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date: 27 June 2022

Hispanic Constitutionalism and the Independence Process in the Kingdom of Guatemala, 1808–1823free

Hispanic Constitutionalism and the Independence Process in the Kingdom of Guatemala, 1808–1823free

  • Xiomara Avendaño RojasXiomara Avendaño RojasSchool of Social Sciences, University of El Salvador


Unlike the French and North American revolutions, which fought against a monarchical power, the Hispanic political revolution began by evoking the memory of the beloved Ferdinand VII of Spain. The French invasion of Spain in 1808 had unimaginable repercussions; the government was reestablished in the name of the King, and the territories of the Americas that were convened in the Cortes participated in the development of a charter in 1812 that created a constitutional monarchy. In the Kingdom of Guatemala, the application of constitutionalism gave rise to tensions between elected officials and former royal appointees. By way of indirect elections, the isthmus took its first steps in the construction of a representative system, and worked its way up to local, provincial, and legislative power.

The Declaration of Independence, which took place on September 15, 1821, along with the Plan of Iguala inadvertently brought about a type of “examination” in which the provinces, empowered by their sovereignty and autonomy, broke away from the metropolis but produced a dilemma: Mexico or Guatemala. Independent from the choice, they assumed full ownership of the government that originated from the 1812 Constitution of Cádiz. Few people called for a congress, and the traditional referent in the political community, the cabildos, chose the Imperio del Septentrión (the Northern Empire). After the fall of the monarch Agustín de Iturbide, in March 1823, a constituency was organized to decide on their future government as the Provincinas Unidas del Centro de América (United Provinces of Central America). The new republican project was issued in a second Declaration of Independence or absolute independence, signed on July 1, 1823.


  • History of Central America

Unlike the French and North American revolutions, which fought against a monarchical power, the Hispanic political revolution began by evoking the memory of the beloved Ferdinand VII of Spain. The French invasion of Spain in 1808 had unimaginable repercussions; the government was reestablished in the name of the King, and the territories of the Americas that were convened in the Cortes participated in the development of a charter in 1812 that created a constitutional monarchy. In the Kingdom of Guatemala, the application of constitutionalism gave rise to tensions between elected officials and former royal appointees. By way of indirect elections, the isthmus took its first steps in the construction of a representative system, and worked its way up to local, provincial, and legislative power. At the end of the 18th century, the Bourbon Reforms in the Kingdom of Guatemala had several purposes: to promote communications and commerce, to limit the ecclesiastical power that was infringing on the property and privileges of the Catholic Church, to partially support local producers in their complaints of the power held by traders on the Cádiz-Guatemala route, and to establish a greater military presence on the Caribbean Coast to contain the British presence. In this process of state modernization, the former provinces of Chiapas, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua-Costa Rica became Intendencias, administrative units ruled by Spain. In line with this political and administrative reform, a tributary system was introduced with new taxes. The province of Guatemala, headquarters of the isthmus’s government, did not modify its internal structure.

At the same time, propelled by local bureaucracy, the Sociedad Económica de los Amigos del País (Economic Societies of Friends of the Country) was organized in 1794. This organization became a social center as well as an elite circle. Several years later, in 1797, several members founded the Gazeta de Guatemala. This new informational and educational medium incited debates on politics, the economy, medicine, and literature that allowed the criollo elite to express their ideas on the economic and cultural development of their respective provinces. This supplement therefore signified the beginning of an exchange of ideas among the educated elite of the Kingdom, where the prevalence of publications were of economic interest; liberalism was disseminated in brochures and books as well.1

However, in Central American society, multiple disagreements existed at the end of the colonial period:2

Rejection of the distribution of goods: An activity promoted between traders and subdelegates; those most affected were members of the indigenous populations. Evidently the effects were strongest in Chiapas, Guatemala, and El Salvador. This business consisted of supplying goods to small towns, who were then obligated to buy them. Another method was to provide thread to the indigenous women weavers to make blankets or fabric. These women were then obligated to carry out the work for free.

Refusing to pay tributary taxes. Protests increased when the Cortes ordered the provinces to get rid of the tax requirement. Authorities ignored the provision, which prolonged the protests in the Kingdom.

Rejection of the monopoly on liquor and tobacco. Criollo harvesters and mestizo distributors, who transported and sold the products at retail value, resented this Borbonic measure.

This article aims to connect the first constitutional endeavor and the process of independence in the Kingdom of Guatemala. First, it illustrates the tension between the Captain General, defender of the monarchy, and the elites who supported the constitutional monarchy. Second, it demonstrates the articulation of the representative system with the participation of the indigenous, mestizo, mulatto, and black population. Lastly, it addresses the visible presence of provincial autonomy following the Declaration of Independence on September 15, 1821.

The Context of the Peninsula and the Isthmus, 1808–1823

French troops invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 1808, when King Charles IV of Spain and his son, Ferdinand VII, fought for power. Finally, the father relinquished the crown to his heir. The Portuguese monarchy managed to flee to Brazil while the Bourbons were apprehended in Bayonne, a French city on the Spanish border. Both father and son abdicated in captivity, ceding the crown to Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte who designated his brother, Joseph, as the new ruler. After defeating the Spanish troops, the new king arrived at the Royal Palace of Madrid in July 1808,3 and enacted the Bayonne Constitution. At the end of the text, Joseph Bonaparte signed as King of Spain and the Indies. In response, the Spanish provinces revolted against the intruding king and rejected his Constitution.

Immediately following these events, provincial juntas (governing boards) were created. In September 1808, along with the board delegates, the Junta Soberana Central (Central Sovereign Board) was organized, which called for a new agreement, and requested an oath of allegiance to the monarch and to the Junta itself.4 In the Peninsula, the formation of the Central Board was criticized. The territories reestablished the old procedure with the creation of a Regency Council in January 1810, a structure used in the absence of a monarch of when the successor was not of age. The Regency convened the Cortes, with the representation of Spain and the overseas territories. The Kingdom of Guatemala took an oath to recognize the Council, while requesting that Manuel José Pavón y Muñoz, the councillor for the municipality of Guatemala, elected to become part of the recently dissolved Central Board, be admitted into the Regency Council as supernumerary.5

The Americas followed in the footsteps of the Peninsula, forming provincial juntas. The Kingdom of Guatemala did not recognize the transfer of power to the French. On December 12, 1808, in the central square of Guatemala City, the oath of allegiance to Ferdinand VII took place with much fanfare, and in January of 1809, a ceremony in recognition of the Sovereign Board was held. The provinces’ councils proceeded in largely the same manner.6

The Regency appointed José de Bustamante Captain General and Chairperson of the Kingdom’s Hearing, and he assumed these roles in March 1811. Shortly after, Archbishop-elect Ramón de Cassaus Torres arrived of the Order of Saint Dominic, the first native of Santander originating from South America, and the second born in Aragón to have come to New Spain. Both men were considered passionate and strong willed, and made a good duo for the defense of the monarchy.7

In 1818, Bustamante was succeeded by Carlos de Urrutia—who stepped down in 1821 due to illness—and was replaced by Gabino Gaínza. Central American independence, which was declared on September 15, 1821, reinstated Cádiz constitutionalism and ruled that a congress with delegates from the provinces would decide the new form of government; the convocation did not take place until after the fall of the First Mexican Empire in 1823.

