The Plan of Ayutla was the 1854 written plan aimed at removing conservative, centralist President Antonio López de Santa Anna from control of Mexico during the Second Federal Republic of Mexico period. Initially, it seemed little different than other political plans of the era, but it is considered to be the first act of the Liberal Reform in Mexico.It was the catalyst for revolts in many parts of Mexico, which led to the resignation of Santa Anna from the presidency, never to vie for office again. The next Presidents of Mexico were the liberals, Juan Álvarez, Ignacio Comonfort, and Benito Juárez. The new regime would then proclaim the 1857 Mexican Constitution, which implemented a variety of liberal reforms.
After Mexico's defeat in the Mexican–American War, the country was beset by despair and political chaos. Abhorring long-term exploitation and short-term heavy taxes needed to finance the war, some indigenous peoples revolted in the Sierra Gorda region (1847–1849) and in the Yucatán peninsula (1847–1852).The north of Mexico was especially devastated. The territorial losses to the United States codified in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was an impetus for Apache and Comanche raids in northern Mexico. The region was further weakened by depopulation, with the discovery of gold in the recently lost territory of California prompted inhabitants of northern Mexico to migrate there.
During this chaos, José María Tornel and Juan Suárez y Navarro founded the Santanista party. The Santanistas believed that Mexico should be ruled by a strong dictator who would create a centralized state that would emphasize the importance of the Catholic faith. Conservative politician and historian Lucas Alamán stated that the Church was "the only tie left that unites the Mexican people."The Santanistas hoped that exiled President Santa Anna would be that strong dictator. The Santanistas, with help from the radical puros and the military, overthrew the moderado Mariano Arista. Santa Anna arrived in Veracruz on 1 April 1853, and he took office upon reaching Mexico City on 20 April.
Upon taking office yet again, Santa Anna took measures to improve the army, hoping to create a standing army of 90,000 men. [ by whom? ] that Santa Anna took $600,000 of the indemnity for himself. Santa Anna was further weakened by the deaths of many advisors and the alienation of others, as exemplified by his decision to exile Suárez y Navarro.However, due to the unpopularity of the draft and the low quality of the troops who were recruited, Santa Anna lowered his goal to 46,000 troops. Mexican Liberals whom Santa Anna considered threats, notably Benito Juárez and Melchor Ocampo, were forced into exile to the U.S. Juárez and Ocampo settled in New Orleans and plot to overthrow the government. Santa Anna also introduced tax increases to boost revenue. On 14 May 1853, a decree was promulgated that renewed all taxes and added new ones, such as the restoration of the alcabala (sales tax) and the abolition of financial concessions to the port of Acapulco and to Yucatán. Santa Anna had some successful policies, such as measures that reduced banditry and improved the country's highway system. However, he became increasingly authoritarian as well as pompous, adopting the title of "Most Serene Highness." His popularity also declined due to the tax increases that he implemented, his suppression of political opposition, and his regime's rampant corruption. A key event that further decreased his popularity was the Gadsden Purchase, in which the United States paid $10,000,000 to Mexico in exchange for more Mexican land. It has been speculated
By the beginning of 1854, Santa Anna had secured control over most of Mexico. The southern state of Guerrero, which was ruled by General Juan Álvarez, remained outside of his control. Due to its difficult terrain, the province was naturally shielded from the capital. Álvarez was angered by Santa Anna's pro-Spanish policies, such as hiring Spanish mercenaries, and by the central government's confiscation of Guerrero's public lands. The government also planned to build a highway from Mexico City to Acapulco, which threatened Álvarez's regional autonomy.Angered by Álvarez's disloyal behavior, Santa Anna sent General Pérez Palacios to seize Acapulco, and Álvarez similarly prepared for war.
