Mexican Civil Wars (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Preservation of liberal rule and Mexican sovereignty. Result: Beginning of Mexico’s thirty-five-year rule by Díaz, a period of peace, progress, and repression known as the Porfiriato (1876-1911).
After losing their northern provinces to the United States in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), Mexicans were demoralized. Some wanted annexation to the United States; others wanted a monarch. What they got was Antonio López de Santa Anna, recalled from exile as the only man who could unite Mexico. Assuming the title Most Serene Highness, Santa Anna imposed a dictatorship, exiling Benito Juárez and other liberal leaders. To support his extravagant regime, he raised taxes, sold Mayan prisoners into slavery in Cuba, and transferred territory to the United States for ten million dollars (Gadsden Purchase).
On March 1, 1854, Juan Álvarez and protegé Ignacio Comonfort issued the Plan de Ayutla, calling for Santa Anna’s removal and a constitutional congress. The Ayutla movement spread quickly, but military operations were confined to Álvarez’s southern base, where his peasant army lost at Coquillo (1854) and Peregrino (1854) and elsewhere. When Santa Anna resigned in August, 1855, it was because he could not pay his troops. Elected president at the Cuernavaca Convention, Álvarez assembled a cabinet of talented liberals with Juárez as...
(The entire section is 979 words.)
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