Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire

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Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire
Acta Independencia Mexico 1821.jpg
Original copy of the Declaration
Ratified September 28, 1821
Location National Archives
Author(s)Juan José Espinosa de los Monteros
Signatories33 members of the board and Agustín de Iturbide
PurposeTo declare independence from Spanish Empire

The Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire (Spanish: Acta de Independencia del Imperio Mexicano) is the document by which the Mexican Empire declared independence from the Spanish Empire. This founding document of the Mexican nation was drafted in the National Palace in Mexico City on September 28, 1821, by Juan José Espinosa de los Monteros, secretary of the Provisional Governmental Board.

First Mexican Empire independent Mexico under a monarchical regime from 1821 to 1823

The Mexican Empire was a short-lived monarchy, and the first independent post-colonial imperial state in Mexico. It was the only former colony of the Spanish Empire to establish a monarchy after independence. Together with the Brazilian Empire and the two Haitian Empires, it was one of four European-style empires in the Americas; it lasted two years before transitioning into a federal republic.

Spanish Empire world empire from the 16th to the 19th century

The Spanish Empire, historically known as the Hispanic Monarchy and as the Catholic Monarchy, was one of the largest empires in history. From the late 15th century to the early 19th, Spain controlled a huge overseas territory in the New World and the Asian archipelago of the Philippines, what they called "The Indies". It also included territories in Europe, Africa and Oceania. The Spanish Empire has been described as the first global empire in history, a description also given to the Portuguese Empire. It was the world's most powerful empire during the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, reaching its maximum extension in the 18th century. The Spanish Empire was the first empire to be called "the empire on which the sun never sets".

National Palace (Mexico) palace in Mexico City

The National Palace is the seat of the federal executive in Mexico. It is located on Mexico City's main square, the Plaza de la Constitución. This site has been a palace for the ruling class of Mexico since the Aztec empire, and much of the current palace's building materials are from the original one that belonged to Moctezuma II.

Contents

Three copies of the act were executed. One was destroyed in a fire in 1909. The other two copies are in the Museo Historico de Acapulco Fuerte de San Diego in Acapulco and in the General Archive of the Nation in Mexico City. [1]

The Fort of San Diego, formerly also known as the Fort of San Carlos is a star fort in Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico. It was built by the Spanish Empire, and it was one of the most important Spanish fortifications along the Pacific coast. The fort was first built in the 17th century, but was completely rebuilt in the 18th century. Today, it is an important landmark in Acapulco, and it is open to the public as the Acapulco Historic Museum.


The Archivo General de la Nación is charged by the Mexican state to "be the governing body of the national archives and the central consultative entity of the Federal Executive." The writer Edmundo O'Gorman was its general director from 1938 until 1952. It is considered the most important among its class in the Americas and one of the most important in the entire world.

The document is 52.9 centimeters (20.8 in) wide and 71.8 centimeters (28.3 in) high. [2]

Background

Entry of the Trigarante Army to Mexico City. Generales del Trigarante.jpg
Entry of the Trigarante Army to México City.

On September 27, 1821, eleven years and eleven days after the Grito de Dolores, the Army of the Three Guarantees headed by Agustín de Iturbide entered Mexico City, concluding the Mexican War of Independence. [3] On September 28, Iturbide installed the Provisional Governing Board, comprising 38 people. The board was chaired by Antonio Pérez Martínez y Robles, and Juan José Espinosa de los Monteros was secretary. [4] [5] The board immediately elected the five members of the Regency of the Empire. [6]

Army of the Three Guarantees

At the end of the Mexican War of Independence, the Army of the Three Guarantees was the name given to the army after the unification of the Spanish troops led by Agustín de Iturbide and the Mexican insurgent troops of Vicente Guerrero, consolidating Mexico's independence from Spain. The decree creating this army appeared in the Plan de Iguala, which stated the three guarantees which it was meant to defend: religion, independence, and unity. Mexico was to be a Catholic empire, independent from Spain, and united against its enemies.

Agustín de Iturbide Mexican army general and politician, emperor of Mexico

Agustín de Iturbide, in full Agustín Cosme Damián de Iturbide y Arámburu, also known as Augustine of Mexico, was a Mexican army general and politician. During the Mexican War of Independence, he built a successful political and military coalition that took control in Mexico City on 27 September 1821, decisively gaining independence for Mexico. After the secession of Mexico was secured, he was proclaimed President of the Regency in 1821. A year later, he was announced as the Constitutional Emperor of Mexico, reigning briefly from 19 May 1822 to 19 March 1823. He is credited as the original designer of the first Mexican flag.

