Posted by: Ed Darrell | September 16, 2010

September 16: Mexico’s independence

Since Texas was part of Mexico on September 16, 1810, Texas history takes good note of the date.  Hispanic Heritage Month starts on September 16 — seven other nations south of the U.S. also celebrate their independence in September.

2010 is the Biecentennial of the Grito de Dolores; 2010 is also the centennial of the start of the Mexican Revolution, in 1910 — a double celebration for our neighbor.

From Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, an explanation of the Grito de Dolores:

An encore post, repeated:

No, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s “Independence Day.”

It’s amazing what is not available on video for use in the classroom.

Texas kids have to study the “Grito de Dolores” in the 7th grade – the “Cry from Dolores” in one translation, or the “Cry of Pain” in another (puns in Spanish! Do kids get it?). Father Miguel Hidalgo y Castillo made the speech on September 16, 1810, upon the news that Spanish authorities had learned of his conspiracy to revolt for independence. The revolution had been planned for December 8, but Hidalgo decided it had to start early.

This date is celebrated in Mexico as Independence Day. Traditionally the President of Mexico issues an update on the Grito, after the original bell that Father Hidalgo used is rung, near midnight.

Hidalgo himself was captured by the Spanish in 1811, and executed.

Father Hidalgo issues the Grito

Statue of Father Hidalgo in Dolores, Mexico.

It’s a great story. It’s a good speech, what little we have of it (Hidalgo used no text, and we work from remembered versions).

Why isn’t there a good 10- to 15-minute video on the thing for classroom use? Get a good actor to do the speech, it could be a hit. Where is the video when we need it?

Update for 2008: Glimmerings of hope on the video front: Amateur videos on YouTube provide some of the sense of what goes on in modern celebrations.

And, see this re-enactment from Monterrey:

Update for 2009: The Library of Congress’s Wise Guide for September features the history of the day:

The Grito de Dolores (“Cry of/from Dolores”) was the battle cry of the Mexican War of Independence, uttered on September 16, 1810, by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest from the small town of Dolores, near Guanajuato, Mexico.

“My Children, a new dispensation comes to us today…Will you free yourselves? Will you recover the lands stolen 300 years ago from your forefathers by the hated Spaniards? We must act at once.”

Although many mistakenly attribute the Cinco de Mayo holiday as the celebration of Mexican independence, Sept. 16 was the day the enthusiastic Indian and mestizo congregation of Hidalgo’s small Dolores parish church took up arms and began their fight for freedom against Spain.

Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920” has a rich collection of photographs of Mexico. To view these pictures, search the collection on “Mexico.”

Portals to the World contains selective links providing authoritative, in-depth information about the nations and other areas of the world. Resources on Mexico include information on the country’s history, religion, culture and society to name a few.

September is also a notable month for Hispanic culture with the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month Sept 15 – Oct. 15. Sept. 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition to Mexico’s independence day on Sept. 16, Chile recognizes its independence day Sept.18. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is Oct. 12, falls within this 30-day period.

The theme for the 2009 Hispanic Heritage Month is “Embracing the Fierce Urgency of Now!” To coincide with the celebration, the Library and several partners present a website honoring Hispanic culture and people.

Viva la república! Viva el Cura Hidalgo! Una página de Gloria, TITLE TRANSLATION: Long live the republic! Long live Father Hidalgo! A page of glory. Between 1890 and 1913. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction Nos.: LC-USZ62-98851 (b&w film copy neg.), LC-DIG-ppmsc-04595 (digital file from original, recto), LC-DIG-ppmsc-04596 (digital file from original, verso); Call No.: PGA - Vanegas, no. 123 (C size) [P&P] Catalog Record: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsc.04595<a title="A street in Guanajuato, Mexico. Between 1880 and 1897. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction No.: LC-D418-8481 (b&w glass neg.); Call No.: LC-D418-8481

[P&P] Catalog Record: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/det.4a27131&#8243; href=”http://www.loc.gov/wiseguide/sept09/images/Mexican_B.jpg&#8221; rel=”lightbox[independence]”><img src="http://www.loc.gov/wiseguide/sept09/images/Mexican_B_thumb.jpg&quot; alt="A street in Guanajuato, Mexico. Between 1880 and 1897. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction No.: LC-D418-8481 (b&w glass neg.); Call No.: LC-D418-8481

[P&P] Catalog Record: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/det.4a27131&#8243; width=”515″ height=”334″ border=”0″ />

Specifically on the Grito de Dolores, see the Library of Congress’s American Memory Project:

Cry of Dolores

My Children, a new dispensation comes to us today…Will you free yourselves? Will you recover the lands stolen three hundred years ago from your forefathers by the hated Spaniards? We must act at once.Cry of Dolores, attributed to Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, September 16, 1810.

The Palace from the Cathedral, city of Mexico
The [National] Palace from the Cathedral, city of Mexico,
William Henry Jackson, photographer,
between 1880 and 1897.
Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920

Early on the morning of September 16, 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla summoned the largely Indian and mestizo congregation of his small Dolores parish church and urged them to take up arms and fight for Mexico’s independence from Spain. His El Grito de Dolores, or Cry of Dolores, which was spoken—not written—is commemorated on September 16 as Mexican Independence Day.

