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DISTANT NEIGHBORS:  The U.S. and the Mexican Revolution

Plan of Iguala, February 24, 1821

The Plan of Iguala issued on February 24, 1821 marked the alliance between two adversarial groups – the insurrectionists led by Vicente Guerrero and Guadalupe Victoria and the military led by former Spanish Lieutenant Agustín de Iturbide. This reconciliation was facilitated when a large army assembled in Spain for the reconquest of its colonies suddenly revolted under the leadership of Sergeant Rafael Riego. Riego demanded that King Fernando VII swear allegiance to the liberal constitución of 1812 with its tepid anti-clericalism, and its stress on popular sovereignty and its bill of rights.

Mexican Conservatives, seeking to distance themselves from an unexpectedly liberal Spain, thought of ways to preserve the benefits of colonialism under a constitutional monarchy. Iturbide, now a colonel, was put in charge of 2,500 troops to be sent south to fight Guerrero, but he was convinced to arrange a coalition with him instead.  Naturally, Guerrero was somewhat suspicious of this royalist officer and it took several meetings before the two could issue their Plan of Iguala jointly. 

As appropriate to a conservative independence document, the Plan of Iguala praises Spain’s effort in the Americas, but argues that Mexico was ready, at last, for self-government in a constitutional monarchy. Catholicism would become the religion of the nation, American-born whites and those born in Spain would be treated equally, and a new army formed to guarantee these promises.

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Plan de Iguala

 

(Click on the illustration to view the text of this PDF / 1.68 MB)

Plan de Iguala, KGF7503.3 1821 Law Library, Library of Congress

 


El  Plan de Iguala, 24 de febrero de 1821

El Plan de Iguala del 24 de febrero de 1821, selló la alianza de dos grupos netamente opuestos – los insurrectos al mando de Vicente Guerrero y Guadalupe Victoria y el ejército regular bajo el mando del ex-teniente español Agustín de Iturbide. Esta reconciliación fue facilitada cuando un gran ejército que se estaba organizando en España para la reconquista de sus colonias, de repente se rebeló, liderado por el sargento Rafael Riego, contra la corona. Riego y sus seguidores demandaban que el rey Fernando VII jurase la constitución liberal de 1812, con su tibio anti-clericalismo, énfasis en la soberanía popular y derechos civiles.

Los conservadores mexicanos, ahora tratando de distanciarse de una España repentinamente liberal, pensaban en la mejor manera de conservar los beneficios del colonialismo bajo una monarquía constitucional. Iturbide, ahora coronel, fue puesto a cargo de 2500 soldados para enviarlos al sur contra Guerrero, pero criollos poderosos lo convencieron para su causa. Naturalmente, Guerrero estaba un tanto sospechoso de este oficial realista y se necesitaron varias reuniones para que los dos proclamaran el Plan de Iguala conjuntamente.

Como un documento de independencia conservador, el Plan de Iguala alababa la labor de España en las Américas, pero argumentaba que México se encontraba por fin preparado para un auto-gobierno en una monarquía constitucional, el catolicismo sería la religión de la nación, los criollos y los nacidos en España serían tratados de igual manera, y se crearía un nuevo ejército para garantizar estas promesas.

 

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  September 15, 2014
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