in Independent Mexico
1821 - 1876
town council, town hall; the council of a municipality or the municipality itself. When referring to the council the title ayuntamiento is frequently preceded by 'excelentísimo' (most excellent),or 'honorable' (honourable), as a term of reverence.
Spanish for poplar grove, usually the name given to a prominent park, boulevard, avenue.
alcalde, alcalde ordinario, or 1º, 2º, 3º etc. denoting rank, the traditional municipal magistrate. He had both judicial and administrative functions.
Serene Highness. This was a title first used by Father Miguel Hidalgo in 1810. Santa Anna would adopt it during his 1853-55 dictatorship.
political term of abuse: "aristocrat", used to criticise reactionary politicians, hombres de bien.
Bases de Tacubaya
1841 political charter.
nationalised ecclesiastical properties under the Reform Laws of 1859.
the Liberal Party moderate faction of the late 1850s and 1860s.
supporter of General Anastasio Bustamante.
supporters of the Bourbon monarchy who expected a member of the Bourbon dynasty to become king of Mexico after independence.
town hall administrator, bureaucrat.
leader or chief, usually military or a political boss, overlord mainly national rather than regional.
'scientists' or 'scientific philosophers' were a circle of technocratic advisors to Porfirio Díaz during the latter part of his dictatorship (1876-1910). Expounding positivist priciples based on the writings of Auguste Comte (1798 – 1857) French philosopher. They were at the intellectual forefront of Díaz's programme of modernisation.
Royal Agent. A Spanish agent sent to Mexico in 1827 by Ferdinand VII.
a local man of influence backed by an armed following. He exercised influence and commanded obedience by virtue of land ownership and the patron system in which patronage was and is given to local people. Caciques often acted as brokers between local people's interests and wider circles of power. They also would provide political leadership at the sub-regional or provincial levels, at times state level and even nationally.
Presidential decree calling for national and state level elections. These may be to a Constituent Congress or to ordinary sessions of the legislature.
Spanish parliament; originally Castillian Cortes were a royal council and court. They included the three estates of the nobility, clergy and commons during the high and middle ages. The Cádiz Cortes (1810-13) was a representative assembly asserting the right to exercise sovereignty in the absence of a monarch.
the domain of the cacique.
prevalence of localised networks of private power headed by caciques.
part-time army made up of civilians.
of the capital.
a compulsory ecclesiastical tithe.
use of state power to expropriate Church property wealth.
ejército de vanguardia
members of the Scottish Rite of Masons, consolidated in Mexico after 1816 during the War of Independence. They initially followed a moderate constitutionalist position, then later moved to a more conservative and centralist stance.
a term frequently applied to radical Liberals.
a term derived from medieval Castilian legal history and signified corporate privilege or exemption. In Mexico the fuero eclesiástico guaranteed ecclesiastical immunity from civil prosecution. The fuero militar (1768) provided similar immunity for members of the newly formed colonial militia.
pejorative term for Spaniard/s.
Supreme General a title first adopted in 1810 by father Miguel Hidalgo.
the middle and upper classes, with the social designation of 'proper/decent' people.
grito de Dolores
call to arms with which Mexican War of Independence started on 16 September 1810.
golpe de estado
coup d'état, coup, putsch or overthrow. A sudden unconstitutional deposition of a government. This tends to be the act of a small group of the existing state establishment, mainly military, to replace the deposed government with another body; either civil or military.
person actively involved in a golpe de estado (coup d'état).
supporter/s of General Manuel Gómez Pedraza.
Hacienda: A large or small rural private estate. Invariably geared towards the market largely dealing with cereals, livestock, sugar-plantation, cultivation of a range of products, including maize for the workers’ consumption. Frequently diverse market practices co-existed on the hacienda.
hombres de bien
the more affluent members of Mexico's emergent political class.
hombres de privilegio
more affluent members of Mexico's emergent political class.
hombres de progreso
liberals in favour of freedom of the press and other progressive measures.
faction created by Valentín Gómez Farías and Francisco García in 1828 to fight against the influence of the yorkinos.
historical movement and school of thought that venerates, idealises and attempts to reclaim pre-Columbian heritage asserting historical identity as opposed to colonial models of hierarchy and Spanish superiority over indigenous peoples.
