Biography of José Joaquín Vicente Iturrigaray y Aróstegui (1742-1814)

Spanish politician, Viceroy of new Spain, born in Cádiz (although of Navarrese origin) on 27 June 1742 and died in Madrid in September 1814.

He was the son of José Iturrigaray, native of Pamplona, and María Manuela de Aróstegui. At age 17 he/she was Infantry Cadet, in 1762 was awarded the grade of second lieutenant and captain of the Royal Carabinieri June 19, 1777. He/She participated in the wars against Great Britain and Portugal in 1762 and against France in 1793. By this time already was field marshal (had obtained the rank of brigadier in 1789 and the Marshal that same year of 1793). Two years later he/she was promoted to lieutenant general (1795) and was found in the campaign of Portugal, in 1801, as Commander-in-Chief of the army of Andalusia. His friendship with Godoy allowed him to engage in politics; He/She was Governor of Cádiz at one time and in 1802 he/she was appointed viceroy of new Spain.

Admitted in court on July 6, 1802 the resignation of Berenguer de Marquina, his protector and friend don Manuel Godoy managed will appoint him, as Viceroy, giving him permission to leave Spain on August 20 of that same year. Three months later, he/she embarked in the company of family members and servants, surrounded by great pomp and good number of packages. Arriving in Mexico, January 4, 1803, in the Villa de Guadalupe, according to traditional custom, he/she received the baton from the hands of his predecessor, and made his entrance in the capital the next day.

One of their first actions was to deal with the visit to new Spain of the wise baron of Humboldt, whose friendship attended, which facilitated his scientific excursions, especially the region of Guanajuato and its mineral deposits. The visit of the viceroy to the city was a big popular event.

At the beginning of his Government he/she was supported both the Royal audience and the City Council of the city of Mexico, dominated by personalities of opposing trends. However, both institutions were in favor of the continuity of the Viceroy in two writings addressed to the King. Indian Governors did the same a few months later.

The more positive works of his Government include the introduction of the smallpox vaccine; the construction of the road in Veracruz; drainage of the Valley of Mexico, which was achieved to eliminate flooding of the capital; the inauguration of the equestrian statue in honor of Carlos IV sculpted by Manuel Tolsá; and the construction of the Citadel, beautiful building devoted to cigar factory.

Iturrigaray, jovial and fun spirit, applied in the city of Mexico the usual courteous and festive style at the Court of Madrid, promoting the celebration of festivals and performances of all kinds, bullfights, cockfights, as well as the holding of fairs and festivals under any pretext.

Continuing the military policy of his predecessors, he/she insisted in the works for the defence of the frontiers of the North invading Anglo-American adventurers; strengthened the defenses of Veracruz and other Gulf ports, without neglecting support to Havana and other colonies; and, between November and December 1806, made spectacular military maneuvers in the fields of Jalapa, in which showed his expertise and passion for martial arts.

However, since his arrival to new Spain and commissioned by Godoy, one of their biggest concerns was raising funds for the Royal coffers, which had to cover the deficits caused by the wars of the Crown. In addition to ordinary levies, on December 28, 1804 signed the application in New Spain of the identity card consolidation of vouchers, true ecclesiastical confiscation, which passed to the real power of the religious communities of overseas capital. The economy, especially Spaniards and Creoles with businesses in agriculture and trade, suffered a severe blow. However, shipments of funds to the court grew dramatically.

In New Spain, for these years, grew the division between Spaniards and Creoles, protected and supported respectively by the Royal Court and the City Hall. Dominated the first group the hearers and prosecutors, increasingly frustrated by the prominence and popularity of the viceroy, while the corregidores and graduates, among which highlighted cousin truth and Juan Francisco Azcárate, supported by the newspaper of Mexico, Jacobo Villaurrutia and Carlos María de Bustamante , released with permission from the viceroy, encouraged the development of an independent and autonomous identity. In 1806 there were from outside news that aggravated the escalating of the people.

