Caballeros Racionales, Sociedad de

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Caballeros Racionales, Sociedad de

Sociedad de Caballeros Racionales, one of the first secret societies established in New Spain. (The other was Los Guadalupes.) The Caballeros Racionales, with Masonic affiliations, was originally founded in Cádiz in 1811 by American Spaniards interested in furthering home rule in their native countries. Several lodges were then established in London and various parts of Spanish America such as Caracas and Buenos Aires. The lodge in New Spain was founded in Jalapa at the beginning of 1812. Its aim was to promote the establishment of an American government in New Spain, and its members supported the insurgent movement against the colonial regime. Besides an organized directorate, the society developed initiation rites, in which the members swore to maintain secrecy, as well as signs by means of which associates recognized one another. The membership of the society exceeded seventy when the colonial authorities discovered its existence in May 1812. They imprisoned many of its members. Others managed to flee, and some, like Mariano Rincón, who later became one of the outstanding insurgent leaders in the Veracruz region, were members of the Governing Junta of Naolingo.

See alsoColonialism; Masonic Orders.


"Logia de los 'Caballeros Racionales' en Jalapa. Fragmentos del proceso del canónigo Cardeña," in Boletín del Archivo general de la Nación 3, no. 3 (1932): 390-407.

Virginia Guedea, "Las sociedades secretas durante el movimiento de independencia," in The Independence of Mexico and the Creation of the New Nation, edited by Jaime E. Rodríguez O. (1989), pp. 45-62.

Additional Bibliography

Bastian, Jean Pierre. Protestantes, liberales y francmasones: Sociedades de ideas y modernidad en América Latina, siglo XIX. Mexico: Comisión de Estudios de Historia de la Iglesia en América Latina: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1990.

Rodríguez O., Jaime E. The Origins of Mexican National Politics, 1808–1847. Wilmington, DE: SR Books, 1997.

                                      Virginia Guedea

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Caballeros Racionales, Sociedad de

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