A people can be taken to the extreme of having to choose between disappearing or fighting for their freedoms and rights, such is the case of the native Mayans of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico , perhaps that is why some question the name of this war called War of Castes. What was Caste War?
On the fronts we located on the one hand the Mayas , and on the other hand Mexican Creole whites , but it was nothing more than the desperate uprising of these indigenous people, tired of centuries of abuse and mistreatment, treated as foreigners in their own land , typical of one caste system too demanding.
When did this happen and who played leading roles in this war? What consequences did it bring? Who was ultimately the victor and what lessons does this war leave behind?
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When and where did the Caste War take place?
The so-called Caste War, which could rather be called the Mayan liberation war from the point of view of this summary, began on July 30, 1847 with the attack of the Mayan leader Cecilio Chi on the town of Tepich and proclaiming death to the entire white population of the town , this war lasted about 54 years. The place of the war was the Yucatan Peninsula , which at that time was separate from Mexico and considered an independent republic.
Who participated in the Caste War?
The caste war name is perhaps given because, on the one hand, there were the Mayan Indians, the caste or class subjugated from the colony, without rights or citizen equality, even though they were the majority of the Yucatan population; and on the other side the other caste or class, the white Creoles, descendants of Spaniards, born in Mexico, who held total power and dominance , until the slavery of the Mayans, and there were also the Mexican mestizos or middle and lower class.
On the part of the Mayans, the caudillos or caciques Manuel Antonio Ay, who was arrested and executed just a few days before the start of the war, stand out, this execution serving as a trigger for the uprising, also the cacique Cecilio Chi and the cacique Jacinto Pat . What was Caste War?
Causes of the Caste War
The causes of the war are concentrated in the serious condition of the Mayan Indians , who since the conquest of their people by the Spanish have never been vindicated, not even when Mexico obtained its independence; they continued to be the bottom echelon of social classes .
The landowners and landowners were owners not only of their lives, but of their descendants, since the growing and unpayable debt due to the system of payment and supply of essential items, was inherited by their children and grandchildren, they could even be sold with all their families for their masters to pay off those debts. So it was only a matter of time before this people claimed their human rights and fought to the death for them .
Caste War Summary
The caste war begins with an opportunity presented in the mid-1840s when the central government of Mexico in the power of Santa Anna, brings troops to subdue the Yucatecans , who seek to become independent as a republic from Yucatan. The local government had used the Mayans to defend themselves, providing them with weapons , and the battles fought gave them the experience , the third ingredient was the majority of the population in Yucatán.
The war began in July 1847, the chiefs Cecilio Chi and Jacinto Pat managed to gather a quite important force, armed and ready for war . The government of Yucatán acted with fury sacrificing a large number of Mayan caciques indiscriminately, this in turn generated an equally cruel response, the rebellious indigenous began to take population after population of the south and east of the peninsula and exterminate them all the whites and set everything on fire . What was Caste War?
In a short time the Mayan rebels had Yucatán almost under their control, some vindictive treaties were signed, the war continued and finally Governor Miguel Barbachano sought and got the support of the federal government of Mexico in exchange for re-integrating Yucatán into the federation. Mexican. The war formally ended in 1901 when Mexican federal troops took the town of Chan Santa Cruz and the city of Bacalar , the last stronghold of the rebels.
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Every war has consequences, and always within the consequences are those suffered by the innocent or those who were not directly involved in the war, the Mayan insurgents killed every target of the populations they took , and the government of Yucatan did the first thing. It was to capture and kill a large number of Mayan caciques and caudillos, in town after town.
Another consequence arises because the insurgents came to corner the interim government of Yucatán, at that time in the hands of Santiago Méndez, and then it passed into the hands of Miguel Barbachano, who had no option but to ask the government of Mexico for help, who gave weapons, military and money . Finally, Yucatán is once again a state of Mexico .
The last consequence was that obviously the Mayan population would obtain demands and rights , although not immediately, but finally justice would be done to this long-suffering indigenous people, who had to fight a hard war of uprising for more than 50 years.
In 1848 an attempt was made to negotiate between the parties, but to no avail; In 1850 there was another failed negotiation, then there came a period where progressively each Mayan leader died or was assassinated within his own town, such was the case of Jacinto Pat, Cecilio Chi and other of their leaders such as Venancio Pec and Román Pec. What was Caste War?
Finally, on January 22, 1901, the forces of the federal government of Mexico took the last stronghold in the hands of the Mayans, namely the city of Bacalar in Yucatan, in this case according to records, there was no battle, the indigenous people entered areas surrounding areas leaving this bastion. They are granted pardon and thus the Mexican government obtains the victory . Now, the Mayans are not seen as inferior beings, but with equality, with the right to live wherever they want, according to their customs, according to their own achievements and with the respect of all other citizens.