Mexico occupies a large territorial extension in the northern part of the American continent, with lands bathed by the waters of two important oceans (Atlantic and Pacific), which has always made it coveted by foreigners, especially and at the time, by the Spanish conquers.
After 300 years of iron Spanish power, Mexicans decided to start the fight for their freedom and independence. Let’s know everything that involved and led to the fight for the Independence of Mexico.
The beginnings of the Independence of Mexico
After their arrival in Mexican lands, the Spanish conquerors subdued the indigenous people by establishing laws for their domination, exploitation and culture.
Strata and social classes were defined according to the economic position and the political power and cultural level of the citizens. The most privileged class was the Spanish.
The main public functions and positions, as well as the distribution of land, were exercised by and for foreigners.
In short, wealth and any means to obtain or increase it was the exclusive option of the Spanish aristocracy, leaving the Creole, mestizo and indigenous population totally unprotected, exploited and at the mercy of the whims and whims of the colonizers.
In the name of education, acculturation and evangelization, all kinds of crimes were committed. Hundreds of people received the death penalty by the Court of the Inquisition installed in the viceroyalty, to exercise justice according to their will and partialities.
Some background of the Independence of Mexico
The mistreatment, humiliation, slavery and the progressive loss of all rights, began to bother the population that little by little began to demonstrate against the Spanish regime.
News reached America about the invasion of Spain by the French army led by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1808, an irruption that caused destabilization in the lands dominated by the Spanish and the viceroyalty of Mexico was no exception.
In Spain, Carlos IV and Fernando VII, great promoter of the processes of conquest and travel, were forced to resign. Then, Bonaparte appointed his brother José de el as king of Spain, exercising power between 1808 and 1813.
With José Bonaparte as king, the “New Spain” was dissatisfied with having to be loyal to the French, which caused an increase in discomfort and fissures, resulting in the start of insurgent movements.
This insurgency was clearly subdued and crushed after the coup attempt in 1808.
Foci of protests were organized in the various towns, one of the most important being that of the group led by the priest, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, who from the Church of the Town of Dolores invited the population to rebel and begin the fight for independence. , an action known as “El Grito de Dolores”.
The Independence of the United States in 1775 and then the French Revolution in 1789, were promoters of the desire for freedom of the Mexican people.
Cry of pain
Among the movements that sought the end of Spanish rule, in the town of Dolores, near Guanajuato, a decisive event occurred for the beginning of the independence struggle.
The so-called Grito de Dolores is actually the sermon given by the priest, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, from the pulpit of the church, in Dolores, on September 16, 1810, which became a speech full of independence motivations.
In his moments of greatest emotion he called for “death to the evil and oppressive Spanish government” for all the injustices against the people and included the “gachupines”, citizens born in Spain.
Miguel Hidalgo was characterized by his revolutionary tendency, a character that manifested itself in his sermons and performances. He is considered a hero of Mexican independence, since he was in charge of commanding both politically and militarily the first part of the struggle for the independence of Mexico.
After several movements he was defeated, captured and shot on July 30, 1811.
Currently, Mexico has the tradition “Del Grito” on the eve of September 16, the day on which the President of the Republic rings the bells from the balcony of the National Government Palace in Mexico City.
In an emotional speech, the first national president repeats the names of the patriots who fell during the war for independence and begins the celebrations by shouting three times, Long live Mexico!
In the year of the Bicentennial of Mexico’s Independence, Felipe Calderón, current president, traveled to Dolores de Hidalgo to launch the Cry of Independence in honor of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla.
What is the War of Independence?
The War for the Independence of Mexico is a movement that formally began with the Grito de Dolores on September 16, 1810.
After 11 years of fighting and thousands of casualties in different Mexican regions, independence was finalized on September 27, 1821.
The battles and deaths of the heroes of independence were worth it, because the Mexican people were freed from the Spanish yoke and more than 200 years later, this independence is valued more every day.
Causes of the Independence of Mexico
The causes that prompted the Mexican people to fight for independence and build their own identity as a country are:
The social division defined in the “New Spain” began to bother and cause discomfort in the population, which caused enough tension to initiate revolutionary processes.
The so-called Creoles not only considered themselves members of the Spanish crown, they also faithfully followed the doctrines of the Roman apostolic church.
The Spanish crown began to have economic problems, the priests increased their wealth unusually, an absurd tax system was implemented, many large estates were created and the lands were dispossessed from the indigenous people.
The society that had emerged was built on bases of inequality. Spanish citizens born in Spain of Spanish parents were the owners of money and power.
