José Justo Corro
José Justo Corro was a Mexican lawyer, politician, and president of the Republic, from March 2, 1836 to April 19, 1837.


Corro was born between 1786 and 1800 (sources vary considerably). Little is known of his early or personal life. He went to law school in Guadalajara before moving to Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

. He made a name for himself in the capital as a lawyer. He was extremely religious, politically conservative, and a dedicated follower of Antonio López de Santa Anna
Antonio López de Santa Anna
Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón , often known as Santa Anna or López de Santa Anna, known as "the Napoleon of the West," was a Mexican political leader, general, and president who greatly influenced early Mexican and Spanish politics and government...


He was minister of justice and ecclesiastical affairs in the cabinet of President Miguel Barragán
Miguel Barragán
Miguel Francisco Barragán Andrade was a Mexican general and a centralist politician. He served as Minister of War in the government of Antonio López de Santa Anna in 1833 and 1834, then as president of Mexico from January 28, 1835 to February 27, 1836.- The War of Independence and the First Empire...

 from March 18, 1835 to February 26, 1836. Barragán had become interim president in the absence of Antonio López de Santa Anna, who was fighting rebels in Zacatecas
Zacatecas officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Zacatecas is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 58 municipalities and its capital city is Zacatecas....

. Barragán, however, died of typhus
Epidemic typhus is a form of typhus so named because the disease often causes epidemics following wars and natural disasters...

 on March 1, 1836, still in office, with Santa Anna again absent from the capital (this time fighting rebels in Texas). In those circumstances, the Chamber of Deputies on February 27, 1836 named Corro interim president. He formally took office on March 2.

As president

Corro served until April 19, 1837. During his term of office, Santa Anna was defeated and taken prisoner in Texas; Mexican forces retreated from Texas, in effect conceding the loss of the province; charges were brought against Filisola for having obeyed the orders of Santa Anna to abandon Texas (to save Santa Anna's life). Also, diplomatic relations were suspended with the United States. As an economy measure, the government introduced new, debased 1½- and 3-cents coins, resulting in riots.

President Corro ordered masses said for the release of Santa Anna. He also took unsuccessful steps to continue the war with the Texas rebels and suppress the rebellion. These efforts were unpopular. When Santa Anna was released, he returned to his hacienda, without anyone holding him accountable for his actions.

Corro negotiated with the Vatican, and obtained recognition of Mexico's independence. The treasury was in bad shape, and the country was disorganized and demoralized because of the war in Texas and for other reasons. The clergy had great influence, both within and outside of the government.

The most important event of Corro's administration, however, was the promulgation by Congress on December 30, 1836 of the Siete Leyes
Siete Leyes
The Siete Leyes were a series of constitutional instruments that fundamentally altered the organizational structure of the young first Mexican republic...

, in effect a new constitution centralizing the government in the capital, at the expense of the states. The Siete Leyes replaced the federalist Constitution of 1824. They abrogated universal suffrage and imposed a literacy test for voting.

In March 1837 French admiral Brotounier brought a diplomatic message about French claims against Mexico, threatening the breaking of relations.

Corro was said to be excessively religious, timid, vacillating, and with little energy and no military skills. His government was so devoted to religious practices that he was nicknamed the saint.

Having lost the support of all the political parties, in 1837 Corro called elections. On April 19 of that year he turned over the government to General Anastasio Bustamante
Anastasio Bustamante
Anastasio Bustamante y Oseguera was president of Mexico three times, from 1830 to 1832, from 1837 to 1839 and from 1839 to 1841. He was a Conservative. He first came to power by leading a coup against president Vicente Guerrero...

(his second term) and retired to private life in Guadalajara. He died there in 1864.
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