The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952 Page: 150
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
detached from political developments, including the Texas re-
bellion, until Santa Anna's dictatorial excesses of 1844 inspired a
movement, led by Herrera, to restore constitutional government.
Herrera's first administration, 1844-1845, was concerned pri-
marily with the Texas annexation question. Regarding Texas as
lost to Mexico, the President favored recognizing the independ-
ence of Texas on condition that it should not be annexed to the
United States and advocated the settlement of differences by
peaceful means. He showed, moreover, a disposition to negotiate
even after the passage of the annexation resolution by the United
States and the subsequent breaking of diplomatic relations-"an
unfortunate occurrence which probably would not have happened
had Herrera's government not been obligated to do so by virtue
of the impolitic course of action followed by Santa Anna from
1841 to 1844" (p. 122). But Herrera was unable to reconcile
his policy with the acceptance by Texas of the annexation pro-
posal and the advance of American forces to Corpus Christi.
"Had he been free to carry his policies into effect," Dr. Cotner
maintains, "Mexico might have been spared invasion and dev-
astation, and the loss of lives and of great territories" (p. 151) .
Five of the thirteen chapters are devoted to a topical presen-
tation of the problems of Herrera's second term, 1848-1851. A
considerable amount of detail is given in describing attempts of
the administration to suppress internal revolts, balance the budg-
et, stamp out racial warfare in Yucatin, and settle disputed
points arising out of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The at-
titude of the administration toward the religious question was
decidedly moderate and even conservative at times; while much
was accomplished by Herrera and his minister of war in the
direction of army reform, the statement that their efforts "served
as a basis and precursor for the more extensive reform movement
known as the War of Reform" (p. 31 1) may be stretching the
point. A unique contribution to Mexican political development
was made, however, when Herrera, as a constitutionally-elected
president, turned over his office to his constitutionally-elected
successor on January 13, 1851. Herrera closed his public career
as director of the Monte de Piedad, or national pawnshop, which
Dr. Cotner describes most interestingly. An impressive bibliog-
raphy and an index round out this excellent study.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952, periodical, 1952; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/m1/174/: accessed June 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.