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CUA displays 200-year-old document to celebrate Mexican Bicentennial

J-P Mauro - published on 08/25/21

The Catholic University of America’s archives boast an original copy of the Plan of Iguala.

The Catholic University of America is honoring the bicentennial of Mexican Independence in 2021. In celebration of the historic year, the university has displayed an original copy of the Plan de Iguala, a rare document dated to 1822. Also known as the Plan of Three Guarantees, this missive declared Mexico’s independence from Spain. 

The Plan de Iguala

To especially mark the occasion, CUA produced an informational video, featured above. University professor Julia Young brings the history to life with a brief but comprehensive explanation of the document. Young explains that the document ensured three factors that were instrumental to ending the Mexican Revolution: 

“The Plan de Iguala is very important because it expresses three guarantees. These are the guarantee of religion, that the Catholic Church would remain the sole official religion of Mexico. There would be no separation of Church and State. Union, which meant there would be equal rights for people born in Mexico, as well as Mexicans born in Spain. And Independence, meaning absolute independence from Spain.”

CUA’s acquisition

Maria Mazzinga, curator of CUA’s University Libraries Special Collections, explains how the Plan de Iguala came to CUA. As it turns out, the grandson of Agustin de Iturbide, a pivotal figure of the Mexican Revolution who helped draft the Plan de Iguala and Treaty of Córdoba, lived in Washington, D.C. 

Iturbide’s grandson, Augustine Iturbide Green, married a D.C. native, Louise Carne. After his death in 1925, Louise struck up a friendship with Monsignor James Magnor, which lasted until her death in the 1950s. This friendship led Louise to bequeath the collection of Mexican documents to CUA. The Plan de Iguala was archived in 1957, and this is the first time it has been made viewable.

According to CUA, the Plan de Iguala had far reaching implications from Mexico. Written in the 19th century, it was still a driving factor of Mexican policy as recently as the 20th-century Cristeros War. Professor Julia Young commented at a celebratory event: 

“By 1927 the Cristero rebellion was raging throughout the heartland of Mexico and Cristero fighters were well aware there was another political path to take: one in which Church and state weren’t separated, but integrated. They believed the Plan de Iguala was the true guiding document for Mexico,” Young said. 

CUA has put up a temporary display of the Plan de Iguala to honor the Bicentennial of Mexican Independence. The university is currently exploring plans to make the display permanent.

Read more about the celebration at CUA.

Catholic historyHistoryMexicoSpain

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