Colonel Ignacio Comonfort, one of Álvarez's subordinates, pressed for a plan to be written, as he wanted to win over public opinion and to add an idealistic angle to the planned rebellion.He wanted the document to be vague and to avoid any topics that would narrow the movement's appeal. Initially drafted on 24 February 1854, by Colonel Florencio Villarreal, it was proclaimed on 1 March 1854, in Ayutla, Guerrero. The Plan de Ayutla was influenced by a document written by the New Orleans exiles. The Ayutla Plan not only aimed at removing the dictator but also convening a constituent assembly in order to draft a federal constitution. The Plan charged Santa Anna with being a tyrant and declared the Gadsden Purchase to be illegal. The authors promised to end the draft and the poll tax. Álvarez, Tomás Moreno, and Nicolás Bravo were declared to be the military leaders of the insurgency, and they were given the power to alter the plan if necessary. Álvarez and Comonfort did not support this proclamation publicly, as Comonfort believed that it would not gain support among moderados. The Plan was then slightly revised and accepted by the rebel leaders on 13 March.
The notable supporters of the Plan of Ayutla included Pedro Hinojosa, Juan Álvarez, exiles of the Santa Anna regime Benito Juárez, Melchor Ocampo, José María Mata, and Ponciano Arriaga,as well as Ignacio Comonfort, Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada, and José María Jesús Carbajal.
|Revolution of Ayutla|
|Commanders and leaders|
| Juan Álvarez |
| Antonio López de Santa Anna |
Félix María Zuloaga
Álvarez's forces initiated 19 months of guerrilla warfare and civil unrest against Santa Anna. The rebels were aided by the exiles in New Orleans, who sent them weapons.This uprising is termed the Revolution of Ayutla (1854−1855), since it entailed not just a narrow political goal of ousting the dictator, but a more thorough change in political direction via armed warfare. The Revolution of Ayutla brought a new generation of younger men into active national political life, a "generation of giants" including military men: Comonfort, Santiago Vidaurri, Epitacio Huerta, and Manuel García Pueblita; as well as radical liberal intellectuals, Ocampo, Arriaga, Guillermo Prieto, and Juárez. In the summer of 1855, Juárez returned to Acapulco from exile to serve as a political ally of Álvarez.
Alvarez had success in mobilizing forces in Guerrero, many of which had formed paramilitary units during the U.S. - Mexican War (1846-1848), Santa Anna decided to crush the rebellion in person, leaving Mexico City with an army on 16 March 1854.Santa Anna's federal army defeated the "Liberating Army" at El Coquillo. He then arrived at Acapulco on 19 April, but the rebels cut his communications with Mexico City, and he learned that Comonfort had fortified the city. After a week long siege, Santa Anna was forced to retreat. On 30 April, Santa Anna defeated Moreno at el Pelegrino, but the rebels inflicted severe losses on Santa Anna's army, and Santa Anna himself was almost captured. During the retreat to Mexico City, Santa Anna's army executed rebel prisoners and burned villages. There followed uprisings in the states of Michoacán, Morelos, Oaxaca, and Mexico state. The rebellion then spread to the northern states of Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, and Nuevo León. The irregular forces of the liberal side took a few months' time off from the revolution to attend to their crops.
The war continued without major battles or decisive victories. The government's most significant success was Colonel Félix Zuloaga's victory at El Limón on 22 July.However, the rebellion proved impossible to suppress and, on 18 January 1855, Zuloaga surrendered after being besieged at Tecpan. By April, the rebels were making progress in most parts of Mexico, but especially in Michoacán, which prompted Santa Anna to lead one last offensive into that province on 30 April 1855. The rebels retreated instead of engaging Santa Anna's army, and, unable to crush them, he eventually returned to Mexico City. When Mexico City denounced Santa Anna, he abdicated on 12 August 1855 and fled into exile. Álvarez's forces marched into the capital with a "brigade of rustics called Pintos (ferocious warriors so called because in earlier times, they wore face paint). In the capital there was widespread popular support for the Revolution of Ayutla, with people gathering in the Alameda Park and waiting hours to sign a document in support of Mexico City for the revolution. Álvarez then assumed the office of President of Mexico. Once the rebels occupied Mexico City, they confiscated all of Santa Anna's property so as to recoup the indemnity from the Gadsden Purchase that Santa Anna's regime had squandered.
The Plan paved the way for La Reforma (the Liberal Reform). The Revolution of Ayutla brought its liberals to power. Their leaders initially passed a series of reform laws, notably the Ley Juárez, the Ley Lerdo, and the Ley Iglesias. These laws were explicitly anticlerical. The Ley Juárez abolished special courts for groups such as the military and the clergy. The Ley Lerdo sought to replace communal ownership of land with individual ownership of land, and it confiscated Church lands. The Ley Iglesias sought to control the costs of Church administered sacraments.
