Date of publication: 2017-09-02 08:04
Through the church, the government of New Spain had an avenue of effective communication. Using this monopoly on communications, they started a propaganda campaign against Hidalgo. This campaign included items such as having the bishops pronounce that all priests working for or with Hidalgo were excommunicated, and that any mass they gave was a false unconsecrated mass. This propaganda also capitalized upon the atrocities committed by Hidalgo's followers on Indians, as well as on whites and mixed bloods. Since the priests were believed, this caused the Indian population around Mexico City to fear Hidalgo.
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Morelos was a much more effective leader than Hidalgo, and had greater success and impact. Yet neither actually brought about independence for Mexico. Instead, they caused much shedding of blood, the loss and destruction of countless amounts of property, and most importantly, the distrust towards Indians by whites and Mestizos. This dark legacy of distrust would influence Mexican politics throughout its history.
The priesthood had almost total control of the spread of information in the provinces. At this time, few people could read or write. Printed material was the jurisdiction of the priesthood. The local priest was usually the individual who read public announcements and governmental decrees to the population after the sermon. Therefore, the local priests could control how and when their congregations heard the news. The local priest could and did use his sermon itself to slant public opinion. The local priest was a powerful force in the community, anyway, due to caste assignment at baptismal. They were believed. Since many of these local priests had lost everything they owned, many were soon preaching the ills of the money grabbing Spaniards.
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