Antonio López de Santa Anna

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For other people also named Antonio Lopez, see Antonio Lopez (disambiguation).
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is López de Santa Anna and the second or maternal family name is Pérez de Lebrón.
Antonio López de Santa Anna
Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna c1853.png
Santa Anna, c. 1853
8th President of Mexico
In office
17 May 1833 – 4 June 1833
Preceded by Valentín Gómez Farías
Succeeded by Valentín Gómez Farías
In office
18 June 1833 – 5 July 1833
Preceded by Valentín Gómez Farías
Succeeded by Valentín Gómez Farías
In office
27 October 1833 – 15 December 1833
Preceded by Valentín Gómez Farías
Succeeded by Valentín Gómez Farías
In office
24 April 1834 – 27 January 1835
Preceded by Valentín Gómez Farías
Succeeded by Miguel Barragán
In office
20 March 1839 – 10 July 1839
Preceded by Anastasio Bustamante
Succeeded by Nicolás Bravo
In office
10 October 1841 – 26 October 1842
Preceded by Francisco Javier Echeverría
Succeeded by Nicolás Bravo
In office
4 March 1843 – 8 November 1843
Preceded by Nicolás Bravo
Succeeded by Valentín Canalizo
In office
4 June 1844 – 12 September 1844
Preceded by Valentín Canalizo
Succeeded by José Joaquín de Herrera
In office
21 March 1847 – 2 April 1847
Preceded by Valentín Gómez Farías
Succeeded by Pedro María de Anaya
In office
20 May 1847 – 15 September 1847
Preceded by Pedro María de Anaya
Succeeded by Manuel de la Peña y Peña
In office
20 April 1853 – 9 August 1855
Preceded by Manuel María Lombardini
Succeeded by Martín Carrera
Personal details
Born (1794-02-21)21 February 1794
Xalapa, Veracruz, Viceroyalty of New Spain (now Mexico)
Died 21 June 1876(1876-06-21) (aged 82)
Mexico City, Mexico
Resting place Panteón del Tepeyac, Mexico City
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Inés García
María de los Dolores de Tosta
Signature

Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón (Spanish pronunciation: [anˈtonjo ˈlopes ðe sant(a)ˈana]; 21 February 1794 – 21 June 1876),[1] often known as Santa Anna[2] or López de Santa Anna and sometimes called "the Napoleon of the West", was an American-born Spaniard (creole) who fought to defend royalist New Spain and then for Mexican independence. He served as a Mexican politician and general. He greatly influenced early Mexican politics and government, a skillful soldier and cunning politician, who dominated Mexican history in the first half of the nineteenth century to such an extent that historians often refer to it as the "Age of Santa Anna".[3] He was called "the Man of Destiny", who "loomed over his time like a melodramatic colossus, the uncrowned monarch."[4] Santa Anna first opposed the movement for Mexican independence from Spain, but then fought in support of it. Though not the first caudillo (military leader) of modern Mexico, he "represents the stereotypical caudillo in Mexican history," and among the earliest.[5][6] Conservative historian, intellectual, and politician Lucas Alamán wrote that "The history of Mexico since 1822 might accurately be called the history of Santa Anna's revolutions.... His name plays the major role in all the political events of the country and its destiny has become intertwined with his."[7]

He was a valiant defender of Mexico against foreign invaders, becoming a hero of the nation. Santa Anna had great power in the independent country; he served as general at crucial points and president eleven times during a turbulent 40-year career, including eleven non-consecutive presidential terms over a period of 22 years. A wealthy landowner, he built a firm political base in the major port city of Veracruz. He was perceived as a hero by his troops; he sought glory for himself and his army, and independent Mexico. He repeatedly rebuilt his reputation after major losses. Historians and many Mexicans also rank him as perhaps the principal inhabitant even today of Mexico's pantheon of "those who failed the nation."[8] His centralist rhetoric and military failures resulted in Mexico losing just over half its territory, beginning with the Texas Revolution of 1836, and culminating with the Mexican Cession of 1848 following its defeat by the United States in the Mexican–American War.

His political positions changed frequently in his lifetime; "his opportunistic politics made him a Liberal, Conservative, and uncrowned king."[9] He was overthrown in the liberal Revolution of Ayutla in 1854 and lived most of his later years in exile.

Early life and education[edit]

Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón was born in Xalapa, Veracruz, Nueva España (New Spain), on 21 February 1794. He was from a respected Spanish colonial family; he and his parents, Antonio López de Santa Anna and Manuela Pérez de Lebrón, belonged to the elite criollo racial group of American-born Spaniards. His father was a royal army officer perpetually in debt.[10] His father served for a time as a sub-delegate for the Gulf Coast Spanish province of Veracruz. Santa Anna's parents were wealthy enough to send their son to school.

