Biography of Benito Juarez | Mexican liberal politician, President of the Republic between 1858 and 1872.

(San Pablo Guelatao, Mexico, 1806 - city of Mexico, 1872) Mexican liberal politician, President of the Republic between 1858 and 1872. After a period of three decades in which the conservative Antonio López de Santa Anna had dominated the political life of the country, Benito Juárez strove in their mandates to implement the liberal ideology, dictating laws to make effective land reform, freedom of the press, the separation between Church and State and the submission of the army to civilian authority.

Benito Juárez
Modernizing work encountered huge difficulties: the conservative reaction resulted in the war of reform (1858-1860) and economic problems led to non-payment of the debt and the French intervention in Mexico (1863-1867). No less turbulent were his last years, and defections from his own party would lead, after his death, the long dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz. Despite the fact that few of his accomplishments were long-lasting, his dedication to ideals of social justice is rightly appreciated, and historiography recognizes it as the capital of Mexican liberalism in the 19th century.
Son of Marcelino Juárez and Brígida García, Indian marriage of humble condition, Benito Juárez was orphaned as a child and began his studies in his hometown. He was twenty years old when he entered the Institute of Sciences of Oaxaca, where he graduated in law. His concern for social reality and in particular about the situation of the peasants led him to express their points of view, Liberals and to participate actively in politics.
Benito Juárez was elected Alderman of the city of Oaxaca and, a year later, a member of the State Congress in 1831. This was the first step in an activity that would lead him to be the maximum representative of the nation, but to do so he should Ascend slowly on the political ladder, overcome difficulties without story, suffering exile, suffer jail, lead a civil war and attracted the ire of numerous enemies. The energy with which he defended interests representing earned him in 1846 be member from Oaxaca to the Congress of the Union. A year later he was appointed Governor of his home State, a position in which he remained until 1852.

Benito Juárez
His opposition to the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, by which Mexico lost vast areas of its territory in favor of the United States, found a runway in Liberal ranks and in the defense of a federalist project. However, the Conservatives managed once more to power in 1853, commanded by general Antonio López de Santa Anna, and Juárez was forced into exile in Cuba.
Two years later he returned and joined the plan de Ayutla, whose signers included the General Villarreal, Comonfort and Alvarez. The win at the pronouncement was appointed Counsellor of State and, under the Presidency of Ignacio Comonfort (1855-1857), Minister of Justice. As such, it enacted a series of laws that restored freedom of teaching, printing and work and nullified the prerogatives of the clergy and the army.
The war of reform
Their legislative provisions, which inspired the Constitution of 1857, of Liberal, motivated the reaction of conservatives, who were the following year in the Tacubaya plan. Comonfort agreed with them, staged a coup and imprisoned Juarez, which was the trigger for the civil war called the war of reform (1858-1860).
As President of the Supreme Court of Justice, Juarez, who had managed to flee, became the rightful President, in accordance with the Constitution. Pressed by his enemies, had to take refuge in Panama, but returned in may 1858 to establish his Government in Veracruz. From there he issued reform laws and proclaimed a more radical than the previous Constitution. In 1859 his Government was recognized by the United States, and, with their help, the Liberals finally defeated conservatives in 1860.
The French occupation
However, the serious economic difficulties which the country passed through forced Juarez to suspend the payment of the foreign debt. The measure prompted the armed intervention of the United Kingdom, Spain and France in 1861 and again plunged the country into a tense situation of war. The promises of Juarez determined withdrawal of the first two powers, but France, in collusion with the Conservatives, invaded Mexico in 1863, and in 1864, after occupying the capital, eventually impose on the Archduke Maximiliano de Austria as Emperor of Mexico.
Before the establishment of the Empire of Maximilian I, Benito Juárez retreated to Paso del Norte and from there he organized resistance. Man's law above all, not without deep shame and internal violence extended his presidential powers until the end of the war, and immediately undertook the Republican offensive, which would succeed after the site of Querétaro in 1867 and went with the execution of Maximilian on June 19 in the Hill of bells.
The recent mandates
With the country impoverished and disengaged, he was re-elected for the seventh time in August 1867. Juarez restored the federal Republic and gave effect to the laws of reform. But the last five years of his political life would be marked by revolts and conflicts of all kinds. On the one hand, proliferated in Mexico outbreaks of banditry and revolutionary guerrilla groups, and on the other the constitutional system, which had been imposed after arduous struggle against the powerful forces of reaction, began to discredit in the accusations of electoral fraud. To fill the glass, the President launched unpopular reforms in order to accumulate greater executive power in their hands.

Benito Juárez
This fact and the fear that it sought to perpetuate itself in office motivated reaction within his own party. Porfirio Díaz, whose name sums up by itself the next chapter in the history of Mexico, joined the opposition after being featured as a victorious military in the war against Maximilian, and in 1871, Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada, main partner of Juarez in domestic policy, did not accept the elections and founded the lerdist party. That year President had also quell various uprisings, as Trevino and Naranjo, running out in this grueling company already enflaquecidas forces.
Despite the economic difficulties, the hostility of the Congress and numerous pronouncements, on December 1, 1871 Juarez again assumed the Presidency before the Chamber of Deputies, and there reiterated his faith in the law with his usual energy. But the winds of history were already directed towards other directions. Porfirio Díaz encouraged his supporters against Juarez accusing him of dictator and launching a revolt inspired by the so-called Plan la Noria, whose most significant proposal was the prohibition of which the Presidents were re-elected. Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada allied himself with Porfirio Díaz and together they rose up against Juarez.
While Juarez also survived this second-season barrage of his political enemies, repress the uprising was his last public Act, as with secret stoicism of the Zapotec indigenous, from long ago, had been supporting a prolonged series of cardiac insolate that finally led him to the Tomb on July 18, 1872. After his death, Congress declared him Benemérito of the homeland and of the Americas.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
Biographies of historical figures and personalities

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