Sierra, Justo(ho͞o`stō syĕ`rä), 1848–1912, Mexican educator and historian. He entered the literary life as a romantic poet but later devoted himself wholeheartedly to founding schools, lecturing, and seeking in every way to quicken new intellectual life in Mexico. Sierra was to a large extent responsible for the intellectual renaissance in Mexico early in the 20th cent. He was minister of education under Porfirio Díaz and refounded the National Univ. of Mexico. His best-known work is a history of Mexico showing the growth of national feeling and culture, La evolución política del pueblo mexicano (1900–1902, tr. 1969).
See study by R. W. Weatherhead (1966).
Born Jan. 26, 1848, in Campeche; died Sept. 13, 1912, in Madrid. Mexican government figure and historian.
Sierra was educated as a lawyer. For many years he taught history in a preparatory school. He worked on a number of newspapers and magazines, including La Tribuna, La Libertad, and El Siglo. From 1905 to 1911 he was minister of public education and fine arts; in 1912 he was appointed ambassador to Madrid. Sierra’s main work, The Political Evolution of the Mexican People (1902), is liberal and democratic in its views. It condemns the Anglo-French-Spanish intervention of 1861–67 and praises B. Juárez as the defender of Mexico’s sovereignty.