Tlaxcala (tläskäˈlä) [key], state (1990 pop. 761,277), 1,555 sq mi (4,027 sq km), E central Mexico. Tlaxcala is the capital. It is the smallest and one of the most densely populated Mexican states. The western part lies within Mexico's central plateau; the remainder, however, is extremely mountainous, with a temperate to cold climate. Maguey, cereals, and subsistence crops are grown in the valleys. Light manufacture has developed on a significant scale. Textile and fighting bulls are traditional and still important products of the state. In the mountains are the sources of the Río Balsas. Defeated by Hernán Cortés after fierce resistance, the Tlaxcaltecs later became valuable Spanish allies against the Aztecs.