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Anastasio Bustamante

Lifespan: (27 July 1780 – 6 February 1853)
Profession: Regular army officer and politician


Anastasio Bustamante y Oseguera (27 July 1780 – 6 February 1853) was born in Jiquilpan, Michoacán and died in San Miguel de Allende at the age of 72. Bustamante’s heart was then placed in the Mexico City Cathedral's chapel of San Felipe de Jesús, beside the ashes of Emperor Agustín de Iturbide. He remained single throughout his varied and successful political career.

Bustamante was a liberal-conservative politician with federalist sympathies and yet who was associated with the centralist factions, who was two times president of Mexico for the periods 1830-1832, and 1837-1841. On both occasions he was deposed, and sent to exile in Europe.

Bustamante was of humble origins, his father working as a transporter of snow from the volcanoes of Colima to Guadalajara but still managing to provide his son with a sound education and the young man entered the seminary of Guadalajara to begin his education at the age of 15 and later studied Medicine in Mexico City. After completing his medical studies he moved on to San Luis Potosí where he became director of the San Juan de Dios Hospital.

Under the command of Félix Maria Calleja in 1808 he joined the royalist army as a cavalry officer and was involved in fighting the insurgent forces led by Miguel Hidalgo in 1810. He took part in the military action of the Army of the Centre on the part of the royalist faction. Military action during the War of Independence led to him rising to the rank of Colonel.

During Agustín I’s First Empire of Mexico Bustamante was the one to proclaim the independence of Mexico from Spain at Pantoja, Guanajuato in support of his friend Iturbide. He also made the public gesture of removing the remains of the 11 insurgent leaders from the Alhóndiga de Granaditas in Guanajuato and having them interred in the cemetery at San Sebastián. In turn he was named by Iturbide as commander of the cavalry and second in command of the Army of the Centre as well as a chief member of the governing junta. From 28 September 1821 he was also given the title and charge of field marshal and captain general of the internal provinces of East and West (Provincias Internas de Oriente y Occidente). Bustamante defeated a Spanish military expedition at Xichú. When the Empire fell in 1823 he joined forces with the federalists and was consequently arrested and held at Acapulco. However, President Guadalupe Victoria put him in command once again, this time of the Internal Provinces (Provincias Internas).

The two terms of Bustamante as president of the Republic began with a pronunciamiento cycle against President Vicente Guerrero on 4 December 1829 which led to his initial rise to power. Once in office he wasted no time taking the bold measures of removing employees who did not have the confidence of public opinion, implemented a secret police force and repressed certain factions of the press. He was known to be involved in the execution of Guerrero. He exiled Joel Poinsett the United States Minister as well as some of his competitors. In his role of President, Bustamante implemented, guided by Lucas Alamán, a series of measures that strengthened the army, the central government, and attempted to inject life into Mexico’s nascent industry. The centralising tendencies of his government paired with the repression that was meted out against its opponents eventually led to fierce opposition in the federalist states of Jalisco, Zacatecas and Texas. But it was in Veracruz in 1832 that a revolt finally broke out and the disgruntled parties requested the military assistance of Antonio López de Santa Anna. After a year of civil war, this pronunciamiento cycle to the deposition of Bustamante and some of his most senior ministers. Following the Treaty of Zavaleta, Manuel Gómez Pedraza took over the presidency, and following the electoral victory of Santa Anna in April 1833, Bustamante was forced into exile.

During this period of exile in France Bustamante was employed as Inspector of military and medical facilities. President José Justo Corro called Bustamante back to Mexico in December 1836 to fight in the War of Texas Independence. Soon after returning to the country 17 April 1837 he was elected president. During his second term in office he had to contend with the French Pastry War (1838-39), and a federalist uprising he took upon himself to quell in person in 1839, leaving Santa Anna and Nicolás Bravo to serve as acting presidents, one after the other.

Bustamante returned to complete his term in office on 9 July 1839 and remained in power 22 September 1841 when he was overthrown as a result of the Triangular Revolt. On 15 July 1840 he was made prisoner in the National Palace during General José Urrea and Valentín Gómez Farías short-lived pronunciamiento, but escaped on 16 July along with 28 dragoons.

Following his overthrow in September 1841 Bustamante found himself exiled to Europe, this time both in France and Italy accompanied by his loyal assistant José María Calderón y Tapia, and his nephew Andrés Oseguera. At this time Bustamante enjoyed widespread travel and took the medicinal waters at Contrexéville, France amongst other medical treatment. In 1845 during the crisis with the United States he came back to Mexico to offer his political expertise. Becoming president of Congress an 1846 and in the same year he became general of the expedition that was sent to defend the Californias against the United States of America. This military attempt failed due to inadequate military provisions preventing him from reaching California. In 1848, however, he did successfully quash revolt in Guanajuato and Aguascalientes.


Leader of
Plan del general Bustamante (12 September 1841; Ciudad de México, México D.F.)
Manifiesto del presidente Bustamante (19 September 1841; Ciudad de México, México D.F.)

Author of
Plan de Guadalajara (8 June 1824; Guadalajara, Jalisco)
Pronunciamiento federalista de la ciudad de México (1 October 1841; Ciudad de México, México D.F.)

Signatory of
Acta de Independencia (28 September 1821; Ciudad de México, México D.F.)
Proclama iturbidista (19 May 1822; Ciudad de México, México D.F.)
Convenio de la Presa de la Estanzuela (6 October 1841; Presa de la Estanzuela, Hidalgo)

Author and signatory of
Convenio firmado entre los generales Santa Anna y Anastasio Bustamante (11 December 1832; Puente de México, Puebla)