an advocate of indigenismo.
insurgent who handed himself to the Spanish authorities during the War of Independence accepting the granted vice-regal pardon.
province, state as organised under the colony.
supporters of Agustin de Iturbide.
proposal (within context of annual ministerial reports).
official pardon, usually given to rebels and/or insurgents in exchange for them handing themselves in and vowing to put down their arms
district administrator appointed by state governors, exercised supervision over both the municipalities and the electoral process.
followers of General Vicente Jiménez
supporter of Benito Juárez. The term aquired political weight after 1867. After 1872 it was used to describe subscribers to Juárez's brand of constitutionalism (juarismo) as opposed to followers of porfirismo.
inhabitants of the southern Isthmus town of Juchitán (Oaxaca) frequently in opposition to state and federal government.
a label used for radical liberals who would be prepared to use the State to enforce a revolutionary programme which would result in a reduction of the Church's role in society.
Junta de Notables
1843 constituent Junta of Worthies, handpicked by the Santanista administration after the closure of the 1842 Constituent Congress to draft the Bases Orgánicas.
1822-1823 council in which Iturbide replaced the closed-down Congress.
from the province of Veracruz.
landed properties made up mainly of haciendas and owned by a latifundista.
supporters of Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada.
member of the urban lower classes.
arbitrary method of military recruitment in which force was used.
of dual heritage (Indian and Hispanic), within a Hispanisized social context.
memoria de guerra
annual report of the Ministry of War.
of dual heritage (Indian and Afro-Caribbean).
nine day cycle of religious festivities.
faction created by ex-escoceses and moderates; included José María Luís Mora among its members.
resident hacienda workers who received both a wage and a supplement maize ration. Often they had the guarantee of housing and a subsistence plot along with a degree of landlord protection. Working conditions varied considerably according to geographical location.
racially mixed militia soldiers
followers of Porfirio Díaz
Often translated as ‘revolt’, the pronunciamiento was a written protest/petition, generally drafted as a list of grievances or demands, signed by a group of individuals and/or corporate body (high-ranking officers, town council officials, villagers, members of a particular garrison, Indian pueblo, etc.) that could result in an armed rebellion if the government did not attend to them.
village; in the pre-reforma era, this referred to to a legally constituted community, often Indian. There was the right to corporate ownership and the land had both religious and economic significance. The land possession often defined the identity of the community. can also mean "the people" of a given community, country, as in the "will of the people": "la voluntad del pueblo."
supporter of General Manuel Gómez Pedraza; see also gómez-pedracista.
Mexican monetary unit.
pro-clerical well-to-do rebels in Mexico City who were against the 1847 Liberal reform measures; supported February 1847 revolt against Gómez Farías vice presidency; called polkos because (1) they belonged to affluent classes who danced the polka and (2) because revolt was accused of favouring the United States, whose president at the time was James Polk.
period in which General Porfirio Diaz was in power, 1876-1910.
partido del orden
party of order.
or octli, is an alcoholic beverage made from the maguey plant. A traditional native beverage of Mexico with a history extending far back into the Mesoamerican period.
saloon where pulque is sold.
smaller landowners who were frequently located on either poorer lands attached to haciendas or on lands of higher altitude. A number of pueblos rented out ranchos to Hispanic cultivators or planters or sometimes as livestock ranges.
the period between 1855 and 1876 when the Mexican political, legal and social institutions were restructured in accordance with Liberal Party doctrine.
Radical Liberals with the aim, during the early Reform period between 1855-1876, of removing all Church privilege, property, revenue and influence over the population in Mexico.
followers of Antonio López de Santa Anna or members of his personal entourage.
people originating from sierras (high land zones)for example Júarez, Méndez, Pérez and Castro in Oaxaca.
philosophy of the santanistas.
ministry; as in ministry of defense or war (secretaría de defensa/guerra).
lands legally definied as 'un-occupied' and available for expropriation by the state and auction/sale to private individuals.
currency made up of pieces of wood or soap used by shopkeepers when there was a shortage of real currency.
so called 'idle members of the rabble'.
from the province of Veracruz.
from the town of Xalapa.
members of the masonic Rite of York, generally associated in the late 1820s with the radical and popular liberal wing, consolidated in Mexico in 1825.