BECK index

Mexico and Democracy 1817-1865

by Sanderson Beck

Mexican Independence & Iturbide 1817-23
Mexico of Victoria and Guerrero 1823-31
Mexico and Santa Anna 1832-44
Mexico and Texas 1819-45
Mexican California 1817-45
New Mexico 1817-45
Mexico and the American War 1845-48
Mexico and Santa Anna 1848-55
Mexico’s Reforms and Civil War 1856-60
Mexico’s Juárez and the French 1861-64
Mexico and Emperor Maximilian

Mexican Independence & Iturbide 1817-23

Mexico and the Caribbean 1744-1817

      By 1817 Mexico’s revolution against Spain had been crushed in much of the country including Vera Cruz, Puebla, Mexico, Mizteca, and Tecpan. Liberal offers of pardon reduced much of the fighting. Young Francisco Javier Mina led 300 men to Fort Sombrero, and he published a letter that he was fighting against a tyrannical king, not Spain. On 30 July Marshal Pascual Liñán besieged them with an army of 4,000 men. In fighting to escape many were killed and captured, but Mina got away with some and went to Fort Remedios to support José Antonio Torres. On 27 October sentries were surprised, and Mina was captured and shot on 11 November. More than 400 men were taken as prisoners with women and children.
      In 1818 Padre Torres tried and failed to relieve Jaujilla and alienated many by taking private property and burning villages and haciendas. By 1820 most of New Spain had been pacified, and the revolution had been reduced to where Pedro Ascensio held out on the hill in Goleta and General Vicente Guerrero occupied the banks of the Mescala.
      In 1820 Spain’s liberal Constitution of 1812 was restored, and King Fernando VII decreed the release of all political prisoners. News of revolutionary activity in Spain reached Mexico in April. New Spain’s Viceroy Juan Ruiz de Apodaca revived freedom of the press on 17 June, and on 13 October he liberated prisoners in Mexico. The priest Francisco Severo Maldonado supported the 1812 Constitution. He believed in the brotherhood of the human family and advocated universal free education.
      Col. Agustín de Iturbide had fought against revolutionaries led by Morelos who was captured and executed in 1815. In 1816 Iturbide was relieved of his command because of corruption and cruelty. In November 1820 Viceroy Apodaca reinstated him, and Iturbide asked and got more forces and money to go after Vicente Guerrero’s insurgents. By December he had 2,479 men; but instead of attacking, Iturbide secretly invited Guerrero to meet him on 4 February 1821, and he persuaded Guerrero to join him with his 1,200 armed men. Then on the 24th Iturbide issued his printed “Plan of Iguala” proclaiming the independence of New Spain governed by a junta with an army that would protect the following three guarantees: a constitutional monarchy, citizenship for all inhabitants, and the secular and regular clergy.
      Viceroy Apodaca opposed this and began mobilizing an army of up to 5,000 men. The Masonic Order favored a constitutional system and was influential. Iturbide left Iguala and on 12 March went to Teloloapan as many of his troops deserted. There he met with Guerrero before going on to Guanajuato where independence was proclaimed. On the 19th Anastasio Bustamente joined his cause, increasing independence forces to 6,000. Lt. Col. José Joaquin de Herrera accepted the Iguala Plan, and on 1 April his forces occupied Cordoba. Iturbide reached Valladolid on 12 May. One week later the commandant Quintanar came over to independence, and the next day the garrison of 600 men capitulated. Captain Santa Anna’s force captured the town of Alvarado, and they entered Jalapa on 29 May. The city of San Pedro supported the Iguala Plan in June as did most of Nueva Galicia. On 5 July royalists led by Brigadier Buceli forced Viceroy Apodaca to resign. Troops deserted General José de la Cruz and went to Zacatecas which proclaimed independence.
      Juan O'Donojú arrived at Vera Cruz on 3 August as the new Viceroy, and he proclaimed liberal principles. Iturbide entered the city of Puebla on 2 August, and three days later he declared national independence. O'Donojú learned that Iturbide had an army of 30,000 men with almost all the garrisons. On the 24th at Cordoba they made a treaty based on the Iguala Plan for a Mexican Empire. Pedro Celestino Negrete led independence fighters and fought Juan de la Cruz Mourgeón’s army at Durango for three weeks until the city surrendered on 31 August; Mourgeón was allowed to take his army to embark for Spain at Vera Cruz. The royalist Arredondo lost his command and left for Havana.
      On 22 September the Regency Junta was formed with Iturbide, O'Donojú, José Isidro Yáñez and three others, but O'Donojú died on 8 October. Iturbide and the Army of the Three Guarantees entered Mexico City on 27 September, and the Junta was installed the next day. All of Mexico had been liberated except for Vera Cruz, Perote, and Acapulco. Iturbide divided Mexico into five parts under captain-generals Bustamente, Negrete, Guerrero, and two others. Also on the 27th Santa Anna moved his forces into Vera Cruz, and that day their council recognized independence.
      On 6 November the Regency Junta proposed a congress with two chambers—one with deputies representing the church, the military, and the city councils with the other having one representative for every 50,000 people. The murder of a Spaniard trying to leave Mexico led to more trying to get passports, and on 9 January 1822 Iturbide suspended issuing passports until congress should act. Later they decided that each province should be represented by only one clergyman, one military officer, and one magistrate or lawyer, and they made it compulsory to have the agricultural, mining, and commercial classes represented. On the 26th Iturbide had 17 eminent people arrested for urging more liberal elections. The government had little money and was paying high salaries. Iturbide was rewarded with one million pesos and was granted 20 leagues of land in Texas, and his annual salary was 120,000 pesos. Commerce with Spain had stopped, and treaties had not yet been made with other nations.
      After the elections the Congress was installed on 24 February 1822. The Bourbonists wanted a constitutional government under a king from that European dynasty; the Iturburdists one under Iturbide; and the Republicans preferred a federal republic. On 13 February the Spanish government had decreed that the treaty of Cordoba was illegal, and that led to the Bourbonists dividing to join the other two parties. The government was broke, and the Congress reduced military and civil salaries by up to 20%. Republicans wanted the size of the army reduced, but Iturbide intended to keep it at 35,900 men plus provincial militia and civic companies. On 11 March the Congress decreed that the Regency could decide on finances.
      General Nicolás Dávila hoped to restore Spanish rule. On 2 April he sent a letter to Iturbide, and Col. Buceli led the regiment of Ordenes to Xuchi; but Anastasio Bustamente’s force defeated them and took prisoners to the capital. On the 3rd the Congress declined to meet with Iturbide without the Junta Regents. He and José Isidro Yáñez called each other traitors. On the 11th three members of the Junta were replaced by Nicolás Bravo and two others while Iturbide and Yáñez were retained. On 6 May the Congress read an address from the 11th regiment that they had taken the oath of loyalty to the Congress; but they also abhorred monarchy and preferred republics as in South America. In response on the 18th the Congress approved an army of 20,000 men. An infantry regiment shouted for Iturbide to be emperor, and a large crowd gathered in the capital and did the same. The next day the Congress invited Iturbide, and they voted without a quorum 67-15 to elect him emperor. On 31 May he appointed a Council of State. Many European monarchists left the country. Congress in June decreed the monarchy hereditary and declared his son the imperial prince. Emperor Iturbide was crowned with great ceremony and fake jewels on 21 July. On 13 August he founded the honorary Order of Guadalupe to reward the meritorious in the military and others.
      The priest Pablo Servando Mier had returned to Congress on 15 July after having been detained by Dávila. Mier satirized Emperor Iturbide and the government and argued for republican government. The monarchist El Sol and the republican El Hombre Libre newspapers were suppressed. On 26 August the Emperor had 19 deputies arrested including Mier. Felipe de la Garza had become governor of Nuevo Santander (Tamaulipas) on 5 August, and on 16 September he issued a pronunciamiento (plan) opposing Iturbide, but ten days later he fled to Monterrey. On 25 September deputy Lorenzo de Zavala argued that the Congress was illegal because it had not been divided into two chambers. On the 28th Treasury Secretary Antonio Medina presented his report estimating the year’s deficit at 2,826,630 pesos, but by the end of the year it was over four million.
      Iturbide and his council urged reducing the number of deputies to seventy. After Congress rejected his demands for this, for veto power, and for a police force, the Emperor dissolved the Congress on 31 October. Two days later Iturbide installed an institute with 45 members selected from the deputies. On 5 November they ordered a forced loan of $2,800,000, and Iturbide ordered seized money about to be shipped to Spain. The government ended the castas system of racial identities making all equal, but native tribes lost their legal protection of communal property. Mexican ports were opened to other nations as trade restrictions were ended. Taxes were reduced, and the government forced the Church to loan them money. In 1822 food prices increased making it difficult for Mexico City with 155,000 people, Puebla with 60,000, Guadalajara with 50,000, and others.
      General Antonio López de Santa Anna had tried to take over Ulúa on 26 October but had failed. Iturbide wanted to remove him from his command at Vera Cruz; but the Emperor had alienated Spaniards at Jalapa by taking their money, and he had little support. Santa Anna, who governed Vera Cruz, complained that Iturbide had not kept his promises, and on 2 December he declared Vera Cruz a republic. In early January 1823 Mexico recognized the independence of Central America. The generals Guerrero, Bravo, and Guadalupe Victoria also revolted against Iturbide, and Santa Anna joined them. General Echávarri was given troops to put down Santa Anna’s revolt, but on 1 February he and 33 cohorts declared the Casa Mata Plan that called for a constituent assembly to establish a republic. Many troops deserted the capital, and on the 23rd the 9th and 11th regiments liberated those imprisoned by the Inquisition including Mier and Col. Eulogio Villa Urrutia whom they named their chief. On the same day Jalisco issued a federalist plan.
      Iturbide ordered the Congress to meet on 7 March 1823, but only 58 gathered. The junta at Puebla would not recognize them. On the 19th in the chamber Navarrete read Iturbide’s hand-written abdication. He promised to leave the country and asked for his debts to be paid. Congress canceled the Iguala Plan and the Cordoba treaty so that Iturbide would have no authority. Bravo escorted him away, and that day the Liberty Army entered the capital. Iturbide was taken to Vera Cruz, and he left Mexico on 11 May and went to Italy. He crossed Europe to London, and fearing a Spanish attack on Mexico he came back; but five days after landing he was captured and executed by a firing squad on 19 July 1824.

Mexico of Victoria and Guerrero 1823-31

      On 29 March 1823 the Congress had its first quorum with 103 deputies that made it legitimate, and they elected Bravo, Victoria, and Pedro Celestino Negrete as the executives of the provisional government. Mariano Michelena substituted for Victoria while he was in Vera Cruz. The triumvirate appointed Lucas Alamán minister of foreign and internal relations, Pablo de la Llave for justice and the church, and Francisco de Arrillaga for the treasury. The provisional government had only $42, and they ordered selling tobacco and cigars from government warehouses and the property of Jesuits, Hospitallers, and the Inquisition. They also borrowed $32 million from two firms in England, but they received only about 12 million pesos and spent much of it preparing for an invasion by Spaniards.
      On 4 April commissioners from Oaxaca, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Valladolid, and Guanajuato asked for a new congress, and delegates from Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Texas had formed a junta and wanted a federal union with Mexico. On the 14th the government approved the Mexican flag in green, white, and red representing the three guarantees with an eagle eating a snake. Guadalajara wanted to recall Iturbide, and they were led by Quintanar and Anastasio Bustamante. Bravo and Negrete led an army of 2,000 men and headed toward Guadalajara. In Nueva Galicia they persuaded Colima to leave Guadalajara to become a federal territory. Absent Bravo and Negrete were replaced by Miguel Domínguez and Vicente Guerrero. The Congress gave military courts jurisdiction on cases of rebellion and robbery on public highways.
      The republicans divided into a conservative Centralist party of former monarchists led by Manuel de Mier y Terán and Carlos Bustamante. The liberal Federalists had supported Iturbide and wanted a constitution like the United States. The Scottish Rite Masons supported the Centralists, and the York Rite Masons favored the Federalists. On 5 June 1823 Santa Ana announced a federalist plan for San Luis Potosí. On the 17th rules were made for national elections, and a constituent assembly began meeting on 7 November. The Federalist deputy Miguel Ramos Arizpe was elected president of the constitutional committee, and on 31 January 1824 the Constitutive Act was adopted. A revolt started in the capital on the 23rd led by General José María Lobato, spread to Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Guadalajara, and Querétaro, but they were quelled. General Echávarri was replaced in Puebla by Gómez Pedrasa. Guerrero pacified Cuernavaca and Cuautla in the south. A plot led by Lt. Basiliso Valdés on the night of 28 May was discovered, and he was arrested and executed. A tax collector was murdered while traveling to Oaxaca. Victoria went to quell the movement and learned of a Spanish fleet arriving to reinforce San Juan de Ulúa, and he sent troops to Vera Cruz in August. By mid-year Chiapas, Oaxaca, Yucatán, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Michoacán, Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Coahuila, and especially Jalisco had declared themselves sovereign.
      As each article of the Constitution was passed, it was enacted as a law. This constitution was similar to the USA Constitution except that Roman Catholicism was made the religion of the Mexican nation, and Supreme Court judges were to be elected by state legislatures. Torture was banned.
      The liberal priest, lawyer, historian, and politician José María Luis Mora influenced and criticized this constitution and its implementation over the years until his death in 1850. Mora himself was influenced by the French philosophers Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Benjamin Constant, and he admired Spain’s Constitution of 1812. On 13 March 1822 he published his essay “The Supreme Civil Authority Is Not Unlimited.” He spent his last sixteen years in Paris but sent his writing to Mexico. He favored the government taking over land the Church owned but did not use except for income, and he urged giving municipal governments more responsibility.
      The Election Law was passed on 13 July 1824. That month another law allowed ships to prey on Spanish commerce. The army besieging San Juan de Ulúa was reinforced, and the commander Coppinger would capitulate on 18 November 1825. On 1 September 1824 Guadalupe Victoria was elected President and Nicolás Bravo Vice President, and they began serving on 9 October. The republic called itself Los Estados Unidos de Mexicanos. Chiapas had voted in September to be part of Mexico instead of Guatemala. The other states were Chihuahua, Coahuila and Texas, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacán, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla de los Angeles, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Sonora and Sinaloa (Occidente), Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Vera Cruz, Yucatán, and Zacatecas. The two Californias, Colima, and New Mexico were accepted as territories, and Tlascala became a territory on 24 November. On 24 December the Congress granted amnesty for political offenses, but they authorized the President to expel dangerous foreigners. The first constitutional Congress began on 1 January 1825. Jalisco had issued its constitution on 18 November, and every other state except Mexico and Coahuila-Texas produced constitutions in 1825.
      Declarations by Britain and the United States warned European powers not to interfere in Mexico. In September the liberal Yorkinos brought about the resignation of the conservative Alamán, and by late 1826 the Yorkinos and federalists controlled the cabinet with Finance Minister José Ignacio Esteva, Justice Minister Miguel Ramos Arizpe, War Minister Manuel Gómez Pedraza, and Foreign Relations Minister Juan José Espinosa. Britain agreed to a treaty of friendship and commerce that Mexico ratified on 27 October 1827. In January 1827 the friar Joaquin Arenas, a counterfeiter, had urged the federal district’s commandant Ignacio Mora to restore Spanish government. Mora told President Victoria. The friar and others were arrested. The generals Echávarri and Negrete were imprisoned on 22 March. Old Spaniards were involved, and several men were sentenced to death. Many officers were demoted, and others were punished. Echávarri and Negrete were banished. Vera Cruz dismissed Spanish officials, and Jalisco expelled them. On 20 December the national Congress expelled all Spaniards. On the 5th a Mexican fleet had sailed from Vera Cruz and captured Spanish merchant ships near Cuba. Spain sent men-of-war vessels, and they fought Mexican ships on 11 February 1828. On 12 January the republic of Mexico had made a treaty with the United States confirming the Sabine River as the eastern border of Texas.
      A Yaqui named Juan Banderas wanted an independent state, and some Opatas and Lower Pimas joined him in 1825. He led about 2,000 warriors using bows and arrows, and by early 1826 they controlled the settlements in the lower Yaqui and May valleys. They were opposed by Mexicans and 200 Yaquis who defeated them south of Hermosillo. In 1827 Banderas submitted to the Mexican state assuming that the Yaquis would have their own local government. They were pardoned, and he was appointed captain-general of the Yaquis region. In 1828 the government of the Occidente (Sonora and Sinaloa) enacted laws that put the Yaquis under Buenavista, and land distribution to individuals was mandated. In 1832 the Opatas and Yaquis revolted again with the Lower Pimas of the Yaqui River and were led by Banderas and Dolores Gutierrez, but the Mexicans subdued them. Apache raiding became intense in 1831 and extended to Hermosillo in 1833. An Apache chief was captured and put to death in 1834, and Mexico offered a bounty of $100 for an Apache scalp.
      The moderate General Manuel Gómez Pedraza was elected President in September, and on the 12th Guerrero’s partisans led by Santa Anna revolted in Vera Cruz. Santa Anna refused to lay down arms and fled to Oaxaca where he was besieged on 14 November. On 25 October the federal Congress had banned secret societies including the Masons.  Lorenzo de Zavala led a rebellion that broke out at La Acordada barracks in Mexico City on 30 November, and troops were withdrawn from Oaxaca. Two days later Guerrero joined the Acordada rebels. Pedrasa fled the next day to Guadalajara, and Congress and the administration abandoned President Victoria by 5 December. Pedrasa sailed to London in March 1829.
      On 1 January 1829 the Congress had assembled, and they elected the Afro-Mestizo General Guerrero President with Anastasio Bustamante as Vice President. He hated monarchy and believed in independence and the federal system with popular representation. He supported the expulsion of Spaniards and aimed for more equality. On 6 July a Spanish force with 3,000 men led by Brigadier Isidro Barradas sailed from Havana, and on 27th they landed 36 miles from Pueblo Viejo. They occupied undefended Tampico, but many Spaniards died of yellow fever. The Mexicans led by Santa Anna and Mier y Terán attacked Tampico on 21 August and were repulsed, but the Spaniards lacked provisions, and a siege caused them to surrender on 11 September. The Spaniards were allowed to return to Havana. The Spanish reconquest had failed, but it cost Mexico many lives and $1,500,000.
      President Victoria had liberated some slaves that were purchased on 16 September 1825, and four years later Guerrero decreed the total abolition of slavery. The state of Coahuila and Texas had about a thousand slaves and refused to enforce the edict. Treasury Minister Zavala led the cabinet, but on 6 August 1829 the Congress accused him of several crimes along with the cabinet officers José Manuel Herrera and Francisco Moctezuma.
      On the 25 August the Congress had given Guerrero special powers to defend against the Spanish invasion. Even though he did not abuse them, a coalition of states opposed his administration and ignored federal authority. The Americans were told to recall their minister Poinsett, and Guerrero accepted Zavala’s resignation on 2 November. Vice President Bustamante knew that Melchor Múzquiz and José Antonio Facio were plotting to overthrow the government. On 9 November Yucatán’s Governor José Tiburcio López declared that his state seceded from the union, and one week later the garrison of Campeche demanded the dissolution of the federal government. On 4 December Vice President Bustamante, who commanded the largest military division, denounced Guerrero’s dictatorship and claimed he was restoring constitutional order. Many of the rebels objected to Guerrero’s race. After learning of Jalapa’s defection Guerrero summoned Congress, and on the 11th he resigned his dictatorial powers. Then he left the capital with more than 2,000 soldiers. Treasury Minister Bocanegra was acting president when the palace and citadel were attacked on 22 December and surrendered to General Luis Quintanar. The rebels gave Quintanar, Lucas Alamán, and Pedro Velez executive authority. Guerrero resigned the presidency on the 25th and fled south with fifty cavalry. Mexico’s commander Quintanar announced that Vice President Bustamante was taking power. By the end of the year every state except Vera Cruz accepted Bustamante’s plan. Then Santa Anna, who commanded the army of Vera Cruz, recognized Bustamante’s authority.
      On the first day of 1830 Vice President Bustamante claimed the executive, and six days later he formed a Centralist (conservative) cabinet with Alamán, Facio, and two others. He repudiated the acts of Guerrero on 4 February. Juan Álvarez led a revolt and was supported by Col. Codallos, and they took over Acapulco on 16 March. Eight days later mass arrests were made in Mexico City for an alleged conspiracy. Those at Acapulco withstood an attack and killed General Armijo near Texca on 30 August. Guerrero raised an army by the end of the year, but they were defeated on 2 January 1831 near Chilpancingo. Guerrero boarded an Italian ship at Acapulco, but Captain Piluga sold him to the Mexican government for $50,000. A court martial convicted him of several crimes against the new government, and a firing squad executed Guerrero on 14 February. Five days later El Federalista called his execution “judicial murder.” The opposition faded away as Álvarez submitted to Bustamante’s government.
      Mexico’s conservative government banned the sale of periodicals from outside the city on 31 March, and heavy fines imposed on El Federalista caused it to shut down on 23 April. Vicente Rocafuerte began publishing El Fénix de la Libertad in December and managed to survive the fines. Most members of the national Congress supported the conservative government, and both the Congress and the judiciary were plagued by corruption.

Mexico and Santa Anna 1832-44

      On 2 January 1832 the garrison at Vera Cruz demanded that the federal ministers be dismissed, and two days later General Santa Anna offered to mediate. He also seized 279,000 pesos from customs duties and intercepted other government convoys. Concerned about charges made against them, four ministers resigned on the 11th. Minister Facio left that day to organize a military division in Jalapa under General José María Calderon. Santa Anna led an army that was defeated on 3 March at Tolome by 3,700 ministerial troops. He went back to Vera Cruz to raise another army of 2,500 men; but Calderon’s army besieged them on 12 April. After losing a thousand men Calderon led his army back to Jalapa, and Santa Anna made an armistice with them on 13 June. Mier y Terán commanded federal troops in the eastern states; but General Francisco Moctezuma’s force had defeated them at Tampico on 13 May, and Mier committed suicide on 3 July. Calderon left 800 troops at Vera Cruz.
      On 5 July leaders at Jalisco and Zacatecas with 4,000 militiamen persuaded the garrison at Vera Cruz that Pedraza was the legitimate president, not the intrusive Bustamante. That summer hundreds of citizens who opposed the government were detained in the capital. Francisco Moctezuma led a force into San Luis Potosí and defeated the troops there on 3 August. Four days later the chamber of deputies made General Melchor Muzquiz the executive, and he replaced Vice President Bustamante on the 14th and appointed cabinet ministers on the 19th. Bustamante left the treasury owing 11,244,567 pesos, and he marched a Centralist army of 2,500 men and defeated Moctezuma’s 8,000 Federalists on 18 September in the bloody battle of El Gallinero. Bustamante then regained San Luis Potosí. On the 19th Santa Anna’s force defeated the government troops led by General Antonio Azcárate who was killed. Facio fled to the mountains, and Santa Anna marched into Puebla on 4 October.
      In Mexico City the Congress gave executive authority to Pedraza, and they declared martial law with General Quintanar in command. He refused to surrender to Santa Anna’s army, and that army left to fight Bustamante’s force on 12 November. Bustamante suffered heavy losses against Santa Anna in the suburbs of Puebla on 5 December. The government had many defeats, and only Oaxaca and Chihuahua still obeyed the federal government. Pedraza met with Santa Anna, and they offered a peace plan to Bustamante on the 8th. The civil war was over, and a peace treaty was signed at Zavaleta on 23 December recognizing Pedraza as President until 1 April 1833. He appointed a cabinet that included Valentín Gómez Farías as Treasury Minister.
      Elections were completed in February 1833, and Santa Anna was elected President with Farías as Vice President. Santa Anna withdrew and let Farías govern with the liberal cabinet he chose. They introduced radical reforms of the two most powerful groups in Mexico. The military was reduced and lost their fueros (martial courts). The Church had its tithes made no longer mandatory; their communications were to be restricted to religion; Franciscan missions in California were secularized as their wealth was sequestered; schools were secularized, and the University of Mexico was closed. Santa Anna assumed his presidential duty on 16 May, and on the 26th army officers led a revolt on behalf of the military fueros and the Church. His own revolting troops took Santa Anna captive on 6 June at Xuchi and tried to please the army by proclaiming him dictator. Some soldiers attacked the palace, but Farías was defended. Santa Anna issued his Manifesto to the Nation in support of the reforms. On the 23rd the Congress passed the ley del caso over the opposition of Farías that exiled fifty opponents of the government for six years including Bustamante who had given up his authority to Santa Anna but reclaimed it at Puebla on 5 July. Five days later Santa Anna led an army of 2,400 men who drove the insurgents led by Arista into they city of Guanajuato where they surrendered to Santa Anna on 8 October.
      Santa Anna then returned to the capital to govern with changed views. On 16 December he gave Vice President Farías authority again and retired to his estate at Mango de Clavo. Santa Anna returned to the capital and took the power back from Farías on 24 April 1834. On the 29th Santa Anna backed the church and then the plan of Cuernavaca on 25 May, and eight days later he dissolved the Congress. The laws that had reformed the Church and the military were nullified. The President also disbanded state legislatures, deposed governors and councils, and he replaced them with those following the Cuernavaca Plan. On 3 June the Church promised to give Santa Anna about 35,000 pesos per month for six months, and they accepted the abolition of tithing; in exchange the government promised not to expropriate Church property. This plan was supported by Durango and Zacatecas, but San Luis Potosí, Michoacán, Yucatán, Puebla, and Jalisco opposed and were suppressed in the next three months.
      Late in 1834 Santa Anna convoked a congress, and they deposed Vice President Farías and replaced him with General Barragan on 27 January 1835. An amnesty law annulled the ley del caso. Once again Santa Anna retired and let Vice President Barragan govern, though Santa Anna issued his policies. On 23 March in the south Juan Álvarez led a revolt. The Zacatecas Governor Francisco Garcia also opposed the central dictatorship, but Santa Anna’s army defeated Álvarez and then the Zacatecas militia on 11 May. On 14 September the two houses of Congress were merged into a general assembly, and on 29 December they enacted the Constitution of 1836 with the Seven Laws that

1) limited voting to citizens with $100, and office-holders had to have minimum annual incomes in the thousands.
2) mandated a Supreme Conservative Power with five members to balance the other branches,
3) established a legislature with deputies and senators,
4) gave the President an 8-year term,
5) provided a supreme court with eleven justices,
6) dissolved the states and organized the nation into military departments with councils chosen in their capitals, and
7) provided for amendments.
 
