If you were a criollo, born in Mexico of Spanish parents, your rights were restricted. If you were a mestizo, with both European and California Indian parents, your rights were even more limited. California Indians had almost no rights at all.
It’s easy to see why many residents of Mexico longed for freedom. In 1810, Father Hidalgo made the famous “El Grito de Dolores” (The Cry of Dolores) speech. He delivered it in a place called Dolores (now Guanajuato). It is called the start of the independence movement. When the criollos, mestizos, and California Indians united, a chain of events was set in motion. These events took a while to reach Alta California. Eventually, they changed Spain, Mexico, and the United States forever.