Catholic Church Influence

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The Spanish colonies in Latin America lasted over 300 years, far longer than the 76 years that the British colony lasted in the United States. The territory of Latin America was large and full of natural barriers that hindered close relations between the different colonies, but all had a strict racial hierarchy and the Catho-lic Church had an important role to play in controlling the colonies. The Church was especially important to the independence movement in Mexico. In this essay, I will describe the causes, practices and effects of the Mexican independence movement.
A long-term cause of the the Mexican War of Independence, was the strict racial divide of the country, very similar to other Latin American countries. They lived with natives
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The catholic religion had always been an important part of Latin America, influencing both economy and culture, and when the House of Bourbon restricted the power of the church, they angered the most influential people in Mexico, the priests. Father Hidalgo was one of the most important figures in the movement of Mexican Independence. He was a Creole-born Roman Catho-lic priest that became a leader appealing to the Creoles, but also the mixed-race and slave population. The “Grito de Dolores” proclaimed by Father Hidalgo announced the beginning of the revolutionary move-ment where he was in the front. Despite some earlier successes, the Spanish captured and executed Hidalgo, effectively making him a martyr for the movement, which only strengthened the fervor of the fight. Following the death of Father Hidalgo, Father Jose Maria Morelos takes over and becomes a leader in south. He is responsible for drafting the constitutional decree that abolished slavery and declared inde-pendence for Mexico. After years of guerilla warfare, Spanish officials capture Father Morelos during his fourth military campaign and execute him for treason. Elites, Creoles and Peninsulares realize the inevita-bility of Mexican Independence and join the movement in order to control the outcome in a benefitting way. Now led by Augustine Iturbide, a future Mexican emperor,…show more content…
The Bourbon reforms that restricted Creole control and the influential Catholic Church, inter alia, sparked the conflict and incentivized revolt. Civilians fought the war using Guerilla tactics successfully and Roman Catholic priests such as Father Hidalgo and later Father Morelos led the movement using their influence over the Mexican people. The cost of independence was high for Mexico and much of their industry was heavily damaged, especially their mining and agricul-tural industry. The political and economic instability that followed war made it difficult to have consistent leaders and policies that benefit Mexican
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