6. General of Tricks, 1828–1832

The battle of Tulancingo represented the end of the escoceses as a credible option and led to a realignment of political allegiances. The yorkinos, having based their entire propaganda between 1825 and 1827 on an anti-escocés/anti-Spanish platform, now found themselves without their old enemy and in need of replacing their offensive politics with beliefs that consolidated their hegemony. This need to define the politics of yorkismo brought to light the divisions that existed within what had been a loosely defined liberal Masonic faction with radical/populist tendencies. By April these divisions became apparent. In the buildup to the presidential elections the radical yorkinos started to campaign in favor of former insurgent, mulatto general Vicente Guerrero. The more moderate yorkinos turned against their own lodges and joined the exescoceses in supporting former royalist, Caucasian, and well-to-do liberal general Manuel Gómez Pedraza.

By mid-September, after six months of vitriolic campaigning, it became clear that Gómez Pedraza was going to win. This realization must be qualified. Gómez Pedraza was going to win only because the outcome of the elections was based on an indirect system that left it up to the creole representatives of each state legislature to determine the winner. Each of the nineteen state legislatures (except Durango) cast two votes, one for president, one for vice president. Manuel Gómez Pedraza, with eleven, beat Guerrero by three votes. As was noted by radical politician Lorenzo de Zavala, "had the elections "been based" on individual suffrage, "Guerrero" would have received an immense majority of votes in his favor." This was a view shared by many, including Santa Anna.1

-109-

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