1821- Mexico gains independence from Spain after 11 years of revolts. Declares itself a constitutional monarchy under rule of Colonel Agustin de Iturbide promises equality for everyone- short-lived, Spanish rule had left deep social divisions. Iturbide rules as emperor of Mexico for a year, overthrown by military junta, later executed as a traitor. Mexico's Constitution of 1824 models the US Constitution, creates federal republic but Catholic Church still has powerful political rule, granted president immense power in time of emergency. Weak presidents invoke emergency, rely on army to save chaotic economy and reconcile differences between rich and poor.v. General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna saves Mexico from Spanish invasion, elected President in 1833, dominates Mexican politics. Assumes dictatorial, centralized power. Unresolved issue of elite versus popular rule continued to undermine hope for unity, popular rights, and stable government in independent Mexico.