      President Barragan became ill and died, and on 27 February 1836 the deputies made José Justo Corro acting president. They elected Bustamante president, and his term began on 19 April 1837. Industrial lobbies gained tariffs that included rice, coffee, flour, timber, salt, soap, toys, and playing cards. On 8 May the members of the Supreme Conservative Power elected General Muzquiz their president. Spain finally recognized the independence of Mexico which ratified a treaty on 3 May that promised not to interfere with Spanish colonies. With the Centralist Bustamante in power Federalists revolted in various places. His ministers resigned, and Bustamante decided to restore the federation and appointed a new cabinet on 14 October. On 21 March 1838 the French demanded $600,000 for pastries stolen by Mexican soldiers, and on 16 April they suspended diplomatic relations. The French had 26 warships and 4,000 men and threatened the fortress at San Juan de Ulúa where ammunition exploded, killing more than 200. The French took over the fort and Vera Cruz. Mexico ordered the army increased to 33,000 men. On 5 December the Mexican army led by Santa Anna forced the  French to retreat. On 9 March 1839 Mexico agreed to pay the $600,000, and the French left Vera Cruz in April. That month the government imposed its control over the press.
      From 1839 to 1846 the Mexican government had an average annual deficit of 12.7 million pesos. In April 1839 José Antonio Mejía and José Urrea issued a federalist pronunciamiento (plan) in Tamaulipas, and they marched an army toward the capital; but the Centralist army led by General Gabriel Valencia defeated them at Acajete in Vera Cruz on 3 May and executed Mejía. Yucatán rebelled on the 29th, and on 14 February 1840 they seceded from Mexico. On 15 July in Mexico City the Federalists’ pronunciamiento challenged President Bustamante, and he was taken prisoner but then escaped. The revolt ended on the 27th, and Bustamante regained power. Yucatán adopted a new constitution in March 1841. Mexico negotiated with Yucatán, and Santa Anna granted them autonomy on 5 December 1843.
      General Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga began the Triangular or Jalisco revolt in Guadalajara on 8 August 1841 which erupted with the Ciudadela Barracks in Mexico City on 4 September and spread to Perote five days later. On that day Santa Anna met with Paredes and Valcencia, and they agreed that Bustamante had to go. He left for Europe on the 22nd and let the Council’s vice president Francisco Javier Echeverría fill in for him. Santa Anna occupied Tacubaya on the 25th and became provisional president on 22 October. Guadalajara submitted, and Querétaro’s resistance faded away. Bravo gave in, and Urrea was made the commandant general of Sonora. Santa Anna decreed a general amnesty and began reforming the military, adding new regiments and the grenadier guard. He gained money by making Archbishop Manuel Posada y Garduño provide $200,000 and give up the Inquisition building, and a Jesuit estate was sold. Mexico had 24 departments counting Texas, and a congress convened in June 1842 to draft a new constitution that allowed a deputy for every 70,000 citizens out of population of about seven million. The Federalists produced a liberal constitution.
      As winter was coming on, Santa Anna retired again at his Vera Cruz estate, letting General Bravo govern as president of the Council; but Minister of War Tornel took the reins and strengthened the garrison at the capital. He would not let the proposed constitution pass, and a protest began on 11 December at Huejotzingo near Puebla demanding that notables revise the constitution. Central provinces and the garrison at Mexico City supported this.  The deputies were locked out of the legislative hall and dissolved Congress on the 18th. Bravo announced that the government would appoint patriotic men to assist the ministers, and eighty prominent centralists were installed on 6 January 1843. Their constitution of organic laws required an income of $1,200 for deputies and $2,000 for senators. Santa Anna returned in March, and on 11 May he stopped paying creditors and made a deal for the tobacco monopoly. He inaugurated the new constitution on 8 June. He raised import duties by 20% and sold mining concessions to foreigners and thousands of military commissions. On 5 October he retired again and let Valentin Canalizo act as president. Although many people disliked the autocracy of Santa Anna, the elected national delegates chose him again as President on 2 January 1844. Yet he remained secluded at his estate until he returned to Mexico City on 4 June.
      General Paredes led another revolt against Santa Anna’s dictatorship that was pronounced at Guadalajara in Jalisco on 4 November. On the 18th Santa Anna entered Mexico City and assumed military control, but War Minister Reyes declared that illegal. Santa Anna went to fight resistance at Querétaro on the 25th. The two chambers were to meet on 1 December, but armed force kept out returning members. News arrived that the Puebla garrison opposed Santa Anna, and a battalion of recruits declared they were for Paredes on the 5th. Other troops also called on General José Joaquín Herrera, president of the Council, to take control. The next day he summoned the deputies to a Franciscan convent, and they asked Canalizo to uphold the constitutional government and prevent violence. The Senate confirmed Herrera as interim president. Santa Anna had an army of about 14,000 men at Silao, but Herrera  had 15,000 soldiers in the capital. Santa Anna led his men to Puebla; but Bravo commanded a large army that was supported by Paredes, Álvarez, and Arias from the north. Santa Anna withdrew from Puebla and decided to escaped with a small force. He was captured at Jico and taken to Perote. Congress impeached him for attacking the constitutional government, and on 3 June he sailed for Havana.

Mexico and Texas 1819-45

North Mexico and Texas 1744-1817

      Col. Perry and forty Americans had been wiped out in Texas by royalist forces in the middle of June in 1817 near Matagorda. On 22 February 1819 Spain made a treaty that ceded Florida to the United States in exchange for agreement on the Sabine River as the border between Texas in New Spain and the United States. James Long of Tennessee led about 75 men to Nacogdoches, and on 23 June he proclaimed himself president of a supreme council in Texas. He went to Galveston to ask for aid from the buccaneer Lafitte. While he was gone, royalist troops killed some settlers and captured the rest. After New Spain declared its independence, Long invaded and occupied La Bahía del Espíritu Santo; but he and his followers were taken to Mexico as prisoners. After their release Long was murdered in 1822.
      On 17 January 1821 Viceroy Apodaca permitted Moses Austin to bring 300 families from Louisiana to settle on the bank of Rio Brazos in Texas. Moses died in June. His son Stephen F. Austin led the expedition, and he received more grants including one for 800 families. The mostly American colonists settled near San Antonio de Béjar by the Brazos and Colorado rivers. On 13 July 1824 Coahuila and Texas banned the importation of slaves. In December 1826 Fredonians led by Haden Edwards in eastern Texas revolted near Nacogdoches; but in January 1827 Mexican soldiers and militiamen from Austin’s colony forced them to retreat across the Sabine. In 1828 Mier y Teran reported that the Americans from the United States refused naturalization and ignored slave reforms. On 6 April 1830 Mexico’s Centralist government prohibited foreign colonization and suspended contracts. John Austin urged independence, and arms were brought from New York and New Orleans.
      On 28 April 1832 the Mexican government excluded citizens of the United States from settling in Texas, though the rights and contracts of colonists were recognized. The Texans held a second convention on 1 April 1833, and they formed two committees head by Sam Houston to draft a constitution and by David G. Burnett to petition the government to separate Texas from Coahuila. The republican constitution provided free elections with universal suffrage and other human rights. They formed a commission, and Stephen Austin went to Mexico City in July and asked for a state government for Texas. On 2 October he sent a letter to the San Antonio Council urging them to organize a local government independent of Coahuila despite Mexico’s opposition. The Council disapproved and sent the letter to the central government. Austin was arrested in January 1834 and was imprisoned until December and was not allowed to leave Mexico City until August 1835.
      On 17 July 1835 meetings at Rio Navidad and Guadalupe Victoria in Texas passed resolutions for war and condemned Santa Anna’s arbitrary rule. Mexican troops were arriving in Texas, and the American Texans defeated them at Gonzalez on 2 October and at Goliad on the 6th and the 28th. Austin led 600 men who besieged Béxar from 13 October to 11 December when the Mexican garrison surrendered. On 3 November delegates met at San Felipe de Austin and formed a provisional government with Austin and two others as commissioners and Samuel Houston as commander of eastern volunteers A declaration of independence was adopted, and a plan for a provisional government passed on the 13th. Mexican General Cos withdrew his troops, and by the end of 1835 no Mexican soldiers remained in Texas.
      In Hubert Bancroft’s History of Mexico at the beginning of his chapter “Causes of War with the United States” he noted, “It was the result of a deliberately calculated scheme of robbery on the part of the superior power.”1 From 1836 the policy was to coerce Mexico into ceding the territory of Texas. President Jackson instructed the envoy Powhatan Ellis to demand reparations for numerous alleged wrongs. Ellis was a slave-holder from Mississippi and wanted war and Texas, and on 26 September he submitted 18 grievances to the Mexican government. On 4 November he began threatening to leave if his complaints were not satisfied.
      On 23 February 1836 a Mexican army besieged the Alamo. On 6 March they stormed the old mission and killed about 200 while the Mexican soldiers had about 500 casualties. Lt. Col. William Travis, Jim Bowie, and Davy Crockett died there. About six men surrendered, and General Santa Anna ordered them shot. A few women, a slave, and a child were left alive to tell people about Santa Anna’s victory. Rebels fought the Mexican army at Goliad from 18 February to 27 March when at least 425 prisoners including Col. Fanning were shot dead.
      Meanwhile on 2 March by the Brazos 45 delegates from 21 municipalities declared independence, and on the 17th a national convention adopted a constitution and elected David G. Burnet president with Lorenzo de Zavala as vice president. General Houston led about 900 men to the San Jacinto River, and on 21 April they caught General Santa Anna asleep as they attacked in the late afternoon, killing 650 and capturing 300 while only 11 of their men died. They also captured Santa Anna. The Mexican minister notified the Americans that Santa Anna had no authority while a prisoner, and he was returned to Vera Cruz on 23 February 1837. Mexico changed generals from Filisola to Urrea to Bravo.
      In the fall of 1836 Austin, Houston, and Henry Smith were nominated to be president. Because Texans were divided between Austin and Smith, Houston offered to organize a government. He was elected and served from the day Burnett resigned on 22 October to 10 December 1838. He used Austin as Secretary of State and Smith as Secretary of the Treasury. They sent William H. Wharton to negotiate the annexation of independent Texas to the United States. On 16 December the Texas Congress authorized incorporation of the Texas Railroad, Navigation, and a Banking Company, but it was criticized for corruption. On the 19th Texas claimed the territory between the United States and Rio Grande from its mouth to its source. Zavala had died on 15 November, and Stephen Austin died of pneumonia on 27 December.
      In March 1837 the United States recognized the independence of Texas. The Texas Constitution did not allow President Houston to succeed himself, and in the fall of 1838 diplomatic Mirabeau B. Lamar was elected President for a three-year term with Burnett as Vice President. Lamar supported public education and a municipal code, but he opposed annexation to the United States.
      The United States sent Bernard E. Bee to Vera Cruz in May 1839; but the Mexican government refused to talk to him because he was asking for the independence of Texas. That year some Texans tried and failed to form a North Mexican republic. On 19 March 1840 twelve Comanche chiefs met with Texan commissioners to discuss a peace treaty. General McLeod demanded that they return 13 white captives, but they produced only one little girl. When they refused to return the others, the Texas military detained them. The armed chiefs fought and were killed along with 21 Comanches outside while seven Texans died. In revenge on 4 August about 600 Comanches attacked Victoria and Linville and then retreated. The Texas army attacked them on the 12th near Gonzalez and killed about 65 fleeing Comanches. In October ninety Texans with 12 Lipan Indians attacked a Comanche village, and they enforced Lamar’s policy of extermination by killing 128 men and women. Then they burned the village and stole 500 horses.
      After much negotiation Mexico and the United States agreed on 10 September 1838 to let claims be settled by a mixed commission’s arbitration. By February 1842 only one-fifth of the claims were allowed, and the commissioners and the umpire decided that Mexico owed the United States $2,026,139. President Tyler in March sent the slave-owner Waddy Thompson to pressure Mexico which on 30 January 1843 agreed to pay the interest over five years.
      The Texas government in 1840 warned Mexico that if they did not recognize the independence of Texas soon, they would blockade Mexican ports. That year about a hundred Texans joined with more than two hundred federalists to fight for the Republic of the Rio Grande, but Centralist Mexico’s army of a thousand men defeated them on 23 October. After the state of Yucatán seceded in March 1841, they welcomed Texan warships and got their support in 1842. Also in the spring and summer of 1841 a Texan expedition with 270 soldiers led by General McLeod to Santa Fe to annex New Mexico failed miserably. Santa Anna released 119 prisoners on 13 June 1842.
      In September 1841 Sam Houston was elected President of Texas again. On 9 January 1842 General Arista proclaimed that Mexico would never agree to the separation of Texas, and General Rafael Vasquez led an army of 500 men who arrived at San Antonio on 5 March, but they left two days later. On the 10th Houston called up soldiers, and on the 26th he imposed a blockade on Mexican ports on the east coast. On 12 May the minister Bocanegra accused the United States Government of violating their friendship treaty. The Texas Congress approved an offensive war against Mexico in June 1842, but Houston vetoed the bill because of lack of funds. About 700 Mexican forces with mostly cavalry attacked Texans led by General Davis on the Nueces in early July, and General Woll’s Mexican army took over San Antonio on 11 September. Five days later Houston called for volunteers to invade Mexico across the Rio Grande. On the 10th the United States had declared its neutrality. Texas records in the new capital at Austin were considered in danger, and they were moved in December to Washington on the Brazos where the Congress met.
      The Texan Mier Expedition with about 700 men began in November 1842. In the battle at Mier on 25-26 December with about 300 on each side the Texans were defeated and had 280 men captured, and the rest killed or wounded. In August 1843 the Mexican government declared that if the United States annexed Texas, they would consider it a declaration of war. On 5 December US President Tyler advised Congress that the United States should end hostilities between Texas and Mexico because war weakens both sides. Diplomacy led to an armistice signed on 15 February 1844; but President Houston refused to ratify it because it called Texas a department of Mexico. On 8 June the US Congress rejected a treaty of annexation. On the 16th President Santa Anna sent a message resuming hostility.
      The Congressman doctor Anson Jones was elected President in the Texas election on 2 September as an anti-annexionist. President Jones in his inaugural address said he would maintain public credit, reduce government spending, stop issuing paper money, revise tariff laws, establish public schools, and make peace with Mexico and the Indians. The Tennessee Democrat James Polk campaigned that he would annex Texas, and he was elected US President in 1844. On 1 March 1845 he signed the joint resolutions favoring the annexation of Texas. While the treaty was being negotiated, he sent General Zachary Taylor with 1,150 men to Fort Jessup near Natchitoches and a naval squadron to the Gulf of Mexico. President Jones called a convention that met on 4 July at Austin and appointed a committee that recommended annexation with a new constitution. On 13 October the Texas Congress ratified both, and the United States admitted Texas as a state on 29 December 1845. On 19 February 1846 President Jones resigned and was replaced by the elected Governor J. Pinckney Henderson.