The role of social classes
The so-called “criollos” were children of Spaniards from the peninsula who had been born in the “new world”, but lacked “lineage”, therefore they were not considered or treated as Spaniards, nor fit to hold public office of any kind. .
The indigenous, mestizos and castas had no rights and only had to spend their time working very hard and tirelessly. In addition, they paid high taxes to the Spanish crown and their opportunities to progress were practically nil.
The blacks were the forgotten ones and did not exist as people, only as slaves.
Uprisings in Europe
In Europe, revolts and uprisings began, among them, the invasion of Spain by Napoleon Bonaparte that caused the resignation of King Carlos IV and later of Fernando VII, who had assumed the throne.
Bonaparte named his brother José king of Spain, an appointment that had consequences on American lands held by the Spanish.
In Mexico, the Grito de Dolores was conceived by the priest, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, which began the first part of the independence struggle.
When Hidalgo is captured and shot, others such as José María Morelos, Mariano Matamoros and Vicente Guerrero, assumed the roles in the fight for freedom.
Doubts towards the Spanish Crown
While there were groups that expressed their full support for Ferdinand VII as king and leader of Spain, there were others that did not trust the son of Carlos IV to carry out the post and did not recognize him.
In Mexico, a governing board of the colony presided over by the viceroy, José de Iturrigaray, was formed with the approval and satisfaction of the Creoles, one that was not pleasant for the Spanish. Thus, clashes began to occur.
In the salon meetings they began to talk and discuss ideas of independence and freedom, which encouraged thousands of oppressed men to join the revolutionary process.
The independence of the United States
The closest neighbors to Mexico achieved their independence in 1775, an event that brought the ideas of independence even closer to Mexicans.
The neighborhood allowed the Mexican people to immediately see the independence process of the United States and that gave them courage, determination and energy to throw off the Spanish yoke.
Stages of the independence of Mexico
The process of the Independence of Mexico was conceived by 11 years of battles, deaths, pain and uncertainty, everything that a war entails.
For better understanding, this number of years has been divided into stages.
First stage, the beginnings
At first everything was messy and improvised. What seemed like it could work and give results was done. The fighting simply sought to remove the Spanish from the government.
This time is also known as the Hidalgo stage, because the promoter of this rebellion was the priest, Migue Hidalgo y Costilla, who with his fiery speeches during the sermons lit the independence flame of the town.
This first stage ended with the capture of Hidalgo and his death by firing squad, along with his main assistants, on July 30, 1811.
Second stage, organization and definition of independence
This second period is known as the Morelos stage, because when Hidalgo died it was José María Morelos who assumed command of the insurrection.
The captain immediately assumed the process, one that advanced a lot in the objective of achieving independence.
Under his command, the objectives were defined and specific goals were set regarding the uprising and the fight for freedom.
All these guidelines and social and political agreements were established in the document written by Morelos himself, later known as Sentimientos de la Nación, dated September 14, 1813.
With the clear and direct action of the captain, the Mexican people managed to clearly see how the independence of their land would come.
The group of revolutionaries appointed and established a governing board called the Supreme National American Board, whose president was José Ignacio Antonio López Rayón. Thus they also created the Congress of Anahuac.
It can be said that this second stage of the independence process was operational, since taxes were collected and the goods and possessions of the Mexican nation were distributed.
There were organizations that imparted justice and that allowed the peoples to have autonomy to make decisions.
José María Morelos made a valuable contribution to concretize the independence process of Mexico, which ends with his death on December 22, 1815, with which this second independence stage or stage of Morelos ends.
Third stage, resistance in independence
The stage of resistance is located between December 1815 and February 1821. It is known as such because the enthusiasm to continue fighting for a free and independent country had been lost.
Félix María Callejas, one of the leaders of the royalists, was in charge of undermining the spirit and the will of the independence revolutionaries. Thus, the disorder returned and with it the north was lost, the clear strategies were exhausted and the objectives were distorted. The rebels were reduced and without capabilities, but not throughout the country.
In the south there were men fighting in an organized manner and with very clear and well-defined freedom goals, such as Vicente Guerrero, who maintained his fighting spirit, which encouraged Mexicans to continue the independence quest.
Despite being Spanish by birth, Francisco Javier Mina was at the side of the rebels and was aware of the entire process. He was a valuable ally.
Fourth stage, culmination of the independence process of Mexico
Mexicans begin to glimpse the end of the 11-year struggle to achieve independence on February 24, 1821, with the Treaty of Córdoba. Later, with the signing of the Plan of Iguala or Plan for the Independence of North America.
