Editor’s note: In this very brief document, drafted by Juan José Espinosa de los Monteros, secretary of the Provisional Governmental Board, the Mexican Empire declared its independence from the Spanish Empire. Where the declaration of Mexico bears no resemblance to our July 4, 1776 document, our successful struggle for liberty certainly resonated there. Though only three paragraphs in length, it nonetheless managed to produce at times lofty language: “The Mexican nation, which for three hundred years has neither had its own will nor free use of its voice, today leaves the oppression in which it has lived.”  And certainly its declaration of the right to self-governance is reminiscent of our own Declaration: “Restored to all its recognized and sacred rights, the Mexican nation is free to constitute itself through its representatives, in any way convenient to its happiness.”

Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire

Declaration of the independence of the Mexican Empire, issued by its Sovereign Junta, assembled in the Capital on September 28, 1821.

The Mexican Nation, which for three hundred years had neither had its own will, nor free use of its voice, leaves today the oppression in which it has lived.

The heroic efforts of its sons have been crowned today, and consummated is an eternal and memorable enterprise, which a spirit superior to all admiration and praise, out of love and for the glory of its Country started in Iguala, continued, and brought to fruition, overcoming almost insurmountable obstacles.

Restored then this part of the North to the exercise of all the rights given by the Author of Nature and recognized as unalienable and sacred by the civilized nations of the Earth, in liberty to constitute itself in the manner which best suits its happiness and through representatives who can manifest its will and plans, it begins to make use of such precious gifts and solemnly declares by means of the Supreme Junta of the Empire that it is a Sovereign nation and independent of old Spain with which henceforth it will maintain no other union besides a close friendship in the terms prescribed by the treaties; that it will establish friendly relationships with other powers, executing regarding them whatever declarations the other sovereign nations can execute; that it will constitute itself in accordance to the bases which in the Plan of Iguala and the Treaty of Cordoba the First Chief of the Imperial Army of the Three Guarantees wisely established and which it will uphold at all costs and with all sacrifice of the means and lives of its members (if necessary); this solemn declaration, is made in the capital of the Empire on the twenty-eighth of September of the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-one, first of Mexican Independence.

Original Spanish text:

Acta de independencia del Imperio Mexicano, pronunciada por la Junta Soberana congregada en la Capital él en 28 de septiembre de 1821.

La Nación Mexicana que, por trescientos años, ni ha tenido voluntad propia, ni libre uso de la voz, sale hoy de la opresión en que ha vivido.

Los heroicos esfuerzos de sus hijos han sido coronados, y está consumada la empresa, eternamente memorable, que un genio, superior á toda admiración y elogio, por el amor y gloria de su Patria, principió en Iguala, prosiguió y llevó al cabo, arrollando obstáculos casi insuperables.

Restituida, pues, esta parte del Septentrión al exercicio de cuantos derechos le concedió el Autor de la Naturaleza y reconocen por inalienables y sagrados las naciones cultas de la tierra; en libertad de constituirse del modo que más convenga á su felicidad; y con representantes que puedan manifestar su voluntad y sus designios; comienza a hacer uso de tan preciosos dones, y declara solemnemente, por medio de la Junta Suprema del Imperio, que es Nación Soberana, é independiente de la antigua España, con quien, en lo sucesivo, no mantendrá otra unión que la de una amistad estrecha, en los términos que prescribieren los tratados; que entablará relaciones amistosas con las demás potencias y cuantos actos pueden y están en posesión de permitir las otras naciones soberanas: que va á constituirse, con arreglo a las bases que en el Plan de Iguala y Tratado de Córdoba, estableció, sabiamente, el Primer Jefe del Ejercito Imperial de las Tres Garantías; y en fin que sostendrá, á todo trance, y con sacrificio de los haberes y vidas de sus individuos, (si fuere necesario) esta solemne declaración, hecha en la capital del Imperio á veinte y ocho de septiembre del año de mil ochocientos veinte y uno, primero de la Independencia Mexicana.

Sources:

1821 in Mexico: Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire, Plan of Iguala, Treaty of Cordoba, Brothers Arnaud, LLC Books, 2010

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_Independence_of_the_Mexican_Empire

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acta_de_Independencia_del_Imperio_Mexicano

Image source:

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acta_de_Independencia_del_Imperio_Mexicano#/media/File:Acta_Independencia_Mexico_1821.jpg

Further reading:

“We Are Now the True Spaniards”: Sovereignty, Revolution, Independence, and the Emergence of the Federal Republic of Mexico, 1808-1824, Jaime E. Rodriguez O., Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012