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(Hidalgo y Costilla). Born May 8, 1753, in Corralejos, in the state of Guanajuato; died July 30, 1811, in Chihuahua, in the state of Chihuahua. National hero of Mexico. Leader of the popular uprising of 1810–1811, which developed into a war for Mexican independence from Spain.
Hidalgo graduated from a seminary in Valladolid (now Mo-relia), where he subsequently was a teacher and, later, rector. Reduced to being a parish priest for disseminating the ideas of the French Encyclopedists, he continued to speak out for the country’s independence and for the improvement of the economic and legal position of the Indian population. On Sept. 16, 1810, in the city of Dolores, Hidalgo called on the people to rise up in a war of liberation (the grito de Dolores, “the cry of Dolores”), and at the head of a revolutionary army consisting primarily of Indian peasants, mine workers, and peons, he defied the Spanish. In November, a government headed by Hidalgo was created in the city of Guadalajara. It proclaimed the abolition of slavery and promulgated laws returning communal lands to the Indians and lowering taxes. The revolutionary army suffered defeat in January 1811. In March of that year, Hidalgo was taken prisoner, handed over to a court, and shot.
REFERENCESAl’perovich, M. S. Voina za nezavisimost’ Meksiki (1810–1824). Moscow, 1964.
Mancisidor, J. Hidalgo, Morelos, Guerrero[2nd ed.]. Mexico City, 1970.
G. I. IVANOV