Politics

Vicente Guerrero

Vicente Guerrero Biography
J. Sánchez / Public domain

Vicente Guerrero Biography

Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña (August 9, 1782 – February 14, 1831) was born in Tixtla, the current state of Guerrero, Mexico. Military and politician. He was one of the key figures in the Mexican independence movement. Guerrero joined the independence cause in 1810 when he fought alongside José María Morelos. After his death, he joined Agustín de Iturbide, with whom he created the Iguala Plan, through which the Independence of Mexico was established in 1821. His most outstanding actions were the capture of Oaxaca, the rebellion of Puebla and the Battle of the Barabbas Hill. After the fall of Iturbide, he supported the government of Guadalupe Victoria, whom he succeeded in 1829. During his short government, he abolished slavery in Mexico

Early years

Son of Juan Guerrero and María Saldaña, he was born into a family of farmers and muleteers, professions he learned from an early age. In parallel he studied under the instruction of private teachers. He began working as a muleteer when he was young, a job that led him to move throughout the region of the current state of Guerrero. While carrying out his work, the independence struggle led by the priest Miguel Hidalgo and José María Morelos broke out. The latter was commissioned to take the uprising to southern Mexico, a region in which the young Guerrero was. In the course of the Morelos campaign, a large number of young people joined the struggle for independence, these are Hermenegildo Galeana, who convinced Guerrero to join the Morelos campaign.

Military career

After joining the Guerrero campaign, he actively participated in the struggle in southern Mexico, standing out on the battlefield for his talent and skill, even though he had no knowledge of the art of war and the handling of weapons. For his outstanding performances he was appointed captain by Morelos, who at that time ordered him to be instructed in the manufacture of gunpowder, weapons handling and military strategies.

After the capture and death of Hidalgo, the command of the revolt was in charge of Ignacio López Rayón and José María Morelos, whom Guerrero continued to support. Along with Morelos, he participated in the Toma de Oaxaca, where his skills excelled, getting promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Under the orders of Morelos, he was sent to support the troops that were in the southern coastal area. In the territory he collaborated in the conquests of Puerto Escondido and Santa Cruz de Huatulco, subsequently actively participated in the Taking of Acapulco. Towards the middle of the 1810s, he was part of the army that escorted the members of the Council to Tlacotepec.

Then supported the forces of Juan N. Rosáins and Ramón Sesma in Mixteca, where their strategies and surprise attacks were effective. For that same period, Morelos was arrested and shot, which deeply affected the movement, which by then had been decimated and was about to be suffocated. However, Guerrero continued fighting for the cause.

When Morelos died, Guerrero was in charge of the uprising which he led from the southern region, where he was fighting. By the end of the 1810s, the then viceroy Juan Ruiz de Apodaca tried to convince the young military man to leave his arms in exchange for money, however, he refused.

In the first years of the 1820s, the situation of the independence army was difficult as soon as they could face the realistic troops. However, the situation changed when the liberal triennium (1820-1823) was established in Spain. The possible installation of a liberal regime in the colonies terrified the colonial elite, which since then began to conspire against the Spanish government. In this atmosphere of intrigues, Apodaca sent Agustín de Iturbide, to negotiate with Guerrero a pardon, but Iturbide knowing the situation of the country decided to change sides and fight with Guerrero for independence. Together, they created the Iguala Plan, a program in which they proclaimed independence and established the plan for the establishment of the Mexican Government.

Mexico’s independence

After the drafting of the Iguala Plan (1821), Guerrero and Iturbide headed with the Trigarant Army to Mexico City, which they entered with the support of numerous adherents in September 1821. When Iturbide arrived, he proclaimed independence and was in charge of the provisional government, which subsequently gave way to the establishment of a monarchical regime as had been proposed in the Iguala Plan. After the bases of the government were established, a letter was sent to Fernando the VII, in which independence was notified and this or a member of the royal family was invited to govern the Mexican throne. This proposal was rejected by the monarch.

Due to the response of the monarch, Iturbide was named as the Emperor of Mexico, a position he held between 1822 and 1823. This period was known as the First Mexican Empire. By this time, Guerrero opposed the new government, against which he fought in the uprising of General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

In the following years, he supported the Republican government of Guadalupe Victoria, which faced serious problems due to the struggle for power and internal tensions among supporters of the Republican government. After the election of Manuel Gómez Pedraza, Guerrero led the La Acordada uprising, along with Santa Anna, through which the annulment of the elections was requested, due to pressure the Congress dismissed Gómez Pedraza and proclaimed Guerrero as president.

Vicente Guerrero Presidency

He ruled between April and December 1829. During these months he sought to establish various liberal reforms. The first of these was the abolition of slavery on September 15, 1829. Subsequently, he proposed economic and social reforms. However, these had little effect due to the economic crisis that the country was going through.

In the course of his government he had to face the reconquest attempts by the Spanish monarchy. He also faced the coup d’état orchestrated by Santa Anna and Anastasio Bustamante. A short time later Guerrero was dismissed and Bustamante was appointed president. After trying to regain power, he was captured in Acapulco, put on trial in Oaxaca and shot in Cuilapan on February 14, 1831.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top