José María Morelos y Pavón


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Mexican mestizo priest and leader of the revolution against Spain. Joining the insurrection in 1810, he led a successful campaign in the south, and assumed command of his country's struggle after the capture and execution (1810) of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. From 1812 to 1815 he kept the royalist army on the run with guerrilla warfare. He sponsored the Congress of Chilpancingo (1813), which formally declared Mexican independence and adopted Mexico's first constitution with Morelos as head of government. Before its administrative, social, and fiscal reforms could be adopted, Morelos was captured by Spanish forces and shot.

Subjects: World History.

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