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The 1811 Independence Movement known in El Salvador as the Primer grito de independencia (First Shout of Independence) was the first of a series of revolts in Central America in El Salvador against Spanish colonialism and dependency on the Captaincy General of Guatemala.
El Salvador, officially the Republic of El Salvador, is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. It is bordered on the northeast by Honduras, on the northwest by Guatemala, and on the south by the Pacific Ocean. El Salvador's capital and largest city is San Salvador. As of 2016, the country had a population of approximately 6.34 million.
In political science, a revolution is a fundamental and relatively sudden change in political power and political organization which occurs when the population revolts against the government, typically due to perceived oppression. In book V of the Politics, the Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle described two types of political revolution:
Central America is located on the southern tip of North America, or is sometimes defined as a subcontinent of the Americas, bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The combined population of Central America has been estimated to be 41,739,000 and 42,688,190.
At the beginning of the 19th century, agitation grew in the American territories dominated by the Spanish crown. The previous century was dominated by the growing support of ideas of individual freedom, which characterized the Enlightenment that took place in Europe and the Americas. Most influential was the American Revolution, with the resulting liberation of the British North American colonies, and the French Revolution, which seeded the restlessness and search for freedom in the Spanish American territories under dominion of the Spaniards.
The Enlightenment was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 18th century, the "Century of Philosophy".
The American Revolution was a colonial revolt that took place between 1765 and 1783. The American Patriots in the Thirteen Colonies won independence from Great Britain, becoming the United States of America. They defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) in alliance with France and others.
The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.
In the Intendancy of San Salvador (covering roughly the same territory as today's El Salvador), many Creoles and other settlers wanted to separate control of the colony from the Guatemalan Captaincy General. This was largely due to economic and political reasons. Greater administrative autonomy or outright independence for San Salvador would reduce the high level of taxes paid to Spain and Guatemala and would raise finances for the colony. Napoleón Bonaparte's invasion of Spain in 1808 and the removal of Ferdinand VII from the Spanish throne created an atmosphere of unrest in San Salvador.
The Criollo are Latin Americans who are of full or near full Spanish descent, distinguishing them from both multi-racial Latin Americans and Latin Americans of post-colonial European immigrant origin. Historically, they were a social class in the hierarchy of the overseas colonies established by Spain beginning in the 16th century, especially in Hispanic America, comprising the locally born people of Spanish ancestry. Although Criollos were legally Spaniards, in practice, they ranked below the Iberian-born Peninsulares. Nevertheless, they had preeminence over all the other populations: Amerindians, enslaved Africans and peoples of mixed descent.
The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was a military conflict between Napoleon's empire and Bourbon Spain, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when the French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, and escalated in 1808 when France turned on Spain, previously its ally. The war on the peninsula lasted until the Sixth Coalition defeated Napoleon in 1814, and is regarded as one of the first wars of national liberation, significant for the emergence of large-scale guerrilla warfare.
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The insurrectionists organized themselves along with prominent middle-class supporters of the cause of independence such as doctors and priests who took part in the event. These included doctors such as Santiago José Celis, the brothers (Nicholas, Vicente and Manuel Aguilar) and the priest José Matías Delgado. Others included Manuel José Arce, Juan Manuel Rodríguez and Pedro Pablo Castillo.
Santiago José Celis was a Salvadoran physician who participated in the 1811 Independence Movement.
José Matías Delgado y León was a Salvadoran priest and doctor known as El Padre de la Patria Salvadoreña. He was a leader in the independence movement of El Salvador from the Spanish Empire, and from November 28, 1821 to February 9, 1823 when he was president of the Central American constituent congress which met in Guatemala City.
General Manuel José Arce y Fagoaga was a decorated General and president of the Federal Republic of Central America from 1825 to 1829, followed by Francisco Morazán.
On November 5 the revolt began in San Salvador. According to tradition, the rebels waited for a signal from the bell tower of the Church of La Merced, but this did not occur on the scheduled time. The rebels later assembled on the town square outside the church where Manuel José Arce proclaimed in front of the public: "There is no King, nor Intendant, nor Captain General. We only must obey our alcaldes ," meaning that since Ferdinand VII had been deposed, all other officials appointed by him no longer legitimately held power. A tumult in the square grew to the point that the intendant, Antonio Gutierrez y Ulloa, asked that the gathered name somebody to formally receive their demands. Manuel José Arce himself was chosen and selected as the leader by the crowd. Despite this, the insurrectionists took arms and proclaimed the total independence of San Salvador from the Spanish crown, but were later subdued.
