Download Mexico: Struggles with Nationhood

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Map 1) Borderlands 1700-1763
Map 2) Borderlands 1763-1800
Map 3) Borderlands 1800-1819
Map 4) Borderlands 1819-1848
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
• 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
Revolt of Juan Bautista de Las Casas (1811)
Revolt of Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara (18121813)
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
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.
In 1821, Iturbide issued a call for
the three “guarantees”:
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)
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.
Moses Austin (1761-1821)
Stephen F. Austin—Land Empresario
General James
Haden Edwards,
Edwards and the
Fredonia Republic
Sam Houston
Antonio Lopez
de Santa Anna
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.
Santa Anna wins the
Presidency in 1833, then
leaves it to Gómez Farías
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.
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
Clergymen throughout the country were advised that they should limit
their directives and admonitions from the pulpit to matters of religion.
The secularization of education--including the University of Mexico.
All future clerical appointments would be made by the government rather
than the papacy.
The mandatory payment of the tithe was declared illegal. (The individual
was asked to search his own conscience and respond as he would.)
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.)
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.
of 1824
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
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
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 vicepresident.
* 1835: Santa Anna moves north at the head of
some 6,000 troops.
* 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.
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
Sam Houston
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!
Gen. Scott leaves Puebla
for Mexico City
The Battle
From the U.S.
point of view
The Battle of Chapultepec
from the Mexican point of
Monument to the Niños Héroes
Mexican defense of the Belen Gate, Mexico City, Sept. 13, 1847.
Gen. Scott's entrance into Mexico City, Sept. 14,
The Treaty of
February 2, 1848
The Treaty of Guadalupe
Gold is discovered in California in