Mexican California 1817-45

California Missions 1768-1817

      Lt. Col. Pablo Vicente de Sola governed Alta (Upper) California 1815-22. In 1817 he reported that their defense capabilities would not enable them to dislodge the intruding Russians. Russian trade had re-opened after a hiatus of one year. Sola sent another report to Viceroy Apodaca on 3 April 1818 in which he estimated that the “white” (European) population of California was 3,000, but there were more than 22,000 natives. On 21 November the Argentine pirate Hippolyte Bouchard attacked Monterey with about 200 men and took over the fort for six days while Governor Sola led a retreat to a rancho that later became Salinas. The Bouchard raid did damage estimated at $5,000. They went to Refugio, and on 6 December he reached Santa Barbara and exchanged his prisoner, the drunk Molina, for three prisoners. In January 1819 Apodaca sent two ships with troops and munitions for California, but that year not one ship brought any trading goods. On 29 May a band of 22 Amajavas (Mojaves) came to San Buenaventura to trade with neophytes who had been converted. The soldiers refused to let them do so, and in the fight they killed ten Amajavas and one neophyte. In 1820 five Spanish ships and four Russian ones visited California.
      In March 1821 Governor Sola learned of the independence of Mexico from Spain, and members of his junta were the first to take the oath on 11 April, soon followed by others at Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and San Diego. On 21 May the electors chose Sola to be their deputy in the Mexican Cortes, and the electors met at Monterey and elected themselves for the province on 9 November. Then they elected Captain Luis Arguello to replace Sola as governor in 1822, and the capital remained at Monterey.
      The Chumash natives had to work to feed the Mexican soldiers, and many felt they gained little in return. On 21 February 1824 the flogging of a neophyte at the Santa Inés mission provoked a revolt by 554 Chumash. The priest and soldiers held out in a building, and Mexican soldiers arrived the next day from the Santa Barbara presidio. They trapped the Chumash rebels in the neophytes’ housing which they set on fire to force them out. They killed 15 Chumash women and children and four men; only one Mexican soldier died. Most of the Chumash fled to the missions at Santa Barbara and La Purísima where about 720 Chumash joined the revolt and captured the latter mission. After three days the Chumash released the families of the soldiers. About 550 more Chumash helped fortify the mission. In the fighting one Chumash man was killed along with four traveling Mexicans including José Dolores Sepulveda.
      At the same time the Chumash took over the Santa Barbara mission. Some Chumash men left with the women and children. Others fought the soldiers who came from the nearby presidio and killed two Chumash and wounded three while four soldiers were wounded. When the soldiers retreated to the presidio, the Chumash left for the hills. About 400 Chumash warriors stayed at La Purísima. On 16 March about a hundred Mexican soldiers attacked the Chumash there, killing 16 Chumash and wounding even more while suffering only three casualties. Many Chumash stopped working to produce food for the missions. Friar Ripoli wrote to Governor Arguello asking him to pardon the rebels, and on 16 May he did so except for those already convicted by military tribunals. Chumash leaders accepted the pardon on 11 June, and almost all the natives returned to the missions.
      José María de Echeandía governed California 1825-31, and in 1829 Manuel Victoria was sent to govern Baja California. The natives Vicente Juan and Gaspar from the Soledad Mission began asking the Governor for their freedom in 1826. That year Echeandía arrested and banished Jedediah Smith to deter Americans from coming to California. Smith bought domesticated horses in California for $10 each and sold them at the annual mountain rendezvous for $50. Other mountain men such as Peg-leg Smith, Old Bill Williams, Joseph Reddeford Walker, Jim Beckwourth, and Jean Baptiste Chalifoux began stealing horses in California.
      Echeandía refused to expel Spaniards such as the priest José Barona from the San Juan Capistrano mission in 1828. That year he ordered officers to compel parents to send their children to schools, and in 1829 Alta California had 11 primary schools with 339 students. Soldiers went unpaid for years, and in December 1829 Joaquin Solis led a revolt by soldiers from San Francisco and San Jose who marched to Monterey; but their army was eventually defeated at Santa Barbara. Solis was captured in early February 1830. Mexico used California as a place to punish criminals, and in February 1830 they sent 80 prisoners from Acapulco to San Diego. Some were shipped to Santa Cruz island with cattle and fish-hooks, and others were forced to work for private employers. Fifty more were sent in July, and they worked for local officials. Echeandía’s secularization plan was approved by the deputies in August and was to transform the missions into pueblos. He decreed secularization on 6 January 1831, though it was considered illegal.
      Manuel Victoria had been appointed political chief of Alta California on 8 March 1830, and he began governing the territory on 31 January 1831. Narciso Duran had managed the San Jose Mission for many years, and in June he became the Father-President of the California missions. As all the missions except Santa Barbara were secularized, he moved to that mission. Victoria banished the opposition leader, José María Padrés, to the San Blas islands in October. On 29 November the senior vocal of the diputación (council), Pio Pico, with José Antonio Carrillo and Juan Bandini signed California’s first pronunciamiento, and they persuaded Echeandía to lead the movement. On 5 December they defeated Victoria’s forces at Cahuenga Pass near Los Angeles, and the seriously wounded Victoria was banished the next day. In the north Captain Agustin V. Zamorano organized a compania extranjera to defend Monterey from the southern takeover; but at Santa Barbara in May he made a truce, and Echeandía gave him military command in the north, establishing peace for the rest of 1832.
      The Mestizo José Figueroa was appointed commandant general on 17 April 1832, and he governed Alta California from 15 January 1833 until he resigned because of illness on 27 August 1835. He was the first to issue printed proclamations in California. On 17 May 1833 Figueroa directed Minister Ortiz Monasterio to distribute mission lands to neophytes capable of farming. On 14 July Mexico’s acting Governor Farías appointed José María de Híjar as political chief to direct new colonization in California, but President Santa Anna soon reversed this. A legal election for the Council was finally held on 1 and 2 December 1833 by which Bandini was elected to Mexico’s Congress, and the seven members of the Council were re-elected. On 16 April 1834 the Mexican Congress decreed that all natives at the missions were to be emancipated and secularized, and self-supporting Christian neophytes were to be given land and goods from the missions; the California legislature enacted this on 9 August. On 23 May 1835 Los Angeles proclaimed itself a city and the capital of California, but the capital Monterey indignantly objected. By the end of the year 16 of the 21 missions had been secularized, and this led to the founding of the San Juan Capistrano pueblo.
      José Castro became acting political chief on 29 August 1835, and on 2 January 1836 he transferred that office to Lt. Col. Nicolás Gutiérrez who held it for four months and then again from July to November. Col. Mariano Chico had been appointed on 16 December 1835, and he only governed from April to July 1836. Chico decreed that foreign cargo could only be imported at Monterey. On 29 July he announced he was going to Mazatlan, and on that day Juan Bautista Alvarado for the Council brought charges against Chico who put Gutiérrez in command and left to get aid to restore order. At a meeting Castro moved that Gutiérrez must give up command or be banished. Alvarado was sent to get the cooperation of Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo in Sonoma, and Castro was put in command. Gutiérrez surrendered on 5 November. On the 29th the Council made Vallejo commandant general, and on 7 December they elected Alvarado interim governor. Alvarado in July 1837 swore to uphold the constitution and to restore California to Mexico.
      Mexico had appointed Carlos Antonio Carrillo governor on 6 December 1836. On the 30th Mexico decreed that California had been made a department, and Alvarado circulated this publication on 4 September 1837; but news of Carrillo’s appointment did not reach Los Angeles until 20 October and Monterey ten days later. Carlos Carrillo took the oath on 6 December. Although he supported Alvarado’s government, he wanted to make Los Angeles the capital. Alvarado in March sent Castro with fifteen men to Santa Barbara. On the 28th Castro reported that in a brief confrontation at San Buenaventura he had one man killed, but the 110 defenders fled from there. In early April he urged a committee in Los Angeles to meet Alvarado and cease hostilities. Don Carlos mobilized an army of at least a hundred men, but Castro and Alvarado marched south from Santa Barbara with 200 soldiers. Carlos Carrillo did not want to use a cannon, and he agreed to a treaty on 23 April. The northern army took the captured cannon and returned to Monterey by ship.
      About 20 May the citizens of Los Angeles arrested Carlos Carrillo, José A. Carrillo, Pio Pico, and four others. Pio Pico was ill and served a short sentence, and Carlos Carrillo was paroled after a few days but had to stay in Santa Barbara and avoid politics. Alvarado visited Los Angeles in late June, and an assassination plot was prevented. Carlos Carrillo escaped from Santa Barbara in early August; but he urged the supreme government to pardon Alvarado, and he even entrusted his own family to his care. On 30 June the Mexican government had decreed amnesty for the political conflicts in California, recognized Alvarado as governor, urged him to grant an island to Antonio and Carlos Carrillo, and appointed Vallejo commandant general. In December 1838 the two Carrillos were suspected of plotting to overturn the government in San Diego, and they were arrested along with two Picos.
      On 17 January 1839 Alvarado issued new rules for managing the missions, and on 24 April he appointed the naturalized Englishman W. E. P. Hartnell to inspect the missions and make a report with a salary of $2,000 paid by the missions. Reforms were implemented, and he reported to Alvarado on 1 March 1840. The populations at the missions had been reduced greatly. San Diego had 1,455 neophytes in 1832 and only 274 in 1839; those at San Luis Rey fell from 2,788 to less than a thousand, at San Juan Capistrano from 900 to 80, at San Gabriel from ,1320 to 369, and at San Fernando from 782 to 416. The total number of cattle had been 151,180 with 137,977 sheep, and each had been reduced to less than 50,000.
      On 27 March 1840 the Junta accepted Monterey as the capital, though Pio Pico wanted it to be Los Angeles and protested vehemently. Isaac Graham was accused of being the leader of a conspiracy to revolt against the government. He and his companions were arrested on 7 April, and in four days 39 foreigners were detained. Governor Alvarado had the prisoners deported from Monterey on the 24th to the island San Blas. More arrests were made in the south, and twelve were deported. An investigation found that they were innocent. They were brought back, and some were paid $250 in compensation. The Swiss immigrant Johann Sutter had changed his name to John. He came to California in 1839 and was naturalized in 1841. Governor Alvarado granted him 48,800 acres along the Sacramento River to establish Nueva Helvetia. Russians had established a colony at Fort Ross near Bodega Bay in March 1812, but by the end of 1841 the remaining Russian colonists had left California. Francisco Garcia Diego was made the bishop of the Californias in Mexico City in September 1840, but he did not reach his place of residence at Santa Barbara until 11 January 1842.
      That month Mexico appointed Brigadier General Manuel Micheltorena governor, commandant general, and inspector of California with a salary of $4,000. He raised an army of 500 soldiers though 300 of them were criminals selected for their trades from prisons. Micheltorena reached San Diego on 25 August, and he took the oath of office in Los Angeles on 31 December. Commodore Thomas Ap Catesby Jones commanded the US Pacific fleet of five ships. On 19 October 1842 he had demanded that Monterey surrender, and the next day he went ashore with 150 men. After a brief negotiation Mexican sovereignty was restored, and the Americans departed. Later the United States government made it clear that Jones had acted without authority, and he was recalled; but this harmless incident showed the desire of some Americans to take over California. Micheltorena stayed in the south for six months and did not reach Monterey until the summer of 1843. On 29 March he had decreed that padres were restored to twelve missions, but one-eighth of produce had to go into the public treasury. Yet the main problem of the missions was that they lacked funds.
      After driving government horses from Monterey to the Salinas Valley, Manuel Castro, Jesus Pico, and about fifty others met on 14 and 15 November pronounced their revolt at the Cañada de San Miguel. One week later Governor Micheltorena led a battalion of about 150 men to put down the rebellion. Castro’s force retreated to Salinas. Alvarado was second in command, and he wrote to Vallejo asking for his support, horses, and supplies. About 220 rebels met Micheltorena’s battalion at the Laguna Seca, and in three days they negotiated a treaty. On 16 December he announced that the threat of civil war had passed away. Six days later they arrested Charles M. Weber for plotting against the government. On the first day of 1845 John Sutter led a force of 220 men to attack the rebels led by Castro and Alvarado at San José. Micheltorena on 4 January proclaimed that Castro and Jesus and Pio Pico had failed to return the horses and cattle, and he declared martial law in Monterey. Two days later he led a force that joined with Sutter’s men for a combined force of 400, but the rebels moved south. The Picos and J. A. Carrillo in Los Angeles organized a militia to defend Micheltorena. The rebels arrived and attacked a garrison on the 20th, and several men were killed and wounded.
      President Pio Pico convoked the Junta in Los Angeles on 28 January, and they appointed commissioners led by José Antonio de la Guerra to meet with Micheltorena at the Santa Barbara mission; but on 7 February he refused to recognize them or the Junta. One week later the Los Angeles Junta prepared accusations against Micheltorena, and the next day they declared Pio Pico the interim Governor of California. On the 17th citizens were ordered to present themselves for active service. Castro was leading 150 men who were watching Micheltorena at San Buenaventura. Then Castro went to Los Angeles where Alvarado joined him with reinforcements. The opposing forces confronted each other at Cahuenga; but Micheltorena raised a white flag and capitulated, and no one was injured. On the 22nd they signed a treaty at the Campo de San Fernando that recognized Lt. Col. José Castro as Commandant General of California. Micheltorena and his followers were allowed to leave with honor, and he returned to Monterey and then to Mexico City.
      Los Angeles became the capital. In May 1845 news arrived that the United States was at war against Mexico. On the 29th the Mexican government sent a message recognizing Pio Pico as governor. They appointed the commissioner José María de Híjar to go to California, and the Governor and the Assembly welcomed him in June. Civil offices remained at Monterey, and on 5 July Governor Pico published that Alta California was divided into two districts. Prefect Castro was the civil authority in the north. In early October a general election chose Alvarado as the deputy to the Mexican Congress. On the 28th Pico proclaimed the sale by auction of the missions at San Rafael, Dolores, Soledad, San Miguel, and Purísima as well most of San Luis Obispo, Carmel, San Juan Bautista, and San Juan Capistrano and most of the property.

