Mariano Paredes
Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga (circa 7 January 1797 – 7 September 1849) was a conservative Mexican
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 general and president. He took power in a coup d'etat in 1846. He was the president at the start of the Mexican-American War.

Early career

He entered the Spanish colonial army as an infantry cadet on 6 January 1812. He participated in 22 actions in the War of Independence on the Spanish side. He was arrested for criticizing King Ferdinand VII and exiled to Spain. However, he fled and remained in Mexico. He joined the Ejército Trigarante
Army of the Three Guarantees
At the end of the Mexican War of Independence, the Army of the Three Guarantees was the name given to the army after the unification of the Spanish troops led by Agustín de Iturbide and the Mexican insurgent troops of Vicente Guerrero, consolidating Mexico's independence from Spain...

, where he participated in another 11 military actions. In June 1821, under the Empire, he was made a lieutenant colonel.

On 11 February 1823, when he was then in charge of the plaza of Puebla
Puebla, Puebla
The city and municipality of Puebla is the capital of the state of Puebla, and one of the five most important colonial cities in Mexico. Being a planned city, it is located to the east of Mexico City and west of Mexico's main port, Veracruz, on the main route between the two.The city was founded...

, he pronounced against the empire of Agustín de Iturbide
Agustín de Iturbide
Agustín Cosme Damián de Iturbide y Aramburu , also known as Augustine I of Mexico, was a Mexican army general who built a successful political and military coalition that was able to march into Mexico City on 27 September 1821, decisively ending the Mexican War of Independence...

 (the Plan de Casa Mata). He rose in revolt again on 21 December 1829, this time from Guadalajara
Guadalajara, Jalisco
Guadalajara is the capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco, and the seat of the municipality of Guadalajara. The city is located in the central region of Jalisco in the western-pacific area of Mexico. With a population of 1,564,514 it is Mexico's second most populous municipality...

 in support of 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...

's Plan de Jalapa in opposition to President Vicente Guerrero
Vicente Guerrero
Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña was one of the leading revolutionary generals of the Mexican War of Independence, who fought against Spain for independence in the early 19th century, and served briefly as President of Mexico...

. Bustamante took power the following 1 January.

In 1832 Paredes was promoted to brigadier general. He entered the political field in 1835. Briefly in December 1838 he was minister of war. In 1839 he helped Jalisco
Jalisco officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Jalisco is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is located in Western Mexico and divided in 125 municipalities and its capital city is Guadalajara.It is one of the more important states...

 Governor Escobedo suppress the federalist revolt of 18 May.

On 8 August 1841 he headed a reactionary revolt against the regime of conservative President Bustamante, whom he accused of not fighting to recover Texas and yielding to the French invasion in the Pastry War
Pastry War
The Pastry War was an invasion of Mexico by French forces in 1838.-Background:The war arose from the widespread civil disorder that plagued the early years of the Mexican republic. In 1828, President Manuel Gómez Pedraza ejected Lorenzo de Zavala from the office of governor of the state of México...

. He, 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...

 and other rebels signed the Plan de Tacubaya against Bustamante on 28 September 1841. Bustamante agreed to resign, Francisco Javier Echeverría
Francisco Javier Echeverría
Francisco Javier Echeverría was a Mexican businessman, conservative and centralist politician. He served as president of Mexico in late 1841 for a few weeks.-Early years:...

 was chosen interim president, and three weeks later Santa Anna occupied the presidency. Paredes was not included in the new cabinet, and he felt he had received inadequate reward for his support. A strong follower of Santa Anna before this point, his support now began to cool.

Paredes was military governor of Jalisco from 3 November 1841 to 28 January 1843. In October 1843 at Celaya
Celaya is a city and its surrounding municipality in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, located in the southeast quadrant of the state. It is the third most populous city in the state, with a 2005 census population of 310,413. The municipality for which the city serves as municipal seat, had a...

, he withdrew recognition of President Santa Anna. Santa Anna also lost other support, and Congress named José Joaquín de Herrera president on 7 January 1845, marginalizing Paredes.

