The Struggle for Independence in Mexico and Argentina

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Mexico & Argentina

Mexico's Path to Independence

The hero of the independence, liberal general Guadalupe Victoria, was elected first president under the new constitution in 1833. President Valentín Gómez Farías pushed to Congress a series of radical liberal reforms. General Antonio López de Santa Anna occupied the capital and sent Gómez into exile. He repealed the reform laws and suspended the constitution. The new conservative constitution of 1836 reduced the states to be completely dominated by the central government. This led to the loss of Texas in 1836. The United States annexed Texas in 1845, and the Mexican-American War broke out. By the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico gave up half of the country, ceding Texas, California, and New Mexico to the United States.

La Reforma Movement

In 1846, Benito Juárez and Melchor Ocampo started a movement called La Reforma. This movement sought to destroy feudal vestiges and implement capitalism in Mexico. The proclamation of Santa Anna as"Most Supreme Highnes" sprang an opposition that ended the dictatorship.

The Mexican Empire

Meanwhile, a delegation of conservatives offered the Mexican crown to Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Habsburg, which he gratefully accepted in 1864. In 1865, the Union government demanded that the French evacuate Mexico. Maximilian and his leading generals were captured and executed by a Juarista firing squad. Juárez assumed the presidency in August 1867. His government inherited industrial and agricultural ruin.

Argentina's Path to Independence

Paraguay was the first to repel the Buenos Aires junta's efforts to"liberate i". Under the rule of José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, it declared its own independence. José Artigas also resisted the Buenos Aires junta's attempt to dominate the area and led Uruguay, then known as the Banda Oriental, toward independence. But in 1817, a powerful Brazilian army invaded Uruguay and stopped the Banda Oriental.

By 1820, the United Provinces dissolved into a number of independent republics. Unitarian efforts from Bernardino Rivadavia came to the drafting of a constitution in 1825. Rivadavia resigned the presidency in 1827 and went into exile.

The Rosas Regime

In 1829, Juan Manuel Rosas forged a federal pact under which Buenos Aires assumed representation of the provinces but left them free to run their own affairs. He vigorously pressed the conquest of indigenous territory. To enforce his will, a secret organization called the Mazorca was formed. In 1852, the anti-Rosas forces, together with Justo José de Urquiza, defeated Rosas's army. Bartolomé Mitre became the first president of Argentina.

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