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García Granados, Miguel (1809–1878)

García Granados, Miguel (1809–1878)

Miguel García Granados (b. 29 September 1809; d. 8 September 1878), a leader in the Guatemalan liberal revolution of 1871. Born in Cádiz, Spain, García Granados went to Guatemala with his parents as an infant. While he was still a young man he became interested in military affairs and in liberal political philosophy, especially that of Voltaire and Rousseau. As Spaniards, his family was not involved in the independence movement, but they shared many of the new ideals. García Granados traveled to New York with his older brothers in 1823. He studied there and in Philadelphia and London before returning to Guatemala in 1826. When conflicts began developing with El Salvador, he followed his older brothers into military service.

García Granados participated in two invasions of El Salvador, where he was captured, held prisoner, and exiled to Mexico, not returning to Guatemala until 1840. During the following thirty years he became a leader in the movements for political change, a free press, public education, fiscal reform, and restrictions on the power of the church. He served as a leader of the liberal cause in the conservative-controlled National Assembly during the long dictatorship of Rafael Carrera. While in exile in Mexico he had met Justo Rufino Barrios. Together they planned the overthrow of the conservative government. They invaded Guatemala in May 1871 and, after a series of battles, entered Guatemala City victorious on June 30. García Granados became interim president and served until 1873, when Barrios succeeded him as the constitutionally elected president. The revolution of 1871 led to the expulsion of religious orders, to professionalization of the military, to expanded public education and public works throughout the country, and to a concept of the state as a positive force for introducing change in the society and the economy.

See alsoBarrios, Justo Rufino .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Miguel García Granados, Memorias (1952).

José Santacruz Noriega, Gobierno del Capitán General D. Miguel García Granados (1979).

Additional Bibliography

Clegern, Wayne M. Origins of Liberal Dictatorship in Central America: Guatemala, 1865–1873. Niwot: University Press of Colorado, 1994.

                                       David L. Jickling

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