Coup D'État of 1808

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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.

See alsoAzcárate y Lezama, Juan Francisco de; Talamantes, Melchor de.


Enrique Lafuente Ferrari, El virrey Iturrigaray y los orígenes de la independencia de México (1940).

José Manuel De Salaverría, "Relación Ó historia de los primeros movimientos de la insurrección de Nueva España …," in Documentos históricos mexicanos, edited by Genaro García, vol. 2 (1985).

Virginia Guedea, "El golpe de estado de 1808," in Universidad de México 488 (Sept. 1991): 21-24.

Additional Bibliography

Archer, Christon I. The Birth of Modern Mexico, 1780–1824. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2003.

Hamnett, Brian R. Roots of Insurgency: Mexican Regions, 1750–1824. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Rodríguez O., Jaime E. The Independence of Mexico and the Creation of a New Nation. Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Cener Publications, 1989.

Van Young, Eric. The Other Rebellion: Popular Violence, Ideology, and the Mexican Struggle for Independence, 1810–1821. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001.

                              Virginia Guedea

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Coup D'État of 1808

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