First Mexican Republic

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For the current entity named United Mexican States, see Mexico.
United Mexican States
Estados Unidos Mexicanos

1824–1835
Flag Coat of arms
Motto
Religión, Independencia, Unión
Religion, Independence, Union
The United Mexican States in 1824.
Capital Mexico City
Languages Spanish (official), Nahuatl, Yucatec Maya, Mixtecan languages, Zapotec languages
Religion Roman Catholic
Government Federal Republic
President
 -  1824–1829 Guadalupe Victoria (first)
 -  1835 Miguel Barragán (last)
Vice President
 -  1824–1827 Nicolás Bravo
 -  1829–1832 Anastasio Bustamante
 -  1833–1835 Valentín Gómez Farías
Legislature Congress
 -  Upper house Senate
 -  Lower house Chamber of Deputies
History
 -  Constitution adopted 4 October 1824
 -  Centralist Republic established 23 October 1835
Area
 -  1824 4,500,000 km² (1,737,460 sq mi)
Population
 -  1824 est.[1] 6,500,000 
     Density 1.4 /km²  (3.7 /sq mi)
 -  1834 est.[1] 7,734,292 
     Density 1.7 /km²  (4.5 /sq mi)
Currency Mexican real
Today part of  Mexico
 United States

The First Federal Republic of Mexico (Spanish: Primera República Federal de México) was established on 4 October 1824, after the overthrow of the Mexican Empire of Agustin de Iturbide. In the new constitution, the republic took the name of United Mexican States (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos), and was defined as a representative federal republic, with Catholicism as the official and unique religion.[2]

However, most of the population largely ignored it. When Guadalupe Victoria was followed in office by Vicente Guerrero, who won the electoral but lost the popular vote, the Conservative Party saw an opportunity to seize control and led a coup under Anastasio Bustamante, who served as president from 1830 to 1832, and again from 1837 to 1841.

This coup set the pattern for Mexican politics during the 19th Century. Many governments rose and fell during a period of instability caused by factors including 1) the control of the economic system by the large landowners, 2) the struggle over the status of Mexico's northern territories, which issued in a devastating defeat at the end of the Mexican–American War; and 3) the gulf in wealth and power between the Spanish-descended elite and the mixed-race majority.

The main political parties during this era were the Conservatives (favoring the Catholic Church, the landowners, and a monarchy) and the Liberals (favoring secular government, the landless majority, and a republic).

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

In December 1822, Generals Antonio López de Santa Anna and Guadalupe Victoria wrote and signed the Plan of Casa Mata. This was an agreement between these two generals, amongst other Mexican generals, governors, and high-ranking governmental officials, to abolish the monarchy and replace it with a republic. Several insurrections arose in the Mexican provinces beginning in December, but they were all put down by the Imperial Army, except for Santa Anna's forces in Veracruz.

This was because Santa Anna had previously made a secret agreement with the General Echávarri, the commander of the Imperial forces. By this agreement, the Plan of Casa Mata was to be proclaimed throughout Mexico on February 1, 1823 and Echávarri was to switch sides. This plan did not recognize the First Mexican Empire and called for the convening of a new Constituent Congress. The insurrectionists sent their proposal to the provincial delegations and requested their adherence to the plan. In the course of just six weeks, the Plan of Casa Mata travelled to such remote places as Texas, and almost all the provinces supported the plan.

Independence and Empire[edit]

On September 27, 1821, after three centuries of Spanish rule, and an 11-year war of independence, Mexico obtained its sovereignty. The Treaty of Córdoba recognized the New Spain as an independent empire, which took the name of Mexican Empire.

A minority of the Constituent Congress in search of stability chose as monarch the general Agustín de Iturbide who had led the war effort against Spain. He was proclaimed emperor of Mexico on May 18, 1822. Soon after, problems arose between the emperor and the Constituent Congress. Several members were jailed simply for expressing their disagreement with Iturbide and finally Iturbide decided to eliminate the elected Congress, establishing an appointed National Board in its place.

The dismissal of the Congress, the dictatorial style of government adopted by the Emperor, and the absence of solutions to the serious problems that the country was going through increased the conspiracies to change the imperial system. Antonio López de Santa Anna proclaimed the Plan of Casa Mata, which was later joined by Vicente Guerrero and Nicolás Bravo. Iturbide was then forced to reinstate the Congress and in a vain attempt to save the order and keep the situation favorable to his supporters, he abdicated on March 19, 1823.

However, the restored Congress declared the appointment of Iturbide void ab initio, and thus refused recognition of the abdication. On 8 April, the Congress declared the Plan of Iguala and the Treaty of Córdoba void as well. With that the Empire was dissolved and the country declared its freedom to establish itself as it saw fit.

New Constituent Congress[edit]

Early tension in the Union[edit]

Antonio López de Santa Anna, a former federalist turned centralist and eventual dictator, suspended the 1824 Constitution and replaced it with the Siete Leyes in 1835, a radical amendment that institutionalized the centralized form of government.

Several states openly rebelled against these changes. Northern Coahuila y Tejas, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Durango, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Yucatán, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas all disapproved. Civil war quickly spread across the Mexican states and three new governments declared independence: the Republic of Texas, the Republic of the Rio Grande and the Republic of Yucatán.

In May 1835 Santa Anna brutally crushed a revolt in Zacatecas and marched towards Coahuila y Tejas. In April 1836, he was defeated in Texas, where Texans retained their independence and formed a separate republic.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Evolución de la Población de México durante los años de 1521 al 2000
  2. ^ Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States (1824)

Coordinates: 19°26′N 99°8′W / 19.433°N 99.133°W / 19.433; -99.133