VOL. XLI APRIL, 1938 No. 4
The publication committee and the editors disclaim responsibility for views expressed
by contributors to THE QUARTERLY
SANTA ANNA'S LAST DICTATORSHIP, 1853-18551
EVOLUTION AND EARLY POLICIES
Foreign wars, domestic insurrections, and natural calamities
scourged unhappy Mexico during her first half century of inde-
pendence. Vast portions of her national domain were lost to the
United States, and thousands of her sons were slaughtered by
Spanish, French, and American invaders. Yet, the most serious
threat to Mexico's existence as an independent nation arose from
her innumerable intestine struggles. These were allied so closely
in cause and effect that they may be considered related phases of
one prolonged war. A constitutional question furnished the initial
pretext for the conflict, but political issues merely cloaked a more
fundamental clash of economic and social interests, for ecclesiastical
hierarchs, powerful lay property owners, and easily purchased
militarists usually were drawn to the centralist, or conservative
party, while the less prosperous creoles and mestizos normally
became federalists, or liberals.
During their first three decades of warfare, both parties fre-
quently used a willing but unreliable tool, General Antonio L6pez
de Santa Anna. This talented creole's unsurpassed personality
enabled him to satisfy his appetite for power at many tables, and
to betray his hosts whenever personal interests bade him do so.
IThis is a summary of portions of a study entitled: "The Mexican
Revolution of Ayutla, 1854-1855," which has been submitted to the faculty
of the Graduate School of The University of Texas in partial fulfillment of
the requirements for the Ph. D. degree.
Many citations that appear in the more detailed study have been omitted
in this article.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101103/. Accessed October 8, 2015.