Cry of Dolores | Definition, History, Causes & Effects

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Cry of Dolores | History of Grito de Dolores

Cry of Dolores ( Grito de Dolores): Act that began the Independence of Mexico.

Grito de Dolores (English: Cry of Dolores)

What was the Grito de Dolores?

Cry of Dolores is the act that began the Independence of Mexico. This took place on September 16, 1810, in the town of Dolores, and was starred by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla.

The act took place in the local church of the town of Dolores, where a speech by way of harangue prompted the town to rebel against the authorities of the Viceroyalty of New Spain.

After Napoleon‘s invasion of Spain, Miguel Hidalgo definitively joined the independentistas and pronounced the Cry of Dolores, as a rebellion against the colonial government in Mexico. This fact started a series of events that triggered the Independence of Mexico.

Cry of Dolores

Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla with the independentistas in the Grito de Dolores, by Unzueta.

Why is it Called Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores)?

It was called Cry of Dolores because the harangue was made by a group of insurgents from the town of Dolores, located in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. Today, the town is called Dolores Hidalgo.

Despite the fact that there are several versions of the events and none is documented, they all affirm that Hidalgo gathered the inhabitants of Dolores early, on the morning of September 16, 1810, and issued the first independence speech, motivating them not to recognize the authority Spanish in the Mexican territory.

By promoting freedom and independence, this speech unleashed a series of events that led to the Independence of Mexico.

There are also several versions of the content of the Grito de Dolores or speech made by Hidalgo. As a main factor, it is known that he used a Catholic banner with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Causes and Consequences of the Grito de Dolores

Causes of the Cry of Dolores

Among the main causes of the Grito de Dolores we can highlight the following:

  • The conspiracy of Querétaro, a clandestine group formed by independents and Creoles, which was discovered and whose promoters were sent to jail. This led to precipitating the actions in the Grito de Dolores, since a revolt was organized to free the imprisoned patriots.
  • The Independence of the United States was a stimulus for the rest of the American peoples under the rule of Spain. Furthermore, the liberal ideas of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution had become popular throughout the continent.
  • The Napoleonic invasions in Spain had politically and militarily weakened the metropolis, proposing an ideal moment to begin the independence process.
  • Several revolts and conspiracies had occurred in Mexico in previous years, with the purpose of establishing an independent governing board for the viceroyalty of New Spain.

Consequences of the Cry of Dolores (Grito de Dolores)

The main consequences of the Grito de Dolores were the following:

  • The beginning of the Mexican War of Independence, which lasted until 1821, when political independence was finally granted to the Mexican state.
  • The Trigarante army was formed in 1821, with the aim of fighting for the Independence of Mexico.
  • Insurgents were encouraged to take cities and towns in the name of independence and to add soldiers to the cause.

Importance of the Grito de Dolores

El Grito de Dolores is considered one of the most important moments in Mexican history, since it represents the will of the people to direct their own politics. This is commemorated every September 16 in Mexico, with the cry of ¡Viva México!

Although there were several previous revolts and conspiracies, the Grito de Dolores was the trigger for the popular uprising, which spread from the town of Dolores to other neighboring towns, and from there to all of Mexico.

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