CHAPTER SIX
Descent into Politics

The populist, federalist forces, seeing their goal of tile attainment of full state sovereignty moderated by the frequent use of military force by the centralist elements, now had the measure of their opponents. Federalists now concentrated on defending their hard-won federalism and bringing their statehood to life. Political affairs, at both the national and the state levels, divided soon after publication of the 1824 constitution along the lines of the two major orders of Freemasonry -- the so-called Scottish Rite (Escocés) and York Rite (Yorkino). The Scottish Rite, led by Nicolás Bravo, controlled the government in 1823 and 1824 and remained the dominant voice (though with increasing competition) in 1825 and 1826; it represented the creole elites, the members of the former colonial ruling class who had remained in Mexico, and the Mexico City centralists. In response to the dominance of the Scottish Rite, the York Rite was founded in Mexico in 1825 and quickly came to have lodges in all states and major cities of the country by 1826. The York Rite represented the provinces, the radical populist interests, the people of mixed color and background, and the demand for more widespread participation in decision making. The divisions also represented the split between moderates and radicals within Mexican liberalism in that the vast majority of adherents to the Scottish Rite were also liberals, of the moderate persuasion. From 1826 to 1830 the Yorkinos controlled most of the state governments and by 1827 were dominant in the federal government, and they extracted from their opponents a high price. By 1830 the pendulum would swing sharply against the Yorkinos again, and they would be forced to pay even more.

The Scottish Rite and York Rite were not so much "parties" as they were groupings based on class, economic interest, and differing attitudes toward federalism. Because they tended to focus around personalities,

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