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Father Of Mexican Independence History Essay

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Miguel Hidalgo was born on May 8, 1753, on a farm in San Diego Corralejo, in the town of Penjamo, Mexico. Back then Spain ruled Mexico since the 1500s. During Spain rule Mexico was known as New Spain rather than Mexico. Miguel Hidalgo helped free Mexico from Spanish rule by gathering an army and fighting against Spaniards. (De Varona 7)

Miguel Hidalgo had a decent but difficult childhood; his parents were Cristobal Hidalgo y Costilla and Ana Maria Gallega y Villase'or. His father's ancestors came to Mexico from Spain many generations before. Hidalgo's mother was born in New Spain and she was a descendant of a man named Juan de Villase'or. Villase'or was a very important man because he founded a Mexican city of Valladolid, known today as Morelia, which made Miguel Hidalgo's family one of the most important in the city. Miguel Hidalgo liked playing with Native Americans as a child, especially the ones that lived on a farm. Many people didn't like Native Americans because they thought they were different, but Miguel Hidalgo got along with them very well. Hidalgo didn't like the fact that these people could not own their land and also they could not get good jobs. When Miguel Hidalgo was eight years old his mother died giving birth to his brother. Even though this made a big impact on Miguel, it caused him to become closer to his father. It was his father who taught Hidalgo how to read and write. At the age of twelve Miguel and his older brother were sent to many different schools to study. Not only did Miguel Hidalgo got good grades, he was a brilliant student and motivated to learn, math, science and theology which is the study of religion. Miguel Hidalgo also learned Native American languages, such as Otomi, Tarascan, and Nahuatl. As Miguel Hidalgo learned more about the Native Americans, he noticed that Spaniards were not being fair because they had control of the land and the best jobs. (De Varona 11).

Miguel Hidalgo grew up and became more intelligent. He received a degree in theology, and in 1779, at the age of twenty-six he was officially declared a priest. Since Hidalgo was so smart, he also became an excellent professor. Hidalgo retuned and taught at San Nicolas Obispo, which happened to be the school he studied in when he was young. But many catholic churches rejected Hidalgo for the fact that they did not agree with many of his ways of doing things. Miguel Hidalgo added new nontraditional activities to the school which angered the Catholic Church officials. In 1793 Hidalgo moved to a small village named San Felipe, once he bought a house there, he transformed it into a meeting place and everyone was welcomed to come in. This also annoyed the church officials. Miguel Hidalgo was transferred to another village, this one named Dolores. This village was much wealthier than San Felipe. It gave Hidalgo a chance to increase his work with people by having them develop businesses. A business Hidalgo helped develop was silk making. The only problem was that the government did not like the idea that Native Americans could work at jobs like silk making. This made Miguel Hidalgo angry. In 1808 Spain was being invaded by France. Hidalgo taught that this would be the perfect chance to fight against Spaniards and win in order to overthrow the government a revolution. (De Varona 12, 18, 19).

Miguel Hidalgo did not give up even though the Spanish authorities already knew about his plan of revolution. Hidalgo wanted to begin the revolution right away. In that morning he rang the bell of his church to gather all the people together from Dolores and nearby farms. Hidalgo marched down the aisle with all the people following him. Everyone shouted: 'Death to the gachupines (Spaniards)! Down with bad government! Long live the virgin of Guadalupe!' These words were the cry of Dolores, the words that motivated many people to stand up and fight for their rights, this was a sign that Mexican War of Independence was about to begin. A group of all kinds of people walked out of the church following Miguel Hidalgo. Few had guns, knives and sharpened sticks. As Miguel Hidalgo walked across town many people encouraged walked out of their homes to join Miguel Hidalgo's revolutionary army. Soon there were over 50,000 people following Miguel Hidalgo. Hidalgo conquered many cities like Guanajuato, and Valladolid. After conquering these cities Miguel Hidalgo told his army to head towards Mexico City. If Hidalgo could conquer this city, he would be close to winning. (De Varona 21).

On October 30, Hidalgo's army met with Spain's on a place called Monte de Las Cruces. Fortunately Hidalgo's army won the battle, and the way capital of Mexico City was opened. But to the surprise of many people, Miguel hidalgo ordered his army to retreat. Nobody knows why Hidalgo chose this decision, many people think it was because his army didn't have enough weapons or his army was to undisciplined to take over Mexico City. As a result this happened to be a big mistake. When Miguel Hidalgo's army was retreating they met with another Military force and this time they lost. Hidalgo's army moved further back to Valladolid then to Guadalajara. But Spanish forces followed Hidalgo to Guadalajara and the two armies met for the last time. Miguel Hidalgo's army outnumbered Spaniards, but Spaniards were well trained. On January 17,1811, Hidalgo's army was almost destroyed. Some soldiers ran away and others followed Allende. Allende was the next leader after Miguel Hidalgo. He took the rest of the army and went north. Hidalgo's role of revolt was finished but he still didn't gave up. But it was all over, a young officer named Ignacio Elizondo, decided to betray Allende and the rest of the army, he knew that Hidalgo would follow Allende to the north. Elizondo and other Spaniard soldiers set up a trap a Bajan, the place where he knew that Hidalgo's army would probably stop. Allende was the first one to arrive and he noticed the situation, so he reached for his gun, but it was too late, Elizondo's men fired and killed Allende. After a few hours Hidalgo arrived and when he was ordered to give up he refused. But then he noticed that he was outnumbered, so he slowly raised his hands up. In jail, at dawn on July 30, at seven o clock in the morning, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was shot by a firing squad of twelve soldiers. But the fight against Spanish rule did not end with Hidalgo. Jose Maria Morelos another priest stood up to fight against Spanish rule, but like Hidalgo he didn't succeed and in 1815 he was captured and shot. After Morelos two Mexicans, Vicente Guerrero and Guadalupe Victoria, continued to fight. in the meantime New Spain was ruling the colony more strictly, it began to raise taxes and this scared the Spaniards in Mexico because they thought they might lose their rights or privileges. A Spanish army officer Agustin Iturbide who had fought against Miguel Hidalgo, joined with Gerrero. They designed a plan called 'Plan of Iguala'. This proposed that Spaniards should share their privilages with Mexicans. On September 27,1821, Iturbide's army walked into Mexico City and declared an end to Spanish rule. Mexico was now free. (De Varona 28)

Today Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla is remembered as the Father of Mexican Independence. The town of Dolores was renamed as Dolores Hidalgo in his honor. Every September 15 at midnight, the president of Mexico and mayors of every city in the country ring bells to remember that Sunday morning in 1810 when Miguel Hidalgo rang his church bell to gather all those people who longed to be free from Spanish rule.(De Varona 29)


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