Finally, in the middle of may 1808 came to new Spain first reports that communicated the events of the Court, with the abdication of Carlos IV, the exaltation of Fernando VIIto the throne, the fall in disgrace of Manuel Godoy and the first decrees of the Government of the new monarch. Ordered the festivities in honor of Fernando, in the midst of this celebration was the uprising of the people of Madrid against the French and the resignation of the new King in Bayonne, under pressure from Napoleon.

From this moment the events accelerated. The viceroy, caught between two forces, the Peninsular with the support of the audience and the Creoles with the backing of the City Council, tried to delay any decision, calling meetings and councils faced by the two sides. At the end of July it was learned lifting widespread reason for joy and religious celebrations, against the French, though, announced the formation of provincial boards, in Creole means it nested the illusion of establishing similar institutions in New Spain.

To respond to the widespread concern, on 9 August the viceroy convened representatives of institutions, and notable persons and asked consultation, demonstrating clearly the confrontation between the audience and the City Council. Words of Bachelor cousin truth, in defense of the thesis that following the kidnapping of sovereignty by the French had returned this to the people, opposed the hearer Aguirre wondering what meaning had this concept. Refused the request of obedience to the Junta of Seville, and suspended any agreement, confirming only the direct obedience of the provinces to the decisions of the King Fernando.

Mid-month arrived in New Spain Jauregui and Jabat Commissioners with instructions of the Board of Seville, which claimed the leadership of the national policy, which strengthened the position of the hearers of the audience. But, to know that a meeting in Asturias had requested direct support from the Government in London, the Creole hopes to organize something similar in Mexico have been strengthened. Fearful the Peninsular that the own virrey head movement for autonomy of the Creoles, on 15 September, under the direction of the Squire of Spanish origin Gabriel of wasteland, with the support of Jabat and general Félix María Calleja, took place the "coup" that toppled the viceroy Iturrigaray and instead started another old general: quarterback Pedro Garibay.

In the extraordinary Gazeta of 17 September, the Archbishop and the hearers of the audience published a document in which it was said that "for reasons of security and general convenience", had been in prison to don José Iturrigaray. The military deployment in the city was impressive, and thus the Chronicles of the time reflected it.

As a result of the change of Viceroy, Creole cousin truth and Juan Francisco Azcárate, fray Melchor de Talamantes, Canon José María Beristáin and the Abbot of Guadalupe, they were caught and sentenced. Truth and Talamantes died soon, and others remained shut or suffered deportation.

The audience, meanwhile, instructed a voluminous process that was sent to Cadiz and served to the authorities for jailing Iturrigaray at its arrival to the peninsula, on February 5, 1809. Took into account the reports drawn up by Commissioner Jabat and, finally, without having been able to mature a decision, in February 1810 the Regency ordered that it could live in freedom with his family anywhere on the peninsula or Balearic Islands, as well as the reinstatement of salary he/she deserved in accordance with its military-grade and the lifting of the embargo on their property. He/She died in Madrid at the beginning of September 1814.

The writings and documents that include the following: proclaims the inhabitants of Mexico (Mexico, 1808), El excmo. Mr.... vindicated in the legal form of the false accusations of a booklet entitled by irony: known truth and good faith saved (L. Cancelada piece) (Cadiz, 1812), written in response to one attack from López Cancelada, among others. and true origin, character, springs, purpose and progress of the revolution of new Spain, and defense of the resident Europeans in Mexico (Mexico, 1820). It seems that initially funded the history of the revolution of new Spain, of fray Servando Teresa de Mier, but when he/she saw that this was openly defending the independence, cut aid. Lafuente Ferrari published also two letters and a trade of Iturrigaray Thomas de Morla (San Juan de Ulúa, 31 October, 11 and 16 November 1808).


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LAFUENTE FERRARI, E. Viceroy Iturrigaray and the origins of the independence of Mexico. CSIC. Madrid, 1941

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Editor General of Spain, no. 233, on February 2, 1812, Madrid; No. 238, February 7, 1812, Madrid.

SANTIAGO AND CRUZ, F. Viceroy Iturrigaray. History of a conspiracy. Editorial Jus. Mexico, 1965.

A GIL NOVALES. / M. Ortuño