These were the principal causes of Mexico's Independence

In order for Mexico to become an emancipated nation, it had to go through a long and violent process. The country's independence was the result of many struggles that lasted for 11 years, from 1810 to 1821.

Causes of Mexico's Independence
Causes of Mexico's Independence

The causes that led the protagonists of these independence struggles were diverse and we will tell you the most important, and some of the consequences left by this historic moment, which marked the life of our nation.

The Independence of Mexico was a prolonged conflict, which originated in the inequality that existed between the social classes that made up the nation at that time, the inclusion of a so-called caste system as a type of hierarchical order in the country, the establishment of Bourbon reforms, patriotism and, although it seems that there is no connection whatsoever with the next event, the independence of the United States.

Inequality:

The criollos (children of Spaniards born in American territory) were discriminated by a classification of the race that prevailed at the time, by their economic or social position in addition to being viewed with contempt by those who were Europeans. In this sense, also influenced the abuse and exploitation of the indigenous people of the area to be their slaves. 

The criollos were looking for independence that would allow them to exercise some kind of power in politics, together with autonomy in an economic sense that would allow them to carry out their work freely. They no longer wanted the gradual loss of their characteristics or culture.

Domination of the caste system:

In the territory known as the New Spain, the caste system existed a constant confrontation between the inhabitants that conformed it, Spaniards, Creoles, and mestizos. The caste system, that was established with the purpose of allowing to see fulfilled the revolutionary desires, besides the social change that so much was aspired, in practice only worked to have the peasant people and the Indians subjugated.

The instauration of Bourbon reforms:

They arrived as a search by the Spanish government to improve its economy in the Iberian territory, as in the colonies it had conquered. And moved also, because New Spain wasted and wasted its resources in the export of minerals to Europe. This prompted him to impose reforms that really only impoverished more and more the lives of the inhabitants and that of various local elites and, of course, this brought discontent within the nation.

Patriotism:

The members of the upper classes in New Spain allowed themselves to be influenced and gladly accepted the nationalist education imparted by the French Revolution. It was an ideology that made more sense for these ´citizens of élite´ who lived with a constant difference of ideas. This led to the point at which some exalted or acclaimed the viceroyalty somewhat more than their fidelity to the territory of the nation. All the patriotism that developed in New Spain was a key aspect of programming and thinking about the idea of being independent.

Independence of the United States of America:

This is one of the causes that seem to have no connection with our independence, but being immediate neighbors of the territory of New Spain, were a kind of example for the inhabitants, who saw how the neighboring colonies achieved their emancipation and independence despite the conflicts that implied, but in turn nurtured their hopes for a better future and the victory in independence that Mexicans so longed for, the United States was their model to follow from that moment.

Source: Union Puebla

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Step by Step: This is how the struggle for Mexico's Independence was fought

In the days of Mexican Independence, it is worthwhile to review the history books and commemorate the Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated every September 16.

The Chronology of Mexico's Independence Struggle
The Chronology of Mexico's Independence Struggle

This is how the struggle for independence took place step by step, starting on September 16, 1810, and ending on September 28, 1821.

Context of New Spain in 1808

First, we have to go back to 1808. Although there are still two years to go before the fight that would begin with the Cry of Sorrows, we must understand the context.

In that year the North American and French revolutions began to be known. The colonies came up with the idea of liberal states, which implied a rejection of monarchies and the search for sovereignty over peoples.

The population of New Spain made up mostly of indigenous people (60 percent) and castes (22 percent), was beginning to feel discontent towards the crown.

Furthermore, in May of that year, King Ferdinand VII of Spain abdicated the crown in favor of Charles IV, who in turn resigned in favor of Napoleon.

This generated general discontent and a series of uprisings. There was even an attempted coup d'état by merchants after this announcement. This began to germinate the idea of conspiracies.

1810

In the house of Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, literary gatherings were held, attended by Miguel Allende and Juan Aldama, as well as some priests such as Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. There they planned a conspiracy for December, during the fair of San Juan de los Lagos.

September 13: Ignacio Garrido denounces the conspiracy plan in Querétaro.

September 14: Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez warns that they were discovered.

September 15: That night, Ignacio Allende intercepts the arrest warrant and goes to Dolores, where Miguel Hidalgo decides to take up arms.

September 16: The priest Miguel Hidalgo summons a mass at dawn since it was Sunday. Instead of offering Sunday service, he invites people to join him in the fight against bad government. It was there that the struggle for independence began to take shape.

