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date: 27 July 2017

Lucas Alamán and 19th-Century Monarchism in Mexico

Summary and Keywords

When Mexico became independent in 1821, the first choice for a political system for the new country was a monarchy. In fact, the Plan of Iguala, which prompted the separation from Spain, called for Ferdinand VII or any member of his family to come rule over the novel nation. While such efforts did not prosper then and in fact precipitated a failed attempt for a national empire, the monarchist option remained alive for several decades, until a French intervention sponsored the enactment of Habsburg archduke Ferdinand Maximilian as emperor of Mexico. When that attempt was defeated in 1867 it marked the end of monarchism there.

One of the main promoters of such a political system was Lucas Alamán. A member of a miner’s family from Guanajuato, he became an important and influential statesman of independent Mexico. From 1821, when he first participated in the Spanish congress, until his death in 1853, Alamán, like other thinkers who lived through a transitional period, held paradoxical views; while he promoted industrialization and economic development, he maintained more-traditional views on politics and rather ancestral conceptions regarding the treatment of Indian communities. Either as minister of foreign relations, congressman, or advisor to various governments, he defended his ideas, and more than once they aimed for a monarchist option. His career illustrates the quandaries and dilemmas that the officials of Hispanic America and Old Spain as well confronted in modernizing their societies. As he got involved in public office, he also became the administrator of the Duke of Terranova and Monteleone’s state in Mexico; such a position provided him—through the British agents of the Neapolitan-Sicilian nobleman—with a regular source of information on the European scene. Thus, Alamán was one of the most learned public officials of his time. He also wrote historical works that granted him recognition in academic institutions, such as the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia.

Keywords: postcolonialism, nation building, Latin America, instability, monarchism, entrepreneurial

Early Years and the War of Independence

When Lucas Alamán was born in Guanajuato in 1792, the city and the region enjoyed an outstanding mining boom for New Spain’s—as Mexico was named then—standards. The abundance of wealth and silver made the distinguished visitor Alexander von Humboldt a decade later say “Silao, Guanajuato and the Village of León, surround the most wealthy mines of the known world”; indeed, Alamán’s family was a beneficiary of such abundance, and of its roller coaster risks as well. As such, he got to know well the local elite, particularly the Spanish intendant Juan Antonio Riaño and the enlightened priest Manuel Abad y Queipo—later elected bishop of Michoacán—who pointed out the abysmal inequities of New Spain’s society and the need to alleviate them, and also Father Miguel Hidalgo, the future leader of Mexican independence.

In such conditions, Napoleon extended his ambitions to Spain in 1808 and made King Charles IV and his son Ferdinand—later to be Ferdinand VII—abdicate the Spanish Crown to his brother Joseph Bonaparte. This news created a commotion throughout the Spanish kingdoms, and in Mexico there was an attempt by Viceroy José de Iturrigaray to integrate Creoles and Spaniards in a congress, but he was antagonized for favoring such efforts; in fact, he was deposed and sent to Spain as a traitor. After that, conditions deteriorated rapidly in New Spain.

As the War of Independence broke out in 1810, Alamán experienced firsthand the breakdown of the colonial order. Eighteen years old, he witnessed the attack of Guanajuato by Miguel Hidalgo’s forces in September, and through the years he condemned such violent procedures; his description of the seizure of the Alhóndiga de Granaditas, the city’s grain deposit where the Spaniards had congregated, drew quite a dramatic tone from the narrative by Edmund Burke—a favorite author of his—on the attack of the French mob against the Versailles Palace. In any case, he sharply criticized the use of a religious symbol, the Virgin of Guadalupe, for the destructive means utilized during the war.

A movement that started as a dispute over the political control in the absence of the Spanish kings imprisoned by Napoleon expanded into a major social conflict, due to the enormous contrasts of New Spain. Soon the early leaders of independence were surpassed by the urgent demands of the people.

An Instructive Trip to Europe

After spending four years in Mexico City, Alamán’s family thought it best to send him to Europe to travel and study. So he did—from 1814 to 1820 he visited Spain, France, England, Italy, and Prussia. Besides traveling, he studied mineralogy, botany, and the equivalent of accounting; he deepened his knowledge of Greek and Latin; and he visited cities such as Naples and probably the ruins of Pompeii. Also, he went to the British Museum and learned of the importance of administrative and cultural institutions, which he would promote in the following years in Mexico. In completing such travels he met numerous VIPs, among them the versatile ideologue for independence Servando Teresa de Mier, whom he accompanied to England, and Alexander von Humboldt in Paris. Such luxuries, however, had to stop when he learned about an economic crisis within his family; thus, he went back to Mexico immediately.

While all this was happening, though, the political situation of the Spanish metropolis changed dramatically. After overcoming various disruptive tendencies, a general government was established, first through a junta and later through a congress—or Cortes—which issued a liberal constitution in 1812; that code severely restricted the king’s power. When the European allies defeated Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815, Ferdinand VII returned to Spain and abolished the liberal code; he also launched a prosecution against the radical congressmen.

A Short Intermission

As Lucas Alamán arrived in Mexico, he found that the insurgency had been defeated and that the Spanish authorities were offering amnesties to various patriotic leaders. Thus, conditions seemed to indicate that everything would go back to the situation prior to 1808, but that was not to be the case at all.

In fact, as had happened earlier, in 1820 a commotion rose again in the metropolis: a regiment under the command of Rafael de Riego rebelled in order to force the king to restore the liberal constitution. As a result, a new congress was established and Alamán was elected to it as the representative of Guanajuato.

When news of the political switch in Spain reached Mexico, various sectors reacted against such overtures and moved to stop the liberal wave in the New World. There were all kinds of rumors and conspiracies in Mexico City, including that of a temporary independence, while the liberal swing faded away. These efforts culminated in the issuing of the Plan of Iguala by Agustín de Iturbide, a Creole officer who fought the insurgency and after its defeat was removed from his military post for blackmailing landowners—among them Alamán’s family—over protection from bandits. With the new political crisis, however, he was restored as military commander and was ordered to subdue Vicente Guerrero’s forces on the southern coast, so the route to Acapulco and its trade with the Philippines would be clear and a new independent movement could be achieved.

After attempting this task without success, Iturbide decided to negotiate with Guerrero and issued the Plan of Iguala, which culminated in the War of Independence. Before dealing with its content, though, it is important to mention an earlier attempt made by Iturbide’s followers with the new congressmen on their way to Spain. As they gathered—including Alamán—in the port of Veracruz in late 1820, waiting for a ship to sail to Spain, Juan Gómez de Navarrete asked them not to embark but to be part of the new order that was about to take place in Mexico, one that they could sanction with their representation; nevertheless, most of them went on to the peninsula to carry out their electorate’s voice. Among them was Alamán; other delegates were Manuel Gómez Pedraza, future president of Mexico, and Lorenzo de Zavala, future vice president of the Texas Republic.

In the Spanish Parliament

The main purpose of the Plan of Iguala was to avoid the radical legislation of the new Spanish congress; in order to do that it called for a new independence from Spain, one that would reconcile the insurgent and royalist armies and would assure social order as well. It also called for merit to appoint public officials and offered the maintenance of property and social status; not surprisingly, the church hierarchy strongly supported it. As was stated, the plan called for the establishment of a monarchy in the new country, to be filled by King Ferdinand VII or any other member of his royal family. In a different version of the document, besides the king’s Bourbon family being appointed, a Habsburg archduke was named as the possible monarch. Though this alternative was not chosen then, in the end this was the option that eventually would prevail in Mexico.

Certainly, the Spanish legislative experience proved decisive for the young man from Guanajuato; even though in his Historia de Méjico he would later ridicule the liberal displays of the assembly, Alamán made a name for himself in its discussions. Following the trend of other American delegations, the one from New Spain consistently voted for the most-progressive measures, such as the elimination of church tithes. Most probably, in his later years Alamán did not feel comfortable admitting to such earlier radical overtones.

While his interventions covered a wide spectrum of topics, two were clearly the most important: one dealt with the loosening up of taxes for silver exploitation in every province of the empire, and the other was a bill that he introduced along with several colleagues from Spanish America to divide the empire, with three princes to rule over the new countries, one of which was Mexico. This proposal, in fact, resembled a previous plan delineated in 1783 by the Count of Aranda, Pedro Abarca de Bolea, after signing the Treaty of Versailles as Spanish representative, in which the United States won its independence. The initiative of the American representatives in 1821 completed the invitation offered by the Plan of Iguala to the royal family earlier that year, but, like many other American initiatives, it was only read in the congress and never was actually brought to the floor. So, such an effort to detach the former colonies of Spain with a monarchist government, in which Alamán participated, came to nothing.

Then, Alamán and other delegates who would have preferred to maintain political ties with Madrid had to look somewhere else for other alternatives for the new country. The Cortes rejected the Plan of Iguala in the following months; indeed, for fifteen years Spain would not recognize Mexican independence, and a state of war prevailed between the two nations. Before deserting the congress, though, Alamán warned that it would be responsible for the fate of the Spaniards living in Mexico; prophetically, he stated that whatever misfortunes those Spaniards had to face they would be due to the congress’ unwillingness to reach an agreement with the new country.1 Indeed, prosecution and expulsion would come in the following years as a result of the antagonistic mood that prevailed then.

Before traveling back home, Alamán made a short stop in London, where he formed the Anglo-Mexican Mining Association and the United Mexican Company, ensuring fresh British capital to renew the silver mines of Guanajuato and other places, which had been abandoned during the War of Independence. From then on, his public career would be closely tied to his entrepreneurial interests.

Return to Mexico and New Challenges

Back at home, Alamán learned that in response to the Spanish refusal to accept Mexico’s independence, the leader of Iguala, Agustín de Iturbide, following Napoleon’s example, proclaimed himself emperor of Mexico. The sharp businessman and novel politician also witnessed the fast erosion of such authority; before a year elapsed, the new ruler was overthrown by his own troops.

A republican government was then established, and soon Alamán was called to be part of it as minister of foreign relations. In performing such duties, he worked at obtaining the recognition of Mexican independence from Great Britain and the United States. He also founded the national archives, later to be followed by the national museum; certainly, his European learnings would show in the formation of the new country. Along with those chores, Alamán faced other tough tasks, including confronting rebellious states such as Jalisco, which openly defied the national government; indeed, finding the right balance between the national and state authorities would prove a difficult task for the new country.

It was then that Alamán also became the administrator of the Duke of Terranova and Monteleone, the descendant of the conquistador Ferdinand Cortés, whose estate in Mexico was the marquisate of the Valley of Oaxaca; first he was approached by a relative of the Neapolitan-Sicilian nobleman and then directly by the duke himself. Evidently, in an age in which such estates were in danger, Giuseppe Pignatelli Aragona Cortés realized the need for a knowledgeable agent in the country to keep control over 270 “localities” throughout the republic. The choice was the former delegate of Guanajuato to the Spanish congress, Alamán, a businessman who also knew the ways of the new country.

Alamán accepted the invitation, but he asked Pignatelli to keep him aware of events from Europe, particularly those dealing with Spain, Britain, France, and, to a lesser degree, Italy. Thus, through the duke’s British agents he became one of the most informed politicians of the New World. In the same letter to Pignatelli, he told the Neapolitan nobleman that the new president Guadalupe Victoria had asked him, after several months of absence, to become minister of foreign relations again, a chore that he was not convinced of performing. Finally, Alamán agreed to go back, but once more it did not last long. After having a confrontation with Yorkino Free Mason lodges, he resigned in September 1825, in the middle of a controversy over the appointment of consuls abroad.2

It became clear in the following years that the conciliation of the various sectors invoked in the Plan of Iguala would not prevail in Mexican society. In fact, in various parts of the country it soon became obvious that the protection offered to the Spaniards would not be maintained; in the second half of 1827, several legislatures issued decrees expelling Spaniards, and at the end of the year, the national congress passed its own law in similar terms.

In such an anti-Spanish atmosphere the national assembly discussed a bill seizing the Duke of Terranova’s properties, since it was the result of the Spanish Conquest, belonged to a citizen who lived abroad, and had been granted by a crown that did not recognize Mexican independence. Indeed, Alamán’s abilities to convince others were put to the test. First, he argued that according to the then-recent liberal legislation approved in Spain, the estate was no longer a seigneurial dominion, but private property. Second, if the duke’s possessions were questioned because of its origins from the Spanish Conquest, then all property in Mexico had to be put to trial, because the entire country was a result of it. Third, the national constitution of 1824 forbade the confiscation of property; thus, the manager could not conceive that the national congress would now pass a law with the purpose of affecting a specific individual. At that time Alamán’s arguments prevailed; the duke’s estate was safe, but given the political conditions of the country, such a solution would not last long.

In the following months, however, a political crisis erupted as a result of the presidential election. The state legislatures—which according to the Constitution were to decide the procedure—favored Manuel Gómez Pedraza, the less popular candidate, who was accused of being pro-Spaniard and “aristocratic.” In consequence, a rebellion headed by the persistent conspirator of the time, Antonio López de Santa Anna, broke out.

Though the early military encounters were unfavorable for the rebels, a popular riot in the country’s capital that ended with a massacre and destruction of Spanish properties of the Parián market in December 1828 marked the rebellion’s success; such a commercial district was perceived by nationalists as reminiscent of the colonial order. To make things worse, in the following weeks, when the congress certified the election, it ignored the results and declared Vicente Guerrero, the popular candidate, president. Indeed, such a sanction of the military coup d’état was an ominous sign for any future election; soon after, the legislature also passed a new law expelling Spaniards who had been exempted from the previous one. With such methods, obviously, Alamán and many proprietors had plenty of reason to be concerned.

In spite of a growing opposition, the government was able to defeat an anticipated Spanish attempt for conquest during the summer of 1829. Though the military expedition was ill prepared, it made the political factions join in a common cause, and the result was the surrender of the Spaniards.

The defense of national sovereignty, though, did not save the Guerrero regime from its internal enemies; by December 1829, less than a year after it had taken office, it was overthrown by the vice president, General Anastasio Bustamante. This military chief organized a different government, one of law and order. At the head of the cabinet was, once again, Lucas Alamán as minister of foreign relations.3

A New Government Experience

The year 1830 started with an administration that soon worked to make a difference from its predecessors. Though it never attempted any reform of the federal system, it displayed a strong hand in solving its issues with state legislatures and governors, it closed several congresses and dismissed various officials, and it also showed little tolerance in dealing with the opposition press. At the same time, however, public finances were organized to an extent then unknown, and along with other endeavors it showed the statecraft of the people in office. Two examples were a new colonization law for Texas and the Bank of Avío—which was a plan to promote the textile industry in Mexico. Both of these can fairly be attributed to Lucas Alamán.

The “April 6th Law” (1830) was the result of the large American immigration into Texas in the previous years. The irony of such a situation was that the foreign colonists had been invited there by the Mexican authorities in the first place. Indeed, due to the Spanish refusal of independence, they tried to keep Texas from becoming a military base; so, both national and state officials issued huge land grants to various individuals, with the purpose of colonizing and protecting the border. In looking at American expansion after the acquisition of Louisiana and Florida, it is clear that the United States did not need an invitation to populate Texas, but such an offer did exist.

It would seem that those officials did not realize the demographic potential of the United States. It was not until the failed attempt of the Fredonian Rebellion in 18274 that the national government sent a general inspector to the area; as such, General Manuel de Mier y Terán warned the government about the ever-growing foreign population in Texas and how it would secede at the first opportunity.

So, with that in mind, Alamán got a law approved that aimed at maintaining that province. Some of its features were a prohibition to American immigration and a call for Mexicans to populate Texas even with prisoners, but also with those emigrants from “friendly nations”—such as Catholic Irish. It also called for tighter control over the completion of the colonization contracts and the spreading of slavery.5 The law encouraged a coastal trade that would direct Texas cotton toward the Mexican ports of the Gulf of Mexico; as will be seen, this part of the provision could have combined itself with another project, the development of the textile industry, that the administration would push in the following months.

Evidently, several of these dispositions entailed a tight control over the Texas border, a task that is almost impossible to achieve even today; nevertheless, the whole conception of the law illustrates Alamán’s awareness in trying to preserve an important part of the Mexican territory.

