Mariano Paredes (President of Mexico)

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Mariano Paredes
Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga (Joaquin Ramirez).jpg
15th President of Mexico
In office
31 December 1845 28 July 1846
Vice President Nicolás Bravo
Preceded by José Joaquín de Herrera
Succeeded by Nicolás Bravo
Personal details
Bornc. 7 January 1797
Mexico City, Viceroyalty of New Spain
Died(1849-09-07)7 September 1849
Mexico City
Spanish (prior to 1821)
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s)Josefa Cortés

Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga (c. 7 January 1797 – 7 September 1849) was a Conservative Mexican general and president. He took power via a coup d'état in 1846. He was the president at the start of the Mexican–American War, and was himself overthrown on 28 July 1846. "Strongly proclerical, he believed that a liberal democracy and federal structure were inappropriate for Mexico in its then state of development, and that the country could be governed only by the army in alliance with the educated and affluent elite." [1]



Early career

He entered the Spanish colonial army as an infantry cadet on 6 January 1812. He participated in 22 actions in the Mexican War of Independence on the Spanish side. He was arrested for criticizing King Ferdinand VII and sentenced to exile to Spain. However, he escaped imprisonment and remained in Mexico. He joined the Army of the Three Guarantees, led by Agustín de Iturbide, where he participated in another 11 military actions. In June 1821, under the First Mexican Empire, he was made a lieutenant colonel.

On 11 February 1823, when he was then in charge of the plaza of Puebla, he pronounced against the empire of Agustín de Iturbide (the Plan de Casa Mata). He rose in revolt again on 21 December 1829, this time from Guadalajara in support of Anastasio Bustamante's Plan de Jalapa in opposition to President Vicente Guerrero. Bustamante took power the following 1 January.

In 1832, Paredes was promoted to brigadier general. He entered the political field in 1835. Briefly in December 1838, he was minister of war. In 1839, he helped Jalisco Governor Escobedo suppress the federalist revolt of 18 May.

On 8 August 1841, he headed a reactionary revolt against the regime of conservative President Bustamante, whom he accused of not fighting to recover Texas and yielding to the 1838 French invasion in the Pastry War. He, Antonio López de Santa Anna and other rebels signed the Plan de Tacubaya against Bustamante on 28 September 1841. Bustamante agreed to resign, Francisco Javier Echeverría was chosen interim president, and three weeks later Santa Anna occupied the presidency. Paredes was not included in the new cabinet, and he felt he had received inadequate reward for his support. A strong follower of Santa Anna before this point, his support now began to cool.

Paredes was military governor of Jalisco from 3 November 1841 to 28 January 1843. In October 1843 at Celaya, he withdrew recognition of President Santa Anna. Santa Anna also lost other support, and Congress named José Joaquín de Herrera president on 7 January 1845, marginalizing Paredes.

The coup d'état

When the Mexican–American War appeared imminent in 1845, Paredes was entrusted with the defense of the country. He was sent to San Luis Potosí. There, on 14 December 1845, alleging lack of supplies, he rose in revolt against President Herrera (Plan de San Luis). Instead of marching to the disputed territories, he marched on the capital. On 30 December 1845, General Gabriel Valencia, in charge of the garrison of Mexico City, seized power and announced his support for Paredes. Valencia held executive power for three days and then turned it over to Paredes. Paredes entered Mexico City on 2 January 1846. On the following day, he was named president of Mexico by a junta of notables he had assembled from heads of governmental departments. On 4 January, he officially took the oath of office, but did not begin exercising power.

As president

On 1 January 1846, the state of Yucatán declared its independence from Mexico and its neutrality in the war with the United States.

General Pedro Ampudia was defeated by U.S. forces under General Zachary Taylor at Frontón de Santa Isabel on 5 March 1846. Ampudia was replaced by General Mariano Arista, who was also defeated, at Palo Alto. Thereupon Arista was arrested and Ampudia reappointed.

On 12 June 1846, Paredes was officially reelected president by Congress. He chose General Nicolás Bravo as his vice-president. On 20 June, he was officially made commander of the Mexican army. His administration continued until 28 July 1846, when he turned the government over to Bravo to take the field to combat his enemies.

The country was in a state of chaos. Paredes took the position that the best way to preserve the country was to turn it into a monarchy with a Spanish sovereign. A royalist party was organized in Mexico City, favoring the Infante Enrique, Duke of Seville, cousin and brother-in-law of Queen Isabella II of Spain. In opposition to this, revolt broke out in Jalisco under General José María Yáñez on 21 May, and José Mariano Salas rose in the capital in August. Salas deposed Paredes and re-instituted federalism (4 August), proclaiming the return of Santa Anna and the convoking of a constituent congress.


Paredes fled, but was taken prisoner and confined to a convent. In October, he was exiled to France. He returned to Mexico in 1848, in time to oppose the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the war with the United States. Together with Manuel Doblado and Padre Celedonio Dómeco de Jarauta, he again rose in armed revolt, but was defeated by Bustamante at Guanajuato on 18 July 1848. He was exiled again, but was included in a general amnesty in April 1849. He returned to the country again in that year. He died in poverty in Mexico City in September 1849.

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  1. Costeloe, Michael P. "Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga" in Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. Vol. 4, p. 312. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons 1996.

Further reading

Political offices
Preceded by
José Joaquín de Herrera
President of Mexico
31 December 1845 - 28 July 1846
Succeeded by
Nicolás Bravo