September 21: Hidalgo is named Major General; Allende, Lieutenant General; and Juan Aldama, Marshal.

September 23: Viceroy Venegas arms army against Hidalgo's movement. It is called a realistic army.

October: The insurgent movement had already taken Guanajuato, Aguascalientes, Valladolid, and Guadalajara. It seemed that they could triumph.

1811

January to March: Confrontations between the Spanish army and the insurgent movement. The latter are defeated in several clashes, so the leaders flee to the north. For his part, José María Morelos continues to fight in the south.

March 21: Miguel Hidalgo and Ignacio Allende are captured by Ignacio Elizondo in the Norias. They go on to an ecclesiastical trial.

May 26th: Vicente Guerrero joins the fight. Spoiler: will be one of the few who survive to the end of this story.

June 26: Ignacio Allende, Ignacio Aldama, among others, are shot in Chihuahua.

July 30th: Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla is shot and decapitated in Chihuahua.

October 14: The heads of Hidalgo, Allende, and Adama are shown in Guanajuato for the remaining insurgents to surrender. It didn't work for them.

1812

In the absence of a legitimate king, the Spanish Cortes promulgated a Constitution establishing a Spanish constitutional monarchy.

It was about maintaining order and helping to make counterrevolution; however, citizens did not get the autonomy they wanted.

For his part, José María Morelos continued his struggle in the south, in which he was doing more or less well.

1813

The insurgents continued to fight despite having a little army and few resources. With the help of Guadalupe Victoria and Vicente Guerrero, they seized Chilpancingo, Tixtla, Chilapa, Taxco, Cuatla, among others.

September 14: José María Morelos y Pavón establishes a congress to exercise sovereignty. There he read "Sentimientos a la Nación" (Feelings of the Nation), where he declares a free America and is named Servant of the Nation.

October 22nd: The constitution written by Congress is promulgated.

1814

February 18: The Supreme Congress removes Morelos from power and is forced to continue his struggle separately.

May 5: Fernando VII returns to the crown, dissolves the Cortes and annuls the Constitution of 1812 which sought a constitutional monarchy.

1815

July 14: Morelos writes to U.S. President James Madison to recognize the independence of New Spain.

September 1: But he rather forbids purchases to aid the insurgent movement in New Spain.

November 5: Morelos is taken prisoner and faces trial.

December 22: Morelos is shot in San Cristóbal Ecatepec.

1816

January - October: The insurgent movement continues, albeit weakened. It obtains no victory but resists.

November 16: Vicente Guerrero defeats realistic army on Piaxtla hill.

1817

January - July: The insurgent movement rises with the support of General Francisco Xavier Mina and Servando Teresa de Mier.

August 14: Teresa de Mier is captured.

October 27: Mina is captured and taken prisoner.

November 11: Mina is shot in Cerro Bellaco.

1818

January to December: Remember that Guadalupe Victoria is still alive. The struggle for independence continues in the southeast of the still New Spain.

1819

November 5: Vicente Guerrero is defeated in Agua Zarca. Fortunately, he is not captured.

December: Vicente Guerrero continues his fight. He continues his insurgent battle in the south.

1820

March 8: Faced with the continuation of the war and Spain's economic crisis, King Ferdinand VII swears the 1812 Constitution he had annulled.

June 18: Parish elections are held in New Constitutional Spain.

October: The commander Agutín de Iturbide, who had fought from his beginnings against the insurgent movement, makes a turn of the screw and begins a plan to seek the independence of New Spain.

November 16: Iturbide goes out to fight against Vicente Guerrero, who is an obstacle.

1821

January 10: Iturbide writes to Vicente Guerrero inviting him to surrender and offer him a pardon, as both seek independence.

January 20: Guerrero says no, but shows interest in achieving independence together.

10 February: Iturbide and Guerrero meet in Acatempan and make peace. It is known as the Abrazo de Acatempan.

February 24: Plan de Iguala is signed to declare New Spain an independent country.

With the passing of the months, several regions adhere to the Plan of Iguala and Iturbide creates the Army Trigarante to achieve independence. Everything looks good. Spain and its viceroyalty in America are in crisis and do not have the resources or the forces to continue the struggle.

September 21: The Army of the Trigger leaves for Mexico City.

September 23: Realist forces flee to Veracruz.

September 27: Trigarante Army enters Mexico City! Mexican independence consummated!