Alcalde, or Alcalde ordinario, is the traditional Spanish municipal magistrate, who had both judicial and administrative functions. An alcalde was, in the absence of a corregidor, the presiding officer of the Castilian cabildo and judge of first instance of a town. Alcaldes were elected annually, without the right to reelection for two or three years, by the regidores of the municipal council. The office of the alcalde was signified by a staff of office, which they were to take with them when doing their business. A woman who holds the office is termed an Alcaldesa.
In the following days, the independence movement extended to the cities of Santiago Nonualco, Usulután, Chalatenango, Santa Ana, Tejutla and Cojutepeque. The two other notable revolts occurred on November 24 in the city of Metapán and on December 20 in Sensuntepeque.
Usulután is the fifth largest city in El Salvador, and capital of the Usulután Department in the south-east of El Salvador.
Chalatenango is a town and municipality in the Chalatenango department of El Salvador. It is the capital of the department.
Santa Ana is the third largest city in El Salvador, after San Salvador and San Miguel. It is located 64 kilometers northwest of San Salvador, the capital city. Santa Ana has approximately 374,830 (2017)) inhabitants and serves both as the capital of the department of Santa Ana and as the municipal seat for the surrounding municipality of the same name. For its administration the municipality is divided into 35 colonias (neighborhoods) and 318 small villages.
Despite the efforts of the insurrectionists, the cause of independence was not shared by the city councils of the Intendancy . Neither San Miguel, nor San Vicente nor Santa Ana joined them. Unable to amass support, the rebels decided to negotiate with a delegation sent in from the Guatemalan capital to take control. The new Intendant Colonel Jose de Aycinena, arrived on December 8 with Guatemalan troops and priests to force them to swear obedience to the crown and reclaimed the city. The new government was well received by the majority of the population due to Aycinena's policy of understanding and nonconfrontation. However, several days later, unrest broke out in the neighboring Intendancy of Nicaragua, where uprisings broke out in León on December 13 and later in Granada on December 22. Nevertheless, both were soon suppressed.
Many of those involved in the events in El Salvador and Nicaragua were incarcerated, but José Matías Delgado was taken back with the delegation to Guatemala City. Despite his past activities, or perhaps because of them, Delgado was elected in 1813 as a representative on the Provincial Deputation of Guatemala created by the Spanish Constitution of 1812. He also became director of the Tridentino Seminary in the capital city, therefore, he was not in El Salvador at the time of the second insurrection in 1814, and so did not take part in it.
He was once again elected provincial deputy in 1820 when the Spanish Constitution was restored, and on September 15, 1821, he was among those who signed the Act of Independence of Central America in Guatemala City. On November 28, 1821, he became political chief (jefe pólitico civil) of the Province of San Salvador, and as its executive officer, he led its separation from Guatemala to prevent the former intendancy from becoming part of First Mexican Empire. Arce later became president of the Federal Republic of Central America from 1825 to 1829, once full independence from both Spain and Mexico became a reality.
In El Salvador the independence movement and 1811 Revolt is officially commemorated every year on November 5 and recognized as the "First Shout for the Independence of Central America".
The Federal Republic of Central America, also called the United Provinces of Central America in its first year of creation, was a sovereign state in Central America consisting of the territories of the former Captaincy General of Guatemala of New Spain. It existed from 1823 to 1841, and was a republican democracy. It is also sometimes referred to in English as the United States of Central America.
Francisco Morazán was a Central American politician who was president of the Federal Republic of Central America from 1830 to 1839. Before he was president of Central America he was the head of state of Honduras. He rose to prominence at the battle of La Trinidad on November 11, 1827. Morazán then dominated the political and military scene of Central America until his execution in 1842.
José Rafael Carrera Turcios was the president of Guatemala from 1844 to 1848 and from 1851 until his death in 1865, after being appointed President for Life in 1854. During his military career and presidency, new nations in Central America were facing numerous problems: William Walker's invasions, liberal attempts to overthrow the Catholic Church and aristocrats' power, the Civil War in the United States, Mayan uprising in the east, Belize boundary dispute with England, and the wars in Mexico under Benito Juarez. This led to a rise of caudillos, a term that refers to charismatic populist leaders among the indigenous people. Many regional and national caudillos were interested in power for their own gain. Carrera was an exception as he genuinely took the interests of Guatemala's Indian majority to heart.
Salamá is a city in Guatemala. It is the capital of the department of Baja Verapaz and it is situated at 940 m above sea level. The municipality of Salamá, for which the city of Salamá serves as the administrative centre, covers a total surface area of 776 km² and contains 40,000 people.
Los Altos was the sixth state of the Federal Republic of Central America, and a short-lived independent republic. Its capital was Quetzaltenango. Los Altos occupied eight departments in the west of present-day Guatemala as well as the Soconusco region in the Mexican state of Chiapas.
