Coup D'État of 1808
Coup D'État of 1808
When in July 1808, news reached Mexico City that the Spanish kings had abdicated in favor of Napoleon, the Ayuntamiento of Mexico proposed establishing a junta to govern until an assembly of cities was convened. The creole sectors of Mexico City backed this proposal but, fearful that such action could affect its interests and those of peninsular Spaniards, the Audiencia of Mexico proposed instead recognizing one of the juntas formed in Spain. Viceroy José de Iturrigaray, who backed the ayuntamiento, held several meetings to discuss its proposal, in which the positions of the two groups became radicalized. To prevent the creation of a governing junta, the audiencia encouraged a coup d'état. On the night of 15 September 1808, Gabriel de Yermo, at the head of 300 peninsular Spaniards, arrested the viceroy. They also detained several members of the ayuntamiento, as well as other autonomists. The audiencia and the new viceroy, Pedro Garibay, justified the coup by claiming it was based on popular demand, but they convinced no one. Thereafter, the colonial regime lost legitimacy, and the conflict between criollos and peninsulares became more acute until it erupted into armed struggle.
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