During the period under consideration, the administrative political divisions were modified at the request of representatives from the Americas and the Intendencias gave way to provincial governments. Within the Kingdom of Guatemala, Guatemala’s provincial government (which included Chiapas, Honduras, and El Salvador) was permitted, as well as that of Nicaragua and Costa Rica; in 1820, the court ordered the creation of a government in each province. Elections, citizenship, and political representation were established via a process of indirect elections. The elected representatives took up positions in three different spheres of power: the Spanish courts and the Mexican constituent congress; provincial councils; and, of course, the local powers that were known as the constitutional city councils.

Tension Between Captain-General José de Bustamante and the Provinces

Neither the Archbishop nor Bustamante was able to control the diffusion of liberal ideas. The Consulate of Commerce, dispatched to the representative in the Cortes, Antonio Larrazábal, Apuntamientos sobre la agricultura y el comercio del Reyno de Guatemala (Judicial Reports on the Agriculture and Commerce of the Kingdom of Guatemala). The text highlights the richness of the isthmus’s geography and the abundance of land. In terms of commerce, it names obstacles such as bad roads; the lack of ports; and smuggling, particularly of cotton fabrics. The text also points out that the workforce has limitations in its use of distribution; its participation in the multiple associations in villages; and the abuse of sacristy services; and adds that mestizos are not, like indigenous people, forced to repair roads. To resolve this issue, traders—under the influence of Enlightenment—requested a reform under the protection of the new laws and institutions. All of the issues listed above served the purpose of making a formal request in the Cortes, maintaining their freedom of commerce, and freeing indigenous labor, which was controlled by the subdelegates within the Intendencias and in the clergy of each parish.

In 1811, the Guatemalan governing board was divided and sent two documents to its representative in the Cortes: Instrucciones para la Constitución Fundamental de la Monarquía (Instructions for the Fundamental Constitution of the Monarchy) and the Apuntes Instructivos (Informative Notes). The first text expressed the conception of a constitutional monarchy, adopting the principles of sovereignty, division of power, political representation, and state and nation; in the economic section, a fiscal reform plan was included. The second backed the presence of the Cortes, the Regency Council, and the full recognition of the prerogatives of the monarch. As far as taxation, it did not seek to make changes.8

It was obvious that the Captain General and the Archbishop were displeased with the new political system: they took part in the committee to create the electoral council, but Bustamante postponed the deadline for elections at all levels—in the Cortes, as well as local and provincial elections. The elites of the kingdom complained about the delay in orders and correspondences coming from Cádiz, and about not receiving any response to their petitions.9

On November 4 and 5, 1811, in San Salvador, a multitude of mestizo and indigenous inhabitants stoned the homes of the Spanish and overtook the Intendencia. They had two demands: first, that they release the priest Nicolás Aguilar, who had been found with “seditious” letters, as had his brother Manuel, also a priest. The second demand was the rejection of sales taxes and monopolies, two economic measures taken during the Bourbon reforms. During this time, criollos positioned themselves at the forefront and, during an open cabildo, appointed new authorities: the intendant, Antonio Gutiérrez y Ulloa, was forced to leave the capital. They subsequently elected a junta to govern at the provincial level; through it they sent out a call to meet with the Spanish councils of San Miguel, San Vicente, and Santa Ana. All three rejected the invitation and made preparations to support the troops sent by the Captain General.

Guatemala’s council asked Bustamante not to carry out any military action and acted as an intermediary in the conflict. Accordingly, Guatemalan councilmen Juan Fermín Aycinena and José María Peinado convinced the insurgents, who defended their behavior. Among those who participated in the negotiations were the town halls of El Salvador and the Clergy, and the final agreement came when the marquis of Aycinena assumed the role of Intendant of El Salvador; several months later, senior councilman José María Peinado took his place.10 This initial conflict in the command is what Barón Castro considers “the beginning of the clash between two powers”:11 the sovereignty, represented in the local councils, and the royal powers, represented in the Spanish authority.12

Following the events in El Salvador, the authorities in Nicaragua were no longer recognized. On December 10, those living in Granada and the towns of Masaya and Rivas rejected the council members and appointed new officials. In the capital city of León, indigenous and mestizo inhabitants deposed Intendant José Salvador, citing complaints of the taxes that had been imposed with the Bourbon reforms. In an open cabildo, the inhabitants and the new council members appointed a provincial junta and designated Nicolás García Jerez as new intendant to the bishop. Although Bustamante sent troops from Olancho, San Miguel, and Cartago to control an uprising in the city of Granada, but it was not until April 1812 that an agreement was reached: Granada’s former council members would assume their posts, and the constitutionalists involved would not be tried.13 This agreement was not obeyed by the Captain General, and he earned a deep resentment among inhabitants in the east (Granada) as well as the west (León).

In Tegucigalpa, a province of Honduras, residents armed with sticks and machetes forestalled the inauguration of the new government—composed mostly of Spaniards—and forced them to quit. Elections took place immediately. To help restore calm, the Captain General sent troops to Tegucigalpa.14 In 1812, in spite of the measures taken by Bustamante, the cabildos in every post in the Kingdom of Guatemala fulfilled their oath to the Constitution of Cádiz.15

But still tempers did not subside. Guatemalans were disconsolate following the instructions given on June 23, 1813. The Cortes in the aforementioned document bestowed ample powers upon the new political leader, José de Bustamante. A conspiracy, under the cover of the Convento de Belén, in Guatemala City, was revealed and its members exposed. In San Salvador, an uprising plan in January 1814 was unsuccessful. Criollos from notable Salvadoran families eased the tensions and Peinado and the royal troops were able to control the situation.16

An issue of great significance that has not been sufficiently covered is the attempts at forming juntas. José Dolores Gámez, and later Constantino Lascaris, explained that the uprisings in El Salvador and Nicaragua did not proclaim independence, fired the intendants from their provinces, and formed “las Juntas de Gobierno provinciales en defensa del Rey” (“the provincial Governing Boards in defense of the King”).17

This issue remains obscure because the subject matter has centered on the conflict and personalities involved. The aforementioned junta used those of Spain as a reference, but also exhibited continuity with a discussion that had taken place in Guatemala City’s cabildo between August and September of 1810.18 In the Kingdom’s capital, the creation of provincial juntas was proposed, but the Captain General and the Archbishop pressured the councillors not to commit to the idea.

