Acapulco 17th – 19th Centuries

2018 January 2018 Path to Citizenship

By Manzanillo Sun Writer from the January 2018 Edition

The galleon trade made its yearly run from the mid 16th century until the early 19th. The luxury items it brought to New Spain attracted the attention of English and Dutch pirates, such as Francis Drake, Henry Morgan and Thomas Cavendish, who called it “The Black Ship.” A Dutch fleet invaded Acapulco in 1615, destroying much of the town before being driven off. The Fort of San Diego was built the following year to protect the port and the cargo of arriving ships. The fort was destroyed by an earthquake in 1776 and was rebuilt between 1778 and 1783.

At the beginning of the 19th century, King Charles IV declared Acapulco a Ciudad Official and it became an essential part of the Spanish Crown. However, not long after, the Mexican War of Independence began. In 1810, José María Morelos y Pavón attacked and burnt down the city after he defeated royalist commander Francisco Parés at the Battle of Tres Palos. The in-dependence of Mexico in 1821 ended the run of the Manila Galleon.

Acapulco’s importance as a port recovered during the California Gold Rush in the mid-19th-century, with ships going to and coming from Panama stopping here. This city was besieged on 19 April 1854 by Antonio López de Santa Anna after Guerrero’s leadership had rebelled by issuing the Plan de Ayutla. After an unsuccessful week of fighting, Santa Anna retreated.

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