Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department


Reader 1

Niklas Frykman

Reader 2

Roderic Camp

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© 2012 Michael J. Lapadot


Most contemporary scholarship on Mexican history separates the years 1808-1824 into two distinct processes; Mexican independence and the formation of a new Mexican state. This thesis provides a new synthesis of the two processes of independence and state formation in Mexico. Covering events chronologically from 1808-1824, this thesis argues that the formation of a federal republic in Mexico was no accident, but that it was inevitable. The incessant conflict between insurgent and royalist factions decentralized politics in New Spain from 1810-1820 and weakened the authority of the government in Mexico City. This decentralized arena allowed many political actors of all castes, individuals and groups, to claim political authority on a local level. The only way for Mexico City to forge a new nation after 1820 was to recognize these newly established provincial interests. This thesis uses the failed attempt by Agustin de Iturbide to centralize government following independence as further corroboration that Mexico's War for Independence had established permanent federalist impulses within the country, which would eventually culminate in the creation of a federal republic in 1824.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.