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Valentín Gómez Farías

Lifespan: (14 February 1851 – 5 July 1858)
Profession: President, Politician


Valentín Gómez Farías (14 Feb 1781- 5 July 1858) was born in Guadalajara (Jalisco). He was a doctor and politician. He practiced medicine from 1807 and lived in Aguascalientes during the War of Independence. He became involved in politics in 1820 as a town councillor. Although he was elected to the Spanish Cortes in 1821 he did not go once the Plan of Iguala was launched on the 24th of February. He went on to hold a number a important political posts: deputy for Guadalajara (1822-23), senator (1824-28), deputy in the state congress of Jalisco (1830-32), minister of relations under the presidency of Manuel Gómez Pedraza (2 February-31 March 1833), elected vice president (3 June 1833-24 April 1834 and 26 December 1846-21 March 1847), deputy for Jalisco (1856-57). He was forced into exile, 1835-38, 1840-45. He participated in a number of conspiracies while in opposition – perhaps the most notorious one having been the 15 July Pronunciamiento of 1840 in Mexico City which resulted in Gómez Farías temporarily seizing the National Palace and taking President Anastasio Bustamante prisoner within it. He became famous for having led the radical administrations of 1833-34 and 1846-47, although the extent to which he was responsible for their radicalism has been recently questioned. He was associated with the puro liberals that emerged in the late 1830s, and came to advocate the need for radical changes in the social and political structure of Mexico: calling for the freedom of the press and the suppression of repressive laws of the press, as well as the abolition of Church and army privileges (fueros) which had exempted military officers from civil trials and laws. He also defended the suppression of monastic orders and all the laws which authorized church involvement in civil business. He promoted the improvement of education for the popular classes and an end to the religious monopoly on education. Gómez Farías opposed the peace Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which was signed on February 2, 1848, and which ended the Mexican-American 1846-1848. He returned to prominence after the 1854-55 Revolution of Ayulta brought down Santa Anna’s last government. Gómez Farías was elected to the Constituent Congress that drafted the Liberal Constitution of 1857. Illness prevented him from participating regularly in the debates, but his efforts to establish Federalism and modernize Mexico were clearly recognized by his fellow congressmen and left a lasting legacy. Gómez Farías’ life ended on 5 July 1858 in Mexico City.


Author of
Plan de La Ciudadela (4 August 1846; Ciudad de México, México D.F.)

Signatory of
Plan Federalista proclamado por Gómez Farías y José Urrea (19 July 1840; Ciudad de México, México D.F.)

Leader and signatory of
Plan de la junta anfictiónica de Nuevo Orleans (6 September 1835; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, Abroad)