Outgoing Mexican president wants to change the country’s name

Outgoing Mexican president wants to change the country’s name

As his last gesture, President Calderon seeks to distance Mexico from its U.S.-dependent past.

The arrival of a new president in the country of Mexico promises the potential for some big changes.  The war against the drug cartels wages on and perhaps this new addition to the government can make some sort of difference.  But although President Felipe de Jesus Calderon Hinojosa is on the way out and leaving the country in other hands, he seeks to make one last attempt to change things - he wants to change the name of the country.


It’s actually been an ongoing debate, as ridiculous as it sounds.  The full name of Mexico is the United Mexican States.  This was adopted during a time when the country looked to their northern neighbors as an inspiration, the U.S.’s own revolution an example to follow for Mexico’s breaking away from Spanish control.  Nowadays, however, some people think that the name is too close to “United States of America” and that it is giving Mexico an identity crisis.

Calderon tried to do this once before, when he was a congressman in 2003, but it was a no-go on the attempt.  Though many critique him about the name change, saying that it’s a superficial act, he has his reasons.  He wants to remove association with the U.S., give Mexico a stronger version of its own cultural identity and officialize the fact that the country is, in 99 percent of cases, referred to as “Mexico.”  The only time the longer version of the name shows up is in an official capacity.

While the change of name is a relatively small affair, and one that might do more good than harm, the question is whether it will cost the state a huge pile of cash to get it run through the bureaucracy.  Most people in the country will probably not even notice the change unless they examine their country’s seal, but given the state of the war against the drug cartels, every bit of money is important.  Is Calderon simply being nationalistic?  Or does Mexico really need this confirmation of their separateness from the United States?