New Mexico 1817-45

      After nearly twenty years of raiding by Navajos, the Hopis asked the Spaniards for help in 1818, and after defeating them the Spaniards made a treaty with the Navajos in 1819. When New Mexico learned on 26 December 1821 that Mexico had become independent, Santa Fe had about 5,000 people. The total population of gente de razon (Hispanic Americans) in New Mexico was then about 30,000, and it would more than double by 1845 while the 10,000 Pueblos diminished a little to a total of nearly 80,000. In the 1820s the Navajos often raided in northwestern New Mexico. In 1837 they devastated the Hopi village of Oraibi.
      William Becknell was from Missouri and was trading with natives when Mexican soldiers informed him that they were free of Spanish rule and invited him to go to Santa Fe. He did so and returned home with gold, silver, and furs that made astonishing profits for his investors. Other traders went there and established the Santa Fe Trail. In 1824 an expedition with 25 wagons with $35,000 in goods came back to Missouri with gold, silver, and furs worth $190,000. Profits soon moderated, and some years had a loss because of damage to goods or Indian attacks. There was trade every year between Santa Fe and Chihuahua from 1822 to 1843 when it reached a sudden peak with 230 wagons. In January 1825 they appropriated $30,000 for a road to Chihuahua. The trade between Missouri and Santa Fe lost 500 horses and mules in 1826 because of hostile “Indians” as they called them, and another party lost more than a thousand animals in 1828. In 1829 Major Riley ordered an escort by four companies of infantry from Fort Leavenworth. In 1830 traders began using oxen. Several men were killed in 1832-33, and in 1834 Captain Wharton escorted them with 60 dragoons. In 1837 Taos opened a custom-house for foreign trade.
      The Mexican republic made New Mexico a territory on 6 July 1824 and one of the departments on 29 December 1836. The ruler in Santa Fe from 1823 to 1837 was called the “political chief” and after that “governor.” Comanches, Navahos, and Apaches often attacked the Pueblos. In 1824 Santa Fe had 119 soldiers, but in 1826 a Mexican law provided $263,646 for 300 cavalry plus 200 militia. In 1829 Antonio Armijo blazed a trail from Santa Fe through what is now Utah to Los Angeles that became known as the Old Spanish Trail. José Antonio Vaca also pioneered the connection with California in 1830, and John Sutter began trading with Santa Fe in 1835. Taos got a printing press, but the Crepúsculo newspaper was published for only four weeks in 1835 so that Padre Martinez could get elected to congress.
      On 16 October 1835 Governor Albino Pérez proclaimed a new law to stop the sale of weapons and horses to Comanche, Apache, Ute, and Navajo raiders. Also Mexican citizens would have to get a license from the Governor to trap beaver, and they were prohibited from selling beaver to the Americans. In June 1836 another law imposed a tax on wagons bringing foreign merchandise to Santa Fe. Pérez established two primary schools on 16 July, and a law imposed fines and jail for children who did not attend regularly. In April 1837 the Mexican government increased the power of the governor. In July the northern Pueblos, dissatisfied with Mexican protection and taxes, revolted and marched on Santa Fe. Governor Pérez led a force of 150 militia that included Pueblos; but they were defeated, and the rebels captured Pérez and a few other leaders and killed them.
      On 9 August about 2,000 natives gathered at the capital, and they elected as governor José González from the Taos tribe. He appointed other natives and confiscated property of former politicians. Manuel Armijo raised an army on 8 September and was joined by 300 troops from Chihuahua at Santa Fe. They defeated the rebels on 27 January 1838 and executed González and several leaders. Armijo was elected governor. In the summer of 1841 Col. Hugh McLeod led the ill-fated Santa Fe Expedition of 300 Texans, but Comanches and Armijo’s soldiers overcame them in the desert. On 5 October McLeod and 200 men surrendered at Laguna Colorado, and the prisoners did not reach San Miguel until January 1842. Some were released in April, and President Santa Anna ordered the others let go on 13 June. Texas President Houston sent two forces to retaliate against the New Mexicans, but both of these excursions were punished by the United States government and military.
      In the late 1830s Antoine Robidoux became a Mexican citizen, and he built trading posts in the northern territory on the Gunnison and Uintah rivers. He traded guns and ammunition for pelts, and this worsened the conflicts between Utes and New Mexicans.
      On 13 June 1843 Mexico decreed that the departments would have elected legislative assemblies with 7 to 11 members replacing the juntas. In 1844 Governor Mariano Martínez de Lejanza provoked a war with the Utes, and they intensified their raiding.
      A few Spaniards had colonized what is now Arizona on ranches near presidios until their rule ended in 1822. After that the only Mexican settlements were at Tucson and Tubac. In 1843 Manuel Gándara incited the Papago and Gila tribes, but they repented and were pardoned in May. Apaches were usually friendly to Americans until 1836.

Mexico and the American War 1845-48

      Mexico’s Congress declared that José Joaquin de Herrera won the presidential election, and he was inaugurated on 16 September 1845 promising to take care of the army and finances. Officers in Querétaro and San Luis Potosí refused to move to the frontier and mutinied. General Paredes was summoned to Mexico City and was ordered to surrender his command. The government approved a plan to borrow $15 million from the clergy which meant using Church property as collateral. On 14 December about 5,000 soldiers in San Luis Potosí refused to march on Texas, and the city assembly agreed. The next day Paredes declared that he would reorganize the republic’s rights against the United States’ aggression. A revolt by the Celaya regiment in the capital was quelled, and on the 28th the Congress met. Two days later General Valencia proclaimed revolution in the Ciudadela, and President Herrera gave up the government.
      Paredes and his army entered the capital on 2 January 1846, and the next day a junta of representatives elected him interim president. An extraordinary congress was convoked. The press was concerned that a monarchy might be formed, and Federalists, Centralists, and followers of Santa Anna were working to overthrow the new government which imposed censorship on the press. Santa Anna sent Col. Alejandro Atocha to the United States, and he told President Polk that Santa Anna would be willing to accept the Rio Grande as the Mexican border and sell California north of San Francisco for $30 million. President Paredes issued a manifesto on 24 April promising to retain the republic. He was accused of neglecting to respond to Indian raids in Chihuahua, Durango, and Sonora.
      In January 1846 President Polk ordered General Taylor to move his troops to the east bank of the Rio Grande, and on 24 April Mexico’s General Arista arrived with his army of 4,000 men at Matamoros on the other side of the river. In the battle of Resaca de la Palma near Brownsville on 9 May Taylor’s force of 1,700 men defeated Arista’s army. Four days later the United States declared war on Mexico. The US Congress approved an army of 50,000 volunteers and authorized $10 million. The Mexican Congress forced the clergy to contribute $200,000 per month. Santanists gathered at Guadalajara, and on 20 May officers there proclaimed Santa Anna their leader. On 6 June the extraordinary congress met and confirmed the interim presidency of Paredes with Nicolás Bravo as vice president. Paredes sent money north to the army and then on 28 July he turned the executive authority over to Bravo who chose a new cabinet. On 3 August the garrisons at Vera Cruz supported the Guadalajara plan, and the next day General Salas did so in the citadel of Mexico. That night Paredes escaped but was caught and brought to the citadel as a prisoner. A conference deposed Bravo on the 6th and made Salas general-in-chief on the 22nd while suppressing the council and department assemblies.
      In the north Mexico’s Governor Manuel Armijo abandoned Santa Fe, New Mexico and ordered the 3,000 troops to evacuate the town before the Americans arrived on 19 August. General Pedro de Ampudia with 7,300 men defended Monterrey for three days against the American army led by Zachary Taylor before surrendering on 24 September.
      On 16 August 1846 the people at Vera Cruz welcomed Santa Anna’s return. The cabinet chief Valentín Gómez Farías went to Puebla to receive him, and on 15 September the return of Santa Anna and restoration of the federal government was celebrated. The national treasury had only 1,839 pesos. Two weeks later he led a force of 3,000 men from the capital for the frontier. A congress with a liberal majority was installed on 6 December, and on the 24th they made Santa Anna interim President with Vice President Gómez Farías governing while Santa Anna commanded the army. Farías took Church property to raise 5 million pesos for the war effort.
      On 6 January 1847 Santa Anna learned that Taylor had sent troops to aid Scott at Vera Cruz. Santa Anna’s army lost 4,000 men crossing 240 miles of desert. Yet his 15,000 men were three times Taylor’s army at Buena Vista on 22-23 February, but the Mexicans had many more killed and wounded and 1,894 missing. Santa Anna decided to retreat, and they were not pursued. By the time his army reached San Luis Potosí on 12 March he had lost 10,000 men on the expedition.
      On 26 February demonstrations in Mexico City opposed Farías, Congress, and Santa Anna. Radicals accepted Santa Anna as President, and Farías had arrested some in Congress which now opposed him. Many were upset by the Mexican army’s defeat at Buena Vista, though Santa Anna had claimed victory. He reached Mexico City on 21 March and resumed the presidency as Farías retired, ending the revolution.
      On 9 March the American Occupation Army of 8,600 men led by General Winfield Scott landed at Vera Cruz. Juan Morales had only 3,360 soldiers who were overwhelmed as American bombarding killed about a thousand civilians. They negotiated surrender from the 25th to the 29th, and 3,000 soldiers were captured. On 18 April at Cerro Gordo against Scott’s 8,500 troops Santa Anna’s army of 12,000 had more than a thousand men killed and 1,036 captured. The citizens of Puebla declined Santa Anna’s offer to defend them, and Scott’s army took over the city. Mexico City was threatened, and Mexicans fought valiantly at the Churubusco bridge. On 20 August at the capital Santa Anna asked Scott to negotiate while he prepared the city’s defenses. After the armistice Scott’s cavalry led the attack on 8 September, and they fought for a week. The outnumbered Mexican army suffered more than three times as many casualties and had about 3,000 men captured. After the Chapultepec Castle was taken, the US Army occupied the city. President Santa Anna resigned on the 16th and left the country.
      On 9 November the Mexican Congress elected Pedro María Anaya to be interim president for two months. He had also done that for 38 days in the spring of 1847. On 8 January 1848 Anaya was replaced by the Supreme Court president Manuel de la Peña y Peña who had served as acting president for seven weeks in the early fall of 1847. Peña was well respected and taught law at the university. He upheld the Constitution and prevented anarchy after the war ended.
      On 2 February 1848 the United States and Mexico signed a peace treaty at Guadalupe Hidalgo in which Mexico ceded nearly half its territory that included Texas, New Mexico, and Alta California as far south as the port of San Diego. The United States paid Mexico $15 million in compensation for damages and assumed Mexico’s debt of $3.25 million to American citizens. More than 70,000 men fought on each side. The United States had 1,733 men killed in battle and 4,152 wounded, and the Mexicans had about 5,000 die fighting and another 5,000 from diseases. Ratification of the treaty by both republican governments was completed with amendments by June. Many Mexicans would resent for a long time that Americans from the United States used armed force to take half their territory. These feelings were often expressed in their corrido folk songs.

