Agustín de Iturbide

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Agustín Cosme Damián de Iturbide y Aramburu (27 September 1783 – 19 July 1824) was a Mexican Army General who built a successful political and military coalition that was able to march into Mexico City on 27 September 1821; decisively ending the Mexican War of Independence. After the liberation of Mexico was secured, he was proclaimed President of the Regency in 1821 and Constitutional Emperor of the new nation, reigning as Emperor briefly from 19 May 1822 to 19 March 1823, and he is credited as the original designer of the first Mexican flag.[2][3][4]

Although Iturbide's reign was short, it defined the pre- and post-independence political struggles that Mexico would endure until the 20th century. The two ends of Mexico's political spectrum—liberals that favored populist representative government and conservatives that favored a more dictatorial regime—would struggle, each gaining the upper hand at various times from Iturbide’s abdication.

Contents

Life before the war of independence

Agustín Cosme Damián de Iturbide y Aramburu was born in what was called Valladolid, now Morelia, the state capital of Michoacán on 27 September 1783.[5][6] He was baptized with the names of Saints Cosmas and Damian at the cathedral there.[7] He was the fifth child born to his parents but he was the only male to survive and inherit his family’s Basque Iturbide name.[8] Iturbide’s parents were part of the privileged class of Valladolid, owning farmland[5][6] such as the haciendas of Apeo and Guaracha as well as lands in nearby Quirio.[7] Iturbide’s father, Joaquín de Iturbide, came from a Basque noble family who received their title from King Juan II of Aragon. One of his ancestors, Martin de Iturbide, was mayor of Valle de Baztanen in 1432, and thereafter many in the family held political positions in the Basque region from the 15th century on. As Joaquín was not the eldest and would not inherit the family lands in Spain, he moved to New Spain to seek his fortune there.[8] While the noble and Spanish lineage of his father has never been in doubt, there has been some doubt about his mother. Some sources state that his mother was a Mestiza, meaning that she had at least some Indian blood.[2][9][10] Other sources insist that she was of pure Spanish blood born in Mexico, and therefore, a Criolla.[7][8] Others simply state that she came from a high-ranking family in Michoacán.[5][6][11] However, according to the casta system of the era, a criollo could indeed have Amerindian ancestry; the union of a Castizo (one with 1/4 Amerindian ancestry) and a "pure" Spaniard would result in a Spanish, or criollo, child[12] This detail, in many cases, was somewhat important in the Spanish colonial era, as one’s political fortunes (including military rank) were sometimes curtailed for those of a high degree of intermixture or pure Indian blood.[12] Iturbide insisted throughout his life that he was Criollo.[9][10]

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