The Reunion of Mexico

Iturbide entered in Mexico City with the trigarante army in September 27th of 1821 with the Act of Independence in hand, it is said to be the most joyful day for Mexicans logged in the writings of that time, today sadly forgotten in history.

Through the years, Mexico has experienced difficult changes. From the independence period there was a public outcry for Hidalgo’s massacres at the Alhóndiga de Granaditas while most of the Mexican society claimed for outright respect to the Spanish crown and the Catholic Church. The priest of Dolores fell down in Chihuahua State along with the other conspirators, Allende, Aldama and Jimenez.

The realist army was relentless under Calleja, and their heads where hung in the same building they began the discord as an exemplary punishment. Although the cry for the independence in September of 1810 was to acclaim Fernando VII as king of Mexico, the priest took a wrong decision. “Let’s kill Gachupines” he said. He then confronted the Criollos or Creoles, who were descendants of Europeans born in Mexico, the Europeans themselves, the Mestizos, and the Indigenous people instead of joining them.

It  is true that deep-seated inequalities could be seen in all the environment of New Spain -and unfortunately it is still today in our days in our beloved Mexico. The best positions in the government and private businesses where for the Europeans, and of course the Creoles where unhappy. But they didn’t want a bloody war, much less sow discord among those born in New Spain.

The natives prefer the denomination of Americans to that of Creoles. Since the peace of Versailles, and, in particular, since the year 1789, we frequently hear proudly declared, “I am not a Spaniard, I am an American!” words which betray the workings of a long resentment. In the eye of law every white Creole is a Spaniard; but the abuse of the laws, the false measures of the colonial government, the example of the United States of America, and the influence of the opinions of the age, have relaxed the ties which formerly united more closely the Spanish Creoles to the European Spaniards. A wise administration may reestablish harmony, calm their passions and resentments, and yet preserve for a long time the union among the members of one and the same great family scattered over Europe and America, from the Patagonian coast to the north of California. (Alexander von Humboldt, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, trans. John Black (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1811), vol. 1, pp. 134-217)

Sometime later the great Morelos emerged. He issued “Los Sentimientos de la Nación”, one of the documents that can be considered constitutional in the New Mexican nation. However his movement for independence didn’t bear fruit either. Morelos was defeated in the Lomas de Santa Maria battle by Iturbide, a young military man from Valladolid city, the same place where Hidalgo was born, they were actually relatives but they had different ideas on how to fight for independence. Morelos was finally taken to the scaffold. There was no leadership in the independence movement and it seemed it was up for grabs on its existence. A few insurgent generals were dissolved by the far corners of the Mexican territory. Vicente Guerrero, a very important insurgent military was lost in the jungle and many went to the pardon of the viceroy.

Only the impoverished countryside could be seen crossing through those territories before full of wealth. Ten years of independence war led Mexico to a strong destabilization. In the meanwhile, great things were happening in Europe. Napoleon had taken Spain, and liberal ideas were pronounced on the new Constitution of Cadiz. The Mexicans did not like the new legal stipulations. The annoyance of the catholic clergy was blatant. New conspiracies of independence were given in the church called of La Profesa, still located nowadays at Madero Street in center of the Mexican capital. It is said that “la guera Rodriguez” a rich and very pretty woman, influenced the powerful to call Iturbide to a new and great company, to make the Independence of Mexico once and for all.

Iturbide was commissioned to placate the southern insurgents, especially Vicente Guerrero. But he was more astute than his sponsors thought. Besides the money he received from the crown for this campaign he took over one of the ships with more treasures that embarked on the route of the Chinese Nao in Acapulco. He was much loved among the Mexican army, he had a lot of economic resources, and so he tried to persuade Vicente Guerrero to join a new independence plan.

The plan of Iguala, so called because of the place where it took place, joined Vicente Guerrero and Agustín de Iturbide those who formed the so-called trigarante army, insurgents and realist where now together, Europeans, Creoles, Mestizos and Indigenous where to be the same, in equality of rights and freedom. The three guarantees on which the independence of Mexico would be founded: Union, Religion and Independence. Juan Ruiz de Apodaca “the count of Venadito” was the last viceroy with real power in Mexico. Juan O’Donojú came from Spain to take his place as the new viceroy, but the New Mexican nation wouldn´t allow him. He had no other choice but to agree with Iturbide in signing the Treaty of Cordoba in august the 24th of 1821 where he promised to take the Spanish troops out of the territory and grant freedom to the New Mexicans. Iturbide entered in Mexico City with the trigarante army in September 27th of 1821 with the Act of Independence in hand, it is said to be the most joyful day for Mexicans logged in the writings of that time, today sadly forgotten in history.

Nací en Zacatecas, estudié Relaciones Internacionales en la Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara e inglés como segunda lengua en la Universidad de Alberta, en Canadá. Actualmente curso licenciatura en Derecho en la U.N.A.M. He laborado en el sector público y privado en las áreas de relaciones internacionales, turismo y cultura, tanto en mi estado natal como en Baja California Sur, Querétaro y Ciudad de México. @mottapoeta

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