The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938 Page: 282
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Rising to power as a federalist in 1833, he became a conservative
when opposition to reforms of the radical liberals seemed to
threaten his power. An unconcealable failure in Texas cost him
the presidency in 1836, but the loss of a leg in a brush with the
French at Veracruz restored his prestige and brought him power
for the second time in 1841. A government distinguished prin-
cipally for its personalistic centralism was now organized, and a
ruthless oppression of political adversaries was initiated. The re-
gime collapsed in 1844, however, and the captor of the Alamo was
sent into a "perpetual" exile. As Mexico's one successful general,
the federalists recalled him in 1846, to rally the nation against the
North Americans; but, when Mexican resistance collapsed, Santa
Anna entered a "voluntary" exile, betaking himself to a rural
retreat in New Granada.
The moderate liberals attempted to govern Mexico during the
ensuing six years. While the American indemnity lasted, their
efforts were fairly productive, but the treasury ceased to provide
for essential services as extraordinary resources dwindled. Revolts
now multiplied in number, while savage Indians ravaged the states
of the north. Bandits took over the highways. The foreign and
domestic debts pyramided, and tariffs were altered at the ports to
suit local interests. Rapidly the nation approached a state of
complete anarchy. At the same time, Presidents Herrera and
Arista were alienating soldiers and bureaucrats by reducing their
numbers and emoluments; and important clergymen were being
frightened by the rash pronouncements of certain radical liberals.
Even the liberals, particularly the propertied moderates, were
gravely alarmed by the disruptive tendencies everywhere apparent.
Such was the situation when a few conservatives succeeded in
converting a petty uprising of radicals into a national revolutionary
movement. Their so-called plan of Jalisco spoke for a dictatorship
of brief duration-so that order might be re-established-and for
the convocation of a congress to revise the constitution. It united
conservatives and moderates in opposition to President Arista,
who resigned when the national congress refused to grant him
supplies. The success of the revolution was assured on February 6,
1853, when the garrison of Mexico City adhered and signed an
agreement providing for the extension of the proposed dictator-
ship. The agreement seems to have been reached on the under-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938, periodical, 1938; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101103/m1/310/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.