, would lead to the recognition of the independence of the Mexican nation. Canning observed as feasible that the Spanish ruling house would send one of its members to govern independent North America – as had been proposed by various Mexican voices in the already distant Spanish Cortes (1820-1823) or as had been stipulated in the Plan of Iguala. (1821) with which Mexico achieved its independence.

For the moment, with Spain invaded by France, ruled by a Ferdinand VII more irresponsible and absolutist than ever and reluctant to grant any concession to the territories that he still considered as his “colonies “, a monarchical solution that favored the French Bourbons. Hispanics could not attract Great Britain. But if there is something that English diplomacy has managed to do with an undeniable artistic sense, it is to wait. And Canning was willing to buy time, aware that the conversion of America into a unanimous land of republics would end up benefiting the already powerful United States of Anglo-America, those whom President Victoria “despised as a nation ” and described “as an ambitious people, always ready to run over their neighbors,

Great must have been Commissioner Ward’s surprise when he realized that the Mexican delegates provided the solution to the uncomfortable issue of terms. In a letter to Canning, dated April 10, 1825, he reported that during the negotiations, the first observations made by the Aztec plenipotentiaries referred to the designation that the English government made of Mexico by naming the republic simply as ?? State ??. For Mexicans, the expression State of Mexico translated by ?? State of Mexico ?? was actually a clear reference to the neighboring province of Mexico City. The use of this term, therefore, would give rise to much unnecessary discussion in Congress, and they, therefore, proposed that where it appears the state of Mexico in the treaty, will be replaced by the United States of Mexico. Ward concluded his communication to Canning by noting: “… finding that they did not require the insertion of the word ?? Republic ?? Nowhere in the treaty did we agree to insert the ?? United States ?? when those words were necessary “.

In this way, the federal Constitution of the United Mexican States promulgated in 1824 amid fiery praise for Jorge Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and the flourishing and happy Republic of the North had provided Mexican diplomacy with the instruments for a first “victory. “. Pyrrhic victory in truth, since the government of His Majesty, for various reasons that are not relevant here, would not ratify the treaty signed on April 6, 1825. The long-awaited English recognition of Independence would arrive until July 16, 1826.

Mexico, meanwhile, had shown signs, perhaps unconsciously, that it was not about to defend the republican principle at all costs and that the introduction of a foreign dynasty called to govern it did not have its total antipathy. In addition, with the sanction of the official name proposed for the first time in the midst of the insurgent struggle by the pro-Yankee Caribbean José Álvarez de Toledo, the Homeland would begin to tolerate that the United States (the first and the authentic, it is understood) usurp it for the centuries to come. that the Count of Aranda had called, in the eighteenth century, “the sacred name of America “.

Throughout its history, the territory that we know today as Mexico has had different names. Currently, its official name, as it appears in the Constitution, is the United Mexican States. Our country has been called this way since 1917

-The names that the territory that we currently call Mexico colloquially has had are:

1. Kingdom of New Spain (1535) during the Colony.

2. América Mexicana (Sentimientos de la Nación, proposed in the Congress of Chilpancingo in 1813, which was headed by José María Morelos).

3. Mexican Empire (1821-1823).

4. Mexican Nation ( Constitution of 1824).

5. Mexican Republic ( Constitution of 1857).

6. Mexican Empire (1863-1867).

7. United Mexican States (in the Constitution of 1824 this name had already been used but it was not taken up again until 1917; in the Constitution of 1857, in addition to the Mexican Republic, our country was also called that way).

-In December 1916, prior to the promulgation of the Political Constitution of 1917, a controversy arose over the name that would be given to the country. There were those who supported the retention of the name of the United Mexican States and those who proposed that it be called the Federal Republic of Mexico.

-The Reform Commission, which proposed the name of the Federal Republic of Mexico, argued that the first appellation imitated the name of the neighboring country: United States of America, so they considered that it was necessary to change it. The Commission also argued that people identified more with the name of Mexico. In response to the opponents of this proposal, the Commission also pointed out that if what bothered them was the use of the word Republic, because it was associated with centralism or with the idea of ​​a unitary Republic, that is why the word Federal would also be used.

-For their part, the defenders of the denomination United Mexican States maintained that said appellation was necessary in respect of federalism prior to the promulgation of the Constitution of 1824, due to which the states had joined in a federation for their representation abroad but maintaining its sovereignty.

-Finally, the Constitution of 1917 was promulgated with the name United Mexican States, which is why since that year our country is officially called that way.

Morena name change proposal

The deputy of Morena Juan Martínez Flores presented an initiative to change the official name of the country to “Mexico” , instead of “United Mexican States”, and therefore, that of the Political Constitution.

Among other reasons, he stated that “in essence, as our country is a republic under a federal, representative and sovereign pact, Mexico is precisely the name that gives meaning and essence to our nation; the name of Mexico contains the idea of ​​autonomous states and independent in their interior and that they represent a federal pact towards the exterior “.

Source: elfinanciero.com.mx, wikimexico.com

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