When coupled with the issues inherited from her colonial period, Mexico’s War for Independence further hampered her development. Beginning with the War of Spanish Succession, the futures of Spanish and French Empires were joined. Bourbon kings ruled both empires. Spain, and her empire, suffered greatly as the French Revolution and then Napoleon constant war which drain Spain’s treasury. Trade was disrupted, further stunting economic development in the colonies, especially in Mexico. Spain’s ability to govern her colonies weakened as the empire’s two stabilizing institutions, the monarchy and the church, fought to maintain their existence and influence against revolution and Bonapartism. Some Bourbon reforms, initiated in Spain, proved problematic for colonial Mexican society. Charles III’s expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767 interrupted educational activity in Mexico. Many Mexican’s believed that for Mexico to secure a prosperous future significant political change needed to occur. Serious differences existed over the nature of those needed changes. As Spain’s troubles deepened Mexican patriots, loyalists, and opportunists entered a struggle for dominance. Although Mexico’s War for Independence ended in 1821 the struggle to establish a stable political system continued for many years.
“It would be an idle waste of time to set about refuting the various attacks which have been circulated against me; they are framed in terms well calculated to reflect disgrace upon their authors”: they seem to be inspired by the furies; they breathe only of vengeance and of blood;—and those who wrote them, having been actuated only by the basest passions- were incapable of reflecting on the inconsistencies with which they abound. Unhappy beings! their vituperation is my eulogy. Where has been the man of virtue who has laboured for the welfare of his country, and who has not been persecuted by envious enemies?”
Agustin de Iturbide, The Memoirs of Agustin De Iturbide: Chiefly Concerning The Late Revolution In Mexico, (London: John Murray, 1824), pp 2- 3.
“the evils I have caused America, now that the dream has been removed from my eyes and my penitence has left me prostrate in bed: from here I can see, far off, the gallows upon which I shall be executed, and with each moment I breathe out pieces of my soul and feel that, before I die once and for all, I shall die a thousand times of shame for my excesses.”
Father Miguel Hidalgo at his trial.
Henderson, Timothy J. The Mexican Wars for Independence. New York: Hill and Wang, 2009, p. 104.
Back in May, Mrs. Present and I traveled to nearby Ceredo, WV for a sneak peek of the recently restored Ramsdell House. Many of the objects displayed were found in the home. Please enjoy the pictures. I have a bit of history concerning Z.D. Ramsdell, his house, and the town of Ceredo at the end of the post. Links to more information on Eli Thayer, Ramsdell, and Ceredo are also provided.
A few weeks ago, Mrs. Present and I needed a short get-away. Central Appalachia has experienced a bit of heat this summer, so we wanted to do something relaxing. Elkins, WV is just two-and-a-half hours away and is home to the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad. Part of the Mountain Rails family of scenic railroads, the D&GVRR offers several routes and packages. We chose to ride the New Tygart Flyer, a four-hour round trip into the beautiful mountain valley of the Shavers Fork of the Cheat River. We booked the Parlor Car, an all adult car with a cold cut sandwich buffet, desert, soft drinks, wine, and a host. After passing through a tunnel, trout camps, and some very rugged terrain, the out-bound trip ends at the Upper Falls of the Cheat. A severe rainstorm the previous evening left the river high. It also stranded several hikers at the railroad’s shelter at the falls. They rode back with us for the return trip. If you are visiting the area, and want to relax while taking in pretty views, I recommend the New Tygart Flyer.
3 Years!! Doing this is so much fun. It has been a privilege getting to know you. I look forward to following your passions be they history, fiction, food, travel, collectibles, books, faith, art, cinema, sports, medicine, culture, automobiles, aviation, photography, music, poetry, home, family, humor, current affairs, or politics. You are fantastic. Thank you!!
Mexico and the United States moved from their colonial experiences into revolution on very different roads. Those experiences imparted important legacies on each nation. Legacies that provided challenges to and offered promise for life as independent nations. Because the United States and Mexico were both new nations, understanding their colonial and revolutionary legacies is critical to understanding the actions that brought them to war in 1846. This post continues my examination into those legacies, focusing on the revolutionary legacy of the United States. A similar post examining the revolutionary legacy of Mexico will follow.
Happy Independence Day! God bless the USA!