C2C Santa AnnaI’m aware of no one who had higher highs and lower lows than the subject of this week’s story did. Even though he wasn’t a citizen of the United States, his fate was important to our country.

He was born Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the son of middle-class parents in Vera Cruz, Mexico. Joining the military, he distinguished himself during Mexico’s fight for independence from Spain. In 1833, he won election to the presidency of Mexico. Within two years, he declared himself Mexico’s dictator.

This brought him into conflict with the Anglos who had settled in a northern part of Mexico, known as Texas. Determined to crush the rebellion, Santa Anna took personal command of the army that went to Texas. After the defeat of the Alamo, and the execution of 400 prisoners at Goliad, Santa Anna became overconfident, and in April of 1836, at San Jacinto, Santa Anna was captured. In exchange for his release, Santa Anna signed an order resulting in Texas becoming an independent republic.

White Santa Anna was in Texas, he was deposed in Mexico. Although he returned to Mexico powerless, Santa Anna took advantage of an unstable situation, becoming, once again, the dictator of Mexico…But an unstable situation is both good and bad. For, once again Santa Anna was overthrown. As a matter of fact, Santa Anna became the dictator of Mexico, and was overthrown eleven times.

Finally, overthrown in 1855, Santa Anna spent his last twenty years scheming with elements of Mexico, United States and France to get back on top. But it never happened. And, on June 22, 1876, this man who played a part in Mexico’s gaining its independence, and loosing a large part of its territory, died in absolute poverty.

Filed under: Old West History

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