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Mexico, brutally toppling the local rulers, claiming the land for Spain, enslaving many Indians, and looting what they could of Mexico’s treasures. For over 300 years, Mexico, then called New Spain, was a part of Spain’s empire. On September 16, 1810, the priest Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla started a revolt against Spanish rule. He and his untrained Indian followers fought against the Spanish, but his revolt was unsuccessful and Father Hidalgo was executed. After this setback, Father Jose Maria Morelos led the revolutionaries, but he also failed and was executed. These two men are still symbols of Mexican liberty and patriotism. After the Mexican-born Spanish and the Catholic Church joined the revolution, Spain was finally defeated in 1821.