Juan Ruiz de Apodaca, 1st Count of Venadito
Juan José Ruiz de Apodaca y Eliza Gastón de Iriarte López de Letona y Lasqueti, 1st Count of Venadito (February 3, 1754, Cadiz
Cadiz is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the homonymous province, one of eight which make up the autonomous community of Andalusia....

, Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

—January 11, 1835, Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, Spain) was a Spanish
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

Basque people
The Basques as an ethnic group, primarily inhabit an area traditionally known as the Basque Country , a region that is located around the western end of the Pyrenees on the coast of the Bay of Biscay and straddles parts of north-central Spain and south-western France.The Basques are known in the...

 naval officer and viceroy of New Spain
New Spain
New Spain, formally called the Viceroyalty of New Spain , was a viceroyalty of the Spanish colonial empire, comprising primarily territories in what was known then as 'América Septentrional' or North America. Its capital was Mexico City, formerly Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire...

 from September 20, 1816 to July 5, 1821, during Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

's War of Independence
Mexican War of Independence
The Mexican War of Independence was an armed conflict between the people of Mexico and the Spanish colonial authorities which started on 16 September 1810. The movement, which became known as the Mexican War of Independence, was led by Mexican-born Spaniards, Mestizos and Amerindians who sought...


Military career

Ruiz de Apodaca was born in Cádiz into a family of renowned Basque merchants. He entered the navy in 1767 and took part in the campaign against Algerian pirates. In 1770 he was promoted to the rank of ensign. He was in Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 from 1770 to 1778 and England in 1779.

From 1781 to 1790 he was a captain, in charge of ships of the line
Ship of the line
A ship of the line was a type of naval warship constructed from the 17th through the mid-19th century to take part in the naval tactic known as the line of battle, in which two columns of opposing warships would manoeuvre to bring the greatest weight of broadside guns to bear...

, and afterward he was in charge of the reconstruction of the harbor at Tarragona
Tarragona is a city located in the south of Catalonia on the north-east of Spain, by the Mediterranean. It is the capital of the Spanish province of the same name and the capital of the Catalan comarca Tarragonès. In the medieval and modern times it was the capital of the Vegueria of Tarragona...

. In October 1802 he was named commandant of the arsenal at Cadiz. Now in command of a squadron, he made major improvements at Cadiz. When the French invaded Spain, he took command of the remnants of the Spanish navy, which had been largely destroyed in the Battle of Trafalgar
Battle of Trafalgar
The Battle of Trafalgar was a sea battle fought between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy, during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars ....

, and captured the French squadron opposite his own. He was subsequently ambassador plenipotentiary in Britain and Captain General of Florida
Spanish Florida
Spanish Florida refers to the Spanish territory of Florida, which formed part of the Captaincy General of Cuba, the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and the Spanish Empire. Originally extending over what is now the southeastern United States, but with no defined boundaries, la Florida was a component of...

 and Cuba
Captaincy General of Cuba
The Captaincy General of Cuba was an administrative district of the Spanish Empire created in 1607 as part of Habsburg Spain's attempt better to defend the Caribbean against foreign powers, which also involved creating captaincies general in Puerto Rico, Guatemala and Yucatán. The restructuring of...

 (1812–15). His reputation was that of a man of tact and good judgment. For his services he was awarded the military crosses of San Fernando and San Hermenegildo
Royal and Military Order of San Hermenegildo
The Royal and Military Order of Saint Hermenegild is both a general military honor and a legion created by Fernando VII of Spain dating from 1814....


As viceroy of New Spain

During a moment of great turbulence in the Mexican war of independence, he was named viceroy of New Spain at the beginning of 1816 but he did not take over the office from Félix María Calleja
Félix María Calleja del Rey, 1st Count of Calderón
Félix María Calleja del Rey, 1st Count of Calderón was a Spanish military officer and viceroy of New Spain from March 4, 1813, to September 20, 1816, during Mexico's War of Independence.-Before the insurrection of 1810:Captain Calleja del Rey accompanied the Count of Revillagigedo to New Spain in...

 until September 20. As a new viceroy Apodaca offered amnesty to the rebels. Thousands of insurgents accepted, with only Vicente Guerrero
Vicente Guerrero
Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña was one of the leading revolutionary generals of the Mexican War of Independence, who fought against Spain for independence in the early 19th century, and served briefly as President of Mexico...

 in the south and Guadalupe Victoria
Guadalupe Victoria
Guadalupe Victoria born José Miguel Ramón Adaucto Fernández y Félix, was a Mexican politician and military man who fought for independence against the Spanish Empire in the Mexican War of Independence. He was a deputy for Durango and a member of the Supreme Executive Power...

 and Nicolás Bravo
Nicolás Bravo
Nicolás Bravo was a Mexican politician and soldier. He distinguished himself in both offices during the 1846–1848 U.S. invasion of Mexico....

 in Veracruz
Veracruz, formally Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave , is one of the 31 states that, along with the Federal District, comprise the 32 federative entities of Mexico. It is divided in 212 municipalities and its capital city is...

 remaining in active rebellion. The viceroy also reversed the harsh policies of Calleja and ordered that in no circumstances were rebel prisoners to be summarily shot.