This political document showed in a written and firm way that the “New Spain” was now a free and independent country, whose main objectives were to establish specific goals such as:
The Independence of Mexico, the presence of the monarchy through Ferdinand VII or another representative of the kingdom of Spain, the acceptance of the Catholic religion as unique in the country, the union of social classes.
This process ended on September 28, 1821 with the reading and signing of the Act of Independence.
How was the Declaration of Independence written and signed?
All the events indicate that it was thanks to an agreement reached between the general, Agustín de Iturbide and his “persecuted”, Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña, whom despite the attempts he could not capture, which allowed a momentary end to the conflicts, some that they would continue for different interests but now with an independent Mexico.
First stage of the independence of Mexico
The first stage to materialize the independence process of the Mexican people gives its first signs in 1810, when important events occur that mean the first firm steps to end Spanish rule.
Concerns and disagreements were brewing in the “New Spain” since 1808, when the invasion of Spain by Bonaparte took place, who appointed his brother José as king.
These events unleashed in Mexican lands the organization of a revolutionary movement formed by the Creoles in Mexico City, a conspiracy controlled and finally defeated.
In 1809 another insurgent movement was created and the so-called Conjura de Valladolid was formed, which suffered the same fate as the movement in Mexico City.
Despite the defeats, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla called on the people to unite and establish an organized way to get out of the Spanish yoke.
The captain of the militias, Ignacio Allende, was also involved in these calls; both had armed clashes on several occasions with the Spanish soldiers, the majority of the victories being for the latter.
Next to Hidalgo and Allende was a rebel named Juan Aldama, who had a relevant participation in the clashes that occurred on the occasion of the Grito de Dolores on September 16, 1810.
Conspiracy of Querétaro and Cry of Dolores
The so-called Querétaro Conspiracy was a revolutionary and clandestine movement organized and directed by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, Miguel Domínguez, Juan Aldama and Ignacio Allende, to achieve the independence of Mexico.
This group of revolutionaries supported the mandate of Fernando VII, since he did not show disagreement regarding the independence of the conquered territories in America.
The plans devised were discovered and ended on September 10, 1810. Just a few days after the defeat, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla launched the famous Grito de Dolores on September 16.
In his speech he proclaims: Long live the Virgin of Guadalupe! Down with the bad government! Long live Ferdinand VII!
The group of armed revolutionaries increased in number and moved towards the area called El Bajío; the number of rebels at this point exceeded the Spanish, which guaranteed them victory in the armed confrontation and the city of Guanajuato remained in the hands of the rebels.
The Spaniards residing in Guanajuato were arrested and their goods and properties confiscated.
All the struggles of Hidalgo and his group ended on January 17, 1811 when they were defeated at El Puente de Calderón.
Some revolutionaries were executed, while others like Hidalgo were arrested, tried and shot.
The priest died on July 31, 1811. He is considered a hero of the republic and the city of Dolores, home of the cry, today bears the name “Dolores de Hidalgo” in his honor.
Beginning of the independence of Mexico
The Mexican independence process began as a revolutionary movement organized by figures such as Miguel Hidalgo, Juan Aldama and Ignacio Allende.
The triumphs achieved in this initial stage fed the will of others such as José María Morelos, who took command after the execution of Hidalgo, Almada, Allende and Domínguez.
Regrouping the rebel forces and with clear and defined strategies and guidelines, they once again embarked on the independence process.
Before the presence of Hidalgo and his followers, a movement of disagreement with the Spanish government had developed.
From the hand of Fray Melchor de Talamantes, one of the most exalted thinkers of the time, some subversive writings and pamphlets with messages of freedom were released.
The flyers also said that since the Spanish government was not effectively in charge of exercising government in the “New Spain”, it was more than convenient that it become a free land, owner of its independence and supreme will.
Causes and consequences of the independence of Mexico
Many were the causes that provoked the decision to seek the liberation and independence of Mexico by the Mexicans. Among the most important we can mention:
1. The dismissal of Ferdinand VII as King of Spain by the action of the French troops commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte, who named his brother José Bonaparte king.
2. Social inequality. The aristocratic Spaniards enjoyed rights and advantages, while the indigenous, mestizo and black people were subjected to hard and enslaving work. .
3. The reforms applied by the Spanish ruling house of the Bourbons to establish changes in the administration of the colonized lands.
4. The influence received from the Enlightenment, the independence of the United States and the French Revolution, among other liberating historical events.
