Guide Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (Great Hispanic Heritage)

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Battle of San Jacinto

He sent out three forces — the main frontal force advanced quietly, hoping to take the Mexican army by surprise, as two other forces circled around the left and right flanks of the Mexican camp. Remember Goliad! Caught off guard by the bold broad-daylight attack, the Mexican Army hardly had time to respond.

Nine Texans died and only 30 more suffered wounds, while the Mexican losses totaled killed, injured, and taken prisoner. Santa Anna ordered his troops to withdraw from Texas. The Texans captured Santa Anna disguised as a Mexican private the following day.


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On May 14, , Presidents David G. Burnet and Santa Anna signed the public and private treaties of Velasco, confirming Mexican retreat and declaring an end to the war. Mexico did not formally recognize Texas independence, however, until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War in Today, visitors to San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site and Monument can take a walking tour of the battleground to see where significant events leading to Texas independence occurred. Constructed between April 21, and April 21, , the Monument serves as a memorial to all of those who fought in the Battle of San Jacinto and to all others who contributed to the independence of Texas.

Click here for the National Historic Landmark file: text and photos. While the battle only lasted 18 minutes, its ramifications were great. The victory at San Jacinto gave Texas its independence from Mexico and opened the door for the continued westward expansion of the United States. The Mexican government offered settlers from the United States land at cheap prices.

By , the American population of Texas grew to around 25, people, significantly outnumbering the Mexican population and thus causing the Mexican government to become increasingly concerned about protecting its claims to the frontier land in this region. Santa Anna believed that Travis was overly rude and disrespectful towards him, and had that not happened, he would have allowed Sam Houston to establish a dominant presence there. In his letter, he stated that the disrespect of Travis led to the demise of all of his followers, which he claimed only took a couple of hours.

During the siege of the Alamo, the Texas Navy had more time to plunder ports along the Gulf of Mexico and the Texian Army gained more weapons and ammunition. They found the general dressed in a dragoon private's uniform and hiding in a marsh. On 14 May , a treaty was made between Santa Anna and Texas. It committed Santa Anna to cease, trying to bring to an end to the uprising of traitors against Mexico. Santa Anna also agreed that his troops would leave Texas. Both armies were also prohibited from contact with each other.

Lastly, the treaty demanded that all Texan prisoners under Santa Anna be released.

The treaty was a major turning point in Santa Anna's career, as it meant the end of Mexican reign in Texas. Acting Texas president David G.


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During this weeks-long journey, Santa Anna passed through Washington D. Meanwhile, in Mexico City a new government declared that Santa Anna was no longer president and that the treaty he had made with Texas was null and void.

San Jacinto BattlefieldAmerican Latino Heritage: A Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary

The Mexican Congress also rejected the treaty. Say to General Santa Anna that when I remember how ardent an advocate he was of liberty ten years ago, I have no sympathy for him now, that he has gotten what he deserves. Say to Mr. Poinsett that it is very true that I threw up my cap for liberty with great ardor, and perfect sincerity, but very soon found the folly of it. A hundred years to come my people will not be fit for liberty. They do not know what it is, unenlightened as they are, and under the influence of a Catholic clergy, a despotism is a proper government for them, but there is no reason why it should not be a wise and virtuous one.

After some time in exile in the U. In , Santa Anna also wrote a manifesto in which he reflected on his Texas experiences as well as his surrender. His great impact on Mexico was that by the age of thirty-five, he had built such a strong reputation as a military leader that he obtained high ranking.

He acknowledged that by , he considered Texas to be the biggest threat to Mexico, and he acted upon those threats. In , Santa Anna had a chance for redemption from the loss of Texas. After Mexico rejected French demands for financial compensation for losses suffered by French citizens, France sent forces that landed in Veracruz in the Pastry War.

The Mexican government gave Santa Anna control of the army and ordered him to defend the nation by any means necessary.

Cameron Addis, Ph.D.

He engaged the French at Veracruz. During the Mexican retreat after a failed assault, Santa Anna was hit in the left leg and hand by cannon fire. His shattered ankle required amputation of much of his leg, which he ordered buried with full military honors. Despite Mexico's final capitulation to French demands, Santa Anna used his war service to re-enter Mexican politics. Santa Anna used a prosthetic cork leg; during the later Mexican—American War , it was captured and kept by American troops from the 4th Illinois Infantry.

Oglesby who served in the regiment in Decatur. Soon after, as Anastasio Bustamante's presidency turned chaotic, supporters asked Santa Anna to take control of the provisional government. Santa Anna was made president for the fifth time, taking over a nation with an empty treasury.

The war with France had weakened Mexico, and the people were discontented. Commanding the army, Santa Anna crushed the rebellion in Puebla.


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Santa Anna ruled in a more dictatorial way than during his first administration. His government banned anti-Santanista newspapers and jailed dissidents to suppress opposition.

Antonio López de Santa Anna

In , he directed a military expedition into Texas. It inflicted numerous casualties with no political gain; but Texans began to be persuaded of the potential benefits of annexation by the more powerful U. Santa Anna was unable to control the Mexican congressional elections of The new Congress was composed of men of principles who vigorously opposed the autocratic leader.

Trying to restore the treasury, Santa Anna raised taxes, but this aroused resistance. With resentment growing, Santa Anna stepped down from power and fled in December The buried leg he left behind in the capital was dug up by a mob and dragged through the streets until nothing was left of it. They turned him over to authorities, and Santa Anna was imprisoned.

His life was spared, but he was exiled to Cuba , still a Spanish colony. Following early skirmishes, the United States then declared war on Mexico.

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Santa Anna wrote to Mexico City saying he had no aspirations to the presidency, but would eagerly use his military experience to reclaim Texas. Meanwhile, Santa Anna had secretly been dealing with representatives of the U. Once back in Mexico at the head of an army, Santa Anna reneged on both of these agreements. Santa Anna declared himself president again and unsuccessfully tried to fight off the U. His leadership was said to inspire the sea shanty " Santianna. In August , Santa Anna left for Veracruz. The Mexican people did not dwell on Santa Anna's past of military shortcomings and betrayals, because they still recognized him as a savior or hero who could make everything better.

It had only been a year since he was forced out of the republic, but Santa Anna was still popular among the Mexican people. In "Santa Anna of Mexico", Fowler recognizes these events as a major turning point in Santa Anna's career and history, and explained his "transformation" or "resurrection" at the time.