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JULY 18, 1810

Dear Diary,
    It's the year 1810, and we’re in the time of crisis. Napoleon, the French leader, has replaced the Spanish ruler, Ferdinand VII with his own brother, Joseph Bonaparte. I’m so tired of Spain ruling over Mexico. It's not fair. Mexicans have been suppressed since 1519, when Hernando Cortez conquered the Aztecs and claimed Mexico for Spain. This was the land of my forefathers who were forced to be slaves for the Spanish and work on the land. While my people died in mines trying to retrieve gold and silver, Spain just became even more rich! If it weren't for Bartolome de las Casas convincing the King to end slavery, our situation would be worse than it is now, which is hard to imagine! Nevertheless, the Church has become very wealthy and controls two thirds of the money in Mexico. Father Hidalgo understands the injustices that we must endure and is working to end it! The Peninsulares or Guachapins are considered upper class. Although they are the least populous (there are ten Creoles, Mexican born people, to one Penisulare), the Penisulares have special roles in the government. Both the Peninsulares and the Creoles do not want the Mestizos, people who are half Spanish and half Native American, involved in government. Therefore the Mestizos have little chance for education and remain in poverty. I think it is time for change in Mexico. Father Hidalgo has read about the revolutions in America and France. Other Mestizo priests and lawyers have been reading about freedom and democracy. They even read the Declaration of Independence. These lawyers and priests hope that there can be equality in Mexico. I believe the same! Mama is hesitant about this and does not like it when I speak such things. She says it will one day get me into trouble. But I will continue to write to you diary, because I believe that a revolution will fix everything...

-Luisa


JULY 20, 1810

Dear Diary,
    Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, along with other Creoles, are plotting against Spain because the Creoles are not allowed government positions. Now there is a policy saying that only officials sent from Spain are to rule the colonies. [1] It’s not fair! My husband, who has been loyal and obeyed the officials here in Mexico, deserves to be a part of the government, but has been turned away because he is a Creole. Hidalgo is rallying for more people to join his plot, and we intend to fight with him. Despite the consequences of failure in this rebellion, it is necessary for freedom from Spain and equality among all social ranks. If the United States was able to break away from Great Britain, then we can break away from Spain!
    Also, we cannot be ruled by the French and their anti-Catholic policies. We must fight for independence in the name of Kind Ferdinand VII. With Spain having so many problems with Napoleon, it is time for Mexico to have a local government to do what is right for the people. As Hidalgo declares, "Long live independence and death to the Spaniards!"

-Luisa


AUGUST 22,1810

Dear Diary,
    I have been thinking about why I should even trust Father Hidalgo. He himself is a Creole and has lived for 57 years. He has seen the mistreatment and the injustices firsthand and he has also suffered himself under the Spanish system. (Maybe that is why he is loved by his parishioners so much.) He works tirelessly for the rights of the people but he knows suffering, his own family was forced to pay up all debts when the King of Spain forced the Catholic Church to do so. He believes in the philosophy that if a ruler is a tyrant than the people should overthrow him. I believe that he is correct about this. Already there have been some failed attempts to gain independence. Interestingly, my husband and I have had contact with an organization, the Literary Club of Queretaro, that must now meet secretly. Originally, the group simply met for intellectual discussions but now, the members are planning for the revolution. They believe that the native Indians, the Mestizos and the lower class could get control from the Penisulares by fighting them. It is no wonder that Father Hidalgo is part of this group. It seems that the leader, Ignacio Allende, a Creole officer with a local military regiment, convinced Hidalgo that he needed to join the movement because the group needed someone who could rally the poor people and give them the moral permission to revolt. The more time I spend discussing what life would be like without Spanish rule, the more I feel must become a member of the revolution if Mexico is to gain its independence.

-Luisa


SEPTEMBER 15, 1810

Dear Diary,
    Tragedy has struck our lives! Out of all the outcomes, I did not think that our own member, would betray us and tell a Spanish official our plans to rebel. Who would do such a thing? He is marked as a traitor, and I fear that my hopes and expectations of our conspiracy have now been shattered. I had wished that my husband would be able to achieve a political career and to make more money. But because the highest class are native Spaniards, it makes sense that they are earning the most money. If Mexico could gain independence, everyone would be treated equally, and we wouldn’t have to deal with this unjust rule. Or, if more of the middle class were established roles in the government, there wouldn’t be the problem of inequality, and we could have more representation. That’s what I hate about this so called government. The middle class has no say in the laws made for and about them, which is similar to taxation without representation. Who made the policy that says only Spanish officials can run the government? How is it that someone who doesn’t even live in this country is allowed to rule over us? It makes no sense and I will not stand for it! This small obstacle will not stop us, and I’m certain that Hidalgo, and his co-conspirator, Ignacio Allende, will come up with something to continue this act of independence. It is rumored that Allende wants to go into hiding. Tomorrow is sure to be an important day as the two talk throughout the night...

- Luisa


SEPTEMBER 16, 1810

Dear Diary,
    Hidalgo did not show up for Mass this morning (Sunday). A large number of parishioners, about 600 on foot and horseback, had come to Dolores last night to attend church services. I was with the crowd that then gathered in front of Father Hidalgo's house at around eight o'clock. Father spoke to the crowd saying, "My friends and countrymen: neither the king nor tributes exist for us any longer. We have borne this shameful tax, which only suits slaves, for three centuries as a sign of tyranny and servitude; [a] terrible stain which we shall know how to wash away with our efforts. The moment of our freedom has arrived, the hour of our liberty has struck;" (McKeehan 4). The church bells were rung and Father Hidalgo convinced Allende and the group that gathered that revolution must start now. Father said, "Know this, my children, that knowing your patriotism, I have put myself at the head of a movement begun some hours ago, to wrest away power from Europeans and give it to you!" (Minster 1-2). It is clear that Father wants to protect Mexico from the French. The revolution is to be carried out in the name of Ferdinand the VII in order that Mexico be free! The people are calling this the Grito de Dolores.
    Finally, the end of Spanish rule is at hand! Our peasant army is marching toward Mexico City, the Capital. Our army has recieved a picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which has become a symbol of our revolutionary forces. Surely God is on our side.

-Luisa


OCTOBER 30, 1810

Dear Diary,
     Today, Hidalgo's massive army gained victory over the Spanish forces! Our army was brought togheter by the need for independence. Our anger has given us much strength and we triumphantly defeated the Spanish in the Battle of Monte de las Cruces, which is what the battle has been named. [2] I am overjoyed for Mexico's feat. We are one step closer to independence. It will be wonderful to be able to see my children live in a world with no fear and equal rights, a world of independence. Right now, they are confused and scared to see my husband, Cruz, and I always worrying and speaking in hushed tones. But I know that one day this will all be over and we will be able to live in safety and peace.
     Despite all of this joy and triumph for Mexico, I am afraid I will not be able to sleep tonight. My husband, Cruz, has left with Hidalgo's army. I begged him not to go, but he insisted. He feel that he is just as much a part of this country as any other man and he wants to fight for its independence. I am proud of him, however, I am angered and scared that he would leave me all alone with the children. I fear I will not be able to care for the children all alone. I also fear that we will run out of money, and then what are we to do? Our neighbor, Ana Eru, has been dealing with a very similar experience to mine. her husband too has left to fight with the army. We both fear for our husbands' safety and also for our childrens'. Raising our children alone, with out a man in the house, will be challenging and frightening. I often meet with Ana to talk about these things. We sometimes cry together, because we do not know what to expect. We do not even know if our husbands will ever come home. All I can do now is pray that God is on our side. 

-Luisa

 

NOVEMBER 20, 1810

Dear Diary     
     I’ve been thinking about what aspects of my life I would like to see change from the revolution. I do know that I’d like to see my husband have an important position in the government, so that there is someone who embodies the larger group of people, not the rich. I also want equality in the social hierarchy because I don’t believe there is a certain body of people who are superior to others. Not only that, but the wealthy have privileges that we do not have, which is unfair. The upper class already has certain advantages over us because they have more money, and these privileges, especially in the government, put them on a higher pedestal. I want to live in a society where people are not looked down upon because of their social status. There clearly needs to be a redistribution of land and there needs to be more racial equality. Moreover, I want to see Ferdinand VII back on the throne. Napoleon gave power over Spain to his own brother, Joseph Bonaparte. How do we even know if Joseph has the experience to control a country, or if he’ll rule with just actions or tyranny? Spain cannot be ruled by France. Mexico must become a constitutional monarchy that does not forget its Spanish culture. Thank God Hidalgo is such a strong leader.
    There's been a lot of gossip going around about Hidalgo, and i can't tell what is true and what is false. I know that his family's money was taken away by the government, and that they have lost almost everything. Also, I've heard that his brother was driven insane. That's one rumor that I question. Also, it is said that he disagrees with the rule that says priests cannot marry and there's a rumor that he had children. There are other rumors that he questioned the Pope and the virgin birth of Christ. However, this does not change my confidence in his abilities to lead us. I am grateful for his audacity, and I hope that this rebellion continues to be successful for us. I believe that he will be known as the father of Mexican independence.

