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Video:What Is Mexican Independence Day?

with Ardis Campbell

Mexican Independence Day is celebrated each year on the 16th of September, not on May 5th like many people assume. Here's a video on the historical origin of Mexican Independence Day.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Is Mexican Independence Day?

Hi, I'm Ardis, and today, for About.com, we are going to talk about Mexican Independence Day.

Spanish Discovery of Mexico

Around the beginning of the 16th century, Mexico was discovered by the Spanish explorer, Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba. He and his men established a colony, the port of Veracruz. He battled the Aztecs, a native tribe, to take over their capital. Over the next few years, Spain sent many more explorers and armies to fight off the native tribes, until they had control of the whole country, which they termed "New Spain." Many of the native peoples were forced into slavery. This enslavement and Spanish rule went on for nearly 300 years.

The Fight for Mexican Independence

On September 16th, 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Castillo started a revolt against Spanish Rule in Mexico, by issuing the "Grito de Dolores," or the Cry of Dolores. In the early morning hours, under the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in the town of Dolores, he read the tract he created to declare Independence from Spain. There were many battles and casualties over the next 11 years, both on the side of the Spanish, the revolutionaries, and the Royalists, a group of Mexicans of Spanish descent. The Royalists finally negotiated with the revolutionaries and they defeated and gained final independence. Although the war lasted 11 years, Mexican Independence Day is still celebrated on the 16th of September, the initial day of the revolt.

And that is the history of Mexican Independence Day. Thank you for watching, and for more information, visit us on the web at About.com.

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