The project was expressed in the Instructions of Guatemala’s cabildo in 1811. The document established that the local governments would send delegates to establish the Junta de Gobierno Superior (Senior Governing Board) in each of the provinces. These agencies would deal with the branches of the treasury, military, police force, agricultural development, industry, arts and trade, public, and educational establishments, everything concerning the advancement and prosperity of the inhabitants. The Senior Board would also take on the role of royal patronage and establish taxes without establishing estancos (government-run shops selling liquor or tobacco) because they ran counter to the constitutional principles.19

Likewise, the capitals of the provinces made their own interests clear through the actions of their representatives in the courts. Some recurring issues included free trade from their ports in the Caribbean or the Pacific, exploitation of mining resources with its own court, and the elimination of estancos, above all those where tobacco was sold. The most far-reaching issue proposed was that of an interoceanic canal through the Isthmus of Tehuantepec or the San Juan River. They also requested a council office in each constituency, accompanied by its own diocese—where there was not one already—and seminaries to train new priests. Along these lines, El Salvador’s Intendencia reaffirmed its claim to the rights to a diocese, but the Guatemalan ecclesiastical authorities opposed it. The province of Nicaragua and Costa Rica had bigger plans, demanding a Captain General with an audience and a corresponding archbishop. The Cortes recognized only the council seminary the city of León as constituting a university. Bustamante responded to the southern provinces’ motives by closing off commercial traffic between Guatemala and the port of Puntarenas, Costa Rica, which had recently opened by order of the Spanish legislature.20

When the Napoleonic Wars ended in April 1814, Ferdinand VII returned to the Peninsula as legitimate king. In a decree dated May 4, he annulled the Constitution of 1812 and dissolved the Cortes. In December 1815, all authorities in the kingdom were directed to gather any copy of the instructions, which were later burned in the public square; this was followed by legal persecution of those who had supported constitutionalism. From Guatemala, a process was ordered against the leaders involved in the events that had taken place in El Salvador and Nicaragua. After their trials, some were held as prisoners in Spain, Guatemala, and the ports of Trujillo and Omoa, while others were sentenced to death.21

The provincial governments and the government in the capital requested the removal of José de Bustamante, and finally, on February 28, 1817, the Council of the Indies signed the order for his immediate dismissal and ordered the release of the political prisoners, although the military ignored the mandate. The Council’s order was carried out by Carlos de Urrutia, the new Captain General.

New and Old Practices: Citizenship, Elections, and Political Representation

In 1810, in the absence of Ferdinand VII, the Regency Council called a meeting of the Extraordinary Cortes. During these first elections, the members of the local government or cabildo acted as electorate. Afterwards, the Constitution of Cádiz introduced a change: elections would be indirect. Political rights were given to certain citizens who met predetermined requirements: Spaniards or their children, born and residing in the Spanish Empire; naturalized foreigners or those who had been there for ten years; and those from groups provided services or held special talents. In order to be citizens, one had to have a well-known way of living or a job, have no debt with the treasury nor any pending lawsuits, and not be a domestic servant. The Constitution reaffirmed that only those who had citizenship could be elected to municipal office, and they must be at least twenty-five years old, have resided in the election area for at least five years, and not be a civil servant or of royal designation. Although, in order to serve as a representative in the Cortes, the requirements increased: to be at least twenty-five years old, to be native to the province that elects you, or to have lived there for at least seven years and have assets in the form of personal property.22

In the Kingdom of Guatemala, the first step was the formation of a Preparatory Junta consisting of the Captain General José de Bustamante, the archbishop Cassaus, José Cecilio del Valle, and several legislators from the cabildo of Guatemala. The Guatemalan electoral instruction modified the concept of citizenship established by Cádiz. It was recognized that the “Indian: the White European, or American: the mestizo, or son of Indian and white: the mulatto, or son of black and white: the sambo, or son of Indian and black, are Spaniards in the third sense, the same in which this opinion will be taken whenever it is used.”23

With the foregoing definition, local elections, elections carried out to restore the representatives in the Cortes, and provincial council elections took place at four levels: delegates, parishes, districts, and provinces. At the first level, men voted who were of legal age and any racial background, in a practice that took place in a citizenry with a high number of males, a practice that was carried out in the first half of the 19th century.

Undoubtedly, social recognition became the start of citizen status, but it also constituted a kind of bottleneck in which it was not possible to count every person who voted. The aforementioned instruction defined the electoral territory as they had been defined in the parishes, thus returning to ecclesiastical divisions. In each headquarters or district, those in charge of registration were cabildo members and parish priests. It was also decided that in the event of a disagreement, a third member would be appointed to resolve the issue. The verbal recognition was final, but the person in question could present his evidence for citizenship to a judge; if approved, he could vote in the following election. This work was supported by the mayors of the district, tasked with convening the citizens. With the backing of a thousand people, Central American indigenous, white, and mestizo populations rose to constitutional city councils, while conserving their old treasury, military, judiciary, and administrative designations.24 But the Constitution of Cádiz entrusted the municipal board with the right to organize and direct elections.

Political representation, summoned from Spain, for the provincial governments of Guatemala and Nicaragua-Costa Rica had the same characteristics as the representatives in the Cortes. Elected citizens became councillors, priests, landowners, employees of the Universidad de San Carlos, and members of the bar association, the ecclesiastical cabildo, or the Consulate of Commerce. The majority belonged to the Economic Society of the Friends of the Country and lived in the government’s key cities.25

Following the union of provinces in the Kingdom of Guatemala to the First Mexican Empire in 1822, the Sovereign Governing Junta sent instructions to elect representatives to a constituent congress. The Provisional Advisory Junta of Guatemala created their own; therefore, they were elected with two instructions. The provinces of Chiapas, Granada, and Nicaragua, as well as the government of Costa Rica, carried out their own elections according to the Empire’s instructions. The province of Guatemala, the district of Tegucigalpa and Olancho in Honduras, León in Nicaragua, and Santa Ana and San Miguel in El Salvador followed the Guatemalan instruction. The electoral process took place in accordance with the 1812 Constitution of Cádiz.

