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A Concise History of Mexico (Cambridge Concise Histories) ( PDFDrive )

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the
Colorado and Gila Rivers, expelled all missionaries, settlers, and
soldiers in 1780–81. Since the Yumas were never reconquered, the
land route between Sonora and the Californias remained interrupted
for the duration of the colonial period. Croix’s successor, Jacobo
Ugarte y Loyola (1786–90), a veteran of the European wars of
1740–63 and previously Governor of Sonora and Coahuila, strug-
gled with the problem of the Apaches. Ultimately the resolution of
New Spain’s frontier problem depended upon either defeat of the
Apache groups raiding into Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Sonora, or
126 A concise history of Mexico
some type of working arrangement with them. Spanish offensives in
1784–85 had also proved unsuccessful. Ugarte first sought alliances
with the Comanche andNavajo enemies of the Apaches,made peace
with the Chiricahuas and Lipanes in Sonora and Nueva Vizcaya,
and then campaigned against the Gileños who, with their Pima and
Papago allies, had attacked the Tucson presidio in 1784. Between
1790 and 1810, the peace strategy proved relatively successful.
Indian resistance in the north and far north posed a far greater
problem to the Spanish colonial administration than interloping by
rival European Powers, in spite of the temporary loss of the Floridas
to Great Britain between 1763 and 1783. Spain, however, com-
pounded this problem by maintaining only a weak political or-
ganisation in the northern provinces and keeping commercial life
dependent on Veracruz and Mexico City, in spite of the general
policy of trade liberalisation within the Empire. The viceregal
authorities in Mexico City, for their part, remained determined to
prevent the formation of any separate authority for the entire north-
ern zone. They opposed strengthening the woefully inadequate
3,000–man force which was supposed to defend the entire frontier.
Finally, Viceroy Flórez secured royal authorisation in 1787 not only
for the creation of two distinct Comandancias, one for the eastern
and one for the western provinces, but that both should be directly
responsible to the viceregal government. In 1793, though, the crown
changed its mind and ordered the reunion of the two sections. They
remained united until the Cortes in 1813 revived the earlier policy of
division. The outbreak of insurrection within central Mexico in
1810, however, forced the authorities to divert manpower and
resources away from the north at a crucial stage. As a result, peace
disintegrated throughout the northern territories.
Religious crisis and popular perceptions
The religious crisis within New Spain operated on several levels: the
perception that the Spanish metropolitan government and its local
agents had departed from traditional practices sharpened resent-
ments across the social spectrum. Gruzinski presents the view of a
‘Baroque Church’ superseded by a ‘Church of the Enlightenment’,
imposed by the largely Spanish episcopate appointed by the Crown.
127Destabilisation and fragmentation, 1770–1867
Plate 17 Portrait of Father Miguel Hidalgo (1753–1811) by
Joaquín Ramírez, c. 1865. This painting attempts to portray
Hidalgo less as revolutionary priest and more as potential
statesman and founder of the Republic, though in his lifetime
he was neither. Muralist painters of the Revolution of 1910
adopted a different stance, emphasising Hidalgo’s
revolutionary leadership, if not messianic role. Orozco, for
instance, covered the stairway of the Government Palace in
Guadalajara during the later 1930s with scenes of violent
revolutionary conflict. Hidalgo, left fist clenched above his
head, spreads a burning brand across the forces of reaction.
Juan O’Gorman (1905–82) portrayed Hidalgo as nationalist
revolutionary in his ‘Retablo de la Independencia’ in
Chapultepec Castle in 1960–61.
128 A concise history of Mexico
The religious question polarised opinion and divided loyalities. To
some extent, the religious crisis represented aMexican expression of
the general crisis within the RomanCatholic Church during the later
eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries under the impact of En-
lightenment, Revolution, and early Liberalism. In New Spain, the
combination of social and cultural factors enabled a large-scale
popular mobilisation to take place for the first time. The insurrec-
tion of 1810was led by FatherMiguel Hidalgo (1753–1811), parish
priest of Dolores in the dynamic and densely populated province of
Guanajuato. Its extent and intensity took the viceregal authorities
by surprise.
The change of dynasty in 1700 had led to increased state pressure
on the revenues and jurisdiction of the Church. A temporary rupture
between the Spanish Crown and the Holy See, followed by the
Concordats of 1737 and 1753, reflected state perceptions of su-
periority over the ecclesiastical power. This ‘regalism’ rose to a
climax in the years 1765 to 1808, when intensified governmental
pressure led to the reduction of ecclesiastical immunities and the
absorption of Church revenues and properties. Archbishop Fran-
cisco Lorenzana (1766–72) and Bishop Francisco Fabián y Fuero of
Puebla (1765–73) were the principal exponents of late Bourbon
regalism. These policies reflected the strains to which the Spanish
state, as an imperial power in a competitive European world, was
constantly subjected. At the same time, however, the ideas of the
Enlightenment began to enter New Spain. They were not necessarily
heterodox, still less anti-Christian, but from mid-century they did
lead to criticism of traditional educational methods and curricula.
Accordingly, the clergy became divided into ‘modernisers’ and ‘tra-
ditionalists’. Although not subversive, the new ideas increased state
pressures on the institutional Church.
The expulsion of the Jesuits – the majority of the 500 were
Mexicans – in 1767 stirred up a widespread opposition in New
Spain which cut across social distinctions. Promoters of the cult of
Guadalupe, the Jesuits acted at the same time as the principal
teachers in colleges attended by sons of the creole elite, confessors in
nunneries, and promoters of lay Marian brotherhoods. The expul-
sion had serious moral consequences, since it was imposed upon
creole society in New Spain by the Spanish colonial authorities. A
129Destabilisation and fragmentation, 1770–1867
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130 A concise history of Mexico
deepening division opened between the peninsular hierarchy and the
popular church. The former remained under the Royal Patronage,
while the latter had already seen the parting of the ways.
The Caroline bishops campaigned against popular religiousmani-
festations and cults. Their attacks on ‘superstition’ and ‘fanaticism’
widened the gap between the colonial government and ordinary
people. Although most of this criticism focussed on processions,
pilgrimages, cults of the saints and the Virgin, and the centrality of
local confraternity practices in Indian villages, a number of millen-
narian movements revealed the depth of popular unease. Gruzinski
has suggested a millennarian dimension to the support focussed on
Antonio Pérez in 1760–61 in the highland zone between Mexico
City and Cuautla. Similarly, Taylor recently drew attention to the
millennarian rebellion of 1769 in the Tulancingo area north-east of
Mexico City in which devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe formed a
leading part. The colonial authorities in Guadalajara and the capital
took seriously a localised uprising in Tepic in Nayarit in 1801
centred around an Indian ‘king’ called Mariano, which was to have
taken place on the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The religious
dimension, striking deep roots within
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