In the the Spanish Empire generally, the royal state and the state church were tightly coupled. One hierarchy supposedly answered to the Viceroy and then the King; the other to the Archbishop and the Pope. Certain racial and educational qualifications were expected of high officials in both. This question is about individual mobility between the two power centers.

At the very end of the imperial period, some creole priests did get into politics: Hidalgo and many others pursued military careers, and Fernández San Vicente was Iturbide's commissioner to the Californias. Creoles were definitely ascendant. I hope to learn whether these specific priests were innovators or part of a persistent trend of political involvement.

Did other New Spanish priests have political careers before Mexico's war of independence (pictured)?

Hidalgo rallying independence forces

  • I'm not privy enough to write an answer, but I'd light to highlight Mike Duncan's Revolutions Podcast, which would point to a yes - church figures totally played a political role, in Spain and in Spain's colonies. He discusses some of the interactions in the podcasts that introduce events in Spain during the French Revolution, the Spanish Empire taken as a whole when discussing Latin American independence wars, and Mexico's and Hidalgo's case in particular in his series on the Mexican Revolution. If memory serves, try: revolutionspodcast.com/2018/08/902-the-cry-of-dolores.html Jul 30 '19 at 14:19

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