- Pre-Hispanic Mexico
- Pre-Classical Period
- Classical Period
- Post-Classical Period
- Spanish Conquest and Colonial Period
- Towards Independence
- War with the U.S. and Recolonization Attempts
- The Mexican Revolution
- The Zapatista Movement
- Mexico Today
By the 18th century, the criollos (Spanish descendants born in Mexico) had begun to control important parts of commercial, mining and agricultural affairs, accumulating considerable wealth. They soon began seeking political status to match that wealth.
What initially triggered the independence movement in Mexico was Napoleon’s occupation of Spain in 1808. Spain ceased to have a direct hold over New Spain and rebellions ensued. There was rivalry between the Spanish-born colonists and the criollos. A criollo parish priest, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla led a rebellion in 1810, with his call to join the movement, known as the Grito de Dolores, on September 16 of that year.
Initially failing, Spain finally accepted Mexican independence in 1821. First, an empire was established, under Augustin de Iturbide, who was later overthrown by army officers who established a federal republic.