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Venegas de Saavedra, Francisco Javier (1760–1838)

Venegas de Saavedra, Francisco Javier (1760–1838)

Francisco Javier Venegas de Saavedra (b. 1760, d. 1838), viceroy of Mexico (1810–1813). Venegas distinguished himself in 1808 as an officer fighting the French in Spain. Named to govern New Granada (Bogotá) by the Spanish regency (of which his uncle was a member), he was instead diverted to serve in Mexico, where he assumed office as viceroy just two days before the outbreak of Father Miguel Hidalgo's rebellion in September 1810. Venegas responded skillfully to the crisis in the colony, confronting and partially containing the military threat from the rapidly growing insurgency, creating new militia units, imposing a series of wartime revenue measures, instituting an internal security system for the capital and other cities, and abolishing Indian tributes. In attempting to maintain his own authority, Venegas effectively abrogated much of the liberal Spanish Constitution of 1812, though he quarreled with the ultraroyalist faction in the colony. Noted for his personal integrity, Venegas retired in relative poverty to Spain, where he was eventually ennobled (1816). He later served in a series of high political posts.

See alsoNew Granada, Viceroyalty of .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Timothy E. Anna, The Fall of the Royal Government in Mexico City (1978).

Hugh M. Hamill, Jr., The Hidalgo Revolt, Prelude to Mexican Independence (1966).

Manuel Rivera Cambas, Los gobernantes de México, vol. 3 (1964), pp. 287-322.

                                       Eric Van Young

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