The causes that led to Mexican independence brought consequences among which we can highlight:
1. Loss of political, social and economic power of the Spanish monarchy over Mexican lands.
2. The abolition of slavery.
3. Generation of an economic and labor crisis, because in addition to the death of many men, the survivors of the independence battles were crippled and unable to carry out any work.
4. Increased great political instability.
5. The system of social classes or castes ended, establishing social equality.
Development of the independence of Mexico
The independence of Mexico took place after several processes and events that we will learn about below:
September 16, 1810
Armed uprising in the town of Dolores, a movement headed and directed by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, Ignacio Allende and Mariano Abasolo, marked by the raising of the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a clear symbol of the uprising.
Days later, exactly on September 28, the mayor Juan Antonio Riaño would die and the city of Atotonilco would be sacked.
October 20, 1810
Hidalgo and Pavón met with José María Morelos in Michoacán, a meeting that resulted in the appointment of Morelos as lieutenant, being commissioned for the uprising of the southern coast.
Days later, on October 30, a rebel victory would be achieved at Monte de las Cruces.
November 7, 1810
The Galeana brothers meet and join José María Morelos. On November 26, Hidalgo enters Guadalajara.
November 26, 1810
Miguel Hidalgo arrives in Guadalajara. On December 6 he issues the decree abolishing slavery.
January 17, 1811
The Spaniard, Calleja, defeats the revolutionaries in Puente de Calderón and they flee without a fixed north. Later, on January 25, Hidalgo loses the military command assigned to Allende.
March 1, 1811
Hidalgo and Allende are offered a pardon, but both reject it. On March 16, Ignacio López Rayón was appointed as commander of the insurgents due to the absence of the previous leaders and they decided to move towards the north of the country.
March 21, 1811
Hidalgo, Allende, Abasolo, Aldama and Jiménez, are betrayed by Elizondo in the Norias de Bajan. They are taken as prisoners to Monclova.
For May 17 of the same year, the Bravo brothers join the Galeana and Morelos; among them is Nicolás, son of Don Leonardo.
May 26, 1811
Morelos and his people take Tixtla, where they are joined by Vicente Guerrero. On June 26, Aldama and Jiménez are shot in Chihuahua Allende.
July 30, 1811
Day in which Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla is shot.
On October 14 and after the rebels were beheaded, the heads of Hidalgo, Allende, Aldama and Jiménez arrived in Guanajuato, and were placed in the four corners of the Alhóndiga de Granaditas as an intimidating measure.
December 16, 1811
The priest of Jantetelco, Mariano Matamoros, went to Morelos and some time later, on February 19, 1812, Calleja’s military forces laid siege to Cuautla, which was being defended by Morales and his people.
May 2, 1812
Morelos and his men undo the siege of Cuautla ending their second military campaign. For June 28, 1812, José María Morelos is granted the title of Captain General.
November 25, 1812
Morelos and his army take the city of Oaxaca with the valuable help of Nicolás Bravo, Mariano Matamoros and Guadalupe Victoria. Morelos takes the city of Acapulco on April 13.
June 28, 1813
Captain Morelos launches the call for the Chilpancingo Congress; On September 14 of the same year, the Congress is installed and Morelos reads the document of his authorship called, “The Feelings of the Nation”.
January 4, 1814
Ciriaco de Llano and Agustín de Iturbide command the defeat of Morelos in Puruarán; Mariano Matamoros falls prisoner. On April 9, Morelos issues the order to set fire to Acapulco.
October 22, 1814
The constitutional decree for the freedom of Mexican America is promulgated in the city of Apatzingán. On November 5, Morelos is arrested in Temalaca.
November 21, 1815
Calleja issues the order to the legal and ecclesiastical authority to prepare a case and proceed to degrade Morelos, who was shot in San Cristóbal Ecatepec on December 22, 1815.
May 15, 1816
Xavier Mina and Fray Servando Teresa de Mier set sail from Liverpool, United Kingdom, towards American lands.
Manuel Mier y Terán is defeated in the confrontation of Lomas de Santa María on November 7 and Vicente Guerrero loses the fight in the Cañada de los Naranjos.
April 22, 1817
Xavier Mina disembarks in Soto la Marina and issues a manifesto against the tyrannical government of Fernando VII. By May 14, Mina and a group of 300 soldiers moved into the interior of the country and took 700 horses that were at Hacienda El Cojo.
November 11, 1817
Mina is captured and shot on El Bellaco hill. On January 1, 1818, the Spanish, Armijo, took Nicolás Bravo prisoner at the Dolores ranch.
