• Glenn Wilson
    55

    The History of El Grito de Dolores
    In reality, it all started out as a prison break much like that of the Bastille in Paris. However, before that, the territory known then as New Spain faced a period of upheaval and unrest. José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara had come to speak to Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla to convince him to help in the effort to break the Spanish yoke over New Spain. José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara went to Washington D.C. to attempt to secure military support from the Americans—the first Mexican to make the journey—while Miguel Hidalgo remained in Dolores.

    At his side was Juan Aldama, a man who lived in San Miguel el Grande and would frequently attend secret meetings of revolution in Querétaro. It was in San Miguel that Aldama heard the secret plans for the revolution had been betrayed by a supporter turned traitor who leaked the information to the Spanish authorities. Juan Aldama rushed from San Miguel to Dolores Hidalgo—a trip of 22 miles/36k—to warn Hidalgo of this fact. Aldama would end up becoming a rebel captain and war hero. Accompanying Hidalgo was Ignacio Allende—a Spanish army captain who had begun to sympathize with the independence movement.

    Fearing imprisonment, Miguel Hidalgo asked his brother Mauricio to urge the sheriff to free all the pro-independence inmates there. It was in the early morning of the 16th that roughly 80 inmates were released. By 2:30 in the morning, the bells of the church were ringing to gather the towns residents. Here he called upon the residents to rise against the Spaniards and Napoleon (Spain was considered a client state of the First French Empire under Joseph Bonaparte I). Hidalgo railed against the notion of monarchy and the social order, as well as emphasizing loyalty to the Catholic religion. However, of all that he professed, “Death to the Gachupines!” (a pejorative for the Spaniards) was perhaps the most radical. This passionate speech came to be known as El Grito de Dolores.

    There's more:
    • The Four Amigos Retrace El Grito
    • El Pípila and Guanajuato City
    • The Four Amigos in Guanajuato City
    • El Fuego Simbólico de la Cabalgata
    • El Grito in San Miguel de Allende and Tips for How To Survive It

    Continue reading at El Grito in San Miguel de Allende: Four Amigos Celebrate Mexican Independence.

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