Mexican War of Independence armed conflict which ended the rule of Spain in the territory of New Spain

The Mexican War of Independence was an armed conflict, and the culmination of a political and social process which ended the rule of Spain in 1821 in the territory of New Spain. The war had its antecedent in Napoleon's French invasion of Spain in 1808; it extended from the Cry of Dolores by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla on September 16, 1810, to the entrance of the Army of the Three Guarantees led by Agustín de Iturbide to Mexico City on September 27, 1821. September 16 is celebrated as Mexican Independence Day.

On October 13 of the same year, Ramón Gutiérrez del Mazo, the first political chief of Mexico City, distributed a proclamation with the Declaration of Independence so all the people could read it, especially the courts, governors and military authorities, for them to publish it nationwide. [7]

Drafting and signing

On the afternoon of September 28, members of the Board met at the National Palace to draft the Declaration of Independence of the newly independent nation. The resulting two documents were drafted in its final form by Juan José Espinosa de los Monteros, Secretary of the Board. [8] The acts were signed by 33 of the 38 members of the Board and Iturbide as President of the Regency of the Empire. Juan O'Donojú, last Superior Political Chief of New Spain, Francisco Severo Maldonado, José Domingo Rus, José Mariano de Almanza and Miguel Sánchez Enciso did not sign the documents, but in the acts was written: Place of signature Juan O'Donoju and later his signature was added in the printed copies. The signatures of other four members were not added. [9] Juan Jose Espinoza de los Monteros signed twice in each act, once as a member of the Board and the second as secretary, so that the acts contain 35 signatures and the designated to O'Donojú. [10] A copy of the act was for the government and one for the board, the last one was later sent to the Chamber of Deputies. [11] None of the former insurgents—such as Guadalupe Victoria, Vicente Guerrero or Nicolás Bravo—signed the Declaration of Independence; the reason is unknown but probably because they wanted a Republic not an Empire. [12] [13] [14]

Juan ODonojú Spanish general and colonial governor

Juan de O'Donojú y O'Ryan (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈxwan de ˌoðonoˈxu ʝ ˌoɾˈʝan] was a Spanish military officer and "Jefe Político Superior" of New Spain from July 21, 1821 to September 28, 1821 during the Mexican War of Independence. He was the last Spanish ruler of New Spain.

Chamber of Deputies (Mexico) lower house of the parliament of Mexico

The Chamber of Deputies is the lower house of the Congress of the Union, the bicameral legislature of Mexico. The other chamber is the Senate. The structure and responsibilities of both chambers of Congress are defined in Articles 50 to 70 of the current constitution.

Guadalupe Victoria first president of Mexico

Guadalupe Victoria, born José Miguel Ramón Adaucto Fernández y Félix, was a Mexican general and political leader who fought for independence against the Spanish Empire in the Mexican War of Independence. He was a deputy in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies for Durango and a member of the Supreme Executive Power following the downfall of the First Mexican Empire. After the adoption of the Constitution of 1824, Victoria was elected as the first President of the United Mexican States.

Text of the Declaration

Declaration of the independence of the Mexican Empire, issued by its Sovereign Junta, assembled in the Capital on September 28, 1821.

The Mexican Nation, which for three hundred years had neither had its own will, nor free use of its voice, leaves today the oppression in which it has lived.

The heroic efforts of its sons have been crowned today, and consummated in an eternal and memorable enterprise, which a spirit superior to all admiration and praise, out of love and for the glory of its Country started in Iguala, continued, and brought to fruition, overcoming almost insurmountable obstacles.

Restored then this part of the North to the exercise of all the rights given by the Author of Nature and recognized as unalienable and sacred by the civilized nations of the Earth, in liberty to constitute itself in the manner which best suits its happiness and through representatives who can manifest its will and plans, it begins to make use of such precious gifts and solemnly declares by means of the Supreme Junta of the Empire that it is a Sovereign nation and independent of old Spain with which henceforth it will maintain no other union besides a close friendship in the terms prescribed by the treaties; that it will establish friendly relationships with other powers, executing regarding them whatever declarations the other sovereign nations can execute; that it will constitute itself in accordance to the bases which in the Plan of Iguala and the Treaty of Córdoba the First Chief of the Imperial Army of the Three Guarantees wisely established and which it will uphold at all costs and with all sacrifice of the means and lives of its members (if necessary); this solemn declaration, is made in the capital of the Empire on the twenty-eighth of September of the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-one, first of Mexican Independence.