He banned the flying of kites (as a safety measure, because they were generally flown from rooftops). He closely reviewed the public accounts, finding that Calleja had kept them accurately and carefully. He paid off the public debt, stopped relying on loans to fund the government, and relied instead only on the customs duties, taxes and other fees due the government. He revived the commercial and mining sectors of the economy, insofar as that was possible in a time of war.

On April 17, 1817, Spanish liberal Francisco Javier Mina
Francisco Javier Mina
Francisco Javier Mina was a Spanish lawyer and army officer and a Mexican revolutionary.-Biography:...

 and 308 volunteers arrived at Soto la Marina
Soto la Marina, Tamaulipas
Soto la Marina is a town in Soto la Marina Municipality located in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. It was directly hit by Hurricane Alex in 2010.-External links:* Official website...

, Nuevo Santander
Nuevo Santander
Nuevo Santander was a region of the Virreinato de Nueva España, corresponding generally to the modern Mexican state of Tamaulipas and southern Texas. Nuevo Santander was named after Santander, Spain, and settled by Spanish American colonists in a concerted settlement campaign peaking in 1748-1750...

, from London and New Orleans. Mina issued a manifesto saying he was not fighting against Spain, but rather against the tyranny of King Ferdinand VII and to restore the constitutional regime. On May 24 his troops began a march into the interior to join with rebels under Pedro Moreno
Pedro Moreno
Pedro Moreno . He was an insurgent in the Mexican War of Independence....

 at Fuerte del Sombrero, northeast of Guanajuato
Guanajuato, Guanajuato
Guanajuato is a city and municipality in central Mexico and the capital of the state of the same name. It is located in a narrow valley, which makes the streets of the city narrow and winding. Most are alleys that cars cannot pass through, and some are long sets of stairs up the mountainsides....

. Apodaca sent a strong column against Mina and his allies, under the command of Field Marshal Pascual Liñán. After active fighting, Liñán killed Moreno and took Mina prisoner at the Rancho del Venadito, near Silao
Silao is a city in the west-central part of the state of Guanajuato in Mexico. It is the seat of the municipio with the same name. As of the 2005 census, the city had a population of 147,123, making it the seventh-largest community in the state...

 on October 27. Mina was executed by firing squad on November 11. As the result of this action, the viceroy received the title of Conde de Venadito, which provoked much ridicule. Once again it looked as though the insurrection might be over.

The United States and Britain, which after the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 were no longer war-time allies of Spain, and France were all interested in the commercial advantages they would gain by supporting the rebels in the Spanish possessions. Spanish agenets received news was received that Britons Thomas Cochrane
Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald
Admiral Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, 1st Marquess of Maranhão, GCB, ODM , styled Lord Cochrane between 1778 and 1831, was a senior British naval flag officer and radical politician....

 and Wilson were preparing an expedition against New Spain, and that Mexican insurgents in New York had bought a gunboat, which they based in Matagorda Bay
Matagorda Bay
Matagorda Bay is a large estuary bay on the Texas coast, lying in Calhoun and Matagorda counties and located approximately northeast of Corpus Christi, southeast of San Antonio, southwest of Houston, and southeast of Austin. It is separated from the Gulf of Mexico by Matagorda Peninsula and...

 to attack coastal trading in the Gulf of Mexico. Therefore, Apodaca was given instructions to redouble the vigilance on the coasts. The insurgents managed to capture an armed trading ship from Veracruz and executed the captain. American William Robinson managed to occupy Altamira
Altamira, Tamaulipas
Altamira is a municipality and city in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. It is located immediately to the north of the municipalities of Tampico and Ciudad Madero, at the southern tip of the state of Tamaulipas, on the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, it borders the municipalities of González on the...

 and Tampico, hoping to give new impetus to the revolution, but Robinson was taken prisoner in Tampico and sent to Cádiz. He escaped to Gibraltar, with the assistance of the British. Later, Spain and the United States signed the Adams-Onís Treaty
Adams-Onís Treaty
The Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty or the Purchase of Florida, was a treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819 that gave Florida to the U.S. and set out a boundary between the U.S. and New Spain . It settled a standing border dispute between the two...

 on February 22, 1819. The treaty established boundaries between the United States and New Spain, which had been in dispute since the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

. The U.S. obtained Florida and renounced its claim to Texas. Spain renounced its claim to the Oregon Country
Oregon Country
The Oregon Country was a predominantly American term referring to a disputed ownership region of the Pacific Northwest of North America. The region was occupied by British and French Canadian fur traders from before 1810, and American settlers from the mid-1830s, with its coastal areas north from...


