Santa Anna, Antonio López de

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Related to Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna: Davy Crockett, Agustin de Iturbide

Santa Anna, Antonio López de

Santa Anna, Antonio López de (äntōˈnyō lōˈpās dā sänˈtä äˈnä), 1794–1876, Mexican general and politician. He fought in the royalist army, but later joined Iturbide in the struggle that won independence for Mexico (1821). Santa Anna then entered upon a long and tortuous political career. His actions were governed by opportunism rather than by any fixed principle, and he shifted his allegiance from party to party, his fortunes rising and falling with bewildering rapidity. He led the revolution against Iturbide (1823); aided, then revolted against, Vicente Guerrero; and turned against Anastasio Bustamante after helping him to power. His victory over the Spanish when Guerrero was in power gained for him a popularity which he turned into political capital; he was ever afterward “the hero of Tampico.” Elected president for a term beginning in 1833, he struggled with the vice president for power and established himself as a reactionary dictator in 1834. He went to Texas to crush the revolution there and became a sort of ogre in American eyes because of the slaughter at the Alamo and the brutality of the massacre at Goliad, which was carried out under his orders. His defeat and capture by Samuel Houston at San Jacinto (1836) put a temporary halt to his political career in Mexico, but his shrewd political sense, aided by the accident of losing a leg in an attempt to repulse the French at Veracruz (1838), restored his prestige. Driven from power after a wasteful, corrupt presidential administration (1841–44), he returned from exile—with U.S. aid apparently—and again became president (1846–47). He commanded in the Mexican War, but his defeats at Buena Vista, Cerro Gordo, and Puebla and the loss of Mexico City sent him again into exile. He returned and ruled (after Dec., 1853) as “perpetual dictator” until the revolution of Ayutla again drove him into exile (1855) and brought Benito Juárez to the fore. After several attempts, he was allowed to return to Mexico (1874).


See his memoirs, Mi historia militar y política (1905); his autobiography (ed. by A. F. Crawford, 1988); biographies by W. H. Callcott (1936, repr. 1968) and O. L. Jones (1968); R. G. Santos, Santa Anna's Campaign Against Texas 1835–1836 (1968).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Santa Anna, Antonio López de


Born Feb. 21, 1795, in Jalapa, state of Veracruz; died June 21, 1876, in Mexico City. Mexican statesman and politician. General. Son of an officer of the colonial army.

Santa Anna was president of Mexico from 1833 to 1835, 1841 to 1844, 1846 to 1847, and 1853 to 1855. In the 1830’s and 1840’s, during the US military invasion of Mexico, he proved to be an incompetent military commander and an unprincipled politician. In 1836 the army under his command suffered several defeats in Texas, where Santa Anna was captured by the Americans. He played a treasonable role in the war between the USA and Mexico of 1846–48. Santa Anna concluded the Gadsden Treaty of 1853, according to which about 120,000 sq km of Mexican territory was sold to the USA. The revolution that started in 1854 put an end to Santa Anna’s political career, and in 1855 he was overthrown as president. He lived in Colombia, Venezuela, and the USA from 1855 to 1874 and then returned to Mexico.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
And the gold encrusted ceremonial uniform of the President of Mexico during the Gadsden Negotiation period, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (1795-1876), will also be displayed.
The festivities may have continued well into the morning hours had it not been dampened by two developments: A sudden midnight rain shower; and a message warning Jim Bowie that General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the military dictator of Mexico, had encamped with several thousand troops on the Medma River--just a few miles south of the mission-fortress called the Alamo.
He depicts the eleven-time president of Mexico, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, as an enigmatic figure who had to make difficult decisions during the 1848 war.
Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who had led 3000 troops across the Rio Grande.
Clary begins by recounting the life of the most prominent Mexican of the age, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who was a key player in the war.