While Sept. 16 may be just another day here in the United States for some, it is one of the most significant dates in Mexican history. It is the nation’s anniversary of declaring its independence from Spain.
The day honours the time in 1810 when Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo rang the church bells at Dolores, today known as Dolores Hidalgo, and delivered a stirring speech that served as the country’s first call for independence. The occurrence, which came to be known as the “Grito de Dolores,” marked the beginning of the 11-year Mexican War of Independence, which freed Mexico from Spanish colonial authority after more than 300 years.
The holiday might be compared to the American Declaration of Independence by those who are unfamiliar with it. The closest they come to being similar is that they both rebelled against European domination.
The following information relates to Mexican Independence Day.
How Mexican history of independence differs compared to the US
In a technical sense, they were set free. At California State University, Fullerton, associate professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies Alexandro Gradilla previously told USA TODAY that the method that independence was attained “was not actual freedom.” Because people didn’t achieve the independence they anticipated, I would say that it is a combination of the Fourth of July, Juneteenth, and regrettably April Fool’s Day.
Being under Spanish control was very different from being an American under British rule, according to Gradilla and other historians. The indigenous population of Mexico, who were frequently viewed as second-class citizens, was more in the hands of the Spanish.
Because it gave people hope that they would be free, the Grito de Dolores became a symbol of the new nation.
The New World Encyclopedia estimates that over 15,000 Mexicans would die in the coming war, which is a significant increase above the anticipated 6,800 Americans who would die in the Revolutionary War.
Dolores Inés Casillas, head of the Chicano Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara, stated that “the country was still in such a vulnerable condition.” After that, the country was ripped apart by conflict, making construction much more challenging.
Before the Mexican-American War, a new country seeks to establish itself
According to Mario Garcia, a Chicanx historian from UC Santa Barbara, the conflict also had a significant negative influence on the nation’s natural resources, which led to instability on the political and economic fronts and left Mexico “far less equipped for independence.”
Garcia remarked, “Mexico was a very weak country in the initial years, the first decades of its independence. They weren’t ready to be an independent nation.
Building a nation after the battle made it more challenging for Mexico to defend itself during the Mexican-American War, which led to the U.S. gaining control of much of the modern Southwest.
The absence of self-government in Mexico is a significant distinction between Mexico and the United States when it gains independence, Garcia continued.
300 years later, Hidalgo’s bell is still audible
Despite the toll that the wars inflicted on Mexico, the country’s success in achieving independence is still widely appreciated.
Every year on the late evening of September 15, the Mexican president gives a speech akin to Hidalgo’s on the balcony of the National Palace in Mexico City in honour of those who battled for their nation’s independence. A Mexican flag is also waved by the president, who also rings the bell that Hidalgo did more than three centuries ago.
Cinco de Mayo versus Mexican Independence Day
Even with the celebration, the day is frequently mistaken for Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates Mexico’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
Cinco de Mayo, according to some, overshadows September 16 in the United States. Robert Castro, director of Chicanx and Latinx studies at the University of California, San Diego, agrees.
There are various reasons why the May holiday is more well-known; according to Casillas, the day’s sales by businesses contributed to its rise to fame in the United States.
During the Chicano Civil Rights Movement in the middle of the 20th century, which was about “ending injustice and tyranny,” Gradilla and Castro both said that many Mexican-Americans were motivated by the May celebration.
“Many Chicano activists used that event as a means of honouring their heritage and expressing their love for and pride in Mexican culture. They believed the Battle of Puebla best reflected their pride and identities as Chicanos, or Mexican Americans because it was headed by Benito Jaurez, Mexico’s first and only Indigenous president, Castro said.
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