New Mexico (abbr.: NM or N. Mex.), state of the United States of America, 315,115 km2, with 1.5 million inhabitants; capital: Santa Fe.
The state is divided into two parts by the north-south river Rio Grande. The eastern third of the state is a plateau, part of the Great Plains; the southern part of this is known as the Llano Estacado (Staked Plains). In the central northern part of the state are the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Here is the highest point (Wheeler Peak, 4011 m). The center and southwest is formed by the Basin and Range area, a series of mountain ranges interspersed with valleys and desert basins, with west of the Rio Grande ranges such as the Mogolon Mountains, Black Range and Mimbres Mountains. Part of the Colorado Plateau, the northwest consists of broad plains dotted with table mountains and intersected by deep canyons. There are many extinct volcanoes scattered across the country. The state’s lowest point is where the Pecos River exits New Mexico (877 m). Most of New Mexico is drained by two major rivers: the Rio Grande drains the west, the Pecos, which rises in northern New Mexico and joins the Rio Grande 1200 km southeast in Texas, drains the east. The Canadian River drains the northeast; the western border areas drain into the Colorado. The dam, which closes the valley of the Rio Grande at Elephant Butte, has created a 65 km long lake. New Mexico has a dry and sunny climate, with fairly large differences in temperature between day and night.
Before 1930, the state was largely Hispanic, but since 1945, a large influx of Anglophone immigrants from other American states has prevailed; at present only about 36% speak Spanish. The Indians (about 9% of the population) are threatened in their survival by uranium mining in some of their reserves. The average population density is 5 inhabitants. per km2. About 73% of the population lives in urban areas. The largest cities are Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. See top cities in New Mexico.
The main economic activities are mining and industry, followed by agriculture; In addition, tourism is on the rise. The New Mexico area is part of the so-called Grand Mineral Belt (extraction of uranium, coal, natural gas, petroleum, potash). Agriculture mainly includes cattle and sheep farming. A major stimulus for industrial growth was research in the field of nuclear weapons (eg Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory). The other important industries are: electronics, food, transport, chemical, graphic and wood processing industry. Tourism mainly focuses on historical places (Aztec Ruins National Monument, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, Taos Pueblo and Acoma Pueblo) and the areas of natural beauty (including White Sands National Monument). Well known are the stalactite caves at Carlsbad in the Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
Cabeza de Vaca, a castaway from the lost expedition of Pánfilo de Narváez, was the first white man to visit this area (1536); on his return to Mexico he told about a mythical gold country. Expeditions were therefore sent out to find the fabulous seven cities of Cibola mentioned by him. In 1539 Fray Marcos de Niza reached the territory of the Zuñi Indians, in 1540 Francisco Vasquez de Coronado conquered the villages where they lived, which must have given rise to the legends about the seven cities due to their remarkable construction. In 1581–1582 a first attempt at colonization was made, in 1598 Juan de Onate conquered the entire area. His successor Pedro de Peralta founded the capital Santa Fe in 1610. New Mexico was heavily worked by missionaries, but also exploited by Spanish settlers.
In 1680 the Spaniards were almost completely driven out by a large Indian revolt and it was not until the 1690s that Diego de Vargas succeeded in re-establishing Spanish rule. Now followed the foundation of the city of Albuquerque. The colony did not flourish, mainly due to the continuous incursions of the Apache and Navaho Indians. In 1821 Spanish rule ended; New Mexico became part of Mexico, but Mexican authority was weak. American settlers soon poured in from the north along the Santa Fe Trail, and when the United States-Mexico war broke out in 1846, the area fell easily into American hands after General Kearny’s quick conquest. In 1850 it was organized as Union territory. For a long time, however, it remained a wild area, threatened by the Apaches and by all kinds of white fortune hunters, who fought complete wars there. In 1910 a constitutional assembly met in Santa Fe, in 1912 New Mexico became the 47th state in the Union. In World War II, the most important work for the development of the atomic bomb took place at Los Alamos and the first was detonated at Alamogordo (July 1945).
National Parks New Mexico
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
This park was granted national park status in 1986 and is located in northeastern Nevada near the Utah state line.
The park got its name Great Basin from a large area that stretches from the Wasatch Mountains in Utah to the Sierra Nevada Mountains Range in California. All the rainwater that falls in this area is stored in huge groundwater basins or evaporates back into the atmosphere. Mountain ranges, stalactite caves and ancient pine forests are some of the features of this national park. Some special animal species that occur here are the mule deer, the golden eagle, the prairie wolf and the puma. There are no hotels in the park, but there are camping areas.