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Zacatecas History

Zacatecas HistoryZacatecas was founded in 1546 and built over a rich vein of silver discovered by Juan de Tolosa in the same year. This and other mines in the vicinity attracted a large population, and it soon became one of the chief mining centres of Mexico. In 1588 Philip II, King of Spain, gave Zacatecas its own coat of arms. The Franciscans built a college in 1616. Silver from Zacatecas and from Potosí in Bolivia was coined as pieces of eight and transported around the world by the Spanish treasure fleets and the Manila galleons. It was this silver that helped pay for the wars of the Spanish Empire. In May 1835, Mexican federalists in Zacatecas rose in revolt against Mexican president Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who had suspended the Mexican Constitution and established a dictatorship the previous year. Santa Anna responded by crushing the rebels. He then rewarded his centralist soldiers by allowing them two days of rape and pillage in Zacatecas, during which more than two thousand noncombatants were killed. In 1914, during the Mexican Revolution, Zacatecas witnessed the bloodiest combat of the Mexican Revolution, in a battle known as the Toma de Zacatecas (Taking of Zacatecas) between the Federal armies of Victoriano Huerta and the Constititutionalist troops of General Francisco Villa. Villa's victory led to the end of the Huerta regime. A monument to the battle and General Villa is at the summit of the Cerro de la Bufa overlooking the city. Mining is now no longer as important a part of the local economy, and in fact the primary mine (the Mina El Edén) has been converted into a tourist attraction, including an underground disco in a large hollowed out cave. Indeed, the city of Zacatecas is a popular tourist destination for Mexicans, and many of the local businesses cater to them.





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