The 4 Stages Of The Independence Of Mexico

The stages of the Independence of Mexico in which this historical period is usually divided are four: initiation, organization and definition, resistance and consummation. 
The periods of each of these stages were established according to the nature and scope of the events that occurred.

The initiation of independence took place between the years 1810 and 1811. It consisted of a disorganized revolt against the Spanish crown, led by Miguel Hidalgo and motivated by a feeling of rage unleashed at the injustices experienced especially by the indigenous and peasants.

Despite being a massive movement, it did not have a military and political organization that would allow it to face the monarchical regime arrived from Spain. 
Little was enough for the royalist authority to put an end to the revolutionary attempt, and as a result the most important leaders were shot, including Hidalgo. 

During the second stage the purposes of the revolution were organized and clearly defined. 
Thanks to the document

Feelings of the Nation

, written by José Antonio Morelos, it was possible to spread the causes that motivated an uprising against the Spanish crown and the ways to build a new nation based on the principles of freedom, equality and fraternity.

The third stage was characterized by resistance with its main promoters: the Spanish Francisco Javier Mina, of the new liberal current that spread in Europe and related to Mexican independence, and the Creole Vicente Guerrero.

The consummation was the fourth stage; first with the Treaty of Córdoba that approved the Plan of Iguala, recognizing the Spanish monarchy but constitutional sovereignty for Mexico, and later with the Act of Independence.

Stages of Mexican independence

1- Initiation

The priest Miguel Hidalgo in front of the parish of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores on September 16, 1810. Unzueta / CC BY-SA (

This stage begins in September 1810 and ends in July 1811. It is a period of great general dissatisfaction that responds to internal causes such as administrative corruption, mistreatment of indigenous people, blacks and castes, and various cultural restrictions imposed for the Spanish crown.

The enlightened ideas that events such as the French Revolution, the Declaration of the independence of the United States of America and the invasion of France in Spain brought with them, with a consequent extension of a liberal ideology, were external causes that ignited the independence spirit in Mexico. .

It is believed that almost 50,000 men were part of this first revolutionary attempt led, among others, by the Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo. 
It was a period characterized by the expression of various proposals that had no organization or direction.

Before designing a military war, they discussed whether they wanted to maintain a relationship with the Spanish monarchy or if, on the contrary, complete separation was desired; Hidalgo was among the latter.

The first revolutionary outbreaks occurred in rural areas with great economic potential such as the Bajío region, the northern indigenous region of Michoacán, and Guadalajara.

The initiation stage of Mexico’s independence lasted only seven months and ended with the execution of the main leaders, including Father Hidalgo and the subordination or delivery of various subversives whom the Spanish crown pardoned.

2- Organization and definition

Congress of Chilpancingo, held on September 13, 1813

This stage takes place between the month of July 1811 and December 1815. It begins with the capture of the first leaders and is characterized by being an attempt at organized independence, with a military and political structure.

By this time the new leaders of the revolution had created the Supreme American National Board, led by Ignacio López Rayón, and the Congress of Anagua.

It is a stage of constitutional organization, but also operational because a system of tax collection and administration of national assets was established.

An administration of spiritual services was created and institutions of justice were defined, granting autonomy to the peoples.

In 1814, José María Morelos presented before the Congress of Chilpancingo the document Sentimientos de la Nación , where he declared the freedom of America from Spain or any other monarchy.

The document also urged the prohibition of slavery forever, as well as the distinction of castes, thus promoting freedom and equality.

3- The resistance

Francisco Javier Mina

The third stage of the independence of Mexico is the resistance and counts among Creoles to Guadalupe Victoria, Pedro Ascencio and Vicente Guerrero. It took place between December 1815 and February 1821.

The organization of the rebel movement unleashed a harsh counteroffensive by the royalist army, led by Félix María Calleja, who through force and also persuasion considerably reduced the strength and spirit of the Creole rebels.

In a strategy of defense rather than attack, the rebels remained on the fighting foot in areas that were very rough for the Spanish soldiers.

During this period, it is important to highlight the support for the independence cause by Francisco Javier Mina, a Spanish liberal who fought and died for insurgent values, in 1817.

4- The consummation

Act of Independence of Mexico (1821)

This stage takes place between February 1821 with the signing of the Plan of Iguala and on September 28, 1821 with the reading of the Act of Independence.

The strength shown by the Creoles who resisted the harsh realistic counteroffensive together with the Constitution of Cádiz, of a liberal nature, which Fernando VII had to accept, forced the royalist authorities to agree to the independence of Mexico.

As part of the Córdoba Treaty, the Iguala Plan was signed, which defined three guarantees: religion, independence and union.

The new regulations maintained the jurisdiction for the military and ecclesiastics and in return gave the power to develop their own constitutional regime to the Mexicans. Once an agreement was reached, the Act of Independence was read in 1821.

The subsequent years were of political and military crisis in which Mexicans tried to test various political systems while facing a severe economic crisis.


  1. Van Young, E. (2001).  The other rebellion: popular violence, ideology, and the Mexican struggle for independence, 1810-1821 . Stanford University Press.
  2. Guedea, V. (2000). The Process of Mexican Independence.  The American Historical Review105 (1), 116-130.
  3. Tutino, J. (1998). The Revolution in Mexican independence: insurgency and the Renegotiation of Property, Production, and Patriarchy in the Bajío, 1800-1855.  Hispanic American Historical Review , 367-418.
  4. Del Arenal Fenochio, J. (2002).  A way of being free: independence and constitution in Mexico (1816-1822) . The Colegio de Michoacán AC.
  5. Shiels, WE (1942). Church and state in the First Decade of Mexican Independence.  the Catholic Historical Review28 (2), 206-228.

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