Soon afterward, Comonfort, who had succeeded Álvarez as President, convened a Congress to draft a new Constitution.The most contentious topic was the possibility of including a provision that would guarantee religious toleration, with puros supporting such a measure and moderados opposing it. The moderados opposed the measure with arguments attacking Protestantism and arguments that religious toleration would harm the family and national cohesion. Other moderados argued that Constitutions should avoid idealism and reflect the country's populace. Eventually, the moderados would prevent the inclusion of a religious toleration provision, and they would also prevent a trial by jury provision from being included in the Constitution. However, the Ley Juárez, the Ley Lerdo, and the Ley Iglesias were incorporated into the 1857 Mexican Constitution. The Congress also added many other liberal stipulations, such as freedom of thought, freedom of the press, freedom of petition, and numerous laws defending the rights of those being prosecuted, such as the right to appeal, the right of a defendant to access material so as to craft a defense, and the abolition of double jeopardy. The new Constitution also reaffirmed the abolition of slavery, which had been in effect since 1829.
Objecting to the new Constitution's anticlerical elements, Pope Pius IX opposed it.Domestic Conservatives and the Mexican Catholic Church also opposed La Reforma and the 1857 Constitution in the Plan of Tacubaya. This would soon prompt an open civil war, known as the War of the Reform or Three Years War (1858−1860).
Benito Pablo Juárez García was a Mexican lawyer and president of Mexico, of Zapotec origin from Oaxaca.
Ignacio Gregorio Comonfort de los Ríos, known as Ignacio Comonfort, was a Mexican politician and soldier. He became President of Mexico in 1855 after the outbreak of the Revolution of Ayutla that overthrew Santa Anna.
Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada Corral was a jurist and Liberal president of Mexico, succeeding Benito Juárez who died of a heart attack in July 1872. Lerdo was elected to his own presidential term later in 1872 rather than remaining successor due to his previous office of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Juárez's political rival liberal General Porfirio Díaz had attempted a coup against Juárez, but his Plan de la Noria failed and Díaz was eliminated as a political foe during Lerdo's 1872-76 term, giving Lerdo considerable leeway to pursue his program without political interference. Lerdo was more successful than Juárez in his final years as president in pacifying the country and strengthening the Mexican state. He ran for another term in 1876 and was elected, but was overthrown by Porfirio Díaz and his supporters under the Plan of Tuxtepec, which asserted the principle of no-reelection to the presidency. Lerdo died in exile in New York in 1889, but Díaz invited the return of his body to Mexico for burial with full honors. Not counting Miguel Miramón, an unrecognized president during the Reform War, he is the first president of the recognized presidents that was not born during Spanish colonial rule.
Miguel Lerdo de Tejada was a Mexican statesman, a leader of the Revolution of Ayutla, and author of the Lerdo Law, extinguishing the right of corporations, including the Roman Catholic Church and indigenous communities, from holding land.
Liberalism in Mexico was part of a broader nineteenth-century political trend affecting Western Europe and the Americas, including the United States, that challenged entrenched power.
Félix María Zuloaga Trillo was a Mexican general and a Conservative leader in the War of Reform. In the late 1850s and early 1860s, Zuloaga served as unconstitutional interim conservative president of Mexico in opposition to the constitutional president Benito Juárez of the Liberal Party.
Juan Nepomuceno Álvarez Hurtado de Luna, generally known as Juan Álvarez, was a general, long-time caudillo in southern Mexico, and interim president of Mexico for two months in 1855, following the liberals ouster of Antonio López de Santa Anna. Álvarez had risen to power in the Tierra Caliente, in southern Mexico with the support of indigenous peasants whose lands he protected. He fought along with heroes of the insurgency, José María Morelos and Vicente Guerrero in the War of Independence, and went on to fight in all the major wars of his day, from the "Pastry War", to the Mexican–American War, and the War of the Reform to the war against the French Intervention. A liberal reformer, a republican and a federalist, he was the leader of a revolution in support of the Plan de Ayutla in 1854, which led to the deposition of Santa Anna from power and the beginning of the political era in Mexico's history known as the Liberal Reform. According to historian Peter Guardino: "Álvarez was most important as a champion of the incorporation of Mexico's peasant masses into the polity of [Mexico] ... advocating universal male suffrage and municipal autonomy."