The coup d'etat

When the Mexican-American War
Mexican–American War
The Mexican–American War, also known as the First American Intervention, the Mexican War, or the U.S.–Mexican War, was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848 in the wake of the 1845 U.S...

 appeared imminent in 1845, Paredes was entrusted with the defense of the country. He was sent to San Luis Potosí
San Luis Potosí
San Luis Potosí officially Estado Libre y Soberano de San Luis Potosí 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 San Luis Potosí....

. There on 14 December 1845, alleging lack of supplies, he rose in revolt against Pres. Herrera (Plan de San Luis). Instead of marching against the invaders, he marched on the capital. On 1845-12-30, General Gabriel Valencia
Gabriel Valencia
Gabriel Valencia was a Mexican soldier in the early years of the Republic. From December 30, 1845 to January 2, 1846 he served as interim president of Mexico....

, in charge of the garrison of Mexico City, seized power and announced his support for Paredes. Valencia held executive power for three days and then turned it over to Paredes. Paredes entered Mexico City on 2 January 1846. On the following day he was named president of Mexico by a junta of notables he had assembled from heads of governmental departments. On 4 January he officially took the oath of office but did not begin exercising power.

As president

On 1 January 1846 the state of Yucatán
Republic of Yucatán
The Republic of Yucatan was a nineteenth century sovereign state during two periods of the century. The first Republic of Yucatan, founded May 29, 1823, joined the Mexican federation as the Federated Republic of Yucatán on December 23, 1823, less than seven months later...

 declared its independence from Mexico and its neutrality in the war with the United States.

General Pedro Ampudia was defeated by U.S. forces under General Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States and an American military leader. Initially uninterested in politics, Taylor nonetheless ran as a Whig in the 1848 presidential election, defeating Lewis Cass...

 at Frotón de Santa Isabel on 5 March 1846. Ampudia was replaced by General Mariano Arista
Mariano Arista
Mariano Arista was a noted veteran of many of Mexico's nineteenth century wars who served as president of Mexico from 15 January 1851 to 6 January 1853....

, who was also defeated, at Palo Alto. Thereupon Arista was arrested and Ampudia reappointed.

On 12 June 1846 Paredes was officially reelected president by Congress. He chose General Nicolas Bravo
Nicolás Bravo
Nicolás Bravo was a Mexican politician and soldier. He distinguished himself in both offices during the 1846–1848 U.S. invasion of Mexico....

 as his vice-president. On 20 June he was officially made commander of the Mexican army. His administration continued until 28 July 1846, when he turned the government over to Bravo to take the field to combat his enemies.

The country was in a state of chaos. Paredes took the position that the best way to preserve the country was to turn it into a monarchy with a Spanish sovereign. A royalist party was organized in Mexico City, favoring Enrique de Borbón, cousin and brother-in-law of the queen of Spain. In opposition to this, revolt broke out in Jalisco under General José María Yáñez
José María Yáñez
General José María Yáñez was a Mexican hero of the war of independence from Spain and the invasions by France and the United States....

 on 21 May, and José Mariano Salas rose in the capital in August. Salas deposed Paredes and reinstituted federalism (4 August), proclaiming the return of Santa Anna and the convoking of a constituent congress.


Paredes fled but was taken prisoner and confined to a convent. In October he was exiled to France. He returned to Mexico in 1848, in time to oppose the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is the peace treaty, largely dictated by the United States to the interim government of a militarily occupied Mexico City, that ended the Mexican-American War on February 2, 1848...

 ending the war with the United States. Together with Manuel Doblado
Manuel Doblado
Manuel Doblado Partida was a prominent Mexican liberal politician and lawyer who served as congressman, Governor of Guanajuato, Minister of Foreign Affairs in the cabinet of President Juárez and fought in the War of Reform....

 and Padre Celedonio Dómeco de Jarauta, he again rose in armed revolted, but was defeated by Bustamante at Guanajuato
Guanajuato officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Guanajuato is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 46 municipalities and its capital city is Guanajuato....

 on 18 July 1848. He was exiled again, but was included in a general amnesty in April 1849. He returned to the country again in that year. He died in poverty in Mexico City in September 1849.

External links

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