1832, Mexico (1st Republic). Silver 2 Reales Coin. (VF+) Guanajuato!
Mint Year: 1832 Denomination: 2 Reales Mint Mark: Go (Guanajuato). Reference: 1832-GoMj, KM-374.8. Condition: Minor deposits, otherwise VF+ Material: Silver (.903) Diameter: 28mm Weight: 6.18gm
Obverse: Phrygian cap with "libertad" inscription, with 32 light rays. Legend: * 2R . Go . 1832 . M . J . 10 Ds . 20 Gs .
Reverse: Eagle with a snake in its beak, standing on a cactus plant, sea waves below. Legend: REPUBLICA MEXICANA (terminated by olive and oak branches)
Guanajuato is actually a relatively small city with less than 100,000 inhabitants. Its importance lay in the large silver mines located nearby. These mines resulted in great quantities of provincial coins being minted. Guanajuato also played a major role in Mexico's independence movement. Father Miguel Hidalgo began the 1821 insurrection there.
The successful revolt of the Spanish colonies in America, did not stopped the Spanish dollar to dominate the Eastern trade, and the peso of 8 reales continued to be minted in the New World. The coin was sometimes called a Republican dollar, but eventually any peso of the old Spanish 8-real standard was generally referred to as a Mexican dollar, Mexico being the most prolific producer. Mexico restored the standard of 1772, producing a coin of 27.073 g, 0.9028 fine, containing 24.441 g fine silver (the mark weight of the Mexico City mint was very slightly heavier than the standard mark of Spain).
The United Mexican States was established on 4 October 1824, after the overthrow of the Mexican Empire of Agustin de Iturbide. In the new constitution, the republic took the name of United Mexican States, and was defined as a representative federal republic, with Catholicism as the official and unique religion.
However, most of the population largely ignored it. When Guadalupe Victoria was followed in office by Vicente Guerrero, who won the electoral but lost the popular vote, the Conservative Party saw an opportunity to seize control and led a coup under Anastasio Bustamante, who served as president from 1830 to 1832, and again from 1837 to 1841.
This coup set the pattern for Mexican politics during the 19th Century. Many governments rose and fell during a period of instability caused by factors including 1) the control of the economic system by the large landowners, 2) the struggle over the status of Mexico's northern territories, which issued in a devastating defeat at the end of the Mexican American War; and 3) the gulf in wealth and power between the Spanish-descended elite and the mixed-race majority.
The main political parties during this era were the Conservatives (favoring the Catholic Church, the landowners, and a monarchy) and the Liberals (favoring secular government, the landless majority, and a republic).
Also, while the form of Mexican government fluctuated considerably during these years, three men dominate 19th Century Mexican history: 1) Antonio López de Santa Anna (from independence until 1855); 2) Benito Juárez (during the 1850s and 1860s); and 3) Porfirio Diaz (during the final quarter of the century).
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