Martín Carrera Sabat was a Mexican general and interim president of the country for about a month in 1855. He was a moderate Liberal. His family still influences Mexican politics, and some of his grandsons, were revolutionaries in the Mexican Revolution.
La Reforma, the Liberal Reform in Mexico, was initiated in by liberal politicians following their ouster of conservative president Antonio López de Santa Anna under the 1854 Plan de Ayutla. The Liberal Reform as a historical period is often considered to be from 1855 to 1861, as one portion of the liberal republic in Mexico, but there is not total consensus on the dates. From the liberals' initial narrow objective to remove a dictator and take power, they expanded their aims to a comprehensive program to remake Mexico governed by liberal principles as embodied by a series of Reform laws and then the embedded in a new Constitution. The major goals of this movement were to undermine the power of the Catholic Church in Mexico, separate church and state, reduce the power of the Mexican military, and integrate Mexico's large indigenous population as citizens of Mexico and not a protected class. Liberals envisioned secular education as a means to create a Mexican citizenry. The liberals' strategy was to sharply limit the traditional institutional privileges (fueros) of the Catholic Church and the army, as well as undermine indigenous communities as a protected group. Liberals promulgated a series of separate laws, collectively known as the Laws of the Reform. These were then incorporated into the Mexican Constitution of 1857. Liberals required that Mexicans swear allegiance to it, which conservatives refused to do. Instead, they formed a conservative government and fought the liberals in a civil war, the War of the Reform. It was waged over three years with liberals defeating conservatives on the battlefield. However, Mexican conservatives sought a way to regain power. They helped install a monarch, Habsburg archduke Maximilian, who was chosen by French ruler Napoleon III. Adherents of the Mexican republic, led by president Benito Juárez, resisted and fought the French intervention, successfully ousting the monarchy in 1867. The liberals returned to power, in a period known as the Restored Republic (1867-1876), often considered the end date of the reform era.
The War of Reform in Mexico, during the Second Federal Republic of Mexico, was the three-year civil war (1857–1860) between members of the Liberal Party who had taken power in 1855 under the Plan of Ayutla, and members of the Conservative Party resisting the legitimacy of the government and its radical restructuring of Mexican laws, known as La Reforma. The Liberals wanted to eliminate the political, economic, and cultural power of the Catholic church as well as reduce the role of the Mexican Army. Both the Catholic Church and the Army were protected by corporate or institutional privileges (fueros) established in the colonial era. Liberals sought to create a modern nation-state founded on liberal principles. The Conservatives wanted a centralist government, some even a monarchy, with the Church and military keeping their traditional roles and powers, and with landed and merchant elites maintaining their dominance over the majority mixed-race and indigenous populations of Mexico.
The military history of Mexico consists of several millennia of armed conflicts within what is now that nation's territory and includes activities of the Mexican military in peacekeeping and combat related affairs worldwide. Wars between prehispanic peoples marked the beginning of Mexico's military history, the most notable of these fought in the form of a flower war. After the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century, indigenous tribes were defeated by Spain, thus beginning a three century era of Spanish dominance. Mexico's struggle for independence began primarily in the 19th century, and was marked by internal conflict of early rulers after defeating the Spanish in 1821. The Mexican–American War in the mid 19th century ended in the defeat of Mexican forces, and the loss of two-fifths of the national territory. In the remainder of the 19th century, a series of conflicts began in Mexico, as the War of the Reform and the defeat of the French during their intervention in Mexico marked events in that era.
In Mexican history, a plan was a declaration of principles announced in conjunction with a rebellion, usually armed, against the central government of the country. Mexican plans were often more formal than the pronunciamientos that were their equivalent elsewhere in Spanish America and Spain. Some were as detailed as the United States Declaration of Independence, though some plans merely announced that the current government was null and void and that the signer of the plan was the new president.