Signatories

The following is the list of the people who signed the Declaration of Independence, the names are written like in the acts. Juan O'Donoju did not sign but his name was written in the acts. Of the 38 members of the Provisional Governmental Board only 34 signed the document (including the aforementioned firm O'Donoju). The signatures of Francisco Severo Maldonado, José Domingo Rus, José Mariano de Almanza and Miguel Sánchez Enciso did not appear to have suffered a possible impairment due to illness. [15]

Mexico's declaration of Independence as an Empire drafted on September 28 1821 Acta de Independencia 3024x4032.jpg
Mexico's declaration of Independence as an Empire drafted on September 28 1821

History of the Three Original Documents

Three originals of the document were created and signed. [1] [11]

Provisional Governmental Board – 1st Original Declaration

One copy was given to the Provisional Governmental Board, which was later put on display in the Chamber of Deputies until 1909, when fire destroyed the location. [16]

Bravo/Ruiz de Velasco – 2nd Original Declaration

The Ruiz de Velasco family were the original owners for 128 years of the Acta de Independencia del Imperio Mexicano de 1821. This document was passed down through generations from Nicolás Bravo. On August 22, 1987, Pedro Ruiz de Velasco de la Madrid gave the document as a gift to Mexico. [17] José Francisco Ruiz Massieu, Governor of Guerrero, accepted this gift and secured this historical document in the Museo Historico de Acapulco Fuerte de San Diego in Acapulco in the State of Guerrero. [1]

Regency of the Empire – 3rd Original Declaration

A third copy was given to the Regency of the Empire, which remained at the National Palace and was stolen in 1830. Foreign Minister Lucas Alamán made this reference about the stolen: [18]

There is not in the republic another copy (handwritten) that the one in session hall of the Chamber of Deputies, the other was sold by an unfaithful employee to a curious traveler from France.

Alamán wanted to get the record during his tenure as foreign minister but failed even when he offered a lot of money for it.

Decades later, the act was acquired by Emperor Maximilian I, although it is unknown how and where he got it. The act contains in the back the figure of the ex libris of Maximilian's library. After Maxilian's execution, Agustin Fischer, confessor of the emperor, took the document out of the country. [19] [20]

Some time later, the act appeared in Spain in the library of antiquarian Gabriel Sánchez. It is also unknown how he got it, but is a fact that the act has in the back the stamp of the Spanish antiquarian library. Sánchez sold the document to the Mexican historian Joaquín García Icazbalceta, who preserved it and passed it down to his son Luis García Pimentel. [20] [21]

Florencio Gavito Bustillo lived in France and there he was contacted by Luis García Pimentel, who offered to sell him the Declaration of Independence. After buying the act for 10 thousand pesos he returned to Mexico with the intention of delivering the act to the Mexican government himself, but he died of leukemia in 1958. Gavito expressed in his will the wish that the act should be delivered to the president.

The Mexican government sent the document for opinions of authenticity. The opinions were ready on November 14, 1961.

The ceremony to deliver the act was held on November 21 of the same year. Florencio Gavito Jauregui, son of Gavito Bustillo gave the act to the president Adolfo López Mateos. In the ceremony were also Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, Secretary of the Interior and Jaime Torres Bodet, Secretary of Education. [22] [23]

The act was put on display for a while in Chapultepec Castle and then it was withdrawn and sent to the General Archive of the Nation.

In 2008, the restoration works on the act began and it was exhibited for a month at the Palace of Lecumberri. In 2010 it was put on display at the National Palace as part of the celebration of the bicentennial of the beginning of Mexico's independence. The National Institute of Anthropology and History was concerned about the exposure of the act and recommended not to expose it to more time because it does not have a special system for that. [24] [25]

The act is protected between two flyleaves made with acid-free materials in the vault of the General Archive of the Nation under climate monitoring. Experts of the National Autonomous University of Mexico are working on a system of preservation and exhibition of historical documents in order to permanently exhibit the act in the near future. [26] [27]

See also

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Bibliography