March 27, 1818
Andrés Quintana Roo accepts with his wife Leona Vicario the offered pardon.
For his part, Vicente Guerrero maintained the resistance of the rebels and from Las Truchas called for the organization of militias on June 16, 1819.
November 5, 1819
Vicente Guerrero is defeated in Agua Zarca and on November 16, 1820 Agustín de Iturbide mobilizes from Mexico City to fight Guerrero.
December 31, 1820
The residents of San Diego, a town near Veracruz, rise up and revolt following the instructions of Guadalupe Victoria.
On February 10, 1821, the Spanish Iturbide and Vicente Guerrero met in Acatempan.
February 24, 1821
Iturbide launches the proclamation of the Plan of Iguala and prepares to organize the so-called “Trigarante” army, which will be in charge of defending the three established guarantees: independence, union and religion.
On August 19, 1821, the last armed confrontation for the independence of Mexico took place in Atzcapotzalco.
August 24, 1821
The signing of the treaties of Córdoba between Don Juan de O’Donojú and Agustín de Iturbide, documents that fully recognized the independence of Mexico, is celebrated.
On September 27, 1821, the Trigarante army entered Mexico City, thus consolidating the country’s independence after 300 years of Spanish rule.
Background of the independence of Mexico
There were several antecedents that prompted the Mexicans to find a way to get rid of the Spanish government.
Within the economic and social structure established by the colony, there was a great deal of inequality, especially between the Creoles and the Spaniards who arrived from the peninsula.
These differences became even more noticeable when resolutions were issued from the Governing House of the Bourbons for the management of the government in the lands of “New Spain”, reforms that further limited the ability of the Creoles to form part of the government or exercise any charges.
Creoles were children of Spaniards born in America, but who were not considered true Spaniards.
In Europe, on the other hand, independence movements were brewing in addition to the war between Spain and France.
The invasion of Napoleon Bonaparte and his army in Spain and the consequent dismissal of Fernando VII, who had assumed office after Carlos IV and the imposition of José Bonaparte as king of Spain, increased the unrest in American lands.
The inhabitants of “New Spain” kept wondering how good and convenient it was to be governed by a non-Spanish king.
Movement in the neighboring country
The independence of Mexico’s close neighbors like the United States influenced the Mexican people to achieve their own freedom.
The first movements were organized by groups of rebels willing to give their lives fighting for independence.
After learning of the invasion of Spain by France, Mexico sought a way to appoint a government of the people until Ferdinand VII returned to power.
In 1808, a proposal for a government exercised by the people was made by Francisco Primo de Verdad and Juan Francisco Azcarate y Lezama, who took it to Viceroy Iturrigaray. The idea was that the town would be represented by the City Council of Mexico.
This proposal leads to a confrontation between the City of Mexico and the Royal Court, resulting in a conspiracy against Iturrigaray executed by Gabriel de Yermo on September 15, 1808.
Viceroy Iturrigaray is arrested and dismissed, Pedro Garibay taking his place, who issues the order to arrest the members of the City Council of Mexico, including Francisco Primo de Verdad, who ends his life by hanging in the prison of the Archbishopric of Mexico on the 4th. October 1808.
In 1809 the “Conspiracy of Valladolid” was carried out led by José María de Obeso, José Mariano Michelena, Mariano Quevedo and Fray Vicente de Santa María. Although the plan was exposed, no one was charged or brought to trial.
All these events served as inspiration for the so-called “Conspirators of Querétaro”.
Who participated in the independence of Mexico?
The gestation of the independence of Mexico was long. It took 11 years of battles, successes, failures and betrayals to finally sign the documents that declared the country a free and independent nation.
Many were the heroes who participated in the different emancipatory events and movements, giving their lives for what would later become independent Mexico.
Among the thousands who fought to have a sovereign country, we mention:
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
Main leader of the first steps for independence. Author of the famous Grito de Dolores. He was shot to death on July 31, 1811 and among his most famous phrases are: Long live Independence! Long live the Virgin of Guadalupe! Death to the bad government!
Insurgent Mexican soldier who accompanied Hidalgo and Aldama in the first stage of the struggle for independence. He was appointed generalissimo. He was shot to death when he was captured along with Hidalgo, Aldama and Jiménez.
He participated in the clashes from the Grito de Dolores and remained in the fight until his death in 1811, when he was shot along with Allende and Jiménez. His head and that of other heroes of the first independence stage was exhibited to the people.