The labor pool of elected officials did not change: two-thirds (thirty-one representatives) were professionals or religious leaders. Analysis of the career path of the representatives shows that they came from the bar association, the clergy, cabildos, the military, universities, or the Consulate of Commerce. They had held positions in the colonial administration or in the constitutional local government. Many belonged to the Economic Society of the Friends of the Country or to patriotic tertulias.26

Political representation—twenty-seven in the Cortes and forty-seven in Mexico—was made up of notable individuals, at least twenty-five years of age, who owned property, born in the Americas or native to the Kingdom, and were seculars, professionals, civilians or military members, businessmen, councilmen, and electors. A broader investigation is needed to place them in a certain group or party, but we know of at least three different positions: monarchists, constitutional monarchists, and republicans. Just as in the first instance of the Constitution of Cádiz, supporters had as a foundation the political system of their preference.

Autonomy, Emancipation, and Joining the Mexican Empire

On August 28, 1821, in Comitán, Chiapas, in an open cabildo, the residents gathered and adopted “the system of Imperial Government and naturally declare free and independent the city of Comitán and those that comprise it, under the same protests to preserve unchanged Our Holy Religion, respect its Ministers, who are the intermediaries between God and man, abide by the laws of the Nation and obey its Magistrates, preventing separation and rivalry, maintaining a perfect union and fraternity among its inhabitants without regard to class or origin.” Statements from San Cristóbal de las Casas (then Ciudad Real), Chiapa de Corzo, and Tuxtla Gutiérrez followed in the first week of September; later, the municipalities gained the support of the Provincial Council.27

Cabildos from within the Province of Guatemala and urban residents pushed for a declaration of independence. The news aroused concern among the highest authorities of the General Captaincy, and following hours of discussion, they reached an agreement and a Declaration of Independence was adopted on September 15 and signed by members of the Provincial Council and the City Council of Guatemala.

The declaration, firstly, proclaimed a split from the Spanish government28 and proposed the immediate acquiescence of a congress in order to determine the form of government and fundamental laws. Article seven established that “in the meantime, until new authorities are established, they are to continue exercising their respective powers, in accordance with the Constitution (of 1812), orders, and laws, until a suitable Congress determines the most just and beneficial action.”

In the points stipulated, old and new political outlooks converge. The declaration expresses that the political decision was in the hands of los pueblos, in the words of the era, the constitutional city councils. Representative elections to the future congress would be carried out by the same provincial electoral juntas that had elected the representatives in the Cortes: for the interior government of the provinces, the provincial and city councils stipulated in the Cádiz Constitution would remain.

Taking into account the practice of juntas in Spain, the members of the Provincial Council established in the declaration a Provisional Governing Junta, adding to it other representatives from within the country. The upper government also integrated Brigadier Gabino Gaínza as Head of State and authorized him to announce the news and seek the recognition of existing cabildos and boards within the kingdom.29 As in the Cádiz Constitution, the declaration evinced the protection that the Catholic Church would receive, and asked for the support of the clergy in governing the territory.

The declaration was sent to the interior government for approval and adoption by boards, cabildos, and officials, who pledged an oath of fidelity. Reports sent by towns and cities indicated that two documents were discussed: the Declaration of Independence and the Plan of Iguala.30 Independence was a two-pronged measure: the high authorities of the kingdom intended to maintain control of the Captaincy, but the provinces understood it as a means of freedom, not only from the Spanish crown, but also from Guatemalan control.

In the city of San Salvador, on September 21, 1821, the declaration was read during liturgy in the parish church and later in the municipality headquarters. Amidst cheers from the residents, the head of state presiding over the event received an oath from the mayor, who stated “by God our Lord, the Holy Cross, and the Holy Gospels, to preserve and maintain independence, to be loyal to the American Monarchy and observe the Government that is established and the laws that sanction it.” According to the Salvadoran record, it was declared on September 29 by swearing-in of the boards and September 30 by the general public.31

In the city of León, Nicaragua, on September 28, the Intendant and the provincial council met and declared its independence from Guatemala and its independence “from the Spanish government until the light of day is clear and this province can work in accordance with the demands of their religious endeavors and their true interests.”32 The Nicaraguan declaration orders the continuation of all authorities and operations established in the Constitution of 1812. Also on September 28, in Comayagua, Honduras, the intendant, provincial council, and residents met in open cabildo and all agreed that “independence is sworn in the province of Comayagua, with the essential condition that it be subject only to the supreme government established in North America, in all its branches: political, military, treasury, and ecclesiastical.”33

On September 29 in the city of Cartago, the capital of Costa Rica, executive boards, clergy, and residents met and agreed to proclaim absolute independence from the Spanish government, but “will continue to observe the Constitution and laws promulgated by the Mexican Empire; with the firm belief that in the adoption of this plan lies the prosperity and true interests of these provinces.”34

The incorporation of the former Kingdom of Guatemala into the Mexican Empire in 1821 was achieved with the Plan of Iguala. The plan compiled in its twenty-three articles the prevailing political ideas, not only in New Spain, but in the General Captaincy of Guatemala as well. The three essential points—independence from Spain, preservation of the Catholic religion, and a constitutional monarchic government—ensured the union of the provinces. Iguala proposed a political reconstitution from several of the kingdoms of the Hispanic monarchy.35

The proposal was an old one. Charles III of Spain had received a plan to decentralize the Americas into two entities, North and South, but the king rejected the idea. Later, there was another proposal to create three monarchies, one in the North and two in the southern region. In 1808, faced with the crisis caused by the French invasion, New Spain had attempted to convene a General Congress of the provinces, an initiative that had been stymied by groups from the capital who were loyal to the crown. The proposal made by Congress, which was circulated that same year, stated “so that all of northern Spanish America may have in this serious issue one shared spirit, we may propose that the Kingdom of Guatemala hold a General Junta and that this Junta will appoint seven representatives with full powers to act in its name in the National Congress.”36

In 1812, the Constitution of Cádiz defined the territories of New Spain, Guatemala, and the Caribbean islands as North America. In the Cortes of 1820, this division was adopted by representatives from the Americas on June 25, 1821, to propose the formation of two monarchies in the Americas: North America, formed by the Provincias Internas, Mexico, and Guatemala; and South America, which incorporated New Granada, the mainland provinces, Peru, Argentina, and Chile.37 The northern and southern territories thus acquired legal and political significance.

