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Morelos y Pavón, José María

José María Morelos y Pavón (hōsā´ märē´ä mōrā´lōs ē pävōn´), 1765–1815, Mexican leader in the revolution against Spain, a national hero. He was, like Hidalgo y Costilla, a liberal priest. Joining the revolution (1810), he conducted a brilliant campaign in the south and after the execution of Hidalgo he became insurrectionary chief. He defended Cuautla against Calleja del Rey for several months, and then cut through the siege. After taking Orizaba and Oaxaca (1812) in a brilliant engagement, Morelos captured Acapulco (1813). The Congress of Chilpancingo, convened in 1813 under his protection, elected him generalissimo with the powers of chief executive. Late in 1813 his forces were routed at Valladolid (later named Morelia in his honor) by Iturbide and were later again defeated. In 1815, Morelos was captured, degraded by the Inquisition, and shot. Only a few leaders, notably Guerrero and Guadalupe Victoria, were left to continue the revolution.

See biography by W. H. Timmons (2d ed. 1970).

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Morelos

Morelos (mōrā´lōs), state (1990 pop. 1,195,059), 1,917 sq mi (4,965 sq km), S Mexico. Cuernavaca is the capital. Morelos is separated from the Federal District and from Mexico state by the east-west volcanic chain crossing central Mexico. Morelos itself is mountainous, with many broad, semiarid valleys in the south. The climate is cold in the mountains and hot in the valleys. Chiefly agricultural, the state grows sugarcane, rice, cereals, tropical fruits, and vegetables. Industrial progress is prevalent; automobile manufacturing is significant, and mining is being developed. The principal towns are Cuernavaca and Cuautla, which is famous for its defense (1812) by José María Morelos y Pavón in the war against Spain. The state, created in 1869, was named in his honor. It is one of Mexico's most densely populated states.

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