Jose Maria Morales y Pavon
Rebel leader and revolutionary who assumes command of the insurgents after Hidalgo’s capture and death. He is known as “The Servant of the Nation”. He was appointed captain general and upon being captured by the Spanish he was demoted and finally shot.
Morelos said: “dying is nothing when you die for your country.”
Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez
After learning that the movement led by Hidalgo had been discovered, Josefa notified the group and they decided to take action, producing the Grito de Dolores and the subsequent armed uprising.
He fought under the command of Morelos and after his death he assumed command of the rebel troops. Together with Agustín de Iturbide, he was in charge of making the proclamation of the Plan of Iguala, leaving the latter as head of the “Trigarante” army.
Vicente Guerrero is famous for this phrase: “the country comes first.”
Agustin de Iturbide
Military with outstanding participation in the final stage of Mexican independence. He was in charge of meeting with Guerrero and establishing the guidelines for the proclamation of the Plan of Iguala. He was also the head of the Triguarante army.
Francis Xavier Mina
“Xavier” Mina, Spanish by birth, arrived in Tamaulipas in 1817 to fight for the independence of Mexico. He intervened in various confrontations until he was captured, tried and shot on November 11 of the same year on El Borrego hill.
A very young Nicolás Bravo became Morelos’ right-hand man. He was a military man of performance and on occasion he spared the lives of enemies. When he came out of pressure he firmly supported the Plan of Iguala. He was the first vice president of Mexico between 1824 and 1829.
Jiménez joined Hidalgo and due to his high technical capabilities he was commissioned to manufacture the cannons used for combat. He was imprisoned along with the group of insurgents in 1811 and on July 26 he was shot along with Juan Aldama and Ignacio Allende.
His head was exposed to the Alhóndiga de Granaditas as well as that of Hidalgo, Allende and Aldama, until the consummation of the independence process.
This Mexican priest and patriot fought alongside José María Morelos. In 1812 and following his orders, he participated in the taking of Oaxaca. Morelos appointed him general in 1813.
He was persecuted by Iturbide and Ciriaco de Llano. Captured in Puruarán on January 5, 1814, he was tried and shot in Valladolid a month later, despite the fact that Morelos offered to free 200 royalists in exchange for Matamoros’s life.
Seminarian whose real name was José Ramón Adaucto Fernández y Félix. He abandoned his studies to join the fight for independence under the orders of José María Morelos.
He exercised command in the province of Veracruz where a great prestige as ruler was forged, which earned him to be elected the first President of the Republic. His presidency was the inauguration of the republican form of government in the country.
Other characters who also had an important performance during the independence process were:
Hermenegildo Galeana; Andres Quintana Roo; Leona Vicar; Ignacio López Rayón; Manuel Mier y Terán; Melchior of Talamantes; Francisco Primo Truth; Marquis San Juan de Rayas; Jose Mariano Michelena.
They also include Epigmenio González; Anthony Ferrer; Mariana Rodríguez del Toro de Lazarín; Jose Maria Cos; Jose Maria Liceaga; Serving Teresa de Mier; Joaquin Fernandez de Lizardi; Carlos Maria Bustamante; Jose Antonio Torres; Victor Rosales and Encarnacion Ortiz.
Timeline of the independence of Mexico from 1810 to 1821
In the residence of Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, wife of the corregidor of the town of Dolores, meetings were held, attended by the priest, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, Ignacio Allende and Juan Aldama.
From those meetings came the plan to launch a conspiracy for December 1810 during the San Juan de los Lagos fair.
On September 13, Ignacio Garrido arrives in Querétaro and denounces that there is a conspiracy plan.
A day later, Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez announces that the conspiracy has been discovered. The following night Ignacio Allende manages to intercept the arrest warrant that had been issued against him and the group of insurgents; he arrives at the town of Dolores where Hidalgo decides to activate the plan and go to armed combat.
On the morning of September 16, Hidalgo invites people to a mass that becomes a speech with which he summons the people to join the fight for the independence of Mexico.
For September 21, Hidalgo is appointed generalissimo; Ignacio Allende, lieutenant colonel and Juan Aldama, marshal.
On September 23, Viceroy Venegas orders the formation of an army and calls it a royalist; his goal is to fight against Hidalgo and the rebels.
In October 1810, the rebel army had managed to advance. They took Guanajuato, Aguas Calientes, Valladolid and Guadalajara. They felt they could succeed.
Between January and March several confrontations take place between the Spanish royalist army and the members of the insurgent army, but the latter are defeated several times, so the leaders decide to march north. However, José María Morelos keeps fighting in the south.
