How did Napoleon’s invasion of Spain and Portugal influence independence movements in Latin America?

Napoleon's invasion of Spain and Portugal led to a new French monarch being placed on the Spanish throne. Many criollos in Latin America saw this new regime as illegitimate and therefore began revolutionary movements for independence.

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Napoleon's invasion of Spain and Portugal in 1808 influenced the revolutionary movements of Latin America in a couple of ways. First of all, when Napoleon appointed his brother Joseph as the new Spanish monarch, the viceroy of New Spain, José de Iturrigaray, who had been appointed by the previous Spanish king, continued to claim power in the colony. At this time, the criollo (American-born Spaniard) population in Mexico began advocating for home rule, since they saw the new French government in Spain as illegitimate. This worried the peninsulares, Spanish-born elites of Mexico. Although he tried to appease both sides, Iturrigaray was deposed in a pro-Spanish coup on September 15, 1808. This political instability set the stage for the popular uprising that would become the Mexican War for Independence.

Elsewhere in Latin America, similar criollo-led revolutionary movements developed. In most places, the criollo population would have been content to have remained under Spanish rule. However, having a French monarch who came to the throne by force was something that many could not abide. Many viceroys and peninsulares remained loyal to Spain, even under its new regime. However, the criollos often felt less loyalty to Spain at this point. As a result, in 1810, revolutionary movements broke out all across Latin America.

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