Mexico. Its heroes, its history… and the road to freedom.Culture, Featured stories, News, STORIES — By cristina on September 10, 2010 at 12:16 pm
The history of the Mexican people, its culture, traditions and heroes is very rich. Its hues denote the strength, bravery and courage of those who have written it. This year, in 2010, Mexico is jubilantly celebrating the Bicentennial of the Independence of Mexico, as well as the First Century of the Mexican Revolution. Two events marked by a thirst for change, written with the passion and blood of those who fought for their ideals in pursuit of a better country.
Taken together, these events led to the formation of governments and laws that guarantee the rights of freedom, education, health and job for everyone in Mexico. Let us briefly review these events.
On the evening of September 15th 1810, the bells at Dolores Hidalgo rang loudly while a group of Mexican idealists summoned their fellow Mexicans to rise against the Spaniards. This event known as the Grito de Independencia, lead to a series of events that lasted 11 years, but at the end showed the way to Mexican Independence from Spain.
Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was the mastermind and leader of this movement. With a group of intellectual Mexicans they all dreamed of a free and independent nation. Months after the movement began, and after several victories of the insurgent army, during a battle the Spaniards arrested several leaders, including Hidalgo, and executed them in 1811. Prior to their capture, Hidalgo had instructed the priest Jose Maria Morelos to lead the movement in the south resulting in success during the following years. By the end of 1815, Morelos was captured, prosecuted and executed. Nonetheless, the movement continued with the patriots Guadalupe Victoria and Vicente Guerrero, who rallied Mexicans and Creoles (Mexican-born but of Spanish descendants) to their cause.
Almost towards the end of these fighting years, General Agustin de Iturbide resigned from the Spanish ranks to support the insurrecting army, and at the beginning of 1821, met with Vicente Guerrero. Together they proclaimed the Iguala Plan, a plan whose interest focused on 3 important points: to establish the Independence of Mexico from Spain, declare the Catholic religion as the sole religion and to integrate all the social groups.
The result of this plan and of the past years of insurrection concluded with the marching of the Trigarante Army (Army of the Three Guarantees) into Mexico City on September 27th 1821, the day when Mexico was declared an independent country.
The so longed Mexican independence brought a series of governants periods in which the nation grew, but with many gaps in the social and cultural areas. The political atmosphere before the revolution was of a dictatorship from the Oaxacan military Porfirio Díaz. It is undeniable the growth Mexico had during Díaz’s leadership, but his autocracy of over 30 years also brought the discontent of all the classes, since the social inequality was a palpable factor.
The Mexican Revolution began on November 20th, 1917, as a socially armed movement against the unjust social situation that prevailed in the country. It was led by Francisco I. Madero whom amongst other things, was looking to overthrow the dictatorship of Diaz, the establishment of democratic elections and restore the land of the Mexican peasants that was taken away from them during the last years. When Diaz realized the movement was growing, he submitted his resignation and went into exile to France, dying a few years after.
The conflict extended during several years more, where revolutionaries like Emiliano Zapata, Francisco Villa and Venustiano Carranza led the Mexicans by defending their ideals, and the interests of the people. It was in 1917 when Carranza became president of the country, but the much desired peace was not practical until after 1920. It is since then that Mexico has walked the path of independence and began its development as a productive and equitable nation.
The main result of the Mexican Revolution is reflected in the drafting and enactment of the current Mexican Constitution, ratified by the Constituent Congress on February 5th 1917, originally based on the constitution of 1857. Its articles contain major reforms on the social order as well as the individual rights of all Mexicans, including freedom of association, strike, education and regulation of the property.
The history of Mexico is ever changing, evolving and growing. These two representative movements have marked the path to where the nation is going. Each and every one of its participants, good or bad, have come to reinforce the idea of a strong, active and constantly learning society. And now, two hundred years later, we are the leaders of Mexico through our actions and decisions. Take the example of those who gave their lives to defend our rights and let us build together a better present. Meanwhile, let’s all say: Viva Mexico!