Arista, Mariano (1802–1855)

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Arista, Mariano (1802–1855)

Mariano Arista (b. 1802; d. 1855), president of Mexico (1851–1853). Arista enlisted as a cadet in the Provincial Regiment of Puebla at the age of fifteen. In June 1821 he joined the Army of the Three Guarantees under the leadership of Agustín de Iturbide to support the Plan of Iguala for autonomy and independence for Mexico. Arista continued to serve in the army, reaching the rank of brigadier general. On 8 June 1833 he rebelled against the radical reforms of President Valentin Gómez Farías, calling on General Antonio López de Santa Anna and the army to preserve the fueros (prerogatives) and properties of the regular and secular clergy. Exiled to the United States in November 1833, Arista was able to return to Mexico only after the triumph of the Plan of Cuernavaca, which provided the basis for Santa Anna's formation of a more conservative government. Arista served as a member of various military commissions before being named commanding general of the state of Tamaulipas in 1839. In 1846, Arista was called to lead the Army of the North. On 8 May 1846, at Palo Alto, Tamaulipas, Arista's forces were defeated by a U.S. army contingent under General Zachary Taylor in the first major battle of the war. The next day Arista retreated and turned over command to General Francisco Mejía. Arista served as minister of war from 12 June 1848 to 15 January 1851, on which date he assumed the office of president. He resigned on 6 January 1853 and moved to Europe. He died aboard a British ship en route from Portugal to France, where he hoped to obtain medical treatment. He was buried in Lisbon; his ashes were returned to Mexico in 1880.

See alsoMexico: 1810–1910 .


Alberto María Carreño Escudero, Jefes del ejército mexicano en 1847 (1914).

Charles L. Dufour, The Mexican War: A Compact History, 1846–1848 (1968).

Moisés González Navarro, Anatomía del poder en México, 1848–1853 (1977); Diccionario Porrúa de historia, biografía y geografía de México, 5th ed. (1986).

Additional Bibliography

Costeloe, Michael P. "Mariano Arista and the 1850 Election in Mexico." Bulletin of Latin American Research 18 (January 1999): 51-70.

                                      D. F. Stevens