-Luisa


DECEMBER 25, 1810

Dear Diary,
      Feliz Navidad! Christmas is finally here! Although this was our first Christmas with out Cruz, it was a joyful day. We celebrated with dancing, singing, and a big feast. After the feast, I brought a pinata home for the children to play with. It was filled with peanuts, oranges, tangerines, sugar canes, and hard candy. The children sang chants while they took turns trying to break the pinata. I watched the children play happily, while sipping my Ponche de Piquete. [3] Despite everything we must deal with these days, I was glad to be able to be joyful with my family and celebrate Mexican culture once again. My children also appreciated it, which makes me very happy.
     These festivities do not keep me from thinking about the truth and realities of my life. I am afraid something has gone terribly wrong with Cruz. I have not received any letters from him since he left, which was almost 4 months ago. Ana has received two letters from her husband, so shouldn’t C ruz be sending me some? Ana invites me over to read the letters with her. They have told us much about the war. We have learned that our army is not doing as well as it was doing 2 months ago. After their triumph in the Battle of Monte de las Cruces, they headed for Mexico city. However, there, they were met by a larger and more organized Spanish army, which was heavily armed. Our army knew that they were too small and disorganized to defeat these soldiers, so they retreated and took refuge in the neighboring villages. What if Cruz is in danger, or is wounded, or even dead? I am afraid. What if he does not come back? What will happen to my children? Surely I will not be able to care for them alone much longer. I can only pray that he is safe and that the war ends soon…

-Luisa


JANUARY 31, 1811

Dear Diary,
    We have looted the Peninsulares! We have taken gold and other supplies, and in fact, we have raised an army of 80,000, which we pay for with the looted gold. Nevertheless, today is a sad day. Viceroy Fransisco Javier Venegas and his future replacement, General Felix Calleja, have fought back furiously. Hidalgo’s forces were defeated at the bridge of Calderon. I think our troops were too unorganized and not trained well enough to withstand the prepared and adroit soldiers of the government. Not only that, but there were several people who did not join in on our cry for freedom. Our army was pressuring the residents of Mexico City, however the peasants had the nerve to refuse to unite with us. When I heard that, I thought it was ridiculous. This revolt is for them and the rest of the people who are not the upper class. We’re trying to help the population, not destroy it. What will this mean for the future of our army, for our cause? How many more people will drop out and refuse to rally for the revolution? I am afraid, but also excited and curious as to what is in store for the future. I pray that God is on our side.
    Moving on, it’s a miserable day because our own Hidalgo was executed today. [4]At he battle in which we defeated General Felix Calleja, Hidalgo was captured and then tried by the Inquisition. It is said that during his trial he confessed that he should not have started the revolution because too many people have and will die. They eventually murdered him. I hear that they mutilated his body and his head was displayed in Guanajuato as a warning to all the others who fought for independence along with him. I am extremely disturbed and angered by this. We do not deserve this humility. Is this not our country? Who are these people to think they have the right to do this to us? I am very frightened now and do not know where this revolt will go. I am glad I am a strong woman with a family, because I would not being able to hold on for much longer with out them. I am afraid to send my children to school now, for fear that they will hear rumors of what has happened to Hidalgo. They might fear that Europe will come for more, maybe even their father, who has been collaborating with others for independence. But now that Hidalgo is gone, who will be our leader in our time of need? Who will settle this chaos that is forming now that our father of independence, along with Allende, has been brutally put to death? I fear the outcome of this insurgence, and I can only hope someone will take a stand.

-Luisa

 

NOVEMBER 12, 1814

Dear Diary,
     I have not written in a while, but a lot has happened since the last time I wrote to you. There is a new leader. His name Jose Maria Morelos. He is another priest, just like Father Hidalgo was. Since I was so satisfied with Hidalgo, who was a priest, I thought that Morelos would carry out the deed as well as he did. In fact, Morelos was named executive chief. He created a revolutionary Congress called the Congress of Chilpancingo, which has declared Mexican independence! On November 6, 1813, our Congress signed our first document of indpendence, which was called the "Solemn Act of Declaration of Independence of North America" (On that day, my family had a large feast, considering the circumstances, and we celebrated ‘till dawn. On October 22, 1814, the social hierarchy and the use slaves were eliminated in the constitution of Apatzingan. [5] We are so close to fully ending this war I can almost taste it! I am glad we have another leader with us. Morelos seems strong, and after all, he did declare independence! With any luck, the revolutionv will end soon and Cruz willcome home to us. I am missing him a lot, however, Mexico's accomplishments our making me stronger. I have to hold on for my children, and for the sake of Mexico.