Source: Milenio

The key women behind Mexico's Independence

For many years the history of Mexico's War of Independence, begun in the early hours of September 15, 1810, in the town of Dolores (Guanajuato), has been focused on highlighting the male figures behind that feat, "the heroes who brought the homeland". However, this insurgency would not have been possible without the active participation of women.

The most distinguished person has been Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, known as 'La Corregidora', but it was thousands of women who joined the independence forces and participated in the fighting by walking with the troops, feeding them, healing them, contributing money, serving as informants and guides. There were also many who offered their homes as shelters and fought on multiple fronts.

Although many of the names of those women remained anonymous, Leona Vicario, Josefa Ortiz, Gertrudis Bocanegra, Mariana Rodríguez Toro, and María Ignacia 'la Güera' Rodríguez transcended the veto of history and managed to make visible their role in the emancipatory struggle.

It was not until 1980 when a woman, Josefa Ortiz, was mentioned for the first time in the ceremony of the 'Grito de Dolores', which takes place on the night of September 15.

Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, the councillor

This woman born in Mexico City in 1768 was, at age 42, one of the first participants in the so-called conspiracy of Querétaro and a key piece in the beginning of the struggle led by the priest and revolutionary Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, who stood out by initiating the first stage of Mexico's war of independence with an act known as 'El Grito de Dolores' (The Cry of Sorrows).

Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez
Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez

In her house, the plan of the War of Independence began, which was extended from September 1810 to 1821. Once in march, Josefa had a fundamental role as an informant of the warlords.

When the Royalist Army - the armed forces used to try to sustain the Spanish monarchy in New Spain and restore it when Mexico declared itself independent - discovers the conspiracy, 'La Corregidora' convinces the insurgents to advance the date of the arms uprising, which was scheduled for October 1, 1810.

Ortiz was arrested and served three years in a convent on charges of treason against the Spanish crown.

Today hundreds of schools in Mexico bear her name, which is also inscribed in gold letters on the Wall of Honor of the Legislative Palace of San Lázaro in Mexico City and on the Independence Monument in the center of the country's capital.

Leona Vicario Fernández, the informant

She played a definitive role during the struggle for Mexico's independence by financing medicines, sending messages and money for the insurgents, as well as giving refuge to some of them.

Leona Vicario Fernández
Leona Vicario Fernández

She was part of a secret society called 'Los Guadalupes', whose members created a mail network with Miguel Hidalgo because they belonged to the viceroyal society and that allowed them to have access to information on the strategies of the Spanish to combat the insurgents.

She was also one of the first women journalists in Mexico. Leona Vicario's name is also inscribed in gold letters on the Wall of Honor of the Legislative Palace of San Lázaro.

Gertrudis Bocanegra, the spy

As a spy, she worked mainly in the regions of Pátzcuaro and Tacámbaro, in Michoacán, through a communication network between the main headquarters of the independence rebellion. Some of her children and her husband died in the war and she herself would later be shot for the cause.

Gertrudis Bocanegra
Gertrudis Bocanegra

Bocanegra was discovered and apprehended by the Royalist Army, who tortured her in order to inform on other guerrilla participants. Gertrudis refused, was tried and found guilty of treason with a death sentence. She was shot on October 11, 1817, at the age of 52.

Mariana Rodríguez Toro, the literate

After learning of the capture of some of the independence leaders on April 8, 1811, while she was in one of the literary gatherings she used to have with other sympathizers of the movement, Mariana incited the release of the prisoners and an attack on the viceroy, but her plans were betrayed by a priest.

Despite being imprisoned and threatened with death for conspiracy, Mariana did not inform on any member of her group. In December 1820 she was liberated, but she died in 1821, so she could not see Mexico's independence consummated on September 27, 1821.

Mariana Rodríguez Toro's name is also written in gold letters on the Wall of Honor of the Legislative Palace of San Lázaro.

María Ignacia Rodríguez, La Güera

Popularly known as 'la Güera' Rodríguez was a Creole aristocrat who supported the independence cause, mainly because of her closeness to Agustín de Iturbide, who later became constitutional emperor of Mexico.

María Ignacia Rodríguez
María Ignacia Rodríguez

Ignacia, in addition to being the financial benefactor of the cause, would have encouraged and incited Iturbide, who was a member of the Realist Army, to join the insurgents.

In March 1811 she was accused before the Holy Inquisition for maintaining communication with Miguel Hidalgo and for adultery. However, she was only exiled to the state of Querétaro for a time.

She was widely recognized in the upper class of New Spanish society due to her beauty and fortune.

Source: Zocalo