Mexico was annexed to the Spanish Crown by conquest in 1521, and for three centuries continued to be governed by Spain. In 1810 the rule of the Spanish Viceroys had become so tyrannical that it caused an outbreak headed by the patriot priest Hidalgo, who on September 15, 1810, declared the Independence of Mexico. In 1821 General Augustin Iturbide declared himself Emperor of Mexico, but in 1824 he had to flee, and the Republic was established. Several Presidents ruled the destinies of the country with more or less severity until 1864, when the throne of Mexico was offered to Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria. He was shot in 1867, and Benito Juarez, who had been President in the northern part of the country, took the reins of government. He was followed by Lerdo de Tigada, who in 1876 fled, and General Porfirio Diaz made his entry into Mexico City. He ruled the country with the exception of four years (1880–4, General Manuel Gonzalez) until May 25,1911, when he presented his resignation to Congress. On November 6, 1911, Señor Francisco I. Madero assumed office as President and ruled until February, 1913, when a coup d’état took place, resulting in the President’s murder (February 23, 1913) and his replacement by General Victoriano Huerta.
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