General Santa Anna

Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón (; 24 February 1794 – 21 June 1876), often known as Santa Anna or López de Santa Anna and sometimes called “the Napoleon of the West”, was a Mexican politician and general who greatly influenced early Mexican politics and government. Santa Anna first opposed the movement for Mexican independence from Spain, but then fought in support of it. Though not the first caudillo (military leader) of modern Mexico, he was among the earliest. Santa Anna had great power in the independent country; he served as general and president multiple times during a turbulent 40-year career; he served as president for eleven non-consecutive terms over a period of 22 years. A wealthy landowner, he built a firm political base in the major port city of Veracruz. He was the hero of the Army; he sought glory for himself and his army, and repeatedly rebuilt it after major losses. A brave soldier and a cunning politician, he dominated his era so much that historians often call it the “Age of Santa Anna”. But historians also rank him as perhaps the principal inhabitant even today of Mexico’s pantheon of ‘those who failed the nation.'” His centralist rhetoric and military failures resulted in Mexico losing just over half its territory, beginning with the Texas Revolution of 1836, and culminating with the Mexican Cession of 1848 following its defeat by the United States in the Mexican-American War.

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