city and state in central Mexico.


Capital of Querétaro state in central México. Situated 162 miles (261 km) by highway and railroad northwest of Mexico City, it was founded by the Otomi Indians and was incorporated into the Aztec empire in 1446. Until 1531, when it was brought under Spanish control, it served as an Otomi outpost against the warlike tribes to the north. Throughout most of the colonial period, Querétaro was important primarily as a way station and supply centre serving the rich mining districts of Guanajuato and Zacatecas. In 1810 Querétaro was the scene of a plot against Spain that led to the uprising headed by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in September of that year. In 1848 the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, terminating the Mexican-American War, was signed there. The forces of Benito Juárez defeated those of Emperor Maximilian at Querétaro in 1867; and on a nearby hill Maximilian and his generals faced the firing squads. The Mexican Constitution of 1917 was written in Querétaro; and Querétaro was also the birthplace of the National Revolutionary Party of Mexico (1929), the dominant political force in the republic. Population (1990) = 385,503; (2000) = 535,468


Bounded on the north and northeast by San Luis Potosí, on the southeast by Hidalgo and México, on the southwest by a corner of Michoacán, and on the west by Guanajuato. The Otomi-Chichimec tribes occupying the region were conquered in 1531, and Spanish colonization commenced in the 1550s. Querétaro was administered with Guanajuato before it became a state in 1824. Although deposits of gold, copper, lead, tin, and other metals occur in the state, the chief mineral products are opals and mercury. The main Ciudad Juárez-Mexico City highway and railroad traverse the state, linking Querétaro city, the state capital, with other plateau cities. Population (1980) = 739,605; (1990) = 1,051,235; (2000) = 1,402,010

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