Francisco Gómez de Altamirano y de Elizondo was a Central American licenciado, military officer and Liberal politician. From November 15, 1835 to February 1, 1836 he was chief of state of the state of El Salvador within the Central American Federation.
The Captaincy General of Guatemala, also known as the Kingdom of Guatemala, was an administrative division of the Spanish Empire, under the viceroyalty of New Spain in Central America, including the present-day nations of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize and Guatemala, and the Mexican state of Chiapas. The governor-captain general was also president of the Royal Audiencia of Guatemala, the superior court.
Juan Vicente Villacorta Díaz was a Central American politician. From July 10, 1823 to March 15, 1824 he was a member of the triumvirates that governed the Federal Republic of Central America. From December 13, 1824 to November 1, 1826 he was head of state of El Salvador, while it was a state of the Central American Federation.
Doctor Pedro Barriere was a Spanish colonial official in the province of El Salvador. After independence from Spain he became the first head of state of El Salvador.
Anastasio Aquino's Rebellion was an uprising led by Salvadoran indigenous leader Anastasio Aquino in El Salvador during the time it belonged to the Federal Republic of Central America.
Juan Manuel Rodríguez was a Salvadoran revolutionary against Spain and later president of the State of El Salvador within the Federal Republic of Central America.
Mariano Rivera Paz was Head of State of Guatemala and its first president.
Juan José de Aycinena y Piñol was an ecclesiastical and intellectual conservative in Central America. He was President of the Pontifical University of San Carlos Borromeo from 1825 to 1829 and then of the Universidad Nacional from 1840 to 1865. He was a thinker criticized by liberal historians for his strong relationship with the conservative government of General Rafael Carrera and for eliminating the possibility of getting the Central American Union which the Liberals wanted. His participation in the government has been assessed more objectively in research conducted between 1980 and 2010. He was heir in 1814 to the noble title of III Marquess of Aycinena, and bishop in partibus of Trajanopolis from 1859. He had a taste for law, oratorical talent and wrote over twenty works.
The Act of Independence of Central America, also known as the Act of Independence of Guatemala, is the legal document by which the Provincial Council of the Province of Guatemala proclaimed the independence of Central America from the Spanish Empire and invited the other provinces of the Captaincy General of Guatemala to send envoys to a congress to decide the form of the region's independence. It was enacted on 15 September 1821.
Luis Batres Juarros or Luis Batres y Juarros was an influential conservative Guatemalan politician during the regime of General Rafael Carrera. Member of the Aycinena clan, was in charge of writing most of the legislation that was enacted during this period. The liberal historians portray him as a villain in a despotic and tyrannical government headed by illiterate Raca Carraca - Rafael Carrera - who was taking each and every one of Batres recommendations since he was considered infallible; However, research conducted between 1980 and 2010 has shown a more objective biography of both Batres and Rafael Carrera and show that it was in fact Carrera who had the reins of the Conservative government.
Manuel Francisco Pavón Aycinena was an influential conservative Guatemalan politician during the regime of General Rafael Carrera. Leader of the Aycinena family, was in charge of setting up the government executive branch during this period, holding practilly all of the Cabinet offices over the years. The liberal historians portray him as a villain in a despotic and tyrannical government headed by illiterate Raca Carraca - Rafael Carrera; However, research conducted between 1980 and 2010 has shown a more objective biography of both Pavón and Rafael Carrera and show that it was in fact Carrera who had the reins of the Conservative government.
Mariano de Aycinena y Piñol (1789-1855) was wealthy and influential Guatemalan merchant family and an important conservative politician. A younger son of the first marquis of Aycinena, peninsular-born Juan Fermín de Aycinena (1729-1796), Mariano was a leader of Guatemalan independence from Spain. He served governor of the State of Guatemala in the Central American Federation from 1 March 1827 to 12 April 1829 and patriarch of the Aycinena family. The family had the commercial monopoly in Central American during the Spanish colonial era later year thanks to the Consulado de Comercio. He was one of the signatories of Central American independence and lobbied heavily for the annexation of Central America to the Mexican Empire of Agustín de Iturbide. This arrangement would keep the family's economic position and privileges following independence. After being expelled along with the Aycinena family in 1829 after being defeated by Francisco Morazán, went into exile in the United States and then to Mexico. He came back to Guatemala after the conservaties had allied with general Rafael Carrera; but then he retired from public life and hand the Aycinena family leadership to Juan José de Aycinena y Piñol.
El Salvador–Spain refers to the current and historical relations between El Salvador and Spain. Both nations are members of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language and the Organization of Ibero-American States.