Lerdo de Tejada, Miguel

Lerdo de Tejada, Miguel

(mēgĕl` lĕr`thō dā tāhä`thä), d. 1861, Mexican liberal statesman, a leader of the Revolution of AyutlaAyutla
, town (1990 pop. 6,214), Guerrero state, S Mexico. Its full name is Ayutla de los Libres [Ayutla of the free]. It is the commercial center for an agricultural, cattle-raising, and lumbering area.
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, cabinet member under Juan Álvarez. As minister under ComonfortComonfort, Ignacio
, 1812–63, Mexican general and president (1855–58). He was one of the leaders in the Revolution of Ayutla, which in 1855 overthrew Santa Anna and installed Juan Álvarez in the presidency.
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, he initiated the Ley Lerdo (1856), a law providing for the forced sale of all real property of the Roman Catholic Church. He helped draft the constitution of 1857 and later drew up a law nationalizing church property. His laws, disastrous failures in his day, were essential parts of the reforms of Benito JuárezJuárez, Benito
, 1806–72, Mexican liberal statesman and national hero. Revered by Mexicans as one of their greatest political figures, Juárez, with great moral courage and honesty, upheld the civil law and opposed the privileges of the clericals and the army.
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. His younger brother, Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada, 1820?–1889, also an important liberal in the Revolution of Ayutla, was for years a close associate of Juárez. He succeeded as provisional president after the death of Juárez (1872). A revolt under Porfirio DíazDíaz, Porfirio
, 1830–1915, Mexican statesman, a mestizo, christened José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz. He gained prominence by supporting Benito Juárez and the liberals in the War of the Reform and in the war against Emperor Maximilian and the
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, begun in 1871, was put down. The reform laws were incorporated in the constitution (1874). Order was restored for a time, but when, in 1876, Lerdo procured the consent of congress to his continuance in office, a new revolt began, again led by Porfirio Díaz. Lerdo's forces were defeated, and he fled to New York City, where he died.

Bibliography

See biography by F. A. Knapp (1951, repr. 1968).

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Leyenda: Fernando Lerdo de Tejada, Miguel Angel Porrua y Dionisio Meade.