Career[edit]

Military career during the War of Independence, 1810-1821[edit]

Santa Anna in a Mexican military uniform

In June 1810, the 16-year-old Santa Anna joined the Fijo de Veracruz infantry regiment[11] a cadet against the wishes of his parents, who wanted him to pursue a career in commerce.[12] In September 1810, secular cleric Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rebelled against Spanish rule, sparking a spontaneous mass movement in Mexico's rich agricultural area, the Bajío. The Mexican War of Independence was to last until 1821, and Santa Anna, like most creole military men, fought for the crown against the mixed-raced insurgents for independence. Santa Anna's commanding officer was José Joaquín de Arredondo, who taught him much about dealing with Mexican rebels. In 1811, Santa Anna was wounded in the left hand by an arrow[13] during the campaign under Col. Arredondo in the town of Amoladeras, in the state of San Luis Potosí. In 1813, Santa Anna served in Texas against the Gutiérrez–Magee Expedition, and at the Battle of Medina, in which he was cited for bravery. He was promoted quickly; he became a second lieutenant in February 1812 and first lieutenant before the end of that year. In the aftermath of the rebellion, the young officer witnessed Arredondo's fierce counter-insurgency policy of mass executions.

During the next few years, in which the war for independence reached a stalemate, Santa Anna erected villages for displaced citizens near the city of Veracruz. He also pursued gambling, a habit that would follow him all through his life. In 1816, Santa Anna was promoted to captain. He conducted occasional campaigns to suppress Native Americans or to restore order after a tumult had begun.

When royalist officer Agustín de Iturbide changed sides in 1821 and allied with insurgent Vicente Guerrero, fighting for independence under the Plan of Iguala, Santa Anna joined also the fight for independence.[14] The changed circumstances in Spain, where liberals had ousted Ferdinand VII and began implementing the Spanish liberal constitution of 1812, made many elites in Mexico reconsider their options. The clergy in New Spain would have lost power under the Spanish liberal regime and new Mexican clerics saw independence as a way to maintain their position in an autonomous Mexico. Santa Anna rose to prominence fighting for independence by quickly driving Spanish forces out of the vital port city of Veracruz and Iturbide rewarded him with the rank of general.

Rebellion against the Mexican Empire of Iturbide, 1822-23[edit]

Iturbide rewarded Santa Anna with command of the vital port of Veracruz, the gateway from the Gulf of Mexico to the rest of the nation and site of the customs house. However, Iturbide subsequently removed Santa Anna from the post, prompting Santa Anna to rise in rebellion in December 1822 against Iturbide. Santa Anna already had significant power in his home region of Veracruz, and "he was well along the path to becoming the regional caudillo."[15] Santa Anna claimed in his Plan of Veracruz that he rebelled because Iturbide had dissolved the Constituent Congress. He also promised to support free trade with Spain, an important principle for his home region of Veracruz.[16][17]

Although Santa Anna's initial rebellion was important, Iturbide had loyal military men who were able to hold their own against the rebels in Veracruz. However, former insurgent leaders Vicente Guerrero and Nicolás Bravo, who had supported Iturbide's Plan de Iguala, now returned to their southern Mexico base and raised rebellion against Iturbide. Then the commander of imperial forces in Veracruz, who had fought against the rebels, changed sides and joined the rebels. The new coalition proclaimed the Plan of Casa Mata, which called for the end of the monarchy, restoration of the Constituent Congress, and creation of a republic and a federal system.[18]

Santa Anna was no longer the main player in the movement against Iturbide and the creation of new political arrangements. He sought to regain his position as leader and marched forces from Veracruz to Tampico, then to San Luis Potosí, proclaiming his role as the "protector of the federation". San Luis Potosí, and other north-central regions, Michoacán, Querétaro, and Guanajuato met to decide their own position about federation. Santa Anna pledged his military forces to the protection of these key areas. "He attempted, in other words, to co-opt the movement, the first of many examples in his long career where he placed himself as the head of a generalized movement so it would become an instrument of his advancement."[19]

Santa Anna and the Early Mexican Republic[edit]

Oleo Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.PNG

In May 1823, following Iturbide's March resignation, Santa Anna was sent into a kind of military exile with his appointment to command in Yucatán. At the time, Yucatán's capital of Mérida and the port city of Campeche were in conflict. Yucatán's closest trade partner was Cuba, still a Spanish colony. Santa Anna took it upon himself to plan a landing force from Yucatán in Cuba, which he envisioned would result in Cuban colonists welcoming their liberators and most especially Santa Anna. A thousand Mexicans were already on ships to sail to Cuba when word came that the Spanish were reinforcing their colony, so the invasion was called off.[20]

Guadalupe Victoria became the first president of the Mexican republic in 1824, following the creation of the federalist Mexican Constitution of 1824. Guadalupe Victoria came to the presidency with little factional conflict and he served out his entire four-year term. However, the election of 1828 was quite different, with considerable political conflict in which Santa Anna became involved. Even before the election, there was unrest in Mexico, with some conservatives affiliated with the Scottish Rite Masons plotting rebellion. The so-called Montaño rebellion in December 1827 called for the prohibition of secret societies, implicitly meaning liberal York Rite Masons, and the expulsion of the U.S. minister in Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett, a promoter of federal republicanism in Mexico. Although Santa Anna was believed to be a supporter of the Scottish Rite conservatives, in the Montaño rebellion eventually he threw his support to the liberals. In his home state of Veracruz, the governor had thrown his support to the rebels, and in the aftermath of the rebellion's failure, Santa Anna as vice-governor stepped into the governorship.[21]