Father Hidalgo was born into a moderately wealthy family in the city of Guanajuato, northwest of Mexico City, in 1753. He attended the Jesuit College of San Francisco Javier, received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mexico in 1774, and was ordained into the priesthood in 1778. He soon earned the enmity of the authorities, however, by openly challenging both church doctrine and aspects of Spanish rule by developing Mexican agriculture and industry.

In 1803, Hidalgo accepted the curacy of the small parish of Dolores, not far from his native city of Guanajuato. Between 1803 and 1810, he directed most of his energy to improving the economic prospects of his parishioners. He also joined the Academia Literaria, a committee seeking Mexico’s independence from Spain.

Guanajuato, Mexico
Guanajuato, Mexico,
William Henry Jackson, photographer,
between 1880 and 1897.
Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920

In September 1810, Spanish authorities learned of the group’s plot to incite a rebellion. On September 13, they searched the home of Emeterio González in the city of Queretaro where they found a large supply of weapons and ammunition. Warned of his impending arrest, Hidalgo preempted authorities by issuing the El Grito de Dolores on the morning of September 16. Attracting enthusiastic support from the Indian and mestizo population, he and his band of supporters moved toward the town of San Miguel.

The rebel army encountered its first serious resistance at Guanajuato. After a fierce battle that took the lives of more than 500 Spaniards and 2,200 Indians, the rebels won the city. By October, the rebel army, now 80,000 strong, was close to taking Mexico City. Hidalgo, fearful of unleashing the army on the capital city, hesitated, then retreated to the north. He was captured in Texas, then still a part of the Spanish empire, and executed by firing squad on July 31, 1811. After ten more years of fighting, a weakened and divided Mexico finally won independence from Spain with the signing of the Treaty of Córdoba on August 24, 1821.

Learn more about Mexico:

Resources, other material:

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Spanish history is very interesting to me because some of my ancestors came from Spain. It is good to learn new things about where i came from and what my ancestors did that impacted my life today. Spanish history should be taught more in schools because it is something that kids would actually want to learn about.

  2. Wonderfully interesting, and woefully under-represented in the texts and standards.

    You’re right. Can we work to cover some of that material, or uncover some of that history, here in this forum, to take into the classroom?

    What parts of that history do you know about, and what are the big questions you’re looking to answer?

  3. “Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s “Independence Day.”
    LOL! this is a great and informing post.
    I’m in your 5th period class, Gustavo M.

  4. to be honest i read it

  5. This article is very interesting for me and i think it’s very good

  6. Does any of this have to do with the 2003 film “Hidalgo?”

  7. wats a good movie that has some of this information?

  8. This made me remember the Cry Of Dolores. That was intresting and learned some more things.

  9. read it and was here

  10. Yes Yes I was here Mr.! =]

  11. Hey Mr. I read it! =]

  12. Hey Mr. I read it…

  13. hey mr. i left a comment!

  14. i think its a very good story.

  15. This Is So Interesting! Im Learning a lot from it.

  16. Ok I read it Mr.Darell…

  17. the mexicos independence is very interesting and am going to read more about it…..this is juan renteria from your 3rd period

  18. Very good and im here so give me my grade im in your 4th period

  19. good Article.i read it need a grade

  20. Nice article i liked it. So can i get my grade now Mr. Darell?,,

  21. nice article Darrell. Liked it alotttt

  22. i read it…Mr. Darrell

  23. im here so give me my grade!!

  24. i was here

  25. I didn’t know September is also a notable month for Hispanic culture.

  26. I read it and it was pretty interesting I learned more about ”The Grito de Dolores.”

  27. i need a grade.read the article

  28. already..!!

  29. ^(*_*)^

  30. HEY WAS UP MR. DARREL IS YO BOY JT JUST WANTED TO GET A GRADE SO ILL C YO LATERZ!!!

  31. hey great page :)

  32. hey senior derrell… its me…william…i left a comment now…… william duran from 4th period.

  33. i didnt know that they had a small war and that so many people died from that war. The rebels won the war and city of Guanajuato.

  34. Hey there Mr. Derrell… ;) i really enjoyed reading about this topic… See you in 5th period :)

  35. I Was Here:)

  36. […] Mexico’s Independence Day, September 16 Advertisement LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "0"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_bg", "ffffff"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_text", "4b5d67"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_link", "7f1d1d"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_border", "e7eef6"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_url", "526a74"); LD_AddCustomAttr("LangId", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Autotag", "technology"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "dallas"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "freedom"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "grito-de-dolores"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "history"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "mexico"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "dallas"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "grito-de-dolores"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "history"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "mexico"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "mexicos-independence-day"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Tag", "september-16"); LD_AddSlot("wpcom_below_post"); LD_GetBids(); Share this information:TwitterDiggFacebookStumbleUponRedditEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]


What do you think about this little point of history?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: