Credit: DEA / ARCHIVIO J. LANGE/De Agostini/De Agostini/Getty Images

Historical Insights Mexico Statehood—Hidalgo

One of Hidalgo’s most important crops is the maguey cactus, whose liquid center is used to make pulque, a popular drink. February 23, 2015, Hidalgo, Mexico. Credit: DEA / ARCHIVIO J. LANGE/De Agostini/De Agostini/Getty Images

Mexico Statehood—Hidalgo

The process took nearly a decade, after years of unrest, but Hidalgo finally gained its statehood on January 15, 1869.

After Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, Hidalgo was still part of the very large State of Mexico. However, there was so much rioting and instability, it became apparent that creating a new state was a necessity. The process started in 1861. Unfortunately, the French invaded in 1862 and were there until 1867, stalling the formation of Hidalgo. It finally became a state on January 15, 1869, under President Benito Juárez. It was made up of a number of districts like Tula and Texcoco. Named for the Father of the Country, Miguel Hidalgo, the state was once the home of indigenous people such as the Aztec, Toltec, Otomí, and Chichimecas, who left evidence of their civilizations scattered throughout the region. Today, Hidalgo still relies on its centuries-old mining industry as one of its biggest income sources, along with tourism, textiles, cement products, auto parts, and oil production.