Peña y Peña, Manuel de la (1789–1850)

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Peña y Peña, Manuel de la (1789–1850)

Manuel de la Peña y Peña (b. 1789; d. 1850), interim president of Mexico (September 1847–June 1848). The apex of Peña y Peña's career coincided with Mexico's nadir when he, as chief justice of the Supreme Court, succeeded Antonio López de Santa Anna on 16 September 1847. Peña y Peña, a native of Tacuba, maintained a moderate course between radical and reactionary voices from September 1847 to June 1848, during which time the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was negotiated, signed, and ratified.

Peña y Peña unknowingly spent his life in preparation for this service. He studied civil and ecclesiastic law at the Seminario Conciliar in Mexico City, graduating in December 1811. Two years later he was named síndico (receiver) of the Mexico City Municipal Council. In February 1820 Peña y Peña declined an appointment as oidor on the Audiencia of Quito, in the Viceroyalty of Peru, out of a sense of duty to Mexico at the time of independence. His age, education, experience, and connections brought a succession of public offices, primarily in the Supreme Court. Appointments not in the court included minister of the interior (1837) and minister of foreign relations and government (1845). In 1841 he was concurrently president of the Academia de Jurisprudencia and rector of the Colegio de Abogados. His writings include the four-volume Lecciones de práctica forense Mexicana (1835–1839). Ironically, one of the questions treated in this work was the exaggerated pretensions of a foreign power. Peña y Peña died in Mexico City.

See alsoGuadalupe Hidalgo, Treaty of (1848) .


Justo Sierra, Manuel de la Peña y Peña, 1798–1850: Academia, jurisprudencia y legislación (1895).

José Rogelio Álvarez, Enciclopedia de México, vol. 11 (1988), p. 6293.

Additional Bibliography

DiTella, Torcuato S. National Popular Politics in Early Independent Mexico, 1820–1847. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996.

Fowler, Will. Mexico in the Age of Proposals, 1821–1853. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998.

                      Robert Himmerich y Valencia

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Peña y Peña, Manuel de la (1789–1850)

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