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O (210)

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Valentín Canalizo

Lifespan: (14 January 1794 – 20 February 1850)
Profession: Regular army officer


Valentín Canalizo (14 January 1794 – 20 February 1850) was born in Monterrey, Nuevo León, and died in Mexico City. He was a Mexican general and politician served as interim president of Mexico for two separate periods. Canalizo had centralist sympathies and was a supporter of General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

His military career began in 1811 when Canalizo became a cadet of the Regiment of the infantry of Celaya fighting against the insurgent forces. After this he fought in the siege of Valladolid (Morelia) and the capture of San Juan del Río and Zimapán. He supported the Plan de Iguala swearing allegiance to Independent Mexico and joined Agustín de Iturbide’s army of the Three Guarantees as a Major in the vanguard forces. After independence was achieved he supported General José Joaquín de Herrera during the military campaign in Jalisco. He supported the Plan de Casa Mata of 1 February 1823 from Puebla on 11 February 1823. He signed the Plan de Jalapa in December 1829. After being promoted to colonel, he was second in command of the brigade that pacified Jamiltepec, the Costa Chica and the Mixtecs. Canalizo also was a member of the court which passed the death sentence on Vicente Guerrero. Following this he fought against the revolution of 1832. However, he supported Santa Anna in 1833 under the banner of religion and fueros which fought to reinstate the military and ecclesiastical privileges which had been removed by the radical 1833-34 Congress.

Amongst his other military ventures, Canalizo fought strongly against the Liberals from 1835 to 1841. After crushing the siege of Acapulco, he ventured to the Mixteca region and quashed a siege in Oaxaca. He fought General José de Urrea in Durango and attacked Longinos Montenegro in Tampico. Following this he took over the regions of Monterrey and Monclova before going in pursuit of Servando Canales. In 1841 Canalizo returned to Mexico City and was promoted to brigadier general by Santa Anna.

Canalizo acted as president of Mexico two times, during 1843 and 1844. He was first given the role of interim president from 4 October 1843-4 June 1844. He was however a puppet president with Santa Anna giving orders on important appointments and political decisions, pulling the strings from his Hacienda named El Encero. This period of presidency was relatively inactive with few events to distinguish it. During this time a degree of financial support was offered to the Sisters of Charity, Hermanas de Caridad and to the San Gregorio College Colegio de San Gregorio. The School of Medicine was moved to the prestigious Colegio San Idelfonso. And rules governing the military college were laid down by government. There was also an attempt to control Mexico’s forestation. In addition, some military garrisons were set up in the Oriente and Occidente departmental zones. José Joaquín de Herrera was made president of the Government Council. In 1844 Canalizo returned to military action, leaving the presidency as Santa Anna took up his post again. He left for San Luis Potosi and took charge of getting the Army of the North ready for the campaign in Texas.

Canalizo’s second presidential term ran from 21 September 1844 until 6 December 1844 whilst Santa Anna was away again. His actions clashed with Congress with whom the absentee general was out of favour. A decree suspending Congress was subsequently issued, which resulted in prohibition of their meeting. Congress’ response was the Revolution of the Three Hours which, in tandem with Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga’s November pronunciamiento of Guadalajara brought down Canalizo and Santa Anna’s government. Canalizo was captured by the pronunciados and the presidency handed to José Joaquín de Herrera. A general amnesty saved Canalizo from charges and he left for Cádiz on 25 October 1845 via San Juan de Ulúa. When he came back to Mexico in 1846, he became minister of War under Valentín Gómez Farías (24 December 1846 – 23 February 1847).

Canalizo was active in the Mexican-American War. Leading the Eastern Division of the Mexican army during the Veracruz assault. He was known to prevent soldiers from joining the 1847 revolt of the Polkos and managed to reach a pact with Matías de la Peña y Barragán in a convention which was signed on 21 March 1847 and which resulted in the termination of the rebellion. Subsequently, Canalizo marched to Veracruz where Santa Anna took over leadership. This led to withdrawal of troops at Puente Nacional and finally to Santa Anna being vanquished at Cerro Gordo. Canalizo was in opposition to Santa Anna at this time and hence was not active in defending the Capital.

Following the war Canalizo retired from politics and died in Mexico City at the age of 56.


Leader of
Acta de adhesión de la guarnición de Oaxaca (28 December 1832; Oaxaca, Oaxaca)

Author of
Pronunciamiento del general de división Valentín Canalizo (2 October 1841; Ciudad de México, México D.F.)

Signatory of
Manifiesto de los generales y jefes del Ejército del Norte (6 March 1838; Matamoros, Tamaulipas)
Convenio de la Presa de la Estanzuela (6 October 1841; Presa de la Estanzuela, Hidalgo)
Plan y manifiesto del gobernador comandante y de la guarnición de Puebla (14 December 1842; Puebla, Puebla)
Decretos (2 December 1844; Ciudad de México, México D.F.)

Leader, author and signatory of
Pronunciamiento de Valentín Canalizo (4 February 1834; Huango, Michoacán)

Leader and signatory of
Acta de la comandancia general de Puebla (25 December 1842; Puebla, Puebla)