In 1810 Hidalgo led a group of indigenous and mestizo peasants in a revolt against the dominant peninsulares under the banner of theVirgin of Guadalupe. After clashes with the criollos and Mexican townspeople the group disbanded. Hidalgo was captured on 21 March 1811, and executed on 30 July.
Hidalgo's rebellion was the beginning of what would become the Mexican War of Independence. Although he was unsuccessful in his original aim, Hidalgo's efforts were followed by those of José María Morelos and Agustín de Iturbide whobrought down the colonial governments of Spain in Mexico. Hidalgo is considered the Father of the Nation of Mexico.
2 Education and Ordination
3 As parish priest in Dolores
4 Involvement in Queretaro
5 Grito de Dolores
6 Hidalgo’s army – from Celaya to Monte de las Cruces
7 Retreat from Mexico City
8 Execution of Hidalgo
9 Hidalgo’s legacy
Hidalgo was born on May 8, 1753 as the first child of Don Cristobal Hidalgo y Costilla and Dona Ana Maria Gallaga at the estate of San Diego Corralejo in the Penjamo jurisdiction. Hidalgo was born a "creole", "in Spanish-American history, the term 'creole' signifies one of pure Spanish blood, born, not in Spain, but in one of the Spanish colonial possessions".Under the system of the day, Hidalgo's rights as a creole were far less than those of someone born in Spain but slightly better than a mestizo, someone with a mixture of Spanish and Amerindian ancestry. Both of Hidalgo's parents were descended from well respected families within the creole community. Eight days after his birth Hidalgo was baptized into the Roman Catholic faith in the parish churchof Cuitzeo de los Naranjos. Hidalgo's parents would have three other sons; Jose Joaquin,Manuel Mariano, and Jose Maria.
In 1759 when Hidalgo was six, Charles III of Spain ascended the throne; he soon sent out a visitor-general with the power to investigate and reform all parts of colonial government. Privileges previously withheld from creoles were granted and "some opportunities were accordedthem for self-government, at least in the ayuntamientos or municipal governing boards. …they were for the first time since the Conquest admitted to the colleges and universities, and rendered eligible to careers at the bar, in the Church, or in the Government."
With the new opportunities available Don Cristobal was determined that Hidalgo and Joaquin should both enter the priesthood andhierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. Being of significant means he paid for all of his sons to receive the best education the region had to offer. After receiving private instruction, likely from the priest of the neighboring parish, Hidalgo was ready for more formal education.
 Education and Ordination
At the age of twelve Hidalgo was sent to Valladolid (now Morelia), Michoacan tostudy at the Colegio de San Francisco Javier with the Jesuits, along with his brothers. When the Jesuits were expelled from Mexico in 1767, he entered the Colegio de San Nicolas. There he chose to study for the priesthood. He completed his preparatory education in 1770. After this, he went to the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico in Mexico City for further study, earning hisdegree in philosophy and theology in 1773. His education for the priesthood was traditional, with subjects in Latin, rhetoric and logic. Like many priests in Mexico, he learned some Indian languages, such as Nahuatl, Otomi and Tarascan. Along with these he also studied Italian and French, which were not commonly studied in Mexico at this time. He was considered cultured and clever,...