Independence of Mexico: the campaign of Morelos –

We continue to remember the long journey of the people of Mexico in their struggle for independence. In our previous article we saw how the process of Mexico’s independenceunder the influence of Miguel Hidalgo, a central historical figure in the history of Mexico. I propose now to continue analyzing a new stage of the war, with Jose Maria Morelos as a leader. A road that will lead to the Declaration of Independence of Mexico, on November 6, 1813.

In mid-1811, the independence revolution was at a critical moment. Its main leaders had been assassinated. the troops of Allende and Gentleman They were practically disjointed. The realistic grew stronger under the command of Lane. But the history It was about to take a momentous turn.

The second stage of the Mexican War of Independence characterized by extensive fighting in the South Of the territory. There the forces were commanded from the beginning of the war by Jose Maria Morelos. Like Hidalgo, Morelos it was a cure Other important revolutionaries fought alongside him: Mariano Matamoros, Manuel Mier y Terán, Hermenegildo Galeana, Nicolás Bravo, Guadalupe Victoria and Vicente Guerrero.

Morelos troops were of a fair size. However, they achieved important conquests in the south of New Spain: Chilpancingo, Tixtla, Chilapa, Taxco, Izúcar and Cuautla. Luck changed for Morelos, when he suffered the siege of Cuautla in 1812 for two and a half months. However, the revolutionaries were able to escape, and headed towards Acapulco.

Already in the middle of 1813the revolutionary forces of Morelos They dominated much of the quartermasters of Mexico, oaxaca Y Puebla. This gave him military authority and support. Then, Morelosgave impetus to the question of the political plan of the revolution: to achieve the Mexico’s independence.

Capture and trial of Morelos

After more than five years at the head of the insurgents in the lands of southern Mexico and with the strength of his troops considerably reduced, Morelos was captured in November 1815 in Tezmalaca, Puebla. With his arrest and death, the second stage of the Mexican independence process ended, in which Morelos was key thanks to his advances and conquests in the south of the country. As Napoleon Bonaparte himself said of him, with 5 generals like Morelos he would conquer the world.

The royalist troops of Manuel de la Concha found out about the march of the morelos troops to Tehuacan. A royalist army of 500 men pounced on the Morelos advance guard that was heading towards the center guarded by a small troop of insurgents led by Nicolás Bravo.

Attempting to save a member of his troops from capture, Morelos was captured by 10 soldiers of the royalist troops. The officer who led the detachment that captured Morelos was Matias Carranco, a former member of the insurrection who deserted in 1812 and joined the royalist troops. According to the history books, Morelos gave away his captor while he was being detained.

Morelos’ arrest occurred on November 5. The intention of his captors was to carry out the trial in Puebla, but Calleja wanted to do it in the capital, Mexico City.

The first of the trials that were carried out on Morelos was for treason to the king, to the fatherland and for blood crimes, between November 14 and 23. Later he too would be tried by a religious jury and stripped of his ecclesiastical rank. According to the jutado itself, Morelos was “heretic, perpetrator of heretics, persecutor and disturber of the holy sacraments, schismatic, lascivious, hypocrite, irreconcilable enemy of Christianity, traitor to God, the King and the Pope”.

On December 21 Calleja delivered the verdict for Morelos: death penalty. The sentence would be carried out the following day. Morelos had breakfast and was driven to San Cristóbal Ecatepec. Once there, he ate, confessed and briefly chatted with his captor, De la Concha, whom he would even hug before the sentence was carried out.

The death of Morelos was followed by a guerrilla war in which some 20,000 members of the insurgent troops still participated, few compared to royalist forces that exceeded 40,000 troops. However, this did not diminish the spirit of Mexican independence.

Who was Jose Maria Morelos?

Jose Maria Morelos He is one of the main figures in the history of Mexico and his very important campaign will be the protagonist of the following lines. However, before continuing, we will dedicate a few lines to present the biography of this interesting character who went from being a priest to become one of the most important military leaders of the Mexican revolution.

Jose Maria Morelos was son of a humble carpenter, José Manuel Morelos y Robles and Juana María Guadalupe Pérez-Pavón. He was born in 1765, being the third of numerous children of this couple. Given the poor situation of the family, José María held all kinds of jobs, from carpenter to muleteer and cowboy, passing through various trades related to the world of livestock and agriculture. José María, whose grandfather was a teacher, received a very basic education during his youth, but continued training, especially highlighting his love of grammar and letters.

When he turned 25 in 1790 and after spending years with his uncle Felipe Morelos, with whom he had worked transporting goods, José María returned to his homeland, Valladolid, following his mother’s wishes. Juana María, eager to ensure her son’s future, wanted José María to enter an ecclesiastical career and be able to benefit from the revenues of a chaplaincy that her great-grandfather had left indicated in his will that he should pass on to one of his descendants. Thus, José María joined the College of San Nicolás de Valladolid to train with a view to that goal. Later, he also studied at the Tridentine Seminary, specializing in studies of philosophy and, above all, rhetoric, reaching the title that would end his academic training in 1795. Once his training was finished, he began his link to the Church. José María did not attain the rank of priest until two years later, in 1797, and while he did, he received minor ecclesiastical orders, served as a subdeacon, and worked as a children’s teacher in the Uruapán area, among other trades.

Once the dignity of priest, exercised this trade in different locations, until he settled in Carácuaro, where he would live for more than ten years busy with his priestly work, but also managing a prosperous cattle business that he had started when he acted as a carrier and muleteer in the company of his uncle Felipe . During that time too had two illegitimate children. One of them was Juan Nepomuceno Almonte who, over time, would also become a fundamental figure for the history of Mexico, as an outstanding military officer and diplomat. To cite just a few details about the latter, he became a veteran of the legendary event at El Álamo and was a key player in the negotiations that led Archduke Maximilian of Austria to accept the throne of Mexico as Maximilian I, being a great supporter of this ruler. With a solid education and a great international culture, Juan Nepomuceno came to accompany his father in some key moments of his later military history, such as the famous Siege of Cuautla, although he was sent out of Mexico when José María began to suffer constant defeats in the military and was in the United States when his father was executed. He would not be the only son of José María, although he would be the most famous; as we have already mentioned, during this period he sired a second descendant and it is known that, after the beginning of the military revolt, had at least two more childrenalthough it may have had more.

It was in this mentioned locality where José María was surprised by the famous ‘Pain scream‘, starring Miguel Hidalgo, whom José María had met during his studies in Valladolid. Upon hearing of his acts, he decided to go see him. During this meeting, which took place on October 10, 1810, José María Morelos joined Miguel Hidalgo and a few days later began a journey south under the command of a few dozen men that would mark the beginning of his activity. What revolutionary.

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