José Justo Corro
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José Justo Corro
|10th President of Mexico|
28 February 1836 – 19 April 1837
|Preceded by||Miguel Barragán|
|Succeeded by||Anastasio Bustamante|
|Minister of Justice and |
18 May 1835 – 26 February 1836
|Preceded by||José Mariano Blasco|
|Succeeded by||Joaquín de Iturbide|
|Born||c. 19 July 1794|
|Died||c. 18 December 1864 (aged 70)|
José Justo Corro (c. 19 July 1794 – c. 18 December 1864) was a Mexican lawyer, politician, and president of the Centralist Republic of Mexico, from 2 March 1836 to 19 April 1837.
Early life and education
Corro was born between 1786 and 1800 (sources vary considerably). Little is known of his early or personal life. He went to law school in Guadalajara before moving to Mexico City and made a name for himself in the capital as a lawyer. He was extremely religious, politically liberal, and a dedicated follower of Antonio López de Santa Anna.
He was minister of justice and ecclesiastical affairs in the cabinet of President Miguel Barragán from 18 March 1835 to 26 February 1836. Barragán had become interim president in the absence of Antonio López de Santa Anna, who was fighting rebels in Zacatecas. Barragán, however, died of typhus on 1 March 1836, just after resigning office on 27 February due to ill health, with Santa Anna again absent from the capital (this time fighting rebels in Texas). Under those circumstances, the Chamber of Deputies on 27 February 1836 named Corro interim president. He formally took office on 2 March.
Corro served until 19 April 1837. During his term of office, Santa Anna was defeated and taken prisoner in Texas; Mexican forces retreated from Texas, in effect conceding the loss of the province; charges were brought against General Vicente Filisola for having obeyed the orders of Santa Anna to abandon Texas (to save Santa Anna's life). Also, diplomatic relations were suspended with the United States. As an economy measure, the government introduced new, debased 1½- and 3-cents coins, resulting in riots.
President Corro ordered Masses said for the release of Santa Anna. He also took unsuccessful steps to continue the war with the Texas rebels and suppress the rebellion. These efforts were unpopular. When Santa Anna was finally released, he returned to his hacienda, without anyone holding him accountable for his actions.
A major accomplishment was that Corro negotiated with Pope Gregory XVI and obtained recognition of Mexico's independence. The treasury was depleted, and the country was disorganized and demoralized because of the war in Texas and other reasons. The clergy had great influence, both within and outside of the government.
The most important event of Corro's administration, however, was the promulgation by Congress on 30 December 1836 of the Siete Leyes Constitucionales (the "Seven Laws"), in effect a new constitution centralizing the government in the capital, at the expense of the states. The Siete Leyes replaced the federalist Constitution of 1824. They abrogated universal male suffrage and imposed a literacy test for voting.
In March 1837 French admiral Brotounier brought a diplomatic message about French claims against Mexico, threatening to break diplomatic relations.
Corro was said to be excessively religious, timid, vacillating, and with little energy and no military skills. His government was so devoted to religious practices that he was nicknamed "the saint".
Having lost the support of all the political parties, in 1837 Corro called elections. On 19 April of that year, he turned over the government to General Anastasio Bustamante (his second term) and retired to private life in Guadalajara. He died there in 1864, during the French Intervention in Mexico, and was interred in the main cemetery of the city, the Panteón de Belén.
- (in Spanish) "Corro, José Justo", Enciclopedia de México, v. 4. Mexico City, 1996, ISBN 1-56409-016-7.
- (in Spanish) García Puron, Manuel, México y sus gobernantes, v. 2. Mexico City: Joaquín Porrúa, 1984.
- (in Spanish) Orozco Linares, Fernando, Gobernantes de México. Mexico City: Panorama Editorial, 1985, ISBN 968-38-0260-5.
- (in Spanish) Santibáñez, Enrique, El Ejecutivo y su labor política. Estudios de historia nacional contemporénea. 1916.
| President of Mexico
28 February 1836 - 19 April 1837