Chtp. 16 The 1st Mexican Empire: Augustin de Iturbide

  • The task of creating a nation out of a newly independent state. What does it take? The economy is in shambles, the political atmosphere is pervaded by acrimony and mistrust, ideological fissures are thrown in there somewhere along with ethnic and regional differences at the heart of the political body. So yeah, this might take a few tries. 

Iturbide: They say he was self-important, that he wanted to rule a nation more than he every one to build one. He was dominated by conservation criollo interests. Selected as 1 of 5 man regency to exercise executive functions by the Junta. Given military title Generalisimo. So Iturbide, he’s just gotta have this crown, but he sees his ranks being thinned. She what does he do, well, he orders his troops to form outside of his house place where he lives wherever that is and chant for him to be emperor then civilians get involved and there’s a mob in the street of a shit ton of people chanting for this guy, Iturbide, to be Emperor of Mexico. Its so fucking underhanded- and it works. Congress is completely intimidated and the next day gives him the job. Augustin de Iturbide (1783-1824) becomes the first Emperor of Mexico. He cared for being the greatest Emperor in the world. He cared nothing for his nation. Nothing for his people. He did not rebuild the Economy. He did not rebuild the Infrastructure. He looked at his reflection on a gold coin and debated whether or not the motto under his breast should be in Latin or Spanish. 

“Iturbide: Changing allegiance from the Spanish to the insurgent cause, Iturbide successfully concluded the fight for independence and had himself named emperor of Mexico.” (233) “He realized that the entire governmental system of the colonial period has been predicated upon loyalty to the king and the crown.” (233) 

“While he became emperor in name, in fact became a caudillo, a charismatic military leader with a personal following.” (234) The empire was huge. Embracing much of the old viceroyalty of New Spain, it stretched in the north to California and the present-day Southwest of the United States and the south included all of Central America with the exception of Panama.” (234) “The showy imperial facade rested on vulnerable socioeconomic foundation. “(234) “Most serious of all was the perilous state of the Mexican economy.” (234) 

“Over $26 million was minted in 1809; in 1821, less than $6 million.” (235) Even Guadalupe Victoria, Iturbide’s erstwhile alley, denounced him as a tyrant with all the fiery eloquence he could command. On October 31 Iturbide became the first Mexican chief executive to dissolve the legislative branch of government. The precedent, the once established, would be repeated many times before the nineteenth century ran its course.” (235-236) 

So then we got Santa Anna here, who comes along, gathers troops, hits the streets, and proclaims: Republic. And you know, these troops have guns and Iturbide is all, damn. Words are one thing, but attacking with guns is another.  What Iturbide does is grab his pension, resign the thrown and run away to exile. Rebel walked right into Mexico City and took it.

“The first Mexican empire had been a dismal failure.” (236)

“…one respect of the collapse of the Empire….brought to power for first time the criollo middle class…” (237) Iturbide’s wasteful pomp had converted more monarchists to republicans than could have been persuaded by a team of skillful rhetoricians. Mexico would be organized as a republic; the nature of that republic would now be the issue at stake. IT would provoke violent debate, near anarchy, and finally civil war.” (237)

Words:

  • Precarious: 
  • Acrimony:
  • Promulgated:
  • Prerogative:
  • Repugnant:
  • Exhorbitant:
  • Expedient:
  • Espoused:
  • Staunchest:
  • Irreconcilable:
  • Precedent:
  • Abdicated:
  • Emasculated:
  • Subservience:
  • Tutelage:
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