Causes of Latin America’s Independence Movements Anger towards Bourbon reforms –intendants –monopolies Friction between Creoles and Peninsulares New ideas of the Enlightenment –Rise of Nationalism Native militias U.S. Example Napoleonic invasion of Spain & Portugal –Charles IV Ferdinand VII –Napoleon’s brother, Joseph is place on the Spanish throne.
Mexico’s Road to Independence July 1808: news of Napoleon’s capture of Charles IV and Ferdinand VI and his invasion of Spain reached Mexico City and provoked intense debates and maneuvers among Mexican elites to take advantage of these dramatic events. Faced with the prospect of an imminent collapse of Spain, creoles and peninsulares alike prepared to seize power and ensure that their group would control New Spain, whatever the outcome of the Spanish crisis. September 1808: A coup led by peninsular merchants overthrows the creole-dominated cabildo and Viceroy Iturrigaray.
September 16, 1810: Father Miguel Hidalgo called on the people of his parish to rise against their Spanish rulers. José María Morelos continues to fight. He brings the rebel groups together in a congress that met in Chilpancingo in 1813. 1814: The defeat of Napoleon and the return of the reactionary Ferdinand VII to the throne of Span released thousand of soldiers who could be send overseas to suppress the Spanish-American revolts. December 22, 1815: Morelos is executed by royal forces. Vicente Guerrero become the most prominent rebel leader.
Revolt of Juan Bautista de Las Casas (1811) Revolt of Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara (1812- 1813) Battle of the Medina River (August, 1813) A royal force led by José Joaquín Arredondo defeats Gutiérrez’s rebel force. Some 1,300 rebels killed Some 327 suspected rebel sympathizers in San Antonio executed.
Changes in Spain induce Changes in Mexico 1820: A liberal revolt in Spain forced Ferdinand VII to accept the constitution of 1812. The radical reforms of the Cortes that followed, including the abolition of the ecclesiastical and military fueros, antagonized conservative landlords, clergy, army officers, and merchants, whether creole or peninsular. Fearing the loss of privileges, they schemed to separate Mexico from the mother country and to establish independence under conservative auspices. Their instrument was the croele officer Agustín de Iturbide, who had waged implacable war against the insurgents. Iturbide offered peace and reconciliation to the principal leader, Vicente Guerrero. His plan combined independence, monarchy, the supremacy of the Roman Catholic church, and the civil equality of creoles and peninsulares.
1.Religion (the Catholic faith to be the official creed) 2.Independence (presumably under a monarchy) 3.Union (fair treatment of creoles and peninsulares alike) In 1821, Iturbide issued a call for the three “guarantees”:
Guerrero was a sincere liberal and republican, Iturbide an unprincipled opportunist who dreamed of placing a crown on his own head. The united forces of Iturbide and Guerrero swiftly overcame scattered loyalist resistance. On September 28, 1821, Iturbide proclaimed Mexican independence, and eight months later an elected congress summoned by Iturbide confirmed him as Augstín I, emperor of Mexico.
The era of Santa Anna: An era of flamboyant caudillaje and chronic instability 1821--he switched allegiance and joined Iturbide's fight for Mexican Independence. 1823--he led republican forces against the empire and was instrumental in overthrowing Iturbide. 1827--he took the lead in suppressing Vice-President Nicolás Bravo's (conservative) revolt against President Victoria (liberal). 1828--he saw to it that the defeated liberal candidate, Vicente Guerrero, was installed in office. 1829--he defeated the Spanish invasion forces as Tampico to save the infant republic. 1832--he overthrew the Bustamante dictatorship after it had become intolerable. But his illustrious career in a chaotic Mexico was just getting started in 1833. Indeed--if you can believe it--1833 marks the beginning of an era that was even more chaotic for Mexico. Between May 1833 and August 1855 the presidency changed hands thirty-six times, the average term being about 7½ months. Santa Anna occupied the presidential chair on eleven different occasions, and, without question, he was the most powerful political figure in Mexico during this time. Even when he was out of office he was a powerful force to be reckoned with and a constant danger to the incumbent regime and to anyone aspiring to the succession.
In 1833, Santa Anna won the presidency with the largest majority in Mexican history. But, he soon grew bored of the presidential day-to-day work. Thus, he returned to his estate in Vera Cruz and left the presidency to Vice-President Valentín Gómez Farías. Santa Anna wins the Presidency in 1833, then leaves it to Gómez Farías
The liberal reforms of Valentín Gómez Farías A.Military Reforms: 1.Reduce the size of the army 2.He abolished military fueros (i.e. army officers would now have to stand trial in civil courts.)
B. Gómez Farías’s Clerical Reforms 1.Clergymen throughout the country were advised that they should limit their directives and admonitions from the pulpit to matters of religion. 2.The secularization of education--including the University of Mexico. 3.All future clerical appointments would be made by the government rather than the papacy. 4.The mandatory payment of the tithe was declared illegal. (The individual was asked to search his own conscience and respond as he would.) 5.Congress enacted legislation permitting nuns, priests, and lay brothers, who had taken oaths to spend their entire lives as brides and servants of Christ, to forswear their vows. (This was done in the name of individual freedom--a concept much in vogue with the nineteenth-century liberals.) 6.The Franciscan missions in California were secularized and their funds and property sequestered.
Understandably, many of those who had vested interests in the Church or the military hated Gómez Farías reforms. To the rallying cry of Religión y Fueros the church, the army, and other conservative groupings banded together and called for the overthrow of the government. Santa Anna joins the conservatives cause and overthrows the government of his former Vice-President, Gómez Farías: Again thirsting for public acclaim the retired President Santa Anna jumped at the new opportunity for action and agreed to lead the movement against his former vice-president, Gómez Farías. Not embarrassed by lack of consistency, the embattled champion of all liberal causes since 1821 suddenly began denouncing anticlerical atheists, naive federalists, subversive anarchists, Gómez Farías, and his liberal cohorts.
The Texas Revolt A. Permission to settle: Starting in 1821, Spain and then an Independent Mexico had granted permission to Catholic (North) Americans to settle the sparsely populated territory of Texas. B. Incentives for settlement: Soon there was a great influx of Americans settlers into Texas. The land was practically free--only 10¢ an acre as opposed to $1.25 an acre for inferior land in the U.S. Each male colonists over twenty-one years of age was allowed to purchase 640 acres for himself, 320 acres for his wife, 160 acres for each child and, significantly, an additional 80 acres for each slaves that he brought with him. The numerical dominance of the American settlers: 1827: By 1827 there were some 12,000 United States citizens living in Texas, while there were only 7,000 Mexicans. 1835: By 1835 the immigrant population had reached 30,000, while the Mexican population had barely passed 7,800
The Mexican response to the influx of Americans 1. Slavery was abolished: The first important piece of legislation designed to prevent a further weakening of Mexican control was President Guerrero's emancipation proclamation of 1829. Because slavery as not important anywhere else in the republic, the measure was clearly directed at Texas. Although manumission was not immediately enforced, it was hoped that the decree itself would make Mexico less attractive to colonists from the U.S. South and would thus arrest immigration. 2. Forbiddance of further immigration: The colonization law of 1830 explicitly forbade all future immigration into Texas from the United States and called for the strengthening of Mexican garrisons, the improvement of economic ties between Texas and the remainder of Mexico by the establishment of a new coastal trade, and the encouragement of increased Mexican colonization.
October 2, 1835— The Battle of Gonzales. The first battle of the Texas Revolution begins when Santa Anna sends a detachment of Mexican Calvary to retrieve a cannon. Texans drive them back using the cannon. The battle flag used by the Texans features a picture of a cannon and the written dare "come and take it."
The Texans Response The Texans considered these measures repressive. The last straw, as far as the Texans were concerned, was the news from Mexico City that Santa Anna had arbitrarily annulled the federal Constitution of 1824. The centralist tendencies of the new regime meant that, instead of having a greater voice in the management of local affairs, the Texans were to have no voice at all. The Lone Stare Republic is declared. The Texans had decided on independence and subsequently chose David Burnet as president of the Lone Star Republic and Zavala as vice- president.
* In 1836 a Mexican force of about 4000 men commanded by Santa Anna reached San Antonio. The San Antonio garrison—187 men under the command of Colonel William Barrett Travis—withdrew to the Alamo. About 15 civilians were with the men inside the Alamo. Santa Anna attacked the Alamo, eventually breaching the mission walls. Only the civilians survived. * 1835: Santa Anna moves north at the head of some 6,000 troops.
The Goliad Affair: Mexican forces executed 365 Texan prisoners who had surrendered. Several weeks after the surrender of the Alamo, Genaral José Urrea engaged a force of Texans under the command of Colonel James W. Fannin at the small town of Goliad. Surrounded and outnumbered, Fannin surrendered in the belief that he and his men would be afforded the recognized rights of prisoners of war. Realizing that the tenor of the war had been set at the Alamo, General Urrea wrote to Santa Anna urging clemency for Fannin and the other prisoners. Urrea then moved on to another engagement and left the Texas prisoners in the charge of Lieutenant Colonel Nicolás de la Portilla. Santa Anna, however, ordered Nicolás de la Portilla to execute the prisoners, which he promptly did despite some moral misgiving. All 365 prisoners were executed.
Santa Anna is defeated and captured at the Battle of San Jacinto: The excesses committed by Santa Anna's troops at the Alamo and Goliad crystallized opposition to Mexico both among Texans and in the United States. Supplies and men began to pour into Texas, and by the third week in April Houston felt strong enough to make a stand. He chose his own ground and, in the middle of the afternoon on April 21, caught Santa Anna's troops of guard near San Jacinto River. Within half an hour the Mexican arm was routed, and Santa Anna himself fled for safety. Two days later he was captured by one of Houston's patrols.
President David Burnet (March 1836 to October 1836) Vice President Lorenzo de Zavala
In February 1842, President Santa Anna ordered General Rafael Vásquez to take San Antonio. Vásquez occupied San Antonio for 2 days that March. Then General Adrián Woll reoccupied San Antonio on behalf of Mexico again, taking 60 prisoners before retreating upon the arrival of Texan volunteers. In response, Houston commanded General Alexander Somervell to lead an expedition of about 750 men toward the Rio Grande. Its mission was to patrol the border to prevent further invasions. (See p. 107)
The boundary dispute was over whether Texan territory extended to the Nueces River or to the Río Grande, as the Texans claimed it did. This dispute was important since a boundary from the Río Grande would include thousands and thousands of square miles, including half of New Mexico and Colorado. President Polk decided to support the Texan claims, and ordered General Zachary Taylor into the disputed territory. The Mexican commander ordered him to withdraw, but instead Taylor penetrated all the war to the Río Grande. Skirmishes broke out between Mexican and U.S. troops, and President Polk now had the perfect excuse to declare war on Mexico. From the Mexican point of view, however, things look quite different: not only had the Americans taken Texas, but they had changed the traditional boundary to double its size! When the Mexicans sought to defend themselves against the addition encroachment, the Yankees cried that Mexico had invaded the United States!
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