Plan of Iguala

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Plan of Iguala

Plan of Iguala, Augustín de Iturbide's pacification program for the reunification of Mexico. By 1820, a decade of revolutionary war against Spain left Mexico divided and exhausted. Royalist forces maintained military strength in the cities and some regions while much of the countryside was occupied by insurgent bands engaged in guerrilla warfare. In late 1820, Viceroy Juan Ruíz de Apodaca appointed Colonel Agustín de Iturbide to take command of the rugged region to the west and south of the capital where entrenched rebel forces opposed the royalists. A most controversial figure and already a focus for creole disaffection, Iturbide clearly accepted the commission with full intentions of terminating the war by overthrowing the existing regime and declaring the autonomy or independence of Mexico.

After meeting with Vicente Guerrero and other insurgent leaders and drawing considerable support from royalist army commanders, on 24 February 1821, at the small town of Iguala, Iturbide issued his Plan of Iguala. Consisting of twenty-three articles, the plan sought to reunify the warring factions and to restore peace to a war-torn nation. The three major initiatives in the program, called the "three guarantees," were Religion, Independence, and Union. Although these three guarantees appear very general in meaning, they possessed deep significance to Mexicans at the time. The Catholic Church was to maintain its dominance, the Mexican nation was to become a constitutional monarchy headed by a Spanish Bourbon, and divisions between different segments of the Mexican population, particularly those between the creole and the European Spaniards, were to be resolved. With a slogan of only three words, Iturbide appeared to solve the deep divisions that prolonged the war. Forming the Army of the Three Guarantees, Iturbide conducted a triumphal march from region to region, as many royalist commanders and their troops embraced the Plan of Iguala. Aided by the irresistible desire for peace throughout the country, Iturbide swept the colonial regime aside and entered Mexico City on 27 September 1821.

See alsoCórdoba, Treaty of (1821); Iturbide, Agustín de.


William Spence Robertson, Iturbide of Mexico (1968).

Jaime E. Rodríguez O., ed., The Independence of Mexico and the Creation of the New Nation (1989).

Timothy E. Anna, The Mexican Empire of Iturbide (1990).

Additional Bibliography

Benítez González, Florencio. El plan de Iguala: En la historiografía de su época. México: Comuna Municipal, 2001.

Caudet Yarza, Francisco. Agustín de Iturbide. Madrid, Spain: Dastin, 2003.

Chinchilla, Perla. Del plan de Iguala a los Tratados de Córdoba. México DF: Comisión Nacional para las Celebraciones del 175 Aniversario de la Independencia Nacional y 75 Aniversario de la Revolución Mexicana, 1985.

                                      Christon I. Archer