José Yves Limantour

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José Yves Limantour
Seated portrait of Limantour.
José Yves Limantour in 1910
Mexican Secretary of Finance
In office
President Porfirio Díaz
Preceded by Matías Romero
Succeeded by Ernesto Madero
Personal details
Born José Yves Limantour y Marquet[1]
(1854-12-26)26 December 1854
Mexico City[2]
Died 26 August 1935(1935-08-26) (aged 80)
Paris, France [1]
Resting place Montmartre Cemetery [1]
Nationality Mexican
Spouse(s) María Cañas y Buch (m. 1880) [1]
Parents Joseph Yves Limantour and Adèle Marquet[2]

José Yves Limantour y Marquet (26 December 1854 – 26 August 1935) was a Mexican financier who served as Secretary of the Finance of Mexico from 1893 until the fall of the Porfirio Díaz regime in 1911.[1] Before the Mexican Revolution he was widely seen, along General Bernardo Reyes, as one of the stronger candidates to succeed President Díaz.[3]


According to most biographies, José Limantour was born on 26 December 1854 in Mexico City, Mexico, to Joseph Yves Limantour and Adèle Marquet, a Jewish couple that had immigrated from France. Nevertheless, since 1896, when it was reveled that his mother willed her entire estate to his younger brother, Julio, some biographers —such as Carlos Díaz Dufoo, Ramón Puente and B W Aston— have speculated that he may have been an illegitimate son.[2]

Secretary of Finance[edit]

After the death of Romero Rubio in 1895, Limantour was considered the political leader of the technocratic advisors to President Díaz known as científicos, who were educated and wanted expanded intellectualism and prosperity in Mexico. They supported the Diaz regime because of its efforts to modernize the country, yet they also wanted expanded freedom.[4]

As Secretary of Finance, he expanded foreign investment into Mexico, supported free trade, and balanced the budget for the first time and generated a budget surplus by 1894. However, even with the economic prosperity of Mexican business, the common people of the country suffered because of the rising cost of food.[5]

Towards the end of the Diaz government, the president felt that Limantour was becoming too powerful, and thus he sent him to Europe to negotiate loans. Then, with the pending military collapse of the Diaz regime, he returned to Mexico and encouraged Díaz to resign.[6]

Exile and death[edit]

A week after Díaz set off to Europe, Limantour left for New York City by train. He arrived to Paris on July 1911, while the former dictator was resting in a seaside resort at Deauville. They exchanged letters, but they rarely met during their first months living in Paris, as Díaz resented reports that Limantour had attempted to negotiate his eventual reincorporation in the federal cabinet with the revolutionary leader, Francisco I. Madero,[6]

Limantour had strong ties with the Madero family, as he had served as their trade agent in Mexico City. In the end, however, Madero chose his uncle Ernesto, an experienced banker from Coahuila, as his secretary of Finance and Díaz and Limantour were eventually reconciled.[7][6]

Limantour remained in France for the remainder of his life. He became a member of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques and was named a grand officer of the Legion of Honor. He died in Paris on 26 August 1935.


  • Apuntes sobre mi vida pública (Porrúa, 1965).[8]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Anales de la Real Academia Matritense de Heráldica y Genealogía" (in Spanish) XII. Madrid, Spain: Real Academia Matritense de Heráldica y Genealogía. 2009. p. 273. ISSN 1133-1240. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Aston, B W (1972). The Public Career of Don Jose Ives Limantour (dissertation). Texas Tech University. pp. 1–3. OCLC 1100000. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Soto, Miguel E (1979). "Precisiones sobre el Reyismo. La oportunidad de Porfirio Díaz para dejar el poder". Estudios de Historia Moderna y Contemporánea de México (in Spanish) (Mexico City, Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas) 7 (83): 105–133. Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Científico". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Passananti, Thomas P (Winter 2008). "Dynamizing the Economy in a façon irréguliére: A New Look at Financial Politics in Porfirian Mexico". Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos (Berkeley, California: University of California Press) 24: 1–29. doi:10.1525/msem.2008.24.1.1. Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Tello Díaz, Carlos (2013). El exilio: Un relato de familia [The Exile: A Family Story] (in Spanish). Mexico City, Mexico: Penguin Random House, Grupo Editorial México. pp. 29–30. ISBN 9786073117968. Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "Ernesto Madero Farías". Galería de secretarios (in Spanish). Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público. Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  8. ^ Limantour, José Yves (1965). Apuntes sobre mi vida pública (in Spanish). Mexico City, Mexico: Porrúa. OCLC 411559. 

External links[edit]