Juan Jacobo Rousseau, the Swiss philosopher was one of the authors banned in the index and for the same reason his books were one of the most read in New Spain. His classic work in political science, the social contract that states that a man is born free, but is found between chains everywhere, such ideas were considered subversive in the eighteenth century.
The book was published in 1763, and a year later, an edict sanctioned the reading by the invitation to destroy kingdoms and monarchies, in 1803 and in 1808, many edicts reiterated the prohibition, due to the danger of the ideas. Miguel Hidalgo (one of the main characters of Mexican independence) was not only accused of following Rousseau but also of being more thirsty for blood than he.
In a famous letter circulating at that time, someone who signs as the Anti-Hidalgo says: "This so-called teacher is close to being 6 million times more barbaric and ferocious than the main preacher of the revolution. In the reproduction of his letters, protests more than once, it is believed that if the revolution more favorable to the people of the town, should cost the blood of a single man, it should not begin or end. Abusive, anti-religious and inhuman of the revolutions that have been seen through history."
The French Enlightenment dared to deny the divine right of kings and affirmed the sovereignty of the people. These ideas, combined with the social contradictions generated in France, caused the Great Revolution of New Spain although there was no definitive break with the scholastic tradition. The ideas of John Jacobo Rousseau and encyclopedias became a valuable instrument for making a rational critique of the colonial regime.
Once the struggle for independence was over, the states began to organize and their primary concern was to spread elementary education, they considered that the binomial: freedom and education was indispensable.
Many schools had closed and were suffering from the shortage of books that made teacher training an important issue. In 1822, many people founded the Lancaster Society. The investigations of a contemporary of the founders of society, the historian Lorenzo de Zavala, found that all members were masons. This society was inaugurated in the capital of the country a normal Lancaster school called "The Sun", which brought enormous benefits as it spread the method of mutual teaching and educational reform. Although some people wanted to weaken its value by pointing to it from a source of Protestantism, it was the undoubted merit of being the first important educational project that developed in the critical period of the principles of independent Mexico.