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Antonio López de Santa Anna

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

Biographical details

Born in Jalapa on 21 February 1794, he was president of Mexico several times between 1833-55. (From 16 May to 3 June 1833, 18 June to 5 July 1833, 28 October to 4 December 1833. From 24 April 1834 to 27 January 1835. From 18 March 1839 to 9 July 1839. From 9 October 1841 to 25 October 1842. From 5 March 1843 to 3 October 1843. From 4 June 1844 to 11 September 1844. From 21 March 1847 to 31 March 1847. From 20 May 1847 to 15 September 1847. From 20 April 1853 to 9 August 1855.)

The most complete biography of Santa Anna is Will Fowler's excellent study, Santa Anna of Mexico.

He is described by Frances Calderón de la Barca as inferior to President Anastasio Bustamente: “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.” (Calderón de la Barca, 76.)

Calderón de la Barca names him among Mexico’s “distinguished men” 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, if not in education – in goodness, elevation of sentiment and natural talent”. (Calderón de la Barca, 355, 360.)

Calderón de la Barca likens the “revolution” of September 1841 in Mexico 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 Torrejón. Paredes in Querétaro, with the other generals in revolt. 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 states current opinions: “Bustamente, Santa Anna and Valencia are all equally unpopular” and that Mexicans want “the immediate convocation of a Constitutional Congress [...with] a provisional president.” (Calderón de la Barca, 420-421, 425)

He was a mason. In 1842 he reintroduced the Mexican National Rite Lodge, whose members "tended to form the core of the growing Liberal Party". (Racine, 539)

He died in Mexico City on 21 June 1876.

Life Events

Born 1794He was born in Jalapa on 21 February 1794.
Other 1822He rebelled against Iturbide.
Other 1833He was President of Mexico several times between 1833 and 1855.
Died 1876He died in Mexico City on 21 June, 1876.


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

Lynch, John, (1986), The Spanish American Revolutions 1808-1826

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

Fowler, Will, (2007), Santa Anna of Mexico


There is no writing by this subject in the database.


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