Following his triumphant arrival in Mexico City, Agustín de Iturbide sent a written notice to Guatemala inviting the provinces to unite under the Northern Empire. The document in question was also sent to the municipalities of the Kingdom of Guatemala. The Provisional Advisory Junta of Guatemala discussed and agreed to respond to Iturbide that the Junta did not have the power to make a decision of that nature, as it would require a general vote of the provinces. The discussion turned toward the problem of clarifying who had the right to make a decision about the union, the municipalities, or the Junta. The interim government of the kingdom concluded that, according to scholastic influence, “the union was a pact, and the contracting parties are Iturbide and our municipalities, the government being the mediating body, and not absolutely necessary, that which replaced the open cabildos adopted on September 15. If the municipalities play a role, all of them and especially los exitados must be heard within another month that those who are four hundred leagues away need. If not, they are not obligated.”38

On January 5, 1822, the Junta issued the Act of Aggregation to the Mexican empire. In the vote count: “. . . the city councils that have plainly agreed upon the union, according to the notice given by the Mexican Government, number one hundred four. Eleven have agreed with some conditions, which they have been inclined to add. Thirty-two have committed their will to the decision of the Provisional Junta, taking all circumstances into account. Twenty-one refer to what the congress expresses, which convened on September 15 and should meet again on February 1. Those who expressed no desire to form part of the union are two. The rest have not given a response, or if they have, it has not been received.”39 These results indicate that 147 cabildos were in favor of the union, 21 in favor of the decision made by the congress of the provinces, and 2 were against it; thus, of a total of 200 municipalities in the captaincy, 170 had cast their vote by January 5, 1822. In addition, the Junta took into account that three provinces had declared their union to Mexico: León in Nicaragua, Chiapas, and Comayagua in Honduras, so the duty “in this case, is none other than transfer to the Government of Mexico that which the people want.”40

How threatening was Iturbide’s notice to each of the municipalities of the Kingdom of Guatemala? How decisive was the traditional open-cabildo practice in the municipalities? How strong was the resentment of the provinces against the dominant group of Guatemala City? In-depth analyses of this situation remain to be seen.

Apparently, the elite were attracted by the idea of a direct relationship with Mexico City: they would enjoy military protection and hoped to gain the freedom to trade their products and benefit from the progress of each of the provinces. In Guatemala City, as in San Salvador, Tegucigalpa, Granada, and San José, groups formed to oppose the union. The provincial council of El Salvador was the only one to openly oppose the union with Mexico and proposed as an alternative a confederate republic to include the territories of the Yucatán, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.

The disagreement produced conflict between the provinces of Guatemala and San Salvador: the former invaded the latter, but was unsuccessful. A second military raid, led by the imperial troops, commanded by Vicente Filisola and backed by the Guatemalans, annexed the province of San Salvador.41

The designation of Iturbide as Emperor was not enough. He persecuted or imprisoned political and military leaders, and closed the Mexican congress. These abuses promoted various conspiracies to overthrow him. The Plan of Casa Mata brought the old forces together in conflict in the 1810s, and the Empire fell on March 19, 1823. Filisola, according to the Guatemalan Act of Independence, convened a congress headquartered in Guatemala City. Several of the representatives who had experience in Spain and Mexico joined this group.

The Second Declaration of Independence, or the Absolute Declaration

During its first sessions on July 1, the constituent congress released a second Declaration of Independence, better known as the absolute declaration. The objective of the representatives was to release a statement in favor of liberty, independence, unity, and governance.

The statements issued in this important document centered on the relationship to Spain and Mexico. According to the representatives, the Kingdom of Guatemala found itself at a great distance from Spain; for three hundred years, it was in the position of a colony with its rights usurped, and its inhabitants wished to preserve and sustain the independence proclaimed on September 15, 1821.

Concerning its relationship with Mexico, the representatives described the union as a forceful event, a decision made using illegal means (municipalities) because it was not determined by a congress. Therefore, they declared the decisions issued during the Mexican Empire invalid. The text displays two different ideas about sovereignty: the old idea, which designates the municipalities as the owner; and the modern idea, which the nation, transferred to a body of representatives, was the legislative power.

These circumstances demonstrate the necessity of issuing a new declaration of independence:

1st That the aforementioned Provinces, represented in this Assembly, are free and independent from Old Spain, from Mexico, and from any other such former power such as that of the New World; and that they are not nor should they be the patrimony of any person or family.

The representatives, in their first sessions, were in agreement with a model of United Provinces of Central America, which recalls a continental discussion on forming a Confederation or a Federation. This process generated an array of reactions and brought a series of internal conflicts to the former Kingdom of Guatemala during the decade from 1820 to 1830. Finally, each province established a unitary republic.

Final Thoughts

The Constitution of 1812 fostered a new regime, the constitutional monarchy. Although liberal historiography rejects the inclusion of the Kingdom of Guatemala in this political system, the uprisings of settlers and local elites between 1811 and 1814, branded as pre-independence movements, were, in reality, uprisings and protests for the application of constitutionalism. In this sense, the demands and protests were generated by the compliance with the Cádiz legislation on diverse issues, such as the freedom of the press or the elimination of taxes and the recognition of election results.

The corporative vision accompanied the adaptation of the representative system. At the base of the indirect election process, full citizenship was granted to men of legal age, but was dependent on place of residence. In addition, the election took place publicly, a clear commitment to the political community. In another area, the political loyalty of citizens was expressed with a public oath; for example, to the image of Ferdinand VII, the Constitution of 1812, the Declaration of 1821, and the Plan of Iguala. In the sphere of legislation, representatives were limited by the instructions issued by their province of origin, and provincial interest prevailed over individual interests.

September 15, 1821, became a foundational date, and the signatories of the declaration became heroes or founding fathers. There is still an unknown process of autonomy that was set into motion following the Declaration of Independence. Taking Spanish institutionalism into account, the provinces organized governing juntas and provincial assemblies in an apparent process of state-province formation.

In the Kingdom of Guatemala, between 1808 and 1823, the presence of Cádiz constitutionalism is clear, influenced as much by institutionality as it is by the various declarations of independence. The construction of a representative system (sovereignty, citizenship, elections, and political representation) seems to have maintained a close relationship with the territories and not the modern imaginary nation.

