Chapter 2: Spanish San Diego
9. Did the San Diegans participate in the revolt against Spain in 1810?
In 1810 a grassfire rebellion against the Spanish authority in the Americas ignited, spreading as far south as Chile and Argentina and as far north as San Diego, Alta California. In 1811 the presidial commandante in San Diego discovered a "seditious" paper being circulated among some of the troops. This was probably propaganda from the rebellion in Mexico. He discovered that sixty men had formed a conspiracy to overthrow Spanish authority and so he promptly arrested five of the ringleaders, including the father of Pío Pico, a later Mexican governor of California. Two of them were eventually released but three others died in irons within the presidio jail. The last prisoner was released ten years after this event. No other activity in support of the rebellion was reported in Alta California.
On April 20, 1822 news of the proclamation of Mexico's independence from Spain arrived. The officers, soldiers, civilians took oaths of allegiance to the newly independent government and the friars and neophytes were required to make a similar oath. There were no reported protests to this change of allegiance. Within a few months the male population of the presidio began involving themselves in the politics of the new government. While Mexico's independence seemed to make no apparent difference in the daily lives of the people of the region, profound social and economic transformations were soon to radically alter the Californio way of life.
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