Congress of Chilpancingo

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The Congress of Chilpancingo (a.k.a. Congress of Anáhuac) (Spanish: Congreso de Chilpancingo) was a meeting held in Chilpancingo, in what is the modern-day Mexican state of Guerrero, from September to November 1813. The result of this meeting was that Mexico formally declared itself to be independent of Spain and what was later to become the first national constitution was ratified. José María Morelos, who assumed the leadership of the independence movement after the execution of founder, Miguel Hidalgo, convened the National Constituent Congress of Chilpancingo. It was composed of representatives of the provinces under his control and charged with considering a political and social program which he outlined in a document entitled Sentimientos de la Nación ("Feelings of the Nation").

On September 13, 1813, the Congress, with Morelos present, endorsed Mexico's declaration of independence from Spain,[1] established the Catholic religion and drafted a Constitution, creating the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. The Congress declared respect for property but confiscated the goods of the Spaniards. It abolished slavery and all class and racial social distinctions in favor of the title "American" for all native-born individuals. Torture, monopolies and the system of tributes were also abolished. Morelos was offered the title Generalissimo with the style of address "Your Highness", but he refused these and asked to be called Siervo de la Nación ("Servant of the Nation").

After some military defeats, the Congress met again in Apatzingán, and on October 22 promulgated the Decreto Constitucional para la Libertad de la América Mexicana (Constitutional Decree for the Liberty of Mexican America). This established a weak executive and a powerful legislature, the opposite of what Morelos had called for. He nevertheless conceded that it was the best he could hope for under the circumstances.

On November 6, the deputies to the Congress signed the first legal document where the separation of the New Spain with respect to the Spanish rule is proclaimed. The name of this document is Acta Solemne de la Declaración de Independencia de la América Septentrional (Solemn Act of the Declaration of Independence of Northern America).

Congress of Chilpancingo the day of the writing of Solemn Act of the Declaration of Independence of Northern America.

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Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This Declaration of Independence promised to maintain the Catholic religion and announced recovery of Mexico's "usurped sovereignty" under "the present circumstances in Europe" and "the inscrutable designs of Providence." Vazquez (1999) p. 1368

References[edit]

  • Guedea, Virginia (February 2000) "The Process of Mexican Independence" The American Historical Review 105(1): pp. 116–130.
  • Vazquez, Josefina Zoraida (March 1999) "The Mexican Declaration of Independence" The Journal of American History 85(4): pp. 1362–1369.