Yucatán did not always belong to Mexico and its decision cost blood.
Learn about the history of when the Yucatan Peninsula separated from Mexico.
During La Colonia, Yucatán covered almost the entire peninsula, that is, it was not divided between Campeche, Quintana Roo, and, of course, in what is now Yucatán. All these states made up one. Furthermore, while they were under the yoke of the Spanish, the Yucatecans had kept their distance from the other Mexicans and not because of any particular conflict, but simply because they had not established strong relationships. When Mexico declared independence, an invitation was extended to Yucatán to become part of its Republic in 1821.
The Yucatecans wanted to maintain their independence even if they annexed the Republic, and this was the case for a time, until twelve years later when they declared themselves a centralist, which until then had been a federalist. This declaration caused annoyance throughout the country since the autonomy of the States was lost. The consequences were atrocious: there was a rebellion in Zacatecas, Texas became independent and, of course, Yucatán began a separatist process, which culminated in its independence act
In 1840 the inhabitants of the Yucatan Peninsula declared themselves an independent country from Mexico, as a protest to the establishment of a centralist country that prevented all the states of the country from choosing their rulers and having access to different freedoms, without knowing that this declaration it would cost blood and other problems.
One of those who started this revolt was Captain Santiago Iman, commander of the federalist army of Yucatán, who first took the City of Valladolid, where he established a letter in which he said that federalism (the opposite of the centralism by which it was ruled the country at that time) in Mexico had to be reestablished to combat poverty in the territory.
The first of these consequences was the anger of General Antonio López de Santa Anna who declared war on the separatists by sending warships to the coasts of the peninsula and forbidding any vessel with the Yucatecan flag to dock on national coasts, which generated a fall of the local economy.
Another of the actions that the Mexican government established against the rebels who wanted to become independent from the nation was the sending of troops to gradually take over different regions in what we now know as Campeche, Tabasco, and Quintana Roo, however when more than 4 thousand soldiers arrived in Mérida, they encountered an army of 11 thousand heavily armed Mayans that forced the Mexicans to retreat.
However, the economic pressure continued on the Yucatecans, generating extreme poverty and famine, the separatists succumbed to this and in 1843 signed agreements with Santa Anna accepting the return of belonging to Mexico with the condition that Yucatán had full autonomy in the taking of various decisions for the “happiness of its inhabitants”.
But the freedoms of Yucatán, obtained by an exceptional situation, made a dent in the rest of the states, so in 1845 their exceptional freedoms were suppressed, generating new rancor with the country.
The union lasted very little, since on January 1, 1846 the Yucatecans declared themselves independent again.
With all the separatist conflicts something began to take shape in the country in an imperceptible way: a new rebellion of the Mayans now against the whites and Creoles, we refer to the bloody War of the Castes.
Everything seemed to indicate that Yucatán would remain independent, but suddenly, in 1847 when Santa Anna was still president of Mexico, an internal war broke out, driven by the Mayan population against the whites. This rebellion is known as the Caste War. The situation was critical: it is believed that the Mayans managed to advance to such a point that they almost caused the white people of the region to disappear. In a fit of desperation, the state asked for help from all sides: Cuba, Jamaica, Spain, England and the United States, but no country got involved.
The third was the charm: definitive annexation
At the end, when the Yucatecans could not find any solution, they found consolation in the Mexican Republic, which offered to provide economic and military support. Only in this way were they able to stop the indigenous rebellion and regain control over the towns they had lost. In addition, of the money that Mexico received from the United States as compensation for the loss of Texas, a portion was given to Yucatán so that it could rebuild –150,000 pesos– while Yucatán, in addition to being divided into the states of Quintana Roo, Campeche and Yucatán As a thank you, he decided to join the Mexican Republic permanently on August 17, 1848.
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