Gendering Latin American Independence
List All Links | List Writing | List Archives | List References | List All People

Home » Database » Search » People

Anastasio Bustamente

Other names/titles:
Gender: M
Ethnic origin: White

Biographical details

Born in Jiquilpan, Michoacán, in 1780 to Spanish parents. He was a royalist who fought against the patriots until 1821 when he joined Iturbide and supported the Plan de Iguala. He was a Captain General when Iturbide was emperor. He was voted Vice-president to Vicente Guerrero in 1829. He revolted against Guerrero and assumed presidency in 1830. Conservatives supported him, but economic difficulties gave power to the liberals who backed Santa Anna against him in 1832 and Bustamente went into exile. He returned in 1837 with a more neutral policy, but the French blockade of 1838, secession of Yucatán, Tabasco, Chiapas and Texas and economic decline forced him into exile in 1841. He returned to Mexico in the late 1840s, and retired in San Miguel Allende, where he died in 1853. (Vizzini, 169-170)

He was president of Mexico, 1830-32, 1837-39, 1842.

He was described by Frances Calderón de la Barca: “He looks like a good man, with an honest, benevolent face, frank and simple in his manners, and not at all like a hero. His conversation was not brilliant, indeed I do not know apropos to what, I suppose to the climate, but it chiefly turned on medicine. There cannot be a greater contrast, both in appearance and reality, between him and Santa Anna. There is no lurking devil in his eye. All is frank, open, and unreserved. It is impossible to look into his face without believing him to be an honest and well-intentioned man. An unprincipled but clever writer has said of him, that he has no capacity or superior genius; but that, whether from reflection or from slowness of comprehension, he is always extremely calm in his determination: that, before entering into any project, he enquires or considers deeply as to whether it be just or not; but that once convinced that it is or appears to be so, he sustains his ground with firmness and constancy. He adds, that it suits him better to obey than to command; for which reason he was always so devoted a servant of the Spaniards and of Yturbide."

"He is said to be a devoted friend, is honest to a proverb, and personally brave, though occasionally deficient in moral energy. He is therefore an estimable man, and one who will do his duty to the best of his ability, though whether he has severity and energy sufficient for these evil days in which it is his lot to govern, may be problematical.” (Calderón de la Barca, 76)

Calderón de la Barca names him among Mexico’s “distinguished men”. (Calderón de la Barca, 355) And adds, as a general comment, “nearly all these, at least those who are married, have had the good fortune to unite themselves with women who are either their equals or superiors, in not in education – in goodness, elevation of sentiment and natural talent”. (Calderón de la Barca, 360)

Calderón de la Barca likened the “revolution” of September 1841 to a “game of chess”: “To understand the state of the board, it is necessary to explain the position of the four principal pieces – Santa Anna, Bustamente, Paredes and Valencia. [...] Santa Anna in Perote, hesitating whether to advance or retreat, and, in fact, prevented from doing either by the vicinity of General Torrejon. Paredes in Queretaro, with the other revolted generals. Valencia in the citadel of Mexico with his pronunciados; while Bustamente, with generals Almonte and Canalizo, the mark against which all these hostile operations are directed, is determined, it is said, to fight to the last.” She stated current opinions: “Bustamente, Santa Anna and Valencia are all equally unpopular” and added that Mexicans want “the immediate convocation of a Constitutional Congress [...with] a provisional president.”. (Calderón de la Barca, 420-421, 425)

After his defeat by Santa Anna, Calderón commented: “Those who know Bustamente best, even those who most blame him for indecision and want of energy, agree on one point; that the true motives of his conduct are to be found in his constant and earnest desire to spare human life.” (Calderón de la Barca, 439) In January 1843, General Bustamente announced his intention to sail to Havana with his aide-de-camp, former Governor of Jalapa, General Calderon (related?). He offered to take the Calderón de la Barcas with them. (Calderón de la Barca, 533).

Life Events

Born 1780
Other 1830He was President of Mexico 1830-32, 1837-39, 1842.
Died 1853He died in San Miguel de Allende.


Calderón de la Barca, Frances, (1982), Life in Mexico

Werner, Michael S., (1997), Encyclopedia of Mexico


There is no writing by this subject in the database.


Resource id #27 (17)

Resource id #31 (3)

Resource id #35 (4)

Resource id #39 (5)

Gendering Latin American Independence

School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Trent Building, University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 5655