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Early attempts at independence

The New Spain received with surprise the smashing news that came from France: The National Assembly with firm decision to transform the country into a republic, had ordered to cut the head of Louis XVI, the 21 of January, 1793, the monarchy had died. The young Hispanic men taught by Jesuits, who were expelled from the colony, secretly read banned authors, and made groups where the possibility of instituting a government without a monarchy in Mexico was discussed furtively discussed. Some Frenchmen who arrived in 1789 as part of the court of Viceroy Count of Revillagigedo also formed part of these groups.

All uneasiness was concretized in the first plot that put a real chance of freeing Spain from the colony; Although denounced to the Inquisition on October 4, 1793, at the time the process did not prosper, perhaps because the viceroy had some sympathy for the ideas of the Enlightenment or the erroneously considered political stability of the colony.

On July 12, 1794, the new Viceroy, the Marquis of Branciforte, came determined to eliminate any revolutionary initiative, and his first step in fulfilling his goal was to revive the Holy Office. The feverish campaign against anyone who was sympathetic to French ideals brought to light the Conspiracy of 1793.

Juan Antonio Montenegro and Arias, born in Sayula, had graduated in theology from the Real and Pontifical University of Mexico. He was the head of a group that debated matters of heresy, such as the notion of popular sovereignty in opposition to the divine right to govern. Aware of the advances of the French revolutionaries, he thought of a plan to make Mexico independent of the kings who owned that land illegally, as they took it by force. The vassals are only forced to be loyal to their kings when they consult the people of the town, but the Spanish vassals had been nothing but tyrants to America, requiring numerous contributions and extracting large quantities of crops.

Follower of the political ideas of Rousseau, Voltaire and Montesquieu, Montenegro also assured that any religion can be saved because the religion is pure policy that is used to make everybody surrender. Montenegro and its group members whose name never revealed, despite torments, also thought as the future republic should be formed: it would be divided into twelve provinces. Each one represented in a congress of deputies whose location had been the capital of the country; Positions would be temporary and then the choice of government would be in charge of increasing the purchasing power of citizens; The factories would open, science would be supported and driven, and the public treasury would pay for teachers, English, and French, who would help the newly liberated country to make progress. The plan proposed a radical radical revolution. The conspirators had a very clear idea of ​​what they were trying to do, they made the monarchy disappear by replacing it with a republic. But they had been conspiring for two months when they were discovered.

The firmness and lucidity that was shown by Montenegro during the process impressed the court favorably; For that, and in spite of the accusations against him that were quite serious, the sentence was not so hard. After being a year in prison, he had to abjure all the things he said and recruited for two years in the school of Santa Cruz in Queretaro, this way he would be with the apostolic missionaries and he was sent into exile outside of Mexico City For ten years. In 1801, he asked permission to become a priest and the authorities allowed it. The most important thing of the Conspiracy of 1793 is that it was from its first period of theological speculation and illustration to another more attractive aspect. The critique of the social and political regime of the colony that fought for free participation of the citizens in political aspects, and in them could glimpse the coming of liberalism. The transcendence of the radical conspiracy in the ideological principles delineated by conspirators is present in the struggle for independence in the nineteenth century.