The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998 Page: 120
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120 Southwestern Historical Quarterly July
Since this study pertains only to the first generation of encomenderos, those
who participated, early or late, in the Aztec conquest, or who migrated to New
Spain soon afterward, its subjects include few who took part in the Spanish pene-
tration of northern Mexico. Exceptions were Nuiio Beltrin de Guzmin, notori-
ous for his brutal conquest of Nueva Galicia, and Crist6bal P&rez de Oiiate, co-
discoverer of the silver wealth of Zacatecas. The only early holders of encomien-
das who had anything to do with the Southwest, including Texas, were Francisco
Vazquez de Coronado and two of the participants in his luckless expedition of
1540-1542, Tristan de Luna and Alonso Perez.
Southwest Missouri State University DAVID B. ADAMS
Mexicans at Arms: Puro Federalists and the Politics of War, 1845-1848. By Pedro
Santoni. (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1996. Pp. xii+323.
Acknowledgments, preface, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 0-87565-158-
5. $29.50, cloth.)
Pedro Santoni accomplishes his objective of filling the gap "of Mexican domes-
tic affairs" (p. 5) from 1845 to 1848. Based on extensive archival, primary, and
secondary sources, this well-written book offers a detailed analysis of the convolut-
ed political war among the puros (radicals), moderados, and conservatives.
The attempt to rehabilitate G6mez Farfas is partly achieved. By pointing out
the reasons why the puro ideologue could not reinstitute the federalist
Constitution of 1824, which he felt was the only avenue to regain Texas and
defeat the United States, Santoni provides a more balanced picture. Among
those reasons were national bankruptcy, political deceitfulness, lack of patrio-
tism on the part of the church, moderado lack of cooperation, the identification
of the civic militias with the urban poor, and the lack of national identity.
Santoni provides documentary proof for his assertions, but one can take issue
with some of his interpretations. Can G6mez Farfas's monetary contributions to
and the raising of volunteers for the supporters of Texas independence in 1834
be justified because he believed that "most of the Texans were federalists and
not secessionists" (p. 27)? Santoni rejects the accusation that G6mez Farfas
betrayed Mexico because his "lifelong service to Mexico" and pro-war rhetoric
proves otherwise and because he "broke off all connections with the Texans
once it became evident that the rebels favored independence" (pp. 27-28).
The charge of lack of moderado cooperation could equally be applied to the
puros. The latter's insistence on threatening those who saw the need to negotiate
a peace settlement with treason and their calls for continuing the war even after
the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo had been ratified smacked of jingoism and
naivete. Although Santoni traces the moderado-puro antagonism to the 183os
"political skirmishes" (p. 4), these are cursorily described. One cannot under-
stand the antagonism of the hierarchy, conservatives, and moderados to puro
expropriation of church wealth during the war when the laws of the 183os are
merely described as "other new laws . .. intended to weaken the economic and
political status of the Church" (p. 18).
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998, periodical, 1998; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117155/m1/148/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.