The Second Spanish Attempt to Conquer Mexico

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

It is not very well known that the Spanish Empire tried in fact to retake Mexico after Mexico succeeded in gaining independence in 1821. Even though Mexico had gained independence from Spain in 1821, Spain did not officially recognize Mexico’s independence. Spain, for that matter, did not recognize the independence of any of the Latin American countries in South as well as Central America. The Spanish Empire refused to accept that its empire was gone. In the case of South America, the Spanish Empire could do nothing about regaining its empire. Spain did not have the troops, the ships, or the money to retake any of the newly independent South American countries. However, this did not stop the Spanish Empire from trying to retake Mexico.

Why did Spain want to reconquer Mexico? Mexico was one of the richest parts of its former empire. Mexico’s gold and silver mines had made Spain the richest country in Europe for 200 years. Plus, Mexico was strategically placed in North America, and was opposite of Cuba which remained a Spanish possession. From Cuba, it was possible for Spain to retake Mexico.. Mexico was one possession that Spain was not going to give up. So the Spanish Crown gave the go ahead for Spanish General Isidro Barradas to retake Mexico. The Spanish invasion fleet consisted of 3,586 soldiers on the Spanish flagship the Sovereign along with two frigates, two gunboats, and 15 transport ships. They landed in Cabo Rojo, near Tampico (in Tamaulipas state) on July 26, 1829. Mexican President Vicente Guerrero, alarmed at the Spanish attempt to reconquer Mexico, sent Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna to meet the invading Spanish force. On September 10-11, 1829, the Mexican forces engaged the Spanish forces at Tampico. The Spanish, with a much smaller force, was beaten, and had lost 908 men. Spanish General Barradas was forced to sign the capitulation of Pueblo Viejo, which formally recognized Mexico’s independence. It would not be until 1836 that Spain officially recognized Mexico’s independence, although the Battle of Tampico was its last attempt at reconquering Mexico. This was one of three invasions of Mexico in the 19th Century. The other two were the American invasion during the U.S.-Mexico War (1846-1848), and the French invasion from 1861-1867. Despite these invasions, Mexico was able to maintain its independence.

Comments are closed.