Discussion of the Literature

The liberal 19th-century historiography pioneered by Alejandro Marure, Lorenzo Montúfar, and J. D. Gámez left its legacy by describing the independence of the Kingdom of Guatemala as a rupture between colony and republic. From 1900 to 1930, in the context of the centennial celebration of independence, documentary reports were disseminated.42 During the same period, the Academies of Geography and History edited magazines in each country of the isthmus. These entities, consisting largely of attorneys, dedicated their attention to three main ideas: the conquista, independence, and biographies of notable people. The authors’ objective was to lay the bases for a nation, and from this perspective emerged several pre-independence movements and countless founding fathers. The historiographic production in 1971, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the agreement, did not overlook the description of the incident, its relevance to the date, or the vainglory of the people involved. In 1964, Salvadoran Dagoberto Marroquín and later, in 1969, Guatemalan Severo Martínez Peláez, from a Marxist view, introduced the social-economic analysis.43

At the end of the 20th century, the professionalization of Central American historians (from both within the isthmus and elsewhere), external historiographic production, and the formation of networks fostered a change in the focus on independence by introducing historical analysis as a political, economic, and social process.

This new way of studying the era of independence entailed a change of methods. The comparative history of Spain, Mexico, and Central America became necessary, as did the relationship between local, departmental, and national centers of power. Recent studies rely on different resources: the General Archive of the Indies in Seville; in Mexico City, the National Archives and the Historical Archives of the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs; in the isthmus, the Archives of Central America in the Guatemalan capital, as well as national and municipal archives. The special funds of the national libraries of the countries mentioned are also immensely helpful. However, the analysis of the independence era must be interdisciplinary; it is essential to form a theoretical link between constitutional law, political science, and sociology.

Primary Sources

  • Actas de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente de las Provincias Unidas del Centro de América, 1823. Guatemala City: Editorial del Ejército, 1971.
  • Actas de la Junta Provisional Gubernativa de Guatemala. Guatemala City: Editorial del Ejército, 1971.
  • Apuntamientos sobre la agricultura y el comercio de Reyno de Guatemala. Guatemala City: Oficina de M. Arévalo, 1810.
  • Apuntes Instructivos. Guatemala City: Oficina de M. Arévalo, 1811.
  • Constitución de Cádiz de 1812. Title III, Chapter II, article 34; Chapter III, articles 35–58; Title VI, Chapter I, articles 312–320; Title II, Chapter IV, articles 18–24. Retrieved from
  • Instrucciones para la Constitución fundamental de la Monarquía Española y su Gobierno. Guatemala City: Imprenta I. Beteta, 1811.

Further Reading

  • Annino, Antonio. Historia de las elecciones en Iberoamérica, siglo XIX: De la formación del espacio político nacional. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1995.
  • Avendaño Rojas, Xiomara. Centroamérica entre lo antiguo y lo moderno: Institucionalidad, ciudadanía y representación política, 1810–1838. Castellón, Spain: Universitat Jaume I, 2009.
  • Avendaño Rojas, Xiomara and Norma Hernández Sánchez. ¿Independencia o Autogobierno? El Salvador y Nicaragua, 1786–1811. Managua, Nicaragua: Lea Grupo Editorial–Sophie Editorial, 2014.
  • Bonilla Bonilla, Adolfo. Ideas económicas en la Centroamérica Ilustrada, 1783–1838. San Salvador, El Savador: FLACSO, 1999.
  • Dym, Jordana. From Sovereign Villages to National States. City, State, and Federation in Central America, 1759–1839. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006.
  • García Laguardia, J. M. Orígenes de la Democracia Constitucional en Centroamérica. San José, Costa Rica: EDUCA, 1976.
  • García Laguardia, J. M. Centroamérica en las Cortes de Cádiz. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1994.
  • Guerra, F. X. Modernidad e independencias. Ensayos sobre las revoluciones hispánicas. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica—Editorial Mapfre, 1993.
  • Herrera Mena, Sajid. El ejercicio de gobernar: Del cabildo borbónico al ayuntamiento liberal. El Salvador, 1750–1821. Castellón, Spain: Universitat Jaume I, 2014.
  • Lascaris, Constantino. Historia de las ideas en Centroamérica. San José, Costa Rica: EDUCA, 1970.
  • Luján Muñoz, Jorge. La Independencia y la Anexión de Centroamérica a México. Guatemala City: Editorial Universitaria, 1975.
  • Marroquín, Dagoberto. Apreciación sociológica de la independencia salvadoreña, 2d ed. San Salvador, El Salvador: Dirección de Impresos y Publicaciones, 2000.
  • Martínez Peláez, Severo. Centroamérica en los años de la Independencia: el país y los habitantes. Guatemala City: USAC, 1977.
  • Martínez Peláez, Severo. La patria del criollo: Ensayo de interpretación de la realidad colonial guatemalteca. Guatemala City: Universidad de San Carlos, 1970.
  • Marure, Alejandro. Bosquejo Histórico de las Revoluciones en Centroamérica, 2 vols. First edition of the first volume, 1830. Guatemala City: Tipografía el Progreso, 1877–1878.
  • Pinto Soria, J. César. Centroamérica de la Colonia al Estado Nacional. 1800–1840. Guatemala City: Editorial Universitaria, 1989.
  • Pinto Soria, J. César. Guatemala en la década de la Independencia. Guatemala City: Editorial Universitaria, 1978.
  • Rodríguez, Jaime O. La independencia de la América Española. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1994.
  • Rodríguez, Mario. El experimento de Cádiz en Centroamérica. 1808–1826. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1984. First edition in English, Berkeley: University of California, 1978.
  • Taracena Arriola, Arturo. Invención criolla, sueño ladino, pesadilla indígena. Los altos de Guatemala: de región a Estado, 1740–1850. Guatemala City: CIRMA, 1997.
  • Vásquez Olvera, Mario. El imperio mexicano y el Reino de Guatemala. Proyecto político y campaña militar, 1821–1823. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2009.
  • Volio, Marina. Costa Rica en las Cortes de Cádiz. San José, Costa Rica: Juricentro, 1980.
  • Wortmann, Miles L. Gobierno y Sociedad en Centroamérica, 1780–1840. San José, Costa Rica: BCIE, 1991. First edition in English, New York: Columbia University Press, 1982.
  • Zelaya Goodmann, Chester. Nicaragua en la Independencia. San José, Costa Rica: Editorial Universitaria, 1971.


  • 1. Adolfo Bonilla Bonilla, Ideas económicas en la Centroamérica Ilustrada, 1783–1838 (San Salvador, El Salvador: FLACSO, 1999). Bonilla creates a summary of the political ideas of the period.