Oil painting of Vicente Guerrero, by Ramón Sagredo (1865)
Anastasio Bustamante, conservative military man and three-time president of Mexico

In 1828, Santa Anna supported mixed-race hero of the insurgency, Vicente Guerrero, who was a candidate for the presidency. Another important liberal, Lorenzo de Zavala, also supported Guerrero. Manuel Gómez Pedraza won the indirect elections for the presidency, with Guerrero coming in second. Even before all the votes had been counted in September 1828, Santa Anna rebelled against the election results in support of Guerrero. Santa Anna issued a plan at Perote that called for the nullification of the election results, as well for a new law expelling Spanish nationals from Mexico, believed to be in league with Mexican conservatives. Santa Anna's rebellion initially had few supporters, southern Mexican leader Juan Álvarez joined Santa Anna's rebellion, and Lorenzo de Zavala, governor of the state of Mexico, under threat of arrest by the conservative Senate, fled to the mountains and organized his own rebellion against the federal government. Zavala brought the fighting to into the capital, with his supporters seizing an armory, the Acordada. In these circumstances, president-elect Gómez Pedraza resigned and soon after left the country. This cleared the way for Guerrero to become president of Mexico. Santa Anna gained prominence as a national leader in his role to oust Gómez Pedraza and as a defender of federalism and democracy.[22] An explanation for Santa Anna's support of Guerrero is that Gómez Pedraza had been in favor of Santa Anna's proposed invasion of Cuba, if successful, and if not, "Mexico might rid himself of an undesirable pest, namely Santa Anna."[23]

In 1829, Santa Anna made his mark on the early republic by leading forces that defeated a Spanish invasion to reconquer Mexico. Spain made a final attempt to retake Mexico, invading Tampico with a force of 2,600 soldiers. Santa Anna marched against the Barradas Expedition with a much smaller force and defeated the Spaniards, many of whom were suffering from yellow fever. The defeat of the Spanish army not only increased Santa Anna's popularity, but also consolidated the independence of the new Mexican republic. Santa Anna was declared a hero. From then on, he styled himself "The Victor of Tampico" and "The Savior of the Motherland". His main act of self-promotion was to call himself "The Napoleon of the West".

In a December 1829 coup, Vice-President Anastasio Bustamante rebelled against President Guerrero, who left the capital to lead a rebellion in southern Mexico. On 1 January 1830, Bustamante took over the presidency. In 1832, a rebellion started against Bustamante, which was intended to install Manuel Gómez Pedraza (who had been elected in 1828 and unseated in a coup that year). The rebels offered the command to Gen. Santa Anna. The capture of Guerrero and his summary trial and execution in 1831 was a shocking event to the nation. The conservatives in power were tainted by the execution.

In August 1832, Bustamante temporarily appointed Melchor Múzquiz to the post of president. He moved against the rebels and defeated them at Gallinero. Forces from Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, and Puebla marched to meet the forces of Santa Anna, who were approaching the town of Puebla. After two more battles, Bustamante, Gómez Pedraza, and Santa Anna signed the Agreement of Zavaleta (21–23 December 1832) to install Gómez Pedraza as president. Bustamante went into exile. Santa Anna accompanied the new president on 3 January 1833 and joined him in the capital.

First presidency of Santa Anna, 1833-35[edit]

Dr. Valentín Gómez Farías, Santa Anna's vice president 1833-34, who enacted liberal reforms

Santa Anna was elected president on 1 April 1833, but while he desired the title, governing was not. "It annoyed him and bored him, and perhaps frightened him."[24] Santa Anna's vice president, liberal Dr. Valentín Gómez Farías took over the responsibility of the governing of the nation. Santa Anna retired to his Veracruz hacienda, Manga de Clavo. Gómez Farías began to implement radical liberal reforms, chiefly directed at the power of the army and the Roman Catholic Church. Such reforms as abolishing tithing as a legal obligation, and the seizure of church property and finances, caused concern among Mexican conservatives.[25] Gómez Farías also sought to extend these reforms to the frontier province of Alta California, promoting legislation to secularize the Franciscan missions there. In 1833 he organized the Híjar-Padrés colony to bolster non-mission civilian settlement. A secondary goal of the colony was to help defend Alta California against perceived Russian colonial ambitions from the trading post at Fort Ross.[26]

Santa Anna and the Central Republic, 1835[edit]

For conservatives, the liberal reform of Gómez Farías was radical and undermined elites' power. Many historians consider Santa Anna's actions in allowing this first reform (followed by a more sweeping one in 1855 with the ouster of Santa Anna) a test case. Santa Anna could be watchful and wait to see the reaction to a comprehensive attack on the special privileges of the army and the Roman Catholic Church (fueros), as well as confiscation of church wealth. Conservatives sought to reassert power.

