The 10-Year Struggle
Others carried on, however. A mestizo former student of Hidalgo, José María Morelos, led a revolutionary shadow government in the present states of Guerrero and Oaxaca for four years until he was apprehended and executed in December 1815.
Morelos’s compatriot, Vicente Guerrero, continued the fight, joining forces with criollo royalist Brigadier Agustín de Iturbide. Their Plan de Iguala promised “Three Guarantees’—the renowned Trigarantes: Independence, Catholicism, and Equality—which their army (commanded by Iturbide) would enforce. On September 21, 1821, Iturbide rode triumphantly into Mexico City at the head of his army of Trigarantes. Mexico was independent at last.
Independence, however, solved little except to expel the peninsulares. With an illiterate populace and no experience in self-government, Mexicans began a tragic 40-year love affair with a fantasy: the general on the white horse, the gold-braided hero who could save them from themselves.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition