SANTA ANNA: A Curse upon Mexico

By Barnhill, John H. | Military Review, January/February 2004 | Go to article overview

SANTA ANNA: A Curse upon Mexico


Barnhill, John H., Military Review


SANTA ANNA: A Curse Upon Mexico, Robert L. Schema, Brassey's Inc., Washington, DC, 2002, 116 pages, $19.95.

Everybody knows about Santa Anna, the villain of the Alamo who lost the Mexican War. Texans know about the roads to Goliad and to San Jacinto-the story that is told in U.S. history books. But Mexican history books tell a different story. They describe how Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna got to San Antonio, how he managed to become obscenely rich in such a pathetically poor country, even after his repeated debacles as a military leader, and how he surrendered one-third of his country to the United States. Amid all this, he managed to be elected president 11 times. While Santa Anna's is quite a story, it has not been told in quite this way.

Because of mercantilism and racism, Santa Anna's Mexico-a country stagnant for 300 years-was ripe for revolution. When in the early 180Os the exploited native-bom Spanish and Indians revolted, Mexicanborn Santa Anna opportunely fought on the winning side.

Santa Anna's career began in 1810 and by 1822 he was a general. …

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