Afro-Mexicans in the Mexican War of Independence
The Need for the Mexican War of Independence
With the help of rebel leader Miguel Hidalgo, who formally denounced the observance of the caste system in 1810, people of color were able to see that their independence was worth putting up a fight for it. However, Hidalgo was defeated. Morelos was dedicated to the cause and diligently recruited and trained an army consisting of free black peasants from various regions within the country. However, in 1815 he was also defeated and put to death.
Upon Miguel Hidalgo's death the army declined and the future was not looking very promising. Guerrilla warfare seemed to be the main line of attack.The army was now under the command of Vicente Guerrero. This war did not seem to be looking good for those fighting for independence.
There were many heroes associated with the war for independence. Vicente Guerrero was one of them. He was able to succeed in gaining leadership due to his oratory skills and ability to speak different languages. Although he had little education he possessed other skills that helped him as a military leader. Although his four-year command was mostly a holding action and the military was almost always on the brink of collapse, he was considered one of the greatest Mexican war heroes. In 1821, when he finally decided to take over the entire army, he was offered a settlement by the Spanish. The settlement ruled out the abolition of slavery as well as the land reform proposed by Morelos, nonetheless the caste system of Spain would cease to exist. Guerrero agreed, the caste laws were revoked and independence and peace were soon to come. Upon his death in 1831, all of his alliance moved their all allegiance to populist Juan Alvarez.
- Vincent, Ted. The Blacks Who Freed Mexico. The Journal of Negro History. Vol. 79, No.3. 257,258
- Andrews, George. Afro Latin America 1800-2000. Oxford University press 2004. New York, New York
- Vincent, Theodore. The Legacy of Vicente Guerrero, Mexico’s First Black Indian President. University Press of Florida. 2001 pg 21