The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988 Page: 534
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ther from the presidential office in the capital or from his country es-
tate in Veracruz. A conservative-clerical alliance favoring the abolition
of the federal system and its replacement by a centralized republic had
gained control of the Congress and proceeded to dismantle the fed-
eration throughout 1835. While this constitutional change was being
planned and executed, Santa Anna had preferred to absent himself
from the capital, but he had provided the new ruling group with mili-
tary support to suppress federalist resistance, notably in the state of
Zacatecas. The quick and efficient defeat of Zacatecas had brought
even more luster to his already glowing personal reputation and had
persuaded Mexican public opinion that the national armed forces were
invincible when led by the indomitable hero of Tampico.' The Texas
revolt, therefore, was not considered a grave threat to the new govern-
ment, and it was assumed in most of the press that Santa Anna would
have little difficulty in restoring order to the distant province.2
Santa Anna's attitude regarding the political changes taking place
while he led the army into Texas, however, was by no means clear.
Throughout his career and repeatedly in 1834 after the fall of the lib-
eral regime, he had insisted on his loyalty to the federal system and had
not, at least publicly, expressed any firm ideological belief in the pro-
posed constitutional change to centralism.' Another personal considera-
tion was almost certainly present in his calculations. There is consider-
able evidence, albeit circumstantial, that he aspired to formal dictatorial
power, or, as some alleged, to be the monarch of Mexico. Since he had
assumed effective control of the country in May, 1834, with the nebu-
lous title of protector, there had been persistent rumors and assertions
that his supporters were trying to mobilize opinion for his elevation to
' One of many such epithets applied to Santa Anna, this referred to his victory at Tampico in
1829 over a Spamnish army attempting to reconquer the country For further information on the
events of 1834-1835, see Michael P. Costeloc, La prnmera repfiblzca federal de Mixico (1824-
1835). Un estudo de los partidos politicos en el Mixico mndependiente (Mexico City- Fondo de Cultura
Econ6mica, 1975), and Jan Bazant, A Concuse History of Mexico, from HIdalgo to Cdrdenas,
z8o5-194o (New York Cambridge University Press, 1977). Among many studies of Santa
Anna's career, the most readable remains that of Wilfrid Hardy Callcott, Santa Anna The Story
of an Enigma Who Once Was Mexico (Hamden, Conn." Archon Books, 1964).
2The Texan rebels, or foreigners, as they were often called, were widely portrayed as weak,
cowardly, and dishonorable adventurers who stood no chance against the Mexican army. See,
for example, Dzario del gobterno de los Estados-Unzdos Mexzcanos (Mexico City) through Nov.,
1835; El censor (Veracruz), Mar. 2, 1836; La lima de vulcano (Mexico City), Mar. 5, 1836; El
mosquito mexicano (Mexico City), Mar. 1, 11, 1836
'Santa Anna's relationship with the G6mez Farfas administration is examined in Michael P.
Costeloe, "Santa Anna and the G6mez Farias Administration min Mexico, 1833-1834," Amercas,
XXX (July, 1974), 18-50.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988, periodical, 1987/1988; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101211/m1/606/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.