Mexico and Santa Anna 1848-55

      The long-time resentment of the Mayans broke out in Yucatán. Their chiefs Manuel Antonio Ay, Cecilio Chí, and Antonio Pat had learned how to use firearms in the war. The rebellion had begun on 30 July 1847 at Tepich as they murdered mestizos and mulattoes in their sleep and raped many women; but in the ensuing battles the natives were defeated. On 2 February 1850 the Yucatán government offered a peace treaty that granted pardons and was accepted. By October cholera had killed about 14,000 people. Some rebels held out at Chan Santa Cruz until Chief Tzuc made peace in 1853.
      In June 1848 General Paredes and Manuel Doblado joined the revolt that was led by Governor Casio and the guerrilla Celedonio Dómeco de Jarauta who with a thousand men drove the commandant general Manuel Artega out of Aguascalientes and deposed the governor. On 18 July they were defeated by the Mexican army led by Bustamante at Guanajuato. Jarauta was taken prisoner and taken to Valenciana where he was executed. Paredes fled to Europe but was pardoned and returned and died in 1849.
      On 30 May 1848 Herrera was again elected President of Mexico, and on 3 June acting president Peña resumed his position as president of the Supreme Court. President Herrera rebuilt the treasury department, and the foreign debt contracted at London was fixed at £10,241,650. On 27 October 1849 the legislature declared the new state of Guerrero with Álvarez as chief commandant. In November monthly expenses were limited to $500,000 with two-thirds of it going to the War Department, and the army was limited to 10,000 men. Salaries of officials were reduced by a quarter. In the fiscal year 1849-50 expenses were $16,500,000 with $7,600,000 for war and $5,800,000 for the debt leaving a deficit of $8,500,000. In 1850-51 spending was $20,300,000 and the deficit $11,300,000. In 1851 Mexico purchased more than 20,000 improved muskets from France and Belgium.
      On 15 January 1851 Mariano Arista succeeded José Joaquin de Herrera as President of Mexico, and he followed the policies of his predecessor. That month the government severely suppressed a protest at Guanajuato, but another broke out in July. Demonstrations also occurred in San Luis Potosí, Vera Cruz, Tlaxcala, Jalisco, and in the south. Arista claimed that spending including debt payments was up to $26 million a year, and he tried to reduce it to $10,683,000 by cutting salaries drastically. Congress became hostile, and his ministers resigned. He formed a new cabinet on 11 September led by Fernando Ramirez who promised to follow public opinion. They tried to consolidate the interior debt and managed to cover two-thirds of the interest by 1852. Reduced patrol service led to more highway robberies and other crimes.
      Governor Portillo imposed a new police system in Guadalajara, and the arrest of the hat-maker José María Blancarte provoked him to lead a rebellion that took over the Governor’s palace and issued the Jalisco Plan on 26 July 1852. He led a council that proclaimed Gregorio Dávila as governor. He summoned a legislature to revise the constitution and make reforms while Blancarte retained military command. On 13 September he as head of the militia declared Arista deposed for violating laws, and he summoned Santa Anna to reorganize the government with a federal constitution. When Dávila opposed this, the Santanistas led by Suarez y Navarro replaced the governor with General Mariano Yañez. One week later General José L. Uraga led a movement that summoned two deputies from each state. On 20 October mostly civilians signed the Plan del Hospico that supported Santa Anna. On that day the Congress approved sending 5,000 of the National Guard to Jalisco, Vera Cruz, and Michoacán, and they appointed José López Uraga captain-general of Jalisco. The cabinet resigned, and Yañez led the new one that included Pedro María Anaya as Minister of War and the writer Guillermo Pietro at the Treasury. Prieto persuaded the lower house to accept his financial reforms, but the Senate opposed and closed the Congress. Most of the country had turned against the capital.
      Arista tried to open the legislature on the first day of 1853; but this failed, and he resigned on the 5th urging the Chief Justice Juan Bautista Ceballos to replace him. Yañez had already gone into exile and urged Arista to follow him. Ceballos became President on 6 January, and he formed a cabinet with the conservative Santanista General Blanco as Minister of War. Ceballos released political prisoners and granted amnesty, urging governors to also avoid hostility. A bill to summon a constitutional convention was rejected by the lower house which denounced the President and his cabinet as traitors. Ceballos dissolved the Congress. They met to impeach him and elect a new president; but one declined, and the other was rejected. The legislators dispersed and were forbidden to meet. Manuel María Lombardini admired Santa Anna, and he supported the Guadalajara Plan. Ceballos resigned on 7 February and returned to his position as chief justice. The new Plan allowed the generals to elect Lombardini as President.
      On 17 March the states voted 18-3 for Santa Anna as President over Uraga, and the winner sent his instructions to Lombardini who cooperated. Santa Anna reached Vera Cruz on 1 April and marched triumphantly to Mexico City where he became President on 20 April for the 11th and last time. Two days later he abolished federalism and the constitution, and on the 25th he gave himself the power to suppress any periodical. He made the conservative Lucas Alamán his Foreign Minister, but he died on 2 June. Santa Anna ruled as a dictator and increased the army to nearly 100,000 men. He favored the Catholic Church and allowed the Jesuits to return. On 14 May he centralized revenue and took control of all property, and the contributions from the states increased the income to $17 million. An uprising in May by the national guard, artisans, and a mob at Vera Cruz was brutally put down. He moved into the palace at Tacubaya in June and lived there in luxury. Cholera and other misery spread in the central provinces, and locusts devastated the east. Revolts broke out in Guanajuato, Yucatán, and Vera Cruz. Santa Anna had his War Minister Tornel deported on 11 September. On 16 December by decree he extended his dictatorship indefinitely and called himself “most serene highness.”
      The French filibuster Count Gaston de Raousset had invaded Sonora and captured the capital Hermosillo in 1852; but after he returned with 400 French and German fighters on 28 June 1854, he was defeated at Guaymas and executed on 13 July. In October 1853 William Walker captured La Paz and set up a republic in Lower California, but he soon returned to the United States.
      Juan Álvarez led a revolt in the south, and news reached the capital on 20 February 1854. Santa Anna decreed severe punishment for rebels and those aiding them. On 1 March Col. Florencio Villareal announced the Plan of Ayutla in the department of Guerrero which on the 11th was supported in Acapulco and by Col. Ignacio Comonfort who was made commandant of the fort. Álvarez was made commander-in-chief of the revolution that public opinion favored. In March several revolts erupted in Michoacán.
      Santa Anna and War Minister Santiago Blanco left the capital on 16 March. They were cheered wherever they went, but the revolution was spreading. Santa Anna’s army confiscated property of revolutionaries, burned hostile towns, and executed those who took up arms. His army of about 5,000 men reached Acapulco on 20 April, but Comonfort refused to surrender. Their attack on the fort failed, and while retreating they were defeated at Peregrino hill. They left detachments in towns and returned to Mexico City in May.
      On 30 December 1853 Mexico’s President Santa Anna and US Ambassador James Gadsden had signed the deal that sold to the United States another 26,670 square miles for $10 million in what became southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico where the US wanted to build a railroad to San Diego. On 24 February 1854 Álvarez condemned Santa Anna for selling the territory illegally. Mexico ratified it on 31 May, and the United States did so on 29 June and published it on 20 July. Santa Anna began spending the cash received on the deal, but by October he had only 60,000 pesos left. The deficit in 1854 was 10 million pesos.
      Governors demanded changes in the conservative government, but the dictator was satisfied with them. On 1 December a referendum on whether Santa Anna was to continue to govern was submitted to voters who had to sign their names in books for yes or no; very few signed in the no books while 400,000 signed the yes books. The widespread civil war was made worse by cholera, robbery, and Indian raids. Santa Anna positioned his army between Mexico City and Vera Cruz, but his General Francisco Guitian was defeated in San Luis Potosí. Santa Anna ran out of money and left for Vera Cruz on 9 August 1855, leaving General Díaz de la Vega in command at the capital. There the Ayuta Plan was soon adopted and accepted by the generals Vega and Carrera. On the 17th Santa Anna left on the Iturbide war steamer for Havana and then went to his estate in Colombia.
      A public meeting authorized Díaz de la Vega to choose a junta, and he appointed 52 members to elect a president. They elected their officers and Martin Carrera as interim President. He announced that he would organize the national guard, reform the military, regulate finances, and respect human rights. Guitian’s brigade at San Luis Potosí issued a Plan directed by Antonio Haro y Tamariz for abolishing conscription and the head tax while establishing press freedom. Comonfort’s army marched on Guadalajara, and they were well received on 22 August. Many departments accepted the Ayutla Plan. Carrera resigned the presidency on 12 September. When this news reached Álvarez in Lagos, he was accepted as the leader of the revolution. On the 24th he summoned one representative from each state to meet at Cuernavaca on 4 October to elect an interim president. The Convention on that day chose Gómez Farías as their president and Benito Juárez as one of their secretaries. Then they declared Juan Álvarez interim president of the republic.
      President Álvarez chose a cabinet that included Minister of War Ignacio Comonfort, Minister of Relations Melchor Ocampo, and Justice Minister Benito Juárez. On 15 October 1855 Álvarez granted amnesty to the many deserters from the army who had been conscripted by the dictatorial Santa Anna in breach of his promises. Ocampo and Juárez advised dissolving the army, but Comonfort’s views prevailed. In November 1855 Álvarez moved the seat of government back to Mexico City. Comonfort appointed a new cabinet. On 11 December Álvarez resigned the presidency to Comonfort. Álvarez left the capital with his Guerrero troops on the 18th, and he fought for Comonfort’s government in the mountains. On 12 December a revolt broke out in Mexico’s second largest city Puebla. General Guitian was sent there, but he joined the revolution. Haro y Tamariz led a conspiracy in the capital and escaped to Zacapoaxtla where he was made chief.

