The written history of Mexico spans more than three millennia. First populated more than 13,000 years ago, central and southern Mexico (termed Mesoamerica) saw the rise and fall of complex indigenous civilizations. Mexico would later develop into a unique multicultural society. Mesoamerican civilizations developed glyphic writing systems, recording the political history of conquests and rulers. Mesoamerican history prior to European arrival is called the prehispanic era or the pre-Columbian era. Following Mexico's independence from Spain in 1821, political turmoil wracked the nation. France seized control in the 1860s, but a popular revolt overthrew that regime. Quiet prosperous growth was characteristic in the late 19th century but the Mexican Revolution in 1910 brought a bitter civil war. With calm restored in the 1920s, economic growth was steady while population growth was rapid.