< Go Back

Independence Movement


In March, Charles IV is forced by supporters of his son Ferdinand to abdicate the Spanish throne. Charles IV was in flight to the Americas, presumably to Mexico. Ferdinand lasted only two months on the throne when Napoleon of France forced his brother, Joseph, onto the Spanish throne in May. The crisis over the legitimacy of the Spanish crown rocked both sides of the Atlantic.

The War of Independence begins after a call to arms by parish priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in Dolores (today Dolores Hidalgo) northwest of Mexico City in today’s state of Guanajuato.

The Palacio de Minería, built to house the Royal School of Mines and Mining of the Royal Court, officially opened and still stands on Calle Tacuba. Today a museum operated by the National University, construction began in 1797. It was built by architect and sculptor, Manuel Tolsá, and today faces the plaza bearing his name.

José María Morelos y Pavón is briefly held in the Casa Prisión de Morelos in Tlalpan. Taken prison after fierce fighting to the south of Mexico City, he was transferred soon after to a cell in the Palace of the Inquisition where he was tried for insurrection. He was permitted a visit to Pocito Chapel at the Basilica before being executed in Ecatepec.

Mexico City is invaded by the ‘Army of Three Guarantees’ that fought against the Spaniards, headed by Agustín de Iturbide. The final battle saw Anastasio Bustamante defeating royalist forces in the atrium of the Church of the Apostles Felipe and Santiago el Menor in Azcapotzalco on August 19.


New Spain  |  Independent Mexico