In May 1834, Santa Anna ordered disarmament of the civic militia. He suggested to Congress that they should abolish the controversial Ley del Caso, under which the liberals' opponents had been sent into exile.[27] The Plan of Cuernavaca, published on 25 May 1834, called for repeal of the liberal reforms.[28] On 12 June, Santa Anna dissolved Congress and announced his decision to adopt the Plan of Cuernavaca.[29] Santa Anna formed a new Catholic, centralist, conservative government. In 1835, it replaced the 1824 constitution with the new constitutional document known as the "Siete Leyes" ("The Seven Laws"). Santa Anna dissolved the Congress and began centralizing power. His regime became a dictatorship backed by the military.

Several states openly rebelled against the changes: Coahuila y Tejas (the northern part of which would become the Republic of Texas), San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Durango, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Yucatán, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas. Several of these states formed their own governments: the Republic of the Rio Grande, the Republic of Yucatán, and the Republic of Texas. Only the Texans defeated Santa Anna and retained their independence. Their fierce resistance was possibly fueled by reprisals Santa Anna committed against his defeated enemies.[30] The New York Post editorialized that "had [Santa Anna] treated the vanquished with moderation and generosity, it would have been difficult if not impossible to awaken that general sympathy for the people of Texas which now impels so many adventurous and ardent spirits to throng to the aid of their brethren."[31]

The Zacatecan militia, the largest and best supplied of the Mexican states, led by Francisco García, was well armed with .753 caliber British 'Brown Bess' muskets and Baker .61 rifles. But, after two hours of combat on 12 May 1835, Santa Anna's "Army of Operations" defeated the Zacatecan militia and took almost 3,000 prisoners. Santa Anna allowed his army to loot Zacatecas for forty-eight hours. After defeating Zacatecas, he planned to move on to Coahuila y Tejas to quell the rebellion there, which was being supported by settlers from the United States (aka Texians).

Texas Revolution 1835-36[edit]

Further information: Texas Revolution
General Santa Anna on a lithograph from 1852

Like other states discontented with the central Mexican authorities, the Texas department of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas rebelled in late 1835 and declared itself independent on 2 March 1836. The northeastern part of the state had been settled by numerous Anglo-American immigrants, many of whom were southern slave owners. Stephen Austin and his party had been welcomed by earlier Mexican governments.

Santa Anna marched north to bring Texas back under Mexican control by a show of brute merciless force. His expedition posed challenges of manpower, logistics, supply, and strategy far beyond what he was prepared for, and it ended in disaster. To fund, organize, and equip his army he relied, as he often did, on forcing wealthy men to provide loans. He recruited hastily, sweeping up many derelicts and ex-convicts, as well as Indians who could not understand Spanish commands.

His army expected tropical weather and suffered from the cold as well as shortages of traditional foods. Stretching a supply line far longer than ever before, he lacked horses, mules, cattle, and wagons, and thus had too little food and feed. The medical facilities were minimal. Morale sank as soldiers realized there were not enough chaplains to properly bury their bodies. Regional Indians attacked military stragglers; water sources were polluted and many men were sick. Because of his weak staff system, Santa Anna was oblivious to the challenges, and was totally confident that a show of force and a few massacres (as at the Alamo and Goliad) would have the rebels begging for mercy.[32]

On 6 March 1836, at the Battle of the Alamo, Santa Anna's forces killed 189 Texian defenders and later executed more than 342 Texian prisoners, including James Fannin at the Goliad Massacre (27 March 1836). These executions were conducted in a manner similar to the executions he witnessed of Mexican rebels in the 1810s as a young soldier.

However, the defeat at the Alamo bought time for General Sam Houston and his Texas forces. During the siege of the Alamo, the Texas Navy had more time to plunder ports along the Gulf of Mexico and the Texian Army gained more weapons and ammunition. Despite Sam Houston's lack of ability to maintain strict control of the Texian Army, they defeated Santa Anna's much larger army at the Battle of San Jacinto on 21 April 1836. The Texans shouted, "Remember Goliad, Remember the Alamo!" The day after the battle, a small Texan force led by James Austin Sylvester captured Santa Anna. They found the general dressed in a dragoon private's uniform and hiding in a marsh.

López de Santa Anna rode double into Sam Houston's camp on the horse of Joel Walter Robison, a soldier in most of the revolutionary battles and later a member of the Texas House of Representatives from Fayette County.[33]

"Surrender of Santa Anna" by William Henry Huddle shows the Mexican president and general surrendering to a wounded Sam Houston, battle of San Jacinto

Acting Texas president David G. Burnet and López de Santa Anna signed the Treaties of Velasco, stating that "in his official character as chief of the Mexican nation, he acknowledged the full, entire, and perfect Independence of the Republic of Texas." In exchange, Burnet and the Texas government guaranteed Santa Anna's safety and transport to Veracruz. During this weeks-long journey Santa Anna passed through Washington D.C. where he met briefly with president Andrew Jackson. Meanwhile, in Mexico City a new government declared that Santa Anna was no longer president and that the treaty he had made with Texas was null and void.

