Bases Orgánicas, Mexican constitutional charter. In October 1841, General Antonio López de Santa Anna took control of Mexico following a successful revolt against the incumbent president, Anastasio Bustamante. To the surprise of many observers, Santa Anna permitted the election of a congress that was charged with drawing up a new constitution for the country. The congress met in 1842, but dominated by liberals and federalists, it proposed a constitution that Santa Anna did not like. Hence, as he had done in 1834, he used the army to force the closure of the congress. To replace it, he nominated an assembly of prominent citizens who were likewise charged with producing a new charter. They duly obliged with what was known as the Bases Orgánicas, promulgated on 14 June 1843. These comprised 202 articles that were to form the constitution of the nation. They stipulated a highly centralized government with political power firmly vested in the center and in the dominant social and financial elite. The Bases Orgánicas were replaced in 1846 when Mexico reverted to a federal form of government with the mercurial Santa Anna once again at its head.
For the text of the Bases Orgánicas, see Felipe Tena Ramírez, Leyes fundamentales de Mexico, 1808–1971 (1971), pp. 405-436.
Fowler, Will. Mexico in the Age of Proposals, 1821–1853. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998.
Michael P. Costeloe