  • 2. Miles Wortman, Gobierno y Sociedad en Centroamérica, 1780–1840 (San José, Costa Rico: BCIE, 1991), 243. El autor presenta un estudio, todavía no superado, de las reformas políticas y económicas borbónicas.

  • 3. Sofonías Salvatierra, Contribución a la historia de Centroamérica, vol. II (Managua, Nicaragua: Tipografía el Progreso, 1939), 280–281.

  • 4. J. M. García Laguardia, Orígenes de la Democracia Constitucional en Centroamérica (San José, Costa Rica: EDUCA, 1976), 112–113, 121–125; Jaime O. Rodríguez, La Independencia de la América Española (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1994), 82; and J. D. Gámez, Historia de Nicaragua desde los tiempos prehistóricos hasta 1860, en sus relaciones con España, México y Centroamérica (Managua, Nicaragua: Colección Cultural Banco de América Central, 1975), 301.

  • 5. The request was sent by Comayagua, Granada, Guatemala, and Sonsonate, and they joined the council of León. Bibiano Torres Ramírez, Javier Ortiz de la Tabla, and Enriqueta Vilar Vilar, eds., Cartas de Cabildos Hispanoamericanos. Audiencia de Guatemala (Sevilla, Spain: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1986), II:177; and Bibiano Torres Ramírez, Javier Ortiz de la Tabla, and Enriqueta Vilar Vilar, eds., Cartas de Cabildos Hispanoamericanos. Audiencia de Guatemala (Sevilla, Spain: Consejo de Investigaciones Científicas, 1984), I:422–423.

  • 6. Laguardia, Orígenes de la Democracia, 135; and Rodríguez, La Independencia, 27.

  • 7. Salvatierra, Contribución a la Historia, II:510–513.

  • 8. Apuntamientos sobre la agricultura y el comercio de Reyno de Guatemala. Guatemala, Office of M. Arévalo, 1810; Instrucciones para la Constitución fundamental de la Monarquía Española y su gobierno (Guatemala, Imprenta I. Beteta, 1811); and Apuntes Instructivos (Guatemala: Office of M. Arévalo, 1811).

  • 9. Ramírez, de la Tabla, and Vilar Vilar, Cartas de Cabildos, II:180. Complaints filed by the local governments of: Guatemala, San Salvador, Cartago, Ciudad Real de Chiapas, and León. Torres Ramírez, de la Tabla, and Vilar Vilar, Cartas de Cabildos, I:33, 57, 91, 308, 437, 439–440. Rodríguez, El experimento de Cádiz, 139–140, 154–155, 172.

  • 10. Ramírez, de la Tabla, and Vilar Vilar, Cartas de Cabildos, I:435. Rodolfo Barón Castro, José Matías Delgado y el movimiento insurgente en El Salvador (San Salvador, El Salvador: Ministerio de Educación, 1962), 155–158, 206–208.

  • 11. Castro, José Matías Delgado, 151; and Sajid Herrera Mena, “Escenarios de lealtad e infidencia durante el régimen constitucional gaditano: San Salvador, 1811–1814,” in Mesoamérica 32.53 (June–December 2011): 200–210.

  • 12. Jordana Dym, From Sovereign Villages to National States. City, State, and Federation in Central America, 1759–1839 (Albuquerque, University of New Mexico Press, 2006); and Sajid Herrera Mena, El ejercicio de gobernar: Del cabildo borbónico al ayuntamiento liberal. El Salvador, 1750–1821 (Castellón, Spain: Universitat Jaume I, 2014).

  • 13. Chester Zelaya Goodman, Nicaragua en la Independencia (San José, Costa Rica: Editorial Universitaria, 1971), 70–76; Salvatierra, 1946, II:276–499; Elizet Payne Iglesias, “Poderes locales y resistencia popular en Nicaragua, 1808–1813,” in La época de las independencias en Centroamérica y Chiapas: procesos políticos y sociales, ed. Aaron Pollack (Mexico City: Instituto Mora, 2013), 123–158; and Xiomara Avendaño Rojas and Norma Hernández Sánchez, ¿Independencia o Autogobierno? El Salvador y Nicaragua, 1786–1811 (Managua, Nicaragua: Grupo Editorial–Sophie Editorial, 2014). In this last book, the authors present the uprisings of El Salvador and Nicaragua within the context of Cádiz constitutionalism and give a summary of recent approaches to the subject.

  • 14. Rómulo Durón, Bosquejo histórico de Honduras, 1502–1921 (San Pedro Sula, Honduras: Tipografía El Comercio, 1927), 109–111.

  • 15. Sajid Herrera Mena, “Representaciones de la soberanía en las ceremonias de juramentación, del reino de Guatemala, 1790–1812,” in La época de las independencias, ed. Pollack, 97–122.

  • 16. Mario Rodríguez, La conspiración de Belen en nueva perspectiva (Guatemala City: Ministerio de Educación, 1965); and Aaron Pollack, “Centroamérica, 1811–1814. Iniciando una época de movilización política,” Revista Realidad 130 (2011): 529–549.

  • 17. J. D. Gámez, Reminiscencias histórica de las tierras centroamericanas (San Salvador: Imprenta Diario El Salvador, 1913), 18; and Constantino Lascaris, Historia de las ideas en Centroamérica (San José, Costa Rica: EDUCA, 1970), 349.

  • 18. Report by José de Bustamante, March 3, 1813. Fernández. Documentos relativos, 55.

  • 19. Instrucciones para la Constitución, 23–28. See articles 23–93.

  • 20. Solicitud de la Diputación de Nicaragua, 1813. Archivo General de Indias (AGI). Independencia, Rack 100, Drawer 6, File 14. Rodríguez, El experimento de Cádiz, 102–106, 160–162; Zelaya Goodman, Nicaragua, 27; and Marina Volio, Costa Rica en las Cortes de Cádiz (San José, Costa Rica: Juricentro, 1980), 174–179. El Salvador’s Intendencia had demanded a diocese since its creation.

  • 21. García Laguardia, Orígenes de la Democracia, 230, 248–254, 293–294.

  • 22. Salvatierra, Contribución a la Historia, II:340–341. Constitución de Cádiz de 1812. Title III, Chapter II, article 34; Chapter III, articles 35–58; Title VI, Chapter I, articles 312–320; Title II, Chapter IV, articles 18–24; Title VI, Chapter I, articles 317–320. Retrieved from

  • 23. Informe de J. Bustamante, 1812. AGI, Audiencia de Guatemala, 531. Instrucción formada de la Junta Preparatoria para facilitar las elecciones de diputados y oficios concejiles, 1812, Archivo Histórico de Quezaltenango (AHQ), Part 1, Article 1, Box 1812.

