The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 199
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josi Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara
The Gutirrez brothers joined a rebellion characterized by sharp re-
gional variations and ideological confusion. Although Hidalgo and his
principal lieutenants shared a common hatred of European domination,
they differed in their stance toward Ferdinand VII-the deposed Spanish
monarch who had been forced into French exile by Napoleon's occupa-
ton of the Iberian peninsula. Hidalgo vacillated between justifying rebel-
lion in the name of the king and calling for outright national independ-
ence. His more socially moderate colleagues-such as Gen. Ignacio
Allende-were loath to repudiate the monarchy lest they lose any hope of
gaining the support of well-to-do creoles. This dispute overlapped with
other controversies, notably Hidalgo's reliance upon the Indian masses in
warfare and his call for radical social change.'
The expulsion of Spanish rulers-and not the establishment of a re-
public-was the foremost goal of the insurgency in its early months.
Though we know relatively little about the particular political attitudes of
the Gutierrez brothers at this time, there are clues suggesting their be-
liefs. In one proclamation, probably written byJose Antonio Gutierrez in
early 1811, Americans were urged to defend the Catholic Church and
Ferdinand VII against Spanish "traitors," who were supposedly plotting to
sell Mexico to the King of England and to the "great monster" Napoleon.
This proclamation saluted Hidalgo as "caudillo." It echoed the familiar
cry of "death to vicious and bad government," without defining the type
of regime to be instituted in its stead.1
Jos6 Bernardo Gutierrez persevered in revolt through rapidly changing
military circumstances. He remained steadfast notwithstanding the disas-
trous defeat suffered by Hidalgo's army at the Bridge of Calder6n on Jan-
uary 17, 1811. Ignacio Allende, who soon thereafter supplanted Hidalgo
as generaliszmo, retreated northward with his broken army to Saltillo,
December 1810 and his victory at Aguanueva on January 7, 1811. See '3. B. Gutlrrez de Lara to
the Mexican Congress," New Orleans, Aug. 1, 1815 (cited hereafter as Gutiurrez to the Mexican
Congress), in LamarPapers, I, 5. This report, which appears in English translation, is not accurate
on a number of points, but is important for illustrating its author's mind-set. ForJimenez's cam-
paign, see Isidro Vizcaya Canales, En los albores de la independencza: Las Provzncias Internas de Orente
durante la nsurreccz6n de don Miguel Hzdalgo y Costlla, i8zo-8zz (Monterrey: Instituto Tecnol6gi-
co y de Estudios Superiores, 1976), 99.
' Hugh M Hamill, Jr, The Hzdalgo Revolt: Prelude to Mexican Independence (1966; reprint, West-
wood, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1981), 122-123, 131-132, 143, 200-201; Luis Villoro, Elproceso
zdeol6gico de la revolucizn de zndependencta (1953; 3d ed., Mexico: Cien de Mexico, 1986), 1 10-111,
Virginia Guedea, "The Process of Mexican Independence," American Hstoncal Review, 105 (Feb.,
"o Pedro Herrera Leyva, a Spanish officer, made a copy of this undated proclamation, attribut-
ing it to "padre Gutlirrez de Lara." See Isidro Vizcaya Canales (ed.), Diano de lo ocurrdo a las mzlz-
czas del Nuevo Rezno de Le6n al mando de su comandante el Capztin don Pedro Herrera Leyva en sus opera-
ciones contra los Insurgentes (Monterrey Goblerno de Nuevo Le6n, 1985), 8o (1st quotation), 81
(and quotation: "muera el vicio y mal goblerno!"). I have followed the original Spanish as closely
as possible m all quotations.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/251/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.