Miguel Hidalgo and Ignacio Allende are arrested in Las Norias by Ignacio Elizondo on March 21, 1811. An ecclesiastical trial is ordered against them.
On May 26, Vicente Guerrero joins the independence struggle; he manages to survive the entire process and enter Mexico City when the country has already been liberated.
That same day, Ignacio Allende and Juan Aldama were executed by firing squad in Chihuahua, along with other comrades in the struggle. On July 30, Miguel Hidalgo also dies by firing squad and in Chihuahua. After his death he was beheaded.
On October 14, the heads of Hidalgo, Aldama and Allende are publicly shown in Guanajuato to intimidate the rebels and achieve their surrender, something that does not happen.
Because Spain lacked a legitimate king, the Spanish courts promulgate a constitution that establishes a Spanish constitutional monarchy. Its objective was to maintain order and carry out a counterrevolution, however, the citizens did not obtain any rights, less freedoms.
While this was happening, José María Morelos was still firm in the south in his struggles for independence with some triumphs that gave them hope.
The rebels continued to fight even though their army had dwindled and they had few resources for their cause. Helped by Vicente Guerrero and Guadalupe Victoria, they took control of Chilpancingo, Tixtla, Chilapa, Taxco and Cuautla, among other places.
On September 14, 1813, José María Morelos installed a congress whose purpose was to exercise sovereignty as a country.
There he reads the document of his creation called “Sentiments of the Nation”, in which he speaks of a free America. He is named “Servant of the Nation.”
On October 22, the Constitution that was drafted by the Congress of Morelos is promulgated.
On February 18, 1814, the Supreme Congress suspended and dismissed Morelos, who continued the fight on his side.
For May 5 of the same year, Fernando VII returns to power. Among his measures are the annulment and dissolution of the courts, as well as the 1812 Constitution that promoted a constitutional monarchy.
On July 14, José María Morelos sends a letter to the US president, James Madison, requesting that the independence of the so-called “New Spain” be recognized by the United States.
On September 1, the President’s response is known. In it, purchases that could mean help for the revolutionary movement were prohibited.
On November 5, Morelos is captured and brought to trial. On December 22, he is shot in San Cristóbal Ecatepec.
The rebel movements continue their advances between January and October, although their strengths have somewhat decreased. Although no victory is achieved, the resistance continues.
On November 16, Vicente Guerrero defeated the royalists on the Piaxtla hill.
From the beginning of January and until July, the rebel army is recomposed, rises and stabilizes, thanks to the support of the general, Francisco Xavier Mina and Servando Teresa de Mier.
On August 14 and October 27, Servando Teresa de Mier and Francisco Xavier Mina were taken prisoner, respectively, the latter executed on November 27 on El Bellaco hill.
During that year, the struggles and confrontations to achieve Mexican independence continued.
Guadalupe Victoria is still alive and continues to fight in the southern zone of “New Spain”.
On November 5, 1819, Vicente Guerrero was the loser in Agua Zarca; fortunately for the process, he manages to flee to continue.
Guerrero continues to push for Mexican independence during December. His combats are carried out towards the south of the country.
Fernando VII sees the need to retake the Constitution of 1812 that he himself had dismissed, due to the economic crisis in Spain and the continuation of the war. These events occurred on March 8 of that year.
On June 18, a process of parish elections takes place in territories of the constitutional “New Spain”.
During October, the general, Agustín Iturbide, who had fought against the rebel patriots since the beginning of the struggle, surprisingly takes a turn in his actions and dedicates himself to planning actions that will give Mexico independence from Spain. However, on November 16 he went out again to fight against Vicente Guerrero without positive results for the royalist cause.
General Iturbide sends a letter to Vicente Guerrero on January 10 in which he invites him to surrender and lay down his arms in exchange for a pardon; Iturbide explains that they both want Mexican independence.
Guerrero gives his answer on January 20 and it is negative, although he is very interested in Iturbide’s comment about the desire for independence on both sides.
On February 10, Vicente Guerrero, for the patriotic rebels, and Agustín de Iturbide, for the Spanish royalists, met in Acatempan and made peace. The action is known as “The Embrace of Acatempan”.
Finally, on February 24, 1821, the Iguala Plan was signed, declaring “New Spain” an independent country.
As the months go by, several regions join the Iguala Plan; Agustín Iturbide then created the so-called Trigarante Army to achieve and consolidate independence, respecting the guidelines of the Plan of Iguala.
