The Other Rebellion: Popular Violence, Ideology, and the Mexican Struggle for Independence, 1810-1821

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Stanford University Press, 2002 - History - 720 pages
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Mexico’s movement toward independence from Spain was a key episode in the dissolution of the great Spanish Empire, and its accompanying armed conflict arguably the first great war of decolonization in the nineteenth century. This book argues that in addition to being a war of national liberation, the struggle was also an internal war pitting classes and ethnic groups against each other, an intensely localized struggle by rural people, especially Indians, for the preservation of their communities.

While local and national elites focused their energies on wresting power from colonial authorities and building a new nation-state, rural people were often much more concerned about keeping village identities and lifeways intact against the forces of state expansion, commercialization, and modernization. Conventional wisdom says that Mexican independence was achieved through a cross-class and cross-ethnic alliance between creole ideologues, military leaders, and a mass following. This book shows that this is not only an incomplete explanation of what went on in Mexico during the decade of armed confrontation that led to Mexico’s independence, but also a distortion of Mexican social and cultural history.

The author delves deeply into life histories, previously unexamined texts, statistical social profiling, and local historical ethnography to examine the dynamics of popular rebellion. He focuses especially on Mexico’s Indian villages, but also considers the role of parish priests as insurgent leaders; local conflicts over land, politics, and religious symbols; the influence of messianism and millenarianism in popular insurgent ideology; and the everyday language of political upheaval.

  

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Contents

Introduction
1
A Social Profile
39
4AB Occupational Breakdown of Insurgents Aggregated
49
10A Judicial Sentences of Accused Insurgents
55
17A Insurgents by Ethnicity and Nature of Judicial Sentence
63
Hard Times and Rebellion
67
Love Suggestibility Curiosity Pressment
91
Rituals of Confession and Pardon
111
Priest and Parish
201
Loyalist Curates and Warrior Priests
225
The Social Construction of Priestly Subversion and Rebellion
243
Four Clerical Cabecillas
269
Loose Talk Rumor
311
Atlacomulco 1810
351
The Origins of Local Conflict
385
The Dynamics of Local Political
407

Indians
127
Indian Notables
141
Local Cabecillas
165
Chito Villagran
179
Masked Messiahs and Truncated Utopias
453
The Other Rebellion in Comparative Perspective
495
App A l Number of Captured Rebels and Percentage of Cases by Year
526
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About the author (2002)

Eric Van Young is Professor and Chair of the Department of History and Associate Director of the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego. His most recent book is Colección documental sobre la Independencia Mexico.

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