Mexican War of Independence VM#16

Small fact: The Mexican War of Independence started in September 16, and this issue of Viernes Mexicano is the number 16, YAY!

The movement for independence was inspired by the Age of Enlightenment and the liberal revolutions of the last part of the 18th century, this means this wasn´t the first time a group wanted freedom of Mexico. By that time the educated elite of New Spain had begun to reflect on the relations between Spain and its colonial kingdoms. Changes in the social and political structure occasioned by Bourbon reforms and a deep economic crisis in New Spain caused discomfort among the Creole (native-born) elite.

Political events in Europe had a decisive effect on events in most of Spanish America. In 1808, King Charles IV and Ferdinand VII abdicated in favor of French leader Napoleon Bonaparte, who left the crown of Spain to his brother Joseph Bonaparte. The same year, the ayuntamiento of Mexico City, supported by viceroy José de Iturrigaray, claimed sovereignty in the absence of the legitimate king. That led to a coup against the viceroy; when it was suppressed, the leaders of the movement were jailed.

Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
José María Morelos y Pavón

Despite the defeat in Mexico City, small groups of conspirators met in other cities of New Spain to raise movements against colonial rule. In 1810, after being discovered, Queretaro conspirators chose to take up arms on September 16 in the company of peasants and indigenous inhabitants of Dolores (Guanajuato), who were called to action by the Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. From 1810 the independence movement went through several stages, as leaders were imprisoned or executed by forces loyal to Spain. At first they recognized the sovereignty of Ferdinand VII over Spain and its colonies, but later the leaders took more radical positions, including such issues of social order as the abolition of slavery. Secular priest José María Morelos called the separatist provinces to form the Congress of Chilpancingo, which gave the insurgency its own legal framework. After the defeat of Morelos, the movement survived as a guerrilla war under the leadership of Vicente Guerrero. By 1820, the few rebel groups survived most notably in the Sierra Madre del Sur and Veracruz.

Agustín de Iturbide

The reinstatement of the liberal Constitution of Cadiz in 1820 caused a change of mind among the elite groups who had supported Spanish rule. Monarchist Creoles affected by the constitution decided to support the independence of New Spain; they sought an alliance with the former insurgent resistance. Agustín de Iturbide led the military arm of the conspirators and in early 1821 he met Vicente Guerrero. Both proclaimed the Plan of Iguala, which called for the union of all insurgent factions and was supported by both the aristocracy and clergy of New Spain. It called for monarchy in an independent Mexico. Finally, the independence of Mexico was achieved on September 27, 1821.

After some Spanish reconquest attempts, including the expedition of Isidro Barradas in 1829, Spain under the rule of Isabella II recognized the independence of Mexico in 1836.

5 days left for the anniversary of Mexican War of Independence! Wohooo! Expect something special that day! And a moment of silence for those people that died 14 years ago.

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