The power of Spain is in crisis and they do not have the resources to sustain the struggles in America, so everything improves for the Mexican independence fighters.
On September 21, 1821, the Trigarante Army moves towards Mexico City.
During September 23, the soldiers and commanders of the royalist army flee towards Veracruz. Four days later, the Trigarante Army triumphantly entered Mexico City, completing the process of independence, one that took 11 long years of fighting and many deaths.
When was the Independence of Mexico?
The Independence of Mexico was achieved after 11 years of battles. Its formal beginning was on September 16, 1810 and ended on the 27th of the same month of 1821.
5 curious facts about the Independence of Mexico that you should know
The process for Mexico to be a country free from Spanish rule and domination was an 11-year job. At that time events occurred that can be classified as “curious”. A few below:
1. The Bell of Sorrows
The bell that the priest Hidalgo was in charge of ringing on the morning of September 16, 1810 to call the people to rebellion and fight for the freedom of Mexico, was preserved as the main symbol of the beginning of the independence movement.
Currently it is possible to admire the so-called “Bell of Dolores” fully restored and in perfect condition. It is no longer in the bell tower of the parish church of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, in the town of Dolores de Hidalgo.
The Bell of Sorrows occupies a special and relevant place on the central balcony of the National Palace, in the Historic Center of Mexico City.
It is used every year on the night of September 15 by the President of the Republic to commemorate the Grito de Dolores, before the people who gather in the Zócalo to remember such an important and special event.
2. Battle of Monte de las Cruces
The battle of Monte de las Cruces was one of the most important and outstanding triumphs of the priest Hidalgo and his insurgents.
It took place on the Cerro de las Cruces, on the outskirts of Mexico City; After several days of preparation, the confrontation between rebels and royalists took place, the former being victorious.
On the land where that fight was staged today stands the Insurgent National Park, popularly known as La Marquesa.
After winning this battle, Allende wanted to advance towards Mexico City but Hidalgo was still affected by what happened in Guanajuato, where there were many deaths and disasters, attributed mostly to his military forces. He decided to withdraw the rebels to the west in order to regain control of the troops and reorganize everything.
Over time, questions have been raised as to whether it was a wise decision by Hidalgo or whether it would have been better to follow Allende’s ideas.
3. Chiles in Nogada
Tradition has it that this flagship dish of Mexican gastronomy was devised by the Augustinian nuns of the Santa Mónica Convent, who, knowing that General Agustín Iturbide was passing through and soon to celebrate his saint, decided to pay him a compliment for this reason.
The chiles en Nogada evoke in their presentation the colors of the flag of the Trigarante Army: red, in the fruit of the pomegranate; green in the sprigs of parsley and white in the nogada sauce.
4. Why is the Cry of Independence celebrated on the night of September 15 and not on the morning of the 16th, as it actually happened?
Some authors agree that this change was due to President Porfirio Díaz, who ruled the country for more than 30 years.
Díaz celebrated his birthday on September 15, also, the Day of the Porfirios; So, in order to unite both festivities, he decided that the commemoration of the Scream would take place on that night and not on the morning of the 16th.
Since 1910, the Grito de Dolores or Grito de la Independencia has been celebrated on the night of September 15, around eleven o’clock at night.
Another opinion arises regarding this fact and it comes from the pen of Artemio de Valle-Arizpe, who explains in his book, “El Palacio Nacional de México”, that the date change was made by General Antonio López de Santa Anna.
The general established in 1843 that the commemoration of this act be around 11 at night on the 15th, because in this way “the fatigue of waking up early to celebrate the event is avoided.”
5. Was the bicentennial of Mexican independence actually celebrated in 2010?
If we stick to the exact meaning of events, in 2010 they were commemorating the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the independence movement that would give freedom and its form as an independent nation to Mexico.
Independence as such was finally achieved in 1821 after 11 years of battles; At that time the agreements or Treaties of Córdoba were signed in which the separation of “New Spain” from the Spanish crown was recognized and accepted.
Thus, the Act of Independence was also signed and the Trigarante Army entered Mexico City, headed by Agustín Iturbide for the royalists and Vicente Guerrero, for the patriots.
In this way, the struggle for the independence of Mexico from Spanish rule and rule was officially ended.
It remains to be seen if by next year 2021, Mexico will celebrate 200 years of Independence.
- We leave you our definitive guide on the Museum of Natural History of Mexico City
- Click here to learn more about the Mexican Revolution: who were its leaders and everything you need to know
- Meet here the 15 tourist places in southern Mexico that you must visit