This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose—to examine the complex process that led to Mexican independence and the formation of the Estados Unidos Mexicanos (United States of Mexico). It challenges the view that the Hidalgo Revolt, which erupted in 1810, and the subsequent insurgencies was the revolution that achieved independence in 1821. It demonstrates that the political transformation within the composite Spanish Monarchy—which accelerated after the French invasion of Spain in 1808 and culminated in the Hispanic Constitution of 1812 enacted by the Cortes of Cádiz and the institutions of self-government it established—was the fundamental revolution. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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