FEBRUARY 1, 1816

Dear Diary,   
  I am sorry I have not written in a while, but now I have SO much to say. Mexico has gone downhill since I wrote you last. After our declaration of independence and new Constitutions, everything was ruined by a Spaniard. A Creole under the Spaniards, Agustin de Iturbide, compelled our leader to draw back. And the inevitable happened. Just like Hidalgo, Morelos was captured, and humiliated by being forced to take off his priest garments. He was executed on December 22, 1815, and the Congress was broken up. General Manuel Mier y Teran took over leadership but could not unite the different guerilla militias. By then, I lost almost all my hope for freedom. For awhile, guerilla warfare continued under the leadership of Vicente Guerrero, which caused a lot of fear among local cities. Spanish Viceroy Juan Ruiz de Apodaca was able to make those guerilla leaders surrender, except for some others who continued the fighting. [6] I feel as if there’s so much disorder going on, and I don’t know what will happen if the government can finally settle everything. I have given up on Cruz ever coming back. I have gotten used to him being gone and now he is like a dream to me, and sometimes I question if he ever existed. I’m worried for my future, and the future of my children. God help us.

- Luisa     


MAY 7, 1818

Dear Diary,
     Yesterday I recieved a letter from the army. It said that last year Cruz had been killed due to Guerrilla warfare. He had been kidnapped and brought to a fecility where he was tortured and brainwashed. After a month as a hostage he died of the flu. This made me so sad, but more than anything, angry. I often back to the days when we when were young and happy, and he was still here with us. It seems so long ago. I am proud of my husband for fighting for his country and I am sorry that he had to endure such pain. But I have  not cried for my husband and I do not intend to. I have to be strong for my children. I have manged to pull through this whole war and I intend to not break down because they need me. I have come so far already.
     My brother, Jose, is living with us now. He has a job and helps me support the family and take care of the children. The children are also older now, so they can take care of themselves and the house too. All we can do now is wait and try to hold on until this war has ended. It seems to me that it will never end because whenever something good happens, it always results in a catstrophe. Poor Cruz, I am horrified by what happened to him. Although I will never cry for him, I will always think about him and be haunted by his story.

-Luisa 


AUGUST 2, 1822

Dear Diary,
    WE ARE FREE! After ten years of this madness, we have finally achieved what we wanted. The liberal revolution in Spain in 1820 caused certain Creoles and Spaniards to secede from Spain. Surprisingly, Iturbide, the same man who was originally against the revolt, became the leader of those who left. He negotiated with Vincente Guerrero, one of the peasant leaders. On February 24th, 1820, the Plan de Iguala announced the Independence of Mexico, and that Mexico would be a constitutional monarchy under Ferdinand VII and the Catholic church would remain in power. What’s even better is that the Creoles and Peninsulares are pronounced as equals, just as I had wished for. Unfortunately, Mestizos have lesser rights. After the viceroy Apodaca was sent away, a new one accepted the plan of Iguala by the Convention of Cordoba. Because the Spanish Viceroy did not have the money, supplies, or troops to fight against Iturbide. he was forced to accept Mexican Independence. Viva Mexico! Soon there after, a constituent assembly and new Spanish leader was summoned. However, he declined to recognize the Convention of Cordoba. I’m not exactly sure if I particularly trust Iturbide, considering he was responsible for the death of our other leader, Morelos. However, Iturbide persuaded his army to pressure the Congress to make him emperor and he was named Agustin I on July 25th 1822. Hopefully, under his rule, Mexico will flourish and we’ll live the way we've always wanted to. I wish that Father Hidalgo were here to see us win this revolution. I'm sure he would be very happy and proud.
    Although there are several negative outcomes of failure in the revolution, we must follow through with it, for the sake of our own freedom and equality. We went through many leaders who strove for liberty and put us on the right track. There were obstacles that hindered our ultimate wish in this upheaval, but through our dedication and determination, we were able to gain most of what we originally sought out. I trust future leaders to rule with just and fair actions, so that there is no rebellion like this one. I believe Mexico prosper now, the way so many other countries have.

- Luisa

 

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Timeline of Mexican History." Web. 1 Dec. 2009. http://www.aztecclub.com/MexTimeline.htm
  2. "Mexico's War For Independence: The Battle of Monte de las Cruces." About.com. 2009. Web. 1 Dec. 2009.http://latinamericanhistory.about.com/od/latinamericaindependence/p/09montecruces.htm
  3.  :"Mexican Traditions for Christmas." Christmas in Mexico. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. http://www.nacnet.org/assunta/nacimnto.htm
  4. "Ancient Mexico." Mexican History. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. [1] 1 Dec 2009
  5. "Mexican War Independence." Wikipedia.org. 2 Dec. 2009. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_War_of_Independence
  6. "Mexican War of Independence 1810-1821." Mexico 1800-1999. Web. 29 Nov. 2009. http://www.onwar.com/aced/nation/may/mexico/fmexico1810b.htm
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