Mexico’s Reforms and Civil War 1856-60

      A decree on 9 January 1856 held Santa Anna and his subordinates responsible for illegal acts, and their estates were sequestered. The revolutionary forces took over Puebla on 16 January.
      A convention was called to meet at Mexico City on 18 February 1856 in order to organize a democratic government by drafting a constitution and organic laws. On the 22nd the Juárez law reduced the jurisdiction of the military and ecclesiastical courts, and soldiers and clerics would be tried in state and federal courts for violations of civil and criminal laws. Álvarez considered retiring for the winter. Doblado in Guanajuato refused to recognize Álvarez and proclaimed Comonfort president.
      The government sent a force of 5,000 men commanded by Villareal, and joined by other troops their army of 11,500 besieged Puebla on 9 March until they surrendered on the 22nd. On the 31st a decree ordered the governors of Puebla and Vera Cruz to seize church property that was not used for public worship.
      On 6 June the Congress revoked Santa Anna’s decree that had revived the Jesuits. Invectives against the liberal government by Catholic periodicals such as La Soledad and La Patria led to their suppression. José Lázaro de la Garza y Ballesteros had become Archbishop of Mexico in October 1850, and he led the opposition to the reforms. The Treasury Minister Miguel Lerdo de Tejada’s Lerdo Law was enacted on 25 June, and the value of the property transferred from the Church to the Government by the end of the year amounted to $23,019,281. Because these lands were sold, most landless peasants were not helped.
      In reaction to the reforms General Santiago Vidaurri had revolted in the north and seized Saltillo and Matehuala. San Luis Potosí agreed with him and communicated with other towns. On 14 September 1856 a woman reported to the President a seditious movement planned for the anniversary holiday. The next night the suspected Franciscans were arrested, and armed men occupied their convent. On the 17th a decree sequestered the convent’s property. About 200 rebels defended themselves at Puebla against 4,000 troops and were besieged until they capitulated on 29 November. Vidaurri had submitted on the 18th. More than a thousand troops revolted at San Luis Potosí on 10 December, but they were finally defeated on 27 February 1857.  On 15 December 1856 Pope Pius IX condemned the Juárez and Lerdo Laws.
      The new Constitution of Mexico was adopted and signed on 5 February 1857 and included 34 articles on equal rights, free expression, universal suffrage for men, and education. Slavery and compulsory service were abolished as were prison for debtors and titles of nobility. Supreme Court judges were to be elected. For the first time the Roman Catholic Church was not established by the government. A law enacted on 17 March required public officials to take an oath to uphold the Constitution. On 11 April the Iglesias Law limited the fees the Church could charge for receiving the sacraments. The Catholic Church opposed six articles that affected their power, though none of them had anything to do with Catholic dogma. The Constitution would go into effect on 16 September along with a new electoral law in 67 articles. Some in Aguascalientes and Puebla rebelled against the Constitution, and on 4 May about 3,000 natives attacked 200 soldiers in the Chilapa garrison, and less than half of them escaped death. Arbitrary governmental actions led to a ministerial crisis, and Miguel’s brother Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada was made Minister of Foreign Relations.
      An empty treasury made it difficult to keep troops in the field. Riots were hard to put down and could be bloody. A Congress was installed on 8 October, and Comonfort spoke about liberal institutions. Congress held the President to the law, and charges were made against him; but they allowed state governors a free rein. On 3 November a military rebellion in Cuernavaca persuaded the Congress to suspend several civil liberties, and they empowered the Government to borrow $6 million to fight the rebels. Comonfort won a majority in the presidential election, and Oaxaca’s Governor Benito Juárez was elected president of the Supreme Court and also became Minister of the Interior.
      On 17 December 1857 a political movement at Tacubaya renounced the Constitution as not in accord with the traditions of the Mexican people, and General Félix María Zuloaga formed a junta with generals and leading clergy. Zuloaga’s brigade occupied the capital, denounced President Comonfort and the city council, and arrested Juárez and other leaders, beginning a civil war against the reforms that would last three years. That night the constituent Congress dissolved itself. The junta installed a council of state on the 25th. Archbishop Garza and the Bishop of Michoacán approved the Tacubaya Plan, and they removed the excommunication from any supporting it. Some soldiers in the capital revolted on 11 January 1858 and joined reactionaries. Comonfort had 5,000 men in the palace and tried to hold the constitutionalist headquarters. He gave up his executive office in favor of Juárez whom he released to go to Guanajuato where on 19 January he set up his government that a majority of states recognized. Comonfort had only 50 soldiers left by the 20th, and he left the next morning. On 7 February he embarked on the Tennessee steamer.
      Zuloaga summoned a council that included bishops, and they elected him President 26-2, and in his oath on 23 January he promised to support religion and national independence. They quickly restored the privileges of the military and annulled the reform laws of the Comonfort administration. Zuloaga piously attended church, pardoned deserters, canceled the army levy, and put in jail suspicious liberals. The clergy provided money so that he could mobilize forces. Against them the constitutionalist army had 10,000 men at Celaya, but on 10 March about 5,000 conservatives defeated their liberal force of 7,000 in the battle of Salamanca in Guanajuato. The garrison at Guadalajara mutinied and captured Juárez with his ministers for three days, though negotiation led to their release and departure. Juárez fled to Querétaro and then made his way to Vera Cruz where he installed his government on 4 May.
      Benito Juárez was born on 21 March 1806 to Zapotec peasants and was raised by an uncle. In 1818 he could speak little Spanish, but his employer Antonio Salanueva had him educated for the priesthood. Later he preferred to study law, and he was elected to the Oaxaca City Council in 1831 and became a judge ten years later. In 1843 he married a 17-year-old European, and in 1845 he was elected to the state legislature. Juárez was Governor of Oaxaca 1847-52 and again from January 1856 to November 1857.
      During the civil war some fifteen states supported the constitutionalists while only six recognized Zuloaga’s authority. He selected a new cabinet in July, and his Justice Minister Father Javier Miranda enforced a law against conspiracy and muzzled the press. The conservatives’ army was led by Leonardo Márquez, Miguel Miramón, and the Indian cacique Tomás Mejía. Miramón’s army defeated liberal forces led by Santos Degollado at Atenquique on 2 July. They occupied San Luis Potosí on 12 September 1858 and defeated Vidaurri’s liberals near there on the 29th. On 14 October about 3,000 constitutionalists from Morela attacked the capital but had to retreat. On the 27th Degollado’s liberal force recaptured Guadalajara after a 30-day siege; but when Márquez arrived with an army of 4,000 men, they left the city. Reactionaries also captured Perote on 16 November. Zuloaga neglected to provide a new constitution, though General Miguel Echeagaray offered a plan at Ayotla on 20 December. Zuloaga dismissed him from the army and issued a manifesto. Zuloaga resigned three days later, and the next day Manuel Robles Pezuela occupied the palace and restored General Echeagaray who then captured Perote. They formed a junta on 30 December.
      Zuloaga reclaimed the presidency long enough to choose Miguel Miramón as his successor on 31 January 1859. He imposed a 1% tax on all property worth more than $1,000. Miramón borrowed $300,000 from the clergy which enabled 5,000 men to besiege Vera Cruz on 16 February; but the United States Navy prevented his forces from blockading the port by sea, and they gave up the siege on 31 March. However, they defeated the constitutionalists in La Lagunilla before retreating to the capital. There in the battle of Tacubaya on 11 April the liberals led by Degollado suffered heavy losses. Miramón ordered the 200 prisoners killed, and Márquez had many more executed, horrifying public opinion.
      On 6 April the United States government recognized the Juárez government in Vera Cruz, and President Buchanan sent Robert M. McLane as minister. After he arrived in Vera Cruz, Juárez sent José M. Mata to Washington.
      Mexico’s productive activity had been greatly reduced, and many guerrilla chiefs led bands on both sides that plundered the country. On 12 July the Juárez government nationalized Church property except for churches and their contents, and they also took over cemeteries. On the 23rd they enacted civil marriage. Márquez’s reactionary force stole twenty loads of silver from Tepic and took it to Guadalajara. On 5 September Vidaurri declared Nuevo León y Coahuilla an independent state; but Juárez sent Degollado with a force that drove Vidaurri over the Texas border. Liberal forces attacked Estancia de las Vacas on 12 November, but they were defeated. Since July the liberals had lost 10,000 men, 62 cannons, 7,300 muskets, and 3,000 sabres. Márquez took $600,000 from a conducta of $1,964,000 in Guadalajara, and Miramón had him suspended and arrested. Besides the capital the conservatives held Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, and San Luis Potosí. On 4 December the Juárez government enacted religious liberty.
      On 26 November Miramón’s minister Juan Almonte in Paris made a treaty with the Spanish ambassador Alejandro Mon; but Juárez considered it invalid, and it did not become law. On 14 December the liberals agreed to the McLane-Ocampo treaty that would give the United States the right of transit across northern Mexico by railroads and highways; but the US Senate rejected it. British diplomats suggested an armistice, and Miramón agreed; but Juárez refused any compromise.
      Ortega’s army of 11,000 men defeated 8,000 led by Miramón at Calpulapan on 22 December. Miramón returned to Mexico City in January 1860 and prepared for a campaign to take Vera Cruz. While his army besieged Vera Cruz a second time from 8 February to 21 March, in naval battles US ships captured some of Miramón’s ships and took them to New Orleans. Miramón returned to Mexico City on 7 April as the war turned against the conservatives. Liberals led by Jesús González Ortega forced Ramirez to retreat from Aguascalientes in early April, and on the 24th constitutionalists led by General Uraga defeated Rómulo Díaz de la Vega at Loma Alta, persuading the reactionaries to evacuate San Luis Potosí. Liberals besieged and took several cities, though Oaxaca held out. Miramón in May led an army that was joined by the troops of Mejia and Castillo, and they forced Uraga to retreat to León. While Uraga’s army was assaulting Guadalajara, Miramón attacked his rear with 7,000 men. Uraga was wounded and taken prisoner in a defeat that delayed the end of the war. Miramón’s army of 6,000 men marched into southern Jalisco, but 8,000 liberals led by Ignacio Zaragoza made him decide to retreat to Guadalajara. Then he went to León where his prisoner Zuloaga was held but escaped. Miramón’s army suffered a serious defeat on the Silao hills on 10 August. He returned to the capital the next day and then yielded the presidency to Ignacio Pavon, the president of the Supreme Court. Miramón called an election. A junta elected him interim president on the 14th, and he chose a cabinet. After the liberals took Oaxaca, Miramón released Márquez.
      On 6 November Juárez called for general elections. France’s minister Dubois de Saligny arrived in late November and recognized Miramón’s government. Márquez led a force to relieve Guadalajara where González Ortega had 17,000 men. Márquez sent the police chief and an armed force that stole $700,000 from the British legation. The constitutionalist forces were closing in on Mexico City which Miramón put under martial law on the 13th. He led an army that defeated liberal forces on 9 December, capturing many prisoners including Degollado, Felipe Berriozábal, and Benito Gómez Farías. On 22 December Ortega’s army of 16,000 men overwhelmed the 8,000 fighting for Miramón who fled to Mexico City where he capitulated to Degollado and Berriozábal because Ortega was insisting on unconditional surrender. Miramón then escaped to Europe. The liberal army of 25,000 men was victorious at Mexico City on 25 December.
      Manuel Gándara had armed the Yaquis and led revolts against the state in 1838, 1840, and 1842. Governor Ignacio Pesqueira dismissed Gándara from the government in 1857, and for the next two years his revolt was supported by Mateo Marquin. The Yaquis plundered the Guaymas Valley, and the Mayos sacked Santa Cruz by the lower Mayo River; but the Mexicans defeated both tribes in 1859. In 1862 Pesqueira invaded their territory, defeating the Mayos at Santa Cruz and making peace with the Yaquis at Torim.