Melchor Ocampo was a mestizo by birth, a radical liberal Mexican lawyer, scientist, and politician. He was fiercely anticlerical, perhaps an atheist, and his early writings against Roman Catholic Church in Mexico gained him a reputation as an articulate liberal ideologue. Ocampo has been considered the heir to José María Luis Mora, the premier liberal intellectual of the early republic. He served in the administration of Benito Juárez and negotiated a controversial agreement with the United States, the McLane-Ocampo Treaty. The Mexican state where his hometown of Maravatío now stands was much later renamed Michoacán de Ocampo in his honor.
José Santiago Vidaurri Valdez was a controversial and powerful governor of the Mexican states of Nuevo León and Coahuila between 1855 and 1864. He was an advocate of states' rights. In 1861, he sought an association with the Confederate States of America, which benefited his region economically. Earlier in 1855, he had been a supporter of the Revolution of Ayutla, which brought liberals to power. Vidaurri supported Benito Juarez in the War of the Reform. He later broke with Juarez and supported Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico. When the French regime fell in 1867, Vidaurri was captured and executed for his alliance with the French. In Nuevo León he remains an important historical figure.
Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón, often known as Santa Anna or López de Santa Anna, was a Mexican politician and general who fought to defend royalist New Spain and then fought for Mexican independence. He greatly influenced early Mexican politics and government, and he was an adept soldier and cunning politician who dominated Mexican history in the first half of the nineteenth century to such an extent that historians often refer to it as the "Age of Santa Anna." He was called "the Man of Destiny" who "loomed over his time like a melodramatic colossus, the uncrowned monarch." Santa Anna first opposed the movement for Mexican independence from Spain, but then fought in support of it. He was the earliest of the caudillos of modern Mexico, and he "represents the stereotypical caudillo in Mexican history". Lucas Alamán wrote that "the history of Mexico since 1822 might accurately be called the history of Santa Anna's revolutions. His name plays a major role in all the political events of the country and its destiny has become intertwined with his."
The Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1857 often called simply the Constitution of 1857 is the liberal constitution drafted by 1857 Constituent Congress of Mexico during the presidency of Ignacio Comonfort. It was ratified on February 5, 1857, establishing individual rights such as freedom of speech; freedom of conscience; freedom of the press; freedom of assembly; and the right to bear arms. It also reaffirmed the abolition of slavery, eliminated debtor prison, and eliminated all forms of cruel and unusual punishment, including the death penalty.
The Second Federal Republic of Mexico is the name given to the second attempt to achieve a federalist government in Mexico. Officially called the United Mexican States, a federal republic was implemented again on August 22, 1846 when interim president José Mariano Salas issued a decree restoring the 1824 constitution. Like the Mexican Empire, the First Federal Republic and the Centralist Republic it was a chaotic period, marked by political instability that resulted in several internal conflicts. Mexico's loss of the war with the United States saw half the territory Mexico claimed become part of the United States. Even though Antonio López de Santa Anna played a major role in much of this history, he returned to the presidency yet again, selling northern territory coveted by the United States contiguous to territory it just gained in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The sale of the Mesilla Valley was for many the final straw, and liberals promulgated of the Plan of Ayutla, calling for the overthrow of Santa Anna. Santa Anna went into exile and the liberals set about implementing their vision of Mexico.
The Lerdo Law , or Ley Lerdo in Spanish, is the common name for the Reform law formally known as the Confiscation of Law and Urban Ruins of the Civil and Religious Corporations of Mexico. It was drafted by Miguel Lerdo de Tejada and enacted on 25 June 1856 by President Ignacio Comonfort.
The Reform laws were a set of anticlerical laws enacted in Mexico between 1855 and 1863, during the governments of Juan Alvarez, Ignacio Comonfort and Benito Juárez that were intended to limit the privileges (fueros) of the Roman Catholic Church and the military. The laws also limited the ability of Catholic Church and indigenous communities from collectively holding land. The liberal government sought the revenues from the disentailment of church property, which could fund the civil war against Mexican conservatives and to broaden the base of property ownership in Mexico and encouraging private enterprise. Several of them were raised to constitutional status by the constituent Congress that drafted the liberal Constitution of 1857. Although the laws had a major impact on the Catholic Church in Mexico, liberal proponents were not opposed to the church as a spiritual institution, but rather sought a secular state and a society not dominated religion.