While Santa Anna was captive in Texas, Joel Roberts Poinsett — U.S. minister to Mexico in 1824 — offered a harsh assessment of General Santa Anna's situation:

Say to General Santa Anna that when I remember how ardent an advocate he was of liberty ten years ago, I have no sympathy for him now, that he has gotten what he deserves.

Santa Anna replied:

Say to Mr. Poinsett that it is very true that I threw up my cap for liberty with great ardor, and perfect sincerity, but very soon found the folly of it. A hundred years to come my people will not be fit for liberty. They do not know what it is, unenlightened as they are, and under the influence of a Catholic clergy, a despotism is the proper government for them, but there is no reason why it should not be a wise and virtuous one.[34]

Redemption, dictatorship, and exile[edit]

In 1838, Santa Anna narrowly escaped capture and was severely wounded in the attack of the French against Veracruz.
French bombardment of the fort of San Juan de Ulúa in the Pastry War

After some time in exile in the U.S., and after meeting with U.S. president Andrew Jackson in 1837, Santa Anna was allowed to return to Mexico. He was transported aboard the USS Pioneer to retire to his hacienda in Veracruz, called Manga de Clavo.

In 1838, Santa Anna had a chance for redemption from the loss of Texas. After Mexico rejected French demands for financial compensation for losses suffered by French citizens, France sent forces that landed in Veracruz in the Pastry War. The Mexican government gave Santa Anna control of the army and ordered him to defend the nation by any means necessary. He engaged the French at Veracruz. During the Mexican retreat after a failed assault, Santa Anna was hit in the left leg and hand by cannon fire. His shattered ankle required amputation of much of his leg, which he ordered buried with full military honors. Despite Mexico's final capitulation to French demands, Santa Anna used his war service to re-enter Mexican politics as a hero. He never allowed Mexico to forget him and his sacrifice in defending the fatherland.

Santa Anna used a prosthetic cork leg; during the later Mexican-American War, it was captured and kept by American troops from the 4th Illinois Infantry. The cork leg is displayed at the Illinois State Military Museum in Springfield. The Mexican government has repeatedly asked for its return.[35] Santa Anna had a replacement leg made which is displayed at the Museo Nacional de Historia in Mexico City.[36] A second leg, a peg, was also captured by the 4th Illinois, and was reportedly used by the soldiers as a baseball bat; it is displayed at the home of Illinois Governor Richard J. Oglesby (who served in the regiment) in Decatur.[37]

Soon after, as Anastasio Bustamante's presidency turned chaotic, supporters asked Santa Anna to take control of the provisional government. Santa Anna was made president for the fifth time, taking over a nation with an empty treasury. The war with France had weakened Mexico, and the people were discontented. Also, a rebel army led by Generals José Urrea and José Antonio Mexía was marching towards the capital in opposition to Santa Anna. Commanding the army, Santa Anna crushed the rebellion in Puebla.

Santa Anna ruled in a more dictatorial way than during his first administration. His government banned anti-Santanista newspapers and jailed dissidents to suppress opposition. In 1842, he directed a military expedition into Texas. It committed numerous casualties with no political gain; but Texans began to be persuaded of the potential benefits of annexation by the more powerful U.S. Santa Anna was unable to control the Mexican congressional elections of 1842. The new congress was composed of men of principles who vigorously opposed the autocratic leader.[38]

Trying to restore the treasury, Santa Anna raised taxes, but this aroused resistance. Several Mexican states stopped dealing with the central government, and Yucatán and Laredo declared themselves independent republics. With resentment growing, Santa Anna stepped down from power. Fearing for his life, he tried to elude capture, but in January 1845 he was apprehended by a group of Indians near Xico, Veracruz. They turned him over to authorities, and Santa Anna was imprisoned. His life was spared, but he was exiled to Cuba, still a Spanish colony.

Mexican–American War 1846-48[edit]

Santa Anna in 1870 by Rockwood

In 1846, Mexican troops crossed the Rio Grande into the disputed Nueces Strip, hoping to regain Texas; the United States then declared war on Mexico. Santa Anna wrote to Mexico City saying he had no aspirations to the presidency, but would eagerly use his military experience to fight off the foreign invasion of Mexico as he had in the past. President Valentín Gómez Farías was desperate enough to accept the offer and allowed Santa Anna to return. Meanwhile, Santa Anna had secretly been dealing with representatives of the U.S., pledging that if he were allowed back in Mexico through the U.S. naval blockades, he would work to sell all contested territory to the U.S. at a reasonable price. Once back in Mexico at the head of an army, Santa Anna reneged on both of these agreements. Santa Anna declared himself president again and unsuccessfully tried to fight off the U.S. invasion. (His leadership was said to inspire the sea shanty "Santianna".)