Mexico’s Juárez and the French 1861-64

      The liberal army entered the capital on the first day of 1861 followed by Juárez on 11 January. The democratic liberal progressives had overcome the aristocratic conservative reactionaries and taken over government in the capital, but opposition would continue with guerrilla fighting. Conspirators were to be tried and shot. The next day Juárez expelled the Apostolic Delegate and five bishops. Miramón’s minister Isidro Díaz was captured, but Juárez commuted his death sentence to five years in exile. In early March he decreed amnesty for all but a few prominent men. A $10,000 reward was offered for the killing of Zuloaga, Márquez, Mejía, and four others. Ministers resigned in January, and Juárez appointed a new cabinet. Many governors and state legislatures were unable to defend the national government, and some continued martial law. On 25 January he decreed an end to martial law and extraordinary military powers by governors.
      The liberal party was divided between constitutionalists and reformers with moderates in the middle. Juárez in the early February election won a plurality of the votes; but Miguel Lerdo de Tejada showed strength in the east, and Jesús González Ortega did well in the north. Lerdo became ill and died on 22 March. Treasury Minister Guillermo Prieto warned that the government was nearly bankrupt, and in April he resigned. Minister of War Ortega also quit and was replaced by Zaragoza. The new Treasury Minister José María Mata knew little about finances, but he suspended payments and held public auctions on government notes and contracts. The British and French wanted reparations for various offenses. The Congress met on 9 May and quarreled with the ministers who resigned and were replaced. On 11 June they ratified the election of Juárez as President for four years, and they made General Ortega president of the Supreme Court. The Congress in July permitted the government to collect all revenues and to suspend payments on the foreign debts.
      Guerrilla bands were roving and robbing, and some of them were defeated. Many clergy refused to use the government textbook on politics by Pizarro. Congress set up a committee of safety, and President Juárez suspended personal rights but repealed the decree in October. Melchor Ocampo had been abducted in May and was murdered, and the liberals Degollado and Valle were captured on 23 June and met the same fate. The federal district of Mexico City was put under martial law and was invaded. Col. Porfirio Díaz led the defense and defeated rebels led by Márquez at Jalatlaco on 13 August. Márquez failed in an attack on San Luis Potosí, but his forces overran Aguascalientes and Zacatecas before government forces defeated him and Mejía at Pachuca on 20 October.
      On 31 October 1861 Britain’s Queen Victoria, France’s Emperor Napoleon III, and Spain’s Queen Isabella II at London agreed to intervene in Mexico, and Britain and France broke off diplomatic relations with Mexico in late November. In December the United States declined to join the European powers, and Secretary of State Seward informed Mexico that the Americans would provide naval forces in the Gulf of Mexico to protect Mexican citizens. Spain prepared a military force of about 5,000 men and 15 ships at Havana. The Mexican Congress ended its session on 15 December, and the next day Manuel Doblado was made Minister of Foreign Relations and president of the cabinet.
      On 14 December a Spanish fleet arrived at Vera Cruz. Three days later General Gasset’s force occupied the city, and he imposed martial law and took over the Council. On the 18th President Juárez expressed in a manifesto the belief that Spain was the principal enemy of Mexican independence. He dispatched General Zaragoza with 3,000 men and asked the states for 52,000 troops. He also decreed a 25% increase on government imposts and a 2% tax on property worth more than $500. Martial law was declared in Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Vera Cruz, and Tamaulipas. As the Europeans approached, other states did the same.
      The British and French fleets arrived on 6 and 7 January 1862, and the allies signed a convention. Spain had 6,000 troops under General Juan Prim, and France had 3,000 led by Dubois de Saligny. England provided warships and 700 marines. The United States steamer San Jacinto captured the British mail-steamer Trent. Juárez agreed to let them move inland so that they would not be decimated by yellow fever. In 1862 Mexico’s debt was 81,632,561 pesos, and they owed 64,266,354 pesos of this to Britain. The French were demanding payment on the Jecker bonds loaned to Miramón’s government in October 1859, but Juárez repudiated that. Yucatán was torn apart by civil strife, and Márquez and Mejía were still hostile in San Luis Potosí and the Querétaro mountains.
      On 18 February Foreign Minister Manuel Doblado met with General Prim, and he promised that Mexico would start paying it foreign debts. At La Soledad they negotiated a convention that allowed the allies to occupy Córdoba, Orizaba, Tehuacán, and that region. This was ratified by the British and French and by Juárez. The French General Lorencez arrived in early March with 3,000 more troops, and the Mexican government suspected that they wanted to impose an imperial monarchy under the Habsburg Archduke Maximilian. On 9 April the British and Spanish decided to depart with their forces, and two days later Doblado warned the French not to advance with their army. At Escamela 200 French cavalry led a charge against only forty Mexicans who suffered thirty casualties. The French army of 6,000 men led by General Charles Latrille marched to Puebla, and there on 5 May the Mexicans led by generals Zaragoza and Porfirio Díaz repelled their attack. This victory gave Mexico another year of independence and became the basis of Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
      Zaragoza’s troops were not able to drive the French out of Orizaba. Doblado resigned in August and was replaced by Juan Antonio de la Fuente who had drafted a law on religious tolerance. Some priests were preaching that Mexicans should collaborate with the French, and Juárez on 30 August decreed that any priest exciting “hate or disrespect for our laws” could be imprisoned or deported. Mexico held elections for their third constitutional Congress.
      After learning in June of the Puebla defeat, Emperor Napoleon III sent about 30,000 troops led by General Elie Frédéric Forey. Meanwhile the French were suffering from yellow fever. Foley arrived at Orizaba on 26 October and suppressed the authority of Juan Almonte. About 350 Mexican officers joined the French in their camp. Mexico raised taxes and borrowed $30 million. General Zaragoza died on 8 September and was replaced by Ortega. On 10 December the Congress decreed that they would act toward French prisoners the same way the French treated Mexican captives.
      On 10 January 1863 a French squadron bombarded Acapulco for eight hours and then for two more days on three fortifications before departing. Foley waited five months for siege artillery before marching on Puebla. General Ortega had an army of 22,000, and on 10 March he declared martial law in Puebla. On the 16th about 26,600  French with 2,000 Mexican imperialists besieged the city. On 9 May the French defeated Mexicans led by Comonfort at San Lorenzo. Puebla ran out of food and ammunition, and on the 17th they destroyed their armaments and surrendered. About 5,000 Mexicans were conscripted into the army led by Márquez, and other prisoners were put to work destroying barricades or on the railroad. The French sent Ortega and 530 Mexican officers to France as prisoners. After learning that many officers had been badly treated, Ortega and several others escaped on the way to Vera Cruz.
      Juárez declared martial law in Mexico City, and he asked the states to send troops to defend the capital. The Congress and he decided that 14,000 troops were not enough, and they gave him power to defend the country. On 31 May the Congress ended its session, and the government left to go to San Luis Potosí. They arrived on 10 June and began organizing military forces, concentrating 12,000 men in Querétaro. On 1 June the reactionaries in the capital led by General Bruno Aguilar had already resolved to submit to the French. Soldiers led by Márquez preceded the French as they marched triumphantly into Mexico City.
      On 16 June Foley chose a provisional government of 215 notables under a regency by General Almonte, General Mariano Salas, and Bishop Labastida of Puebla, the archbishop-elect of Mexico, who being in Europe was temporarily replaced by Bishop Ormaechea. The triumvirate began governing on the 24th, and the next day they approved Foley’s decrees that authorized a French court to try outlaws, which many Mexicans resented. The Mexican notables selected were mostly monarchists. The Roman Catholic prince chosen by France’s Emperor Napoleon III was to be the Austrian Archduke Maximilian who became known as Fernando Maximiliano, Emperor of Mexico. His wife Marie Charlotte Amélie was to be called Empress Carlota.
      On 18 January 1861 Leonardo Márquez at Tlalpan had planned to continue the civil war. At first the French only controlled the few cities they had occupied from Vera Cruz to Puebla and the capital. Thus the republicans still governed most of Mexico. The regents sent José María Gutiérrez de Estrada to Miramar near Trieste in Italy to offer the crown to Maximilian which he did on 3 October 1863. Meanwhile well equipped French and Mexican forces took over more of the country while republican guerrilla forces resisted. Many Mexicans accepted the French government for the sake of peace. Foley and Saligny learned in August that Napoleon III had recalled them. Juárez chose a new cabinet on 1 September. On the 17th Archbishop Labastida arrived at Vera Cruz. General Bazaine took command of French forces on 1 October, and one week later he decreed the repeal of Foley’s sequestration of property. He reformed the French military by excluding women followers and plundering, and he put Márquez in command of the Mexican army with Mejía, Vicario, and others over auxiliaries. The French now had an army of 34,700 men in Mexico. In November they mobilized 14,000 French and 7,000 Mexicans for a campaign.
      The republicans had divisions led by Minister of War Comonfort, Porfirio Díaz, and Governor Doblado, and others led by the generals Ortega, Uraga, Arteaga, Negrete, and Berriozábal. Comonfort was killed in an ambush on 14 November, and three days later a French force with Mejía took over Querétaro. Reinforcements increased the republican forces in Michoacán to 9,000 men under Uraga; but French troops in December attacked them, killing and capturing 1,300 as the rest retreated south. The French and Mejía surrounded Guanajuato, and Doblado withdrew to San Luis Potosí, which Juárez abandoned on the 22nd, taking his government to Saltillo in Coahuila. The republican government had forced loans from Zacatecas, Guanajuato, and San Luis Potosí to replenish the treasury. General Negrete let Mejía take over San Luis Potosí on 25 December; but the republicans got reinforcements and attacked the city two days later, losing 200 killed and almost 900 taken prisoners.
      On 5 January 1864 General Bazaine’s army occupied Guadalajara as General Arteaga retreated to the south. Doblado led a republican attack on Monterey in May; but the French reinforced Mejía and took nearly 1,200 prisoners and all their artillery. A few weeks later Doblado went to the United States where he died the following June. Díaz had 8,000 republicans and retreated to the south to control Vera Cruz. The French navy helped take Yucatán on 22 January 1864. Díaz’s forces and a siege for six weeks forced the French to give up San Juan Bautista in Tabasco on 27 February. Governor Vidaurri of Nuevo León and Coahuila went over to the French. In response Juárez dissolved the union of Coahuila and Nuevo León, and then in March he suppressed the referendum called by Vidaurri. War Minister Negrete led an army of 7,000 men and occupied Monterey on 29 March as Vidaurri and his 1,000 men fled to Texas. Then Juárez moved to Monterey and summoned the Congress. The French held the richest portion of Mexico with farms, mines, and factories while the republicans held sparsely populated regions in the north and south.

Mexico and Emperor Maximilian

      On 9 April 1864 Maximilian renounced the Austrian succession for himself and his heirs, and the next day with the treaty of Miramar he accepted the Mexican crown. That day the regency was dissolved, and Almonte governed as the Emperor’s lieutenant. Napoleon and Maximilian agreed to reduce the number of French troops in Mexico to 25,000. They intended to make Mexico pay for the French expedition which up to July cost 270 million francs (55 million pesos) with 3% interest. Maximilian visited Pope Pius IX and promised to restore the Catholic Church in Mexico. He arrived at Vera Cruz on 28 May, was well received at Puebla on 5 June, and was greeted at the capital on the 12th.
      Maximilian had liberal values and came into conflict with the conservatives who put him in power. His salary was $1,500,000 per year with $200,000 for his wife Carlota. He proclaimed a free press and a general amnesty for political prisoners with terms less than ten years. The Emperor’s armies had 35,550 French and 20,280 Mexicans. Maximilian tried to save money by limiting the inefficient Mexican army, and he reduced the French military to 28,000 by April 1865. The rural guard increased to 8,500, and 7,300 Austrian and Belgian recruits arrived in October 1864.
      On 10 August 1864 Maximilian began a tour of his new empire through Querétaro to Guanajuato, and he celebrated Mexican independence on 16 September at Dolores. He returned to the capital by way of Michoacán convinced that a majority of the people had free will. To protect his people he ordered that all the armed bands overrunning the country causing disorder were to be treated as bandits. In many areas patriotic liberals opposing his imperialism were fighting back as guerrillas for Juárez who acted to curtail their violence and thus gained popular favor.
      On 7 December Archbishop Meglia of Damascus arrived at Vera Cruz as the Papal Nuncio with a letter from Pope Pius IX who demanded that Maximilian revoke the laws oppressing the Catholic Church, cooperate with the bishops, support only Roman Catholicism, revive its religious orders, protect the Church’s patrimony, let the clergy educate the public, and free the Church from secular power. However, Maximilian proposed religious tolerance with the state protecting and supporting the clergy from the public treasury as civil servants; but the Church must cede all revenue from its property declared national by the republican government, and the Emperor would enjoy the rights given to American churches by Spanish kings. Parishioners were freed from having to pay fees, tithes, or emoluments. Maximilian would recognize no superior authority, and he subjected papal bulls to government approval. On the 28th he confirmed those who had purchased national goods, and on 26 February 1865 he renewed the sale of ecclesiastical property. These things made Catholics angry, and the papal commission returned to Rome in July 1865.
      The republicans had two armies supporting Juárez—one under General Uraga in Jalisco and the other led by Porfirio Díaz in the south. The others fighting were guerrillas. The French army drove the republican Governor Gallardo out of Guanajuato, and Acapulco in Guerrero had surrendered to the French on 3 June 1864. The republican generals in the north had about 12,000 men. The United States provided arms and loans mostly from Texas and California. General Arteaga accused the commanding General Uraga of favoring the imperialists, and he refused to follow his orders. Uraga resigned, let Arteaga take command, and accepted a position on the imperial council.
      The French, who wanted their loans paid back, depended on property confiscated from the Church. Maximilian appointed a Council of State with José María Lacunza as its president. In the north after the imperialists defeated Doblado’s forces in May 1864, the imperial Vidaurrists rose up in Nuevo León led by Quiroga. He and Vidaurri’s son Indalecio took over Monterey on 15 August. Juárez escaped through Coahuila and Durango to Chihuahua while he sent  his family to New Orleans. On the 17th the French led by Castagny had taken over Saltillo. On the 22nd the French took Bagdad and then the port on 26 September. Juárez established his capital at Chihuahua on 15 October. Republican elections could not be held, and Supreme Court president Ortega wanted to succeed Juárez; but his term had not been completed, and Ortega went to the United States. Márquez helped General Douy on 28 October against Arteaga at Atenquique and then occupied Colima before taking the port of Manzanillo on 18 November. Yet the republicans retained control of the country south of Puebla. That month Maximilian sent Miramón to Berlin to study artillery and Márquez to the Mideast as Minister Plenipotentiary to the Porte at Istanbul. On 4 December Maximilian chose eight councilors including the defector Uraga and the liberal Bishop José Fernando Ramirez as foreign minister.
      On 9 February 1865 the French army led by Bazaine defeated Porfirio Díaz’s republicans in Oaxaca. They captured Díaz, but he escaped. By March the state of Guerrero was free of the French. A French fleet brought soldiers to the Gulf of California, and they took over Guaymas in Sonora on 29 March.

Note

1. History of Mexico, Volume 5 by Hubert How Bancroft, p. 307.

Copyright © 2018 by Sanderson Beck

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