Méxica was the name given to the Aztecâ tlaca, ‘the People of the Place of the Herons’ by their god Tetzauhteotl Huitzilopochtli. After many years of wandering, they entered what was to become the Valley of México and founded the cities of Tenochtitlán and Tlatelolco on islands in Lake Texcoco in the 14th Century.
In 1428 the Méxica achieved ascendancy by forming an alliance with the neighbouring city of Texcoco to overthrow the ruling Tepaneca. The city of Tlacopan joined with Tenochtitlán and Texcoco to form the Triple Alliance. By the end of the 14th Century Tenochtitlán had become the pre-eminent leader of the Alliance and undisputed center of the Empire.
The Méxica considered themselves the heirs to the Toltecs, having tarried at legendary Culhuacan-Tollán, and inherited much of the Tolteca culture. They continued the trade routes with the Nisei from the 15th Century onwards. Equipped with iron and the horse, the Méxica Empire expanded south and east through the isthmus, subjugating the Maya and eventually coming into conflict with the Inca and French of South America. The Nisei turned east, towards the Great Plains to encounter the Dakota and the Iroquois and Shawnee.
By the 16th Century the society of the Méxica had become distinctly stratified, dominated by the Seven Imperial Clans and other noble families. Despited the adoption of Christianity, the Empire remained militarized and aggressive, supporting the Stuart dynasty in its domination of the British Isles and launching conquests into Africa and South America.
For the early history of the nation see Azteca.