Antonio López de Santa Anna


Political careers are generally full of ups and downs and many victories are seen in contrast to defeats. But few presidents and governments have had as many ups and downs and experiences as General Antonio López de Santa Anna who was president of Mexico in the 19th century. A president who managed to rule the country eleven times but was also exiled almost as often. Santa Anna is considered one of the most important figures in 19th century Mexico and the American West, but not for the right reasons. Antonio López de Santa Anna possessed a magnetic personality and real qualities ofleadership , but his lack of principle , pride, and love of military glory and extravagance , along with contempt and incompetence in civil affairs, led Mexico to a series of disasters, giving it a very bad reputation and leading to tragedy.


Personal information

  • When was he born:  02/21/1794
  • Where he was born:  Xalapa-Enríquez, Mexico
  • When he died:  06/21/1876
  • Where he died:  Mexico City, Mexico

Who was Antonio López de Santa Anna?

Antonio López de Santa Anna was a 19th century Mexican military man who served as president on different occasions, a dictator of the country who cared more about glory and pride than about attending to the civil affairs of his country.

  • What did
  • Biography of Antonio López de Santa Anna
  • Military activity
  • Government of Antonio López de Santa Anna
  • Dictatorship
  • Death of Antonio López de Santa Anna
  • Importance
  • Quotes by Antonio López de Santa Anna

What did

It was known as the ” hero of Tampico “, after he managed to beat the Spanish Isidro Barradas in his attempt to reconquer Mexico in 1829. The defeat of the army of Spain got his increased popularity and was declared a hero . He also fought in the Cake War against France in 1838, a battle in which he lost a leg. In December 1822 Santa Anna and General Guadalupe Victoria managed to sign the Casa Mata Plan in which the Mexican monarchy was abolished and Mexico became arepublic .

Biography of Antonio López de Santa Anna

The son of a minor colonial officer, Antonio López de Santa Anna worked in the Spanish army and rose to the rank of captain . In 1821 he supported Agustín de Iturbide and the war for Mexican independence , but in 1823 he helped overthrow Iturbide. In 1828 he supported Vicente Guerrero for president, only to help depose him later.

Santa Anna gained prestige in 1829 in his fight against Spain’s attempt to reconquer Mexico , and was known as the Hero of Tampico . This prestige helped him obtain the presidency in 1833 as a federalist and opponent of the Roman Catholic Church. He remained in power until 1836, when he traveled to Texas to quell a rebellion by the US settlers. At that time, Texas declared its independence from Mexico and after its army defeated Texan forces at the Alamo and Goliad,Santa Anna then headed east to the San Jacinto River, where he was defeated on April 21 at the Battle of San Jacinto and captured by General Sam Houston .

After signing a public treaty that ended the war and a secret treaty in which he promised to do everything possible to ensure that the Mexican government adheres to the public treaty, Antonio López de Santa Anna was sent to Washington , for an interview with President Andrew Jackson , who returned him to Mexico, where, in the meantime, he had been deposed from power during his absence.

In 1838, when the French navy seized Veracruz , Antonio López de Santa Anna led the forces to Veracruz, only to fire on the ships as they departed. He gained prestige as a dictator while the president was absent. Two years later he led a revolt and took power that he held until his exile in 1845.

Military activity

He held the rank of general and president simultaneously, titles he obtained on several occasions during an unruly military career that lasted forty years. In 1810, he decided to join the Spanish colonial army that was in the hands of Joaquín de Arredondo , who taught him how to deal with the Mexican nationalist rebels .

In 1813, Antonio López de Santa Anna actively participated in Texas against the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition and was also present at the battle of Medina . Shortly thereafter he became second lieutenant in February 1812, and then first lieutenant before the end of that year. In 1816, he was appointed as captain , at which point campaigns were made to eliminate Native Americans and to bring order after riots that had begun.

Government of Antonio López de Santa Anna

His government began on March 30, 1833 when he became president of Mexico for the first time, and appointed Valentín Gómez Farías as vice president. Since the beginning of his government, there have been a series of appointments and dismissals of presidents and politicians without any justifiable reason, since he was in charge of changing them whenever he so desired.

In 1838, Antonio López de Santa Anna put down the French attempt to take the city, and for this reason he was seen as a hero . In 1841 he rejected the liberal Constitution of 1824 and proclaimed himself president of Mexico with dictatorial powers .

He tried to establish a monarchy and did not allow the popular uprising to take place , until it was managed to remove him from power. During his administration, more than 100,000 km² of Mexican territory were sold to the United States . He was finally overthrown in 1855, then went into exile in the Caribbean and was only allowed to return to Mexico in 1874.


The government of Antonio López de Santa Anna became a dictatorship when they decided to create a centralist government with Antonio as president; and it was at this time that he suppressed individual rights and freedoms , and imposed his personal will . He did many improper things during his dictatorship such as selling Mexican territory to the United States, imposing a series of taxes on vehicles , people and even dogs . All these situations generated the discontent of the people until they managed to overthrow it from power.

Death of Antonio López de Santa Anna

In 1855 he was removed from power and exiled from the country. He spent his last years living between Cuba, the United States and Colombia . Despite being sick and exhausted , he continued to write articles seeking the rebellion against his country’s regime , but was never listened to. When he managed to return to his country, Mexico, Antonio López de Santa Anna was 80 years old. He died on Thursday , June 21, 1876 , in Mexico City and his tombstone is in the Civil Pantheon of Tepeyac , in the Villa de Guadalupe-Hidalgo, in Mexico City.


It is difficult to find a significant importance of Antonio López de Santa Anna because he was seen in his country as a traitor to the country . Despite having participated in important battles, he is still one of the most controversial and controversial characters in the history of Mexico. His acting within the field of politics is always considered opportunistic . Santa Anna will always be remembered for the defeat of Mexico in the war against the United States and for having sold half of the national territory by signing the Treaties of Guadalupe.. He will be remembered in his country as a symbol of corruption , opportunism and cowardice that characterized Mexican national politics during the first half of the 19th century.

Quotes by Antonio López de Santa Anna

Some of his most recognized phrases were the following:

  • As long as we have a congress , there is no progress.
  • The dividing line between Mexico and the United States will be fixed at the mouth of my cannons.
  • Until I caught the insurgent liberal . You already owe me a lot of offensive posts.
  • Tell me whose article this is so I can rip your tongue out.
  • I never thought that a moment of rest would be so disastrous for us.

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