President for the last time[edit]

Following defeat in the Mexican-American War in 1848, Santa Anna went into exile in Kingston, Jamaica. Two years later, he moved to Turbaco, Colombia. In April 1853, he was invited back by conservatives who had overthrown a weak liberal government, initiated under the Plan de Hospicio in 1852, drawn up by the clerics in the cathedral chapter of Guadalajara. Usually revolts were fomented by military officers; this one was created by churchmen. Santa Anna had been in correspondence with the leader of the conservatives, Lucas Alamán, who agreed to throw the support of conservatives to Santa Anna if he would agree "to a program of cessation of political activity against the Church and security of the holders of large propertied interests."[39] Santa Anna was elected president on March 17, 1853; Alamán became his Minister of Foreign Relations, but died a short time later in June 1853. Santa Anna honored his promises to the Church, revoking a decree denying protection for the fulfillment of monastic vows, promulgated twenty years early during the era of Valentín Gómez Farías reform of 1833. President Santa Anna had left running the government in 1833 to his liberal vice president.[40] The Jesuits, which had been expelled from Spanish realms by the crown in 1767, were allowed to return to Mexico ostensibly to educate poorer classes, and much of their property, which the crown had confiscated and sold, was restored to them.[40]

This administration was no more successful than his earlier ones. He funneled government funds to his own pockets, sold more territory to the U.S. with the Gadsden Purchase, and declared himself dictator-for-life with the title "Most Serene Highness". Santa Anna's full title in this final period of power was "Hero [benemérito] of the nation, General of the Division, Grand Master of the National and Distinguished Order of Guadalupe, Grand Cross of the Royal and Distinguished Spanish Order of Carlos III, and President of the Mexican Republic."[41]

The Plan of Ayutla of 1854 removed Santa Anna from office and he was exiled yet again.

Despite his generous payoffs to the military for loyalty, by 1855 even conservative allies had seen enough of Santa Anna. That year a group of liberals led by Benito Juárez and Ignacio Comonfort overthrew Santa Anna, and he fled back to Cuba. As the extent of his corruption became known, he was tried in absentia for treason; all his estates were confiscated by the government.

Personal life[edit]

Portrait of Doña Dolores Tosta de Santa Anna by Juan Cordero, 1855. Note her tiara. Santa Anna was considered by some the uncrowned monarch of Mexico.
Santa Anna's first and favorite hacienda Manga de Clavo, which his first wife's dowry enabled him to purchase. Painting by Johann Moritz Rugendas. Kuperferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Id. Number: VIII E. 2440, 1831-1834.

Santa Anna married twice, both to wealthy young women under the age of 15. At neither wedding ceremony did he appear, legally empowering his future father in law to serve as proxy at his first wedding and a friend at his second.[42] One assessment of the two marriages is that they were arranged marriages of convenience, bringing considerable wealth to Santa Anna, and that his lack of attendance at the wedding ceremonies "appears to confirm that he was purely interested in the financial aspect on the alliance."[43]

In 1825, he married María Inés García, the daughter of wealthy Spanish parents in Veracruz, and the couple had four children: María de Guadalupe, María del Carmen, Manuel, and Antonio López de Santa Anna y García.[44] By 1825, Santa Anna had distinguished himself as a military man, joining the movement for independence when other creoles were also seeing Mexican autonomy as the way forward under royalist turned insurgent Agustín de Iturbide and the Army of Three Guarantees. When Iturbide as Mexican emperor lost support, Santa Anna had been in the forefront of leaders seeking to oust him. Although Santa Anna's family was of modest means, he was of good creole lineage; the García family may well have seen a match between their young daughter and the up-and-coming Santa Anna as advantageous. María Inés's dowry allowed Santa Anna to purchase the first of his haciendas, Manga de Clavo, in Veracruz state.[43][45]

The wife of the first Spanish Ambassador to Mexico, Fanny Calderón de la Barca and her husband visited with Santa Anna's first wife Inés at Manga de Clavo, where they were well-received with a breakfast banquet. Mme. Calderón de la Barca observed that "After breakfast, the Señora having dispatched an officer for her cigar-case, which was gold with a diamond latch, offered me a cigar, which I having declined, she lighted her own, a little paper 'cigarito', and the gentlemen followed her good example."[46]

Two months after the death of his wife Inés García's in 1844, the 50-year-old Santa Anna married 16-year-old María de los Dolores de Tosta. The couple rarely lived together; de Tosta resided primarily in Mexico City and Santa Anna's political and military activities took him around the country.[47] They had no children, leading biographer Will Fowler to speculate that the marriage was either primarily platonic or that de Tosta was infertile.[47]

Several women claimed to have borne Santa Anna natural children. In his will, Santa Anna acknowledged and made provisions for four: Paula, María de la Merced, Petra, and José López de Santa Anna. Biographers have identified three more: Pedro López de Santa Anna, and Ángel and Augustina Rosa López de Santa Anna.[44]

Santa Anna was a devoted collector of Napoleonic artifacts, and took to calling himself the "Napoleon of the West" after the Telegraph and Texas Register referred to him as such. His other nickname was "The Eagle".

