Alamán, Lucas (1792–1853)

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Alamán, Lucas (1792–1853)

Lucas Alamán (b. 18 October 1792; d. 2 June 1853), Mexican statesman and historian. Born in Guanajuato, Alamán studied in Mexico City at the School of Mines. In January 1814 he traveled to Europe, where he observed politics in the Cortes in Spain and in other nations, met leading officials and men of science and learning, and studied mining and foreign languages. He returned to Mexico in 1820, beginning his political career in 1821 when he was elected deputy to the Cortes from Guanajuato. Alamán played an active role in the Spanish parliament, proposing programs to restore the mining industry as well as a project for home rule for the New World, taking Canada as its model.

In 1822, upon learning that Mexico had declared its independence, Alamán traveled to London, where he organized the Compañía Unida de Minas (United Mining Company), arriving in Mexico in March 1823. He served as minister of interior and exterior relations during the periods 1823–1825, 1830–1832, and 1853. Initially, he distinguished himself as a liberal and a strong critic of the Vatican for failing to recognize his nation's independence. As a result of the increasing radicalization of politics in the later 1820s, however, he became a conservative and a supporter of the church as the one institution that could help maintain order.

During his term as minister of the interior from 1830 to 1832, Alamán gained notoriety as an authoritarian but also as a strong fiscal conservative. He devoted much of his effort to rebuilding the nation's economy, particularly the mining and the textile industries. He founded the Banco de Avío, the hemisphere's first development bank, and served as director of the ministry of industry from 1842 to 1846. He also reorganized the Archivo General de la Nación and founded the Museo de Antigüedades e Historia Nacional.

In his later years, Alamán became a champion of conservatism and advocated the return to monarchy. He is best known for his writings, particularly his Disertaciones sobre la historia de la República Méjicana …, 3 vols. (1844–1849), and his Historia de Méjico desde los primeros movimientos que prepararon su independencia en el año 1808, hasta la época presente, 5 vols. (1849–1852), a magisterial work that remains the best and most distinguished account of the epoch.

See alsoMexico: 1810–1910 .


Moisés González Navarro, El pensamiento político de Lucas Alamán (1952).

Charles Hale, Mexican Liberalism in the Age of Mora, 1821–1853 (1968), esp. pp. 11-38.

Jaime E. Rodríguez O., The Emergence of Spanish America: Vicente Rocafuerte and Spanish Americanism, 1808–1832 (1975), esp. pp. 167-178, 179-228, and "The Origins of the 1832 Revolt," in Jaime E. Rodríguez O., Patterns of Contention in Mexican History (1992).

José C. Valadés, Alamán: Estadista e historiador (1977).

Additional Bibliography

Cuevas Landero, Elisa Guadalupe. La paradoja nación revolución en el pensamiento político de Lucas Alamán. México, D.F.: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1995.

Méndez Reyes, Salvador. El hispanoamericanismo de Lucas Alamán, 1823–1853. Toluca, Estado de México: Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, 1996.

Morán Leyva, Paola. Lucas Alamán. México: Planeta DeAgostini, 2002.

                                Jaime E. RodrÍguez O.