The Mexican War of Independence (1810–1821) was an armed conflict between the people of Mexico and the Spanish colonial authorities which started on 16 September 1810. The Mexican War of Independence movement was led by Mexican-born Spaniards, Mestizos and Amerindians who sought independence from Spain. It started as an idealistic peasants' rebellion against theircolonial masters, but finally ended as an unlikely alliance between liberals and conservatives.
It can be said that the struggle for Mexican independence dates back to the decades after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, when Martín Cortés, son of Hernán Cortés and La Malinche, led a revolt against the Spanish colonial government in order to eliminate the issues of oppression and privileges forthe conquistadors.
After the abortive Conspiracy of the Machetes in 1799, the War of Independence led by the Mexican-born Spaniards became a reality. The movement for independence was far from gaining unanimous support among Mexicans, who became divided between independentists, autonomists and royalists.
Beginning of the War
Main article: Grito de Dolores
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was amember of a group of educated Criollos in Querétaro who met in tertulias (salons) and who in 1810 arrived at the conclusion that a revolt against the colonial government was needed because of the events of the Peninsular War. The conspirators were betrayed by a member of the group and Hidalgo turned to his parishioners in the town of Dolores. During the night of 15 September he declared war againstthe government in what known as the Grito de Dolores. On the dawn of 16 September, the revolutionary army decided to strike for independence and marched on to Guanajuato, a major colonial mining centre governed by Spaniards and criollos. There the leading citizens barricaded themselves in the granary. The rebel army captured the granary on 28 September, and most of the Spaniards and Criollos weremassacred or exiled.
On October 30th, Hidalgo's army encountered Spanish resistance at the Battle of Monte de las Cruces, fought them and achieved victory. However, the rebel army failed to defeat the large and heavily armed Spanish army in Mexico City. Rebel survivors of the battle sought refuge in nearby provinces and villages. The insurgent forces planned a defensive strategy at a bridge onthe Calderón River, pursued by the Spanish army.
In January 1811, Spanish forces fought the Battle of the Bridge of Calderón and defeated the insurgent army, forcing the rebels to flee towards the United States-Mexican border, where they hoped to escape. However they were intercepted by the Spanish army and Hidalgo and his remaining soldiers were captured in the state of Coahuila, in the regionknown as "Acatita de Baján". He faced court trial of the Inquisition on 30 July 1811. His body was mutilated, and his head was displayed in Guanajuato as a warning to Mexican rebels.
José María Morelos
Declaration of Independence
Following the death of Father Hidalgo, the leadership of the revolutionary army was assumed by José María Morelos. Under his leadership the cities of Oaxaca andAcapulco were occupied. In 1813, the Congress of Chilpancingo was convened and on 6 November of that year, the Congress signed the first official document of independence, known as the "Solemn Act of the Declaration of Independence of Northern America. It was followed by a long period of war at the Siege of Cuautla. In 1815, Morelos was captured by Spanish colonial authorities, tried and executed fortreason in San Cristóbal Ecatepec on 22 December.
From 1815 to 1821, most of the fighting by those seeking independence from Spain was done by isolated guerrilla bands. Out of these bands rose two men, Guadalupe Victoria (born José Miguel Fernández y Félix) in Puebla and Vicente Guerrero in Oaxaca, both of whom were able to command allegiance and respect from their followers....