  • 24. Jordana Dym, From Sovereign Villages to Nacional States. City, State, and Federation in Central America, 1759–1839 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006); and Sajid Herrera Mena, El ejercicio de gobernar del cabildo. Del cabildo borbónico al ayuntamiento constitucional. El Salvador, 1750–1821 (Castelló de la Plana: Universitat Jaume I, 2013). These authors present a recent version of the influence of Cádiz constitutionalism in Central America.

  • 25. Rojas, Centroamérica entre lo antiguo y lo moderno, 85–146. The author presents the reader with the elections of Guatemala and Costa Rica, from those of the Cortes to the Central American Federation.

  • 26. Nettie Lee Benson and Charles R. Berry, “La delegación centroamericana al primer congreso constituyente de México, 1822–1823,” in Lecturas de historia de Centroamérica (San José, Costa Rica: Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica, 1989), 343–366; and Xiomara Avendaño Rojas, “El Imperio del Septentrión: Elecciones para elegir diputados al primer congreso constituyente mexicano,” in Xiomara Avendaño Rojas (Coord), Historia electoral en Centroamérica: Elecciones, organizaciones políticas y ciudadanía (Siglos XIX y XX). (Managua, Nicaragua: Lea Grupo Editorial–Sophie Editorial, 2011), 53–101.

  • 27. “Acta de Independencia de Comitán,” Independencia de las provincias de las Chiapas y su unión a México, ed. Luis Espinosa (México: Imprenta Victoria, 1918), 4–7; Manuel Trens, Historia de Chiapas (Mexico City: La Impresora, 1942), 218–223; and Mario Vásquez Olvera, “Chiapas Mexicana,” Península III. 2 (UNAM 2008): 21–44.

  • 28. “Acta de la Independencia de la Capitanía General de Guatemala,” September 15, 1821, articles 1, 2. Boletín del Archivo General de Guatemala, IV, 2 (1939), 127–129.

  • 29. “Acta de Independencia,” Boletín el Archivo General de Guatemala IV.2 (1939): 127–129, articles 3–8, 11–19. To commemorate this important date, a medal was ordered and instructions were given to hold festivities throughout the territory.

  • 30. “Actas de juramentación de cabildos,” Boletín del Archivo General de Guatemala, IV.2 (1939): 187–263; and Xiomara Avendaño Rojas, “Los escenarios del poder en 1821: La juramentación del acta de independencia en la provincia de Guatemala,” in Las épocas de la Independencia, ed. Pollack, 225–250.

  • 31. “Acta de Independencia de San Salvador.” José Antonio Cevallos, Recuerdos Salvadoreños (San Salvador, El Salvador: Ministerio de Educación, 1965), II: 250–251.

  • 32. “Acta de Independencia de Nicaragua y unión a México.” Rafael Heliodoro Valle, La Anexión de Centroamérica (Documentos y Escritos de 1821) (Mexico City: Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, 1924), I:36–37.

  • 33. “Acta de Independencia de Comayagua y unión a México.” Valle, La anexión, I:14–15.

  • 34. “Acta de Independencia y unión a México de San José y Cartago.” Valle, La anexión, I:42–43, 64–65, 148–154.

  • 35. These ideas can be found in articles 1–3 of the Plan. The interim government was established in a governing junta. Fernando VII planned to take his oath in Mexico; otherwise, the junta or the regency appointed in his place would assume the functions of government. “Plan de Iguala,” Boletín del Archivo General de Guatemala IV.2 (1939): 112–114.

  • 36. One of the representatives would be appointed by the president, two by the audience, and the remaining four by the entire kingdom. Melchor de Talamantes, Argumento en favor de la Independencia de México (Mexico City: Centro de Documentación Política, 1979), 60.

  • 37. Constitución de Cádiz, Title II, Chapter I, article 10. “Propuesta a las Cortes,” 1820. Boletín del Archivo General de Guatemala I.3 (1935): 398–411. The document mentioned here was written by the New Spaniard Lucas Alamán and signed by the Mexican delegation; the Central American representatives (Fernando Antonio Dávila, representing Chiapas; Luis Hermosilla, Chimaltenango; Toribio Arguello and Juan Esteban Milla, Nicaragua and Honduras, respectively) each added their signatures.

  • 38. “Acta de sesión, 4 de enero, 1821.” Actas de la Junta provisional Gubernativa de Guatemala (Guatemala, Editorial del Ejército, 1971), 365.

  • 39. “Acta de unión de las Provincias de Guatemala al Imperio mexicano, 5 de enero de 1822,” Boletín de Archivo General de Guatemala IV.3 (1939): 394–395.

  • 40. Informe de José de Oñate, sent by Iturbide to Guatemala. Archivo de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores de México, Exp. 3-13-5025. Xiomara Avendaño Rojas. “El gobierno provincial en el Reino de Guatemala,” in Virginia Guedea (Coord.), La independencia de México y el proceso autonomista novohispano, 1808–1824 (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2001), 321–353.

  • 41. Cevallos, Recuerdos, II:59–92. Mario Vásquez Olvera, El imperio mexicano y el Reino de Guatemala. The provincial council of El Salvador invited Nicaragua and Comayagua to join a Republic. Valle, La Anexión, 160–161.

  • 42. Alejandro Marure, Bosquejo histórico de las Revoluciones en Centroamérica, 2 vols. (Guatemala City: Tipografía el Progreso, 1877–1878). Lorenzo Montúfar, Reseña Histórica de Centroamérica, 6 vols. (Guatemala City: Tipografía El Progreso, 1878–1887); and J. D. Gámez, Historia de Nicaragua desde los tiempos preshistóricos hasta 1860, en sus relaciones con España, México y Centroamérica (Managua, Nicaragua: Tipografía el País, 1889).

  • 43. Dagoberto Marroquín, Apreciación Sociológica de la independencia salvadoreña, 2d ed. (San Salvador, El Salvador: Dirección de Publicaciones e Impresos, 2000); Severo Martínez Peláez, La patria del criollo: Ensayo de interpretación de la realidad colonial guatemalteca (Guatemala City: Universidad de San Carlos, 1970); and J. C. Pinto Soria, Centroamérica de la Colonia al Estado Nacional, 1800–1840 (Guatemala City: Editorial Universitaria, 1989).