Later years and death[edit]

Grave of López de Santa Anna and his second wife, Sra. Dolores Tosta de Santa Anna

From 1855 to 1874, Santa Anna lived in exile in Cuba, the United States, Colombia, and the then Danish island of Saint Thomas. In 1865, he attempted to return and offer his services during the French Invasion posing once again as the country's defender and savior, only to be refused by Juárez who was well aware of Santa Anna's character. In 1869, the 74-year-old Santa Anna was living in exile in Staten Island, New York and was trying to raise money for an army to return and take over Mexico City. During his time living in New York City, he is credited with bringing in the first shipments of chicle, the base of chewing gum. He failed to profit from this, since his plan was to use the chicle to replace rubber in carriage tires, which was tried without success.[48]

Thomas Adams, the American assigned to aid Santa Anna while he was in the U.S., experimented with chicle in an attempt to use it as a substitute for rubber. He bought one ton of the substance from Santa Anna, but his experiments proved unsuccessful. Instead, Adams helped to found the chewing gum industry with a product that he called "chiclets".[48]

During his many years in exile, Santa Anna was a passionate fan of the sport of cockfighting. He would invite breeders from all over the world for matches and is known to have spent tens of thousands of dollars on prize roosters.[citation needed]

In 1874, he took advantage of a general amnesty and returned to Mexico. Crippled and almost blind from cataracts, he was ignored by the Mexican government that same year at the anniversary of the Battle of Churubusco. Two years later, Santa Anna died at his home in Mexico City on 21 June 1876 at age 82. He was buried with full military honors in a glass coffin in Panteón del Tepeyac Cemetery.[49]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ SANTA ANNA, ANTONIO LÓPEZ DE from the Handbook of Texas Online
  2. ^ Howe, Daniel Walker (2007), What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848, Oxford Univ. Press, p. 660 
  3. ^ For example, Costeloe, Michael P. The Central Republic in Mexico, 1835-1846: Hombres de Bien in the Age of Santa Anna. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1993.
  4. ^ Krauze, Enrique. Mexico: Biography of Power. New York: Harper Collins 1997, 88.
  5. ^ Archer, Christon I. "Fashioning a New Nation" in Michael C. Meyer and William H. Beezley, eds. The Oxford History of Mexico (2000) p. 323
  6. ^ Long, Jeff (1990), Duel of Eagles, The Mexican and U.S. Fight for the Alamo, Quill, p. 85 
  7. ^ Alamán, Lucas. Historia de México vol. 5. Mexico 1990, quoted in Krauze, Enrique. Mexico: Biography of Power. New York: HarperCollins 1997, p. 135.
  8. ^ Archer, Christon I. "Fashioning a New Nation" in Michael C. Meyer and William H. Beezley, eds. The Oxford History of Mexico (2000) p. 322
  9. ^ Archer, "Fashioning a New Nation", p. 323.
  10. ^ Krauze, Mexico: Biography of Power, p. 127.
  11. ^ Pani, Erika. "Antonio López de Santa Anna" in Encyclopedia of Mexico. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997, p. 1334.
  12. ^ Fowler 2000, p. 20.
  13. ^ Fowler 2009, p. 27.
  14. ^ Pani, "Antonio López de Santa Anna", p. 1334.
  15. ^ Anna, Timothy E. Forging Mexico, 1821-1835. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press 1998, p. 103.
  16. ^ Anna, Forging Mexico, p. 104.
  17. ^ Benson, Nettie Lee. "The Plan of Casa Mata", Hispanic American Historical Review 25, no. 1, (February 1945): 45-56.
  18. ^ Anna, Forging Mexico, p. 107.
  19. ^ Anna, Forging Mexico, p. 133.
  20. ^ Green, Stanley C. The Mexican Republic: The First Decade 1823-1832. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press 1987, pp. 44-45.
  21. ^ Anna, Forging Mexico, pp. 205-206.
  22. ^ Anna, Forging Mexico, pp. 218-19, 224.
  23. ^ Green, The Mexican Republic, p. 158.
  24. ^ Krauze, Mexico: Biography of Power, p. 137.
  25. ^ Costeloe, Michael P. "Santa Anna and the Gómez Farías Administration in Mexico, 1833-1834", The Americas (1974) 31#1 pp. 18-50 in JSTOR
  26. ^ Hutchinson, C. Alan (1969). Frontier Settlement in Mexican California; The Híjar-Padrés Colony and Its Origins, 1769-1835. New Haven: Yale University Press. OCLC 23067. 
  27. ^ González Pedrero 2004, p. 468.
  28. ^ González Pedrero 2004, p. 471-472.
  29. ^ Olavarría y Ferrari 1880, p. 344.
  30. ^ Edmondson, J.R. The Alamo Story: From Early History to Current Conflicts (2000) p. 378.
  31. ^ Lord (1961), p. 169.
  32. ^ Presley, James. "Santa Anna's Invasion of Texas: A Lesson in Command", Arizona & the West, (1968) 10#3 pp. 241-252
  33. ^ "Robison, Joel Walter". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Captivity of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna"
  35. ^ "Public Displays: Santa Anna's life and limb", by S.L. Wisenberg, Chicago Reader, Retrieved June 2014
  36. ^ "Santa Anna's Leg Took a Long Walk", Latin American Studies
  37. ^ "Captured Leg of Santa Anna", Roadside America
  38. ^ Costeloe, Michael P. "Generals Versus Politicians: Santa Anna and the 1842 Congressional Elections in Mexico", Bulletin of Latin American Research (1989) 8#2 pp. 257-274. in JSTOR
  39. ^ Mecham, J. Lloyd. Church and State in Latin America, revised edition. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press 1966, p. 358.
  40. ^ a b Mecham, Church and State, pp. 358-59.
  41. ^ Mecham, Church and State, p. 359.
  42. ^ Fowler, Will. "All the President's Women: The Wives of General Antonio López de Santa Anna in 19th century Mexico", Feminist Review, No. 79, Latin America: History, war and independence (2005), pp. 57-58.
  43. ^ a b Fowler, "All the President's Women", p. 58.
  44. ^ a b Fowler 2009, p. 92.
  45. ^ Potash, Robert. "Testamentos de Santa Anna". Historia Mexicana, Vol. 13, No. 3, 430-440.
  46. ^ Calderón de la Barca, F. Life in Mexico. London: Century, pp. 32-33.
  47. ^ a b Fowler 2009, p. 229.
  48. ^ a b Staten Island on the Web: Famous Staten Islanders
  49. ^ Find a Grave

Sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Calcott, Wilfred H. Santa Anna: The Story of the Enigma Who Once Was Mexico. Hamden CT: Anchon 1964.
  • Chartrand, Rene, and Younghusband, Bill. Santa Anna's Mexican Army 1821-48 (2004) excerpt and text search
  • Costeloe, Michael P. The Central Republic in Mexico, 1835-1846: Hombres de Bien in the Age of Santa Anna. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1993.
  • Crawford, Ann F.; The Eagle: The Autobiography of Santa Anna; State House Press;
  • Fowler, Will (2007), Santa Anna of Mexico, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press ; a standard scholarly biography; online
  • Fowler, Will. Mexico in the Age of Proposals, 1821-1853 (1998)
  • Fowler, Will. Tornel and Santa Anna: The Writer and the Caudillo, Mexico, 1795-1853 (2000) excerpt and text search
  • Hardin, Stephen L., and McBride, Angus. The Alamo 1836: Santa Anna's Texas Campaign (2001) excerpt and text search
  • Jackson, Jack. "Santa Anna's 1836 Campaign: Was It Directed Toward Ethnic Cleansing?" Journal of South Texas (March 2002) 15#1 pp. 10–37; argues that yes it was
  • Jackson, Jack, and Wheat, John. Almonte's Texas, Texas State Historical Assoc.
  • Lord, Walter (1961), A Time to Stand, Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, ISBN 0-8032-7902-7 , popular history
  • Mabry, Donald J., "Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna", 2 November 2008; essay by scholar
  • Roberts, Randy & Olson, James S., A Line in the Sand: The Alamo in Blood and Memory (2002)
  • Santoni, Pedro; Mexicans at Arms-Puro Federalist and the Politics of War TCU Press; ISBN
  • Scheina, Robert L. Santa Anna: A Curse Upon Mexico (2003) excerpt and text search
  • Suchlicki, Jaime. "Mexico: Montezuma to the Rise of Pan", Potomac Books: Washington DC, 1996.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Valentín Gómez Farías
President of Mexico
17 May – 4 June 1833
Succeeded by
Valentín Gómez Farías
Vice-President of Mexico
18 June – 5 July 1833
Vice-President of Mexico
27 October – 15 December 1833
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24 April 1834 – 27 January 1835
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Miguel Barragán
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Anastasio Bustamante
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20 March – 10 July 1839
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Nicolás Bravo
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Francisco Javier Echeverría
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10 October 1841 – 26 October 1842
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Nicolás Bravo
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4 March – 4 October 1843
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Valentín Canalizo
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Valentín Canalizo
Provisional President of Mexico
4 June – 12 September 1844
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José Joaquín de Herrera
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Valentín Gómez Farías
Interim President of Mexico
21 March – 2 April 1847
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Pedro María de Anaya
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Pedro María de Anaya
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20 May – 15 September 1847
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Manuel de la Peña y Peña
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Manuel María Lombardini
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20 April 1853 – 9 August 1855
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Martín Carrera