The previous viceroy, Calleja, had established a fort in the old tobacco warehouse in Mexico City, named La Ciudadela. Apodaca converted it into a storehouse for arms and munitions, but these were slowly being pilfered. He ordered Brigadier Francisco Novella
Francisco Novella Azabal Pérez y Sicardo
Francisco Novella Azabal Pérez y Sicardo was a Spanish general in New Spain and interim viceroy of the colony from July 5, 1821 to July 21, 1821, during the Mexican war of independence....

 to take charge of La Ciudadela and stop the thievery. Novella considered that task beneath his dignity, and was able to enlist the support of the Audiencia
Real Audiencia of Mexico
The Royal Audience of Mexico was the highest tribunal of the Spanish crown in the Kingdom of New Spain or the Kingdom of Mexico...

. The incident made Novella an enemy of Ruiz de Apodaca, and it was Novella who later deposed and replaced him in 1821.

The Plan de Iturbide

On January 1, 1820, Colonel Rafael de Riego rose in rebellion in Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

, Spain, demanding the restoration of the Constitution of 1812. Ferdinand VII was forced to reinstate the constitution on March 9, 1820 in Spain and all of the Spanish possessions. When the order arrived in New Spain, Apodaca delayed its publication pending the outcome of secret negotiations being carried out in the church of La Profesa
Temple of San Felipe Neri "La Profesa"
The Temple of San Felipe Neri, commonly known as "La Profesa" , is a Roman Catholic parish church that was established by the Society of Jesus late in the 16th century as the church of a community of professed Jesuits...

. On March 7, 1821, the negotiators agreed on a declaration of independence for New Spain, accompanied by an offer to Ferdinand VII to rule as an absolute monarch, without mention of a constitution.

For this plan to succeed, the support of the military was necessary. To that end, the viceroy chose General Agustín de Iturbide
Agustín de Iturbide
Agustín Cosme Damián de Iturbide y Aramburu , also known as Augustine I of Mexico, was a Mexican army general who built a successful political and military coalition that was able to march into Mexico City on 27 September 1821, decisively ending the Mexican War of Independence...

 to represent the cabal, at the same time freeing him from a court case involving accusations of misbehavior at El Bajío. The plan, ironically as it turned out, became known as the Plan de Iturbide. Iturbide had been given command of royalist troops in the south of the country on November 9, 1820. In the meantime Apodaca instituted the Constitution of 1812 on May 31, 1820.

The Plan de Iguala

In pursuit of his own ambitions, Iturbide corresponded with and then met with the insurgent general he was sent to fight, Vicente Guerrero on February 10, 1821. The two of them agreed to declare the independence of Mexico. This agreement was announced March 2, 1821, in the town of Iguala
The historic city of Iguala de la Independencia is located from state capital Chilpancingo in the Mexican state of Guerrero. It stands on Federal Highway 95. Iguala is the municipal seat of the municipality of the same name, located in the north-central part of the state. The city had a 2005...

 in the present state of Guerrero
Guerrero officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Guerrero is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 81 municipalities and its capital city is Chilpancingo....


This agreement became known as the Plan de Iguala. It invited Viceroy Ruiz de Apodaca to become leader of the independence movement. The viceroy rejected the offer, and declared Iturbide a traitor and an outlaw. He sent troops against him, but everywhere the troops rebelled and went over to Iturbide. Lieutenant Colonel Antonio López de Santa Anna
Antonio López de Santa Anna
Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón , often known as Santa Anna or López de Santa Anna, known as "the Napoleon of the West," was a Mexican political leader, general, and president who greatly influenced early Mexican and Spanish politics and government...

, for example, endorsed the Plan de Iguala in Japala on May 29, 1821.

The overthrow of Ruiz de Apodaca

The royalists, led by Brigadier Buceli, declared Apodaca inept and deposed him on July 5, 1821. Ruiz was sent to Spain to face charges, but he was absolved and returned to duty. He was captain general of the Spanish navy at the time of his death in 1835.

Apodaca is a city and its surrounding municipality that is part of Monterrey Metropolitan area. It lies in the northeastern part of the metropolitan area. As of the 2005 census, the city had a population of 393,195 and the municipality had a population of 418,784. The municipality has an area of...

 in Monterrey
Monterrey , is the capital city of the northeastern state of Nuevo León in the country of Mexico. The city is anchor to the third-largest metropolitan area in Mexico and is ranked as the ninth-largest city in the nation. Monterrey serves as a commercial center in the north of the country and is the...

, Nuevo León
Nuevo León
Nuevo León It is located in Northeastern Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Tamaulipas to the north and east, San Luis Potosí to the south, and Coahuila to the west. To the north, Nuevo León has a 15 kilometer stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border adjacent to the U.S...

, Mexico, is named for him.

General Francisco Novella was made interim viceroy until the arrival of Ruiz de Apodaca's replacement, Superior Political Chief Juan O'Donojú
Juan O'Donojú
Juan O'Donojú y O'Rian was a Spanish military officer and jefe político superior of New Spain from July 21, 1821 to September 28, 1821, during Mexico's war of independence...

, a short time later. The 300-year rule of Mexico by Spain was nearly at an end.

Further reading

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.