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Hero In Mexican History Essay

1771 words - 7 pages

Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla In September 1810, a plot to overthrow the Spanish Viceroy is revealed and the conspirators are warned to flee for their lives. Nevertheless, one of them, a priest named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla decided to go ahead with his plan. In the pre-dawn hours of September 16, 1810, he sounded the call for arms at his parish church in Dolores, Guanajuato: Hidalgo raised his hands for silence: "My friends and countrymen," he began. "The moment of our freedom has arrived. The hour of our liberty has struck," Hidalgo continued. The crowd grew silent as he spoke. "We have broken the shackles of tyranny. Neither king nor tributes exist for us any longer. We are a free people, but we have to fight for our liberty. Join me!" Hidalgo's voice roared out over the men. "We will fight for liberty and country." A chorus of "vivas" echoed back. "Our cause is just and God will protect it," Hidalgo responded. Then, raising his voice once again, he claimed for himself the most remembered moment in Mexican history. "Long live the Virgin of Guadalupe!" the priest cried out. "Viva!" responded the throng. "Long live America!" Hidalgo continued, and, with the roar of the crowd in his ears, finished with "Long live Independence!" (Meyer, Sherman & Deeds, 276) The Grito de Dolores had been exclaimed. Mexico was on the road to revolution. Author Hugh Hamill, recognizes in the book, The Hildalgo Revolt, that people rarely break easily with the past. The forces of tradition and the safety and comfort of timeworn ways restrain radical thinking, preserve old institutions, and discourage exploration of unfamiliar paths to new relationships, be they political, economic or even social. Thus, he goes on to explain that for over three hundred years, Spain's colonies in America evolved slowly, stage by gradual stage, with little evident or dramatic change, at least to the eye of the contemporary observer. Life was predictable. Born an Indian peasant, one expected to die tilling the same soil as one's ancestors, passing that legacy on to a sturdy son if God so willed it. Born a Criollos, that is, a native-born American of pure Spanish descent, one expected more privileges, perhaps an education at the local college, marriage to a young girl of one's own caste and rank, and a comfortable job in the government bureaucracy. There was constancy to life for man and woman, whether Indian, black slave, Mestizo shopkeeper, or Criollos aristocrat. However, from the late eighteenth century through the early nineteenth century, new forces buffeted and shook the sleepy world of colonial Spanish America (Hamill, 18).These forces erupted between 1810 and 1825 in a series of wars and revolutions, which shattered Spain's colonial world into pieces, and then put the pieces together again as new nations. One of the greatest empires in modern history ended, and a new era of political independence began for the Latin American peoples. While independence was the result throughout...

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