Regarding the Bank of Avío project, it consisted in an effort to update and expand the textile factories known as obrajes through modern machinery, credit, and a prudent protective policy. Though there were positive results from such efforts, such as the Constancia Mexicana factory of Esteban de Antuñano, in Puebla, the project was criticized for its favoritism, since some of the main beneficiaries of the credits were members of its ruling board, among them Alamán with his Cocolapam factory, near Orizaba.

Its main problem, however, like other financial projects, was that its funds were destined to solve more-urgent problems of various Mexican governments rather than the industrialization of the country. The balance of this early experiment, though, according to its main historian, was a positive one, since during the decade of its existence it represented an accumulation of expertise for Mexican businessmen. To be sure, Alamán maintained a relevant position in Mexican industry after the closing of the bank in 1842 and the failure of his major textile venture.

The conception of such projects, the straightening of the government’s finances, and a few months of relative political stability allowed Alamán to brag about the achievements of the administration, particularly when word about the overthrow of Charles X in the summer of 1830 in France reached Mexico.

But such pretensions of achievement were in fact just a facade; the Bustamante administration was soon to confront its own challenges. Former president Vicente Guerrero launched a rebellion on the southern coast in the second half of 1830. In order to cope with this threat, the government arranged for a sailor from Genoa, Italy, named Francesco Picaluga, to capture Guerrero. Indeed, the Italian invited the old insurgent to his ship in Acapulco for a celebration, and once onboard, he took him prisoner and delivered him at Huatulco, in Oaxaca. After a hasty military trial, Guerrero was sentenced to death and was executed in February 1831. Though at the time it looked like the government had gained the upper hand with the execution of the southern leader, it soon proved to be a pyrrhic victory.6

As a matter of fact, there was a different face to the Bustamante administration from the one that it was trying to sell; namely, of always being in control. A few weeks after taking office, right as the congress discussed the anti-American Texas colonization bill, in March 1830 the Registro Oficial, the government’s newspaper, expressed its hope that if a new European attempt of reconquest was launched against Mexico, the United States would put into effect the Monroe Doctrine and keep it from happening.

At the same time, the British minister Richard Pakenham reported back home that he had been approached by Alamán in a most unexpected manner. Though he knew that his political principles “were not strictly Republican,” he was rather shocked to receive a petition of Alamán’s for Britain’s aid in establishing a monarchy in Mexico.

I was not prepared to hear him in his place as Minister of Foreign Affairs make so distinct and unreserved an avowal of his opinions in this respect; opinions which he moreover gave to understand were shared by his colleagues in the Government.7

Pakenham remained uncommitted to such open overtures, and, in fact, he strongly recommended that his superiors not get involved in the entanglements of the country, since it was very unpredictable what might come from them. Thus, right from the beginning the Bustamante administration stumbled back and forth in its search for help from one side of the international spectrum to the other. At any rate, this was the second monarchist attempt of Alamán, and nothing came out of it either.

In fact, the Bustamante administration survived longer than these trips would seem to suggest. But as time passed, opposition to it grew, and a major blow came in January 1832, when the irrepressible Santa Anna rebelled again, calling for the removal of the cabinet members, whom he called “the Guerrero assassins.”

Hard Times

As had happened with other insurrections, the one that originated in Veracruz started slow, but after a few months it gained strength. By May the cabinet resigned and the uprising extended its demands to the removal of Vice President Bustamante himself. In the summer the heaviest combat since the War of Independence took place, and as a result Santa Anna and Bustamante decided to negotiate; agents of both signed the Convenio de Zavaleta, which stopped the fighting and proposed the establishment of a transitional government, as well as offering a general amnesty to all political groups. When the agreement was sent to the congress, though, unlike previous times, the assembly flatly dismissed it as a “military deal” and thus refused to sanction it.

The result of this confrontation was the repudiation of the assembly and a call for a general election to replace it, along with the government and legislatures all over the country. President Manuel Gómez Pedraza, elected in 1828, agreed to serve just long enough to carry out the voting process. As a consequence, Santa Anna won the executive office for the first time, along with Valentín Gómez Farías—an extremist—as vice president; joining them there was a radical congress that aimed to transform Mexican society in a rather impetuous fashion.

When the new legislature began its sessions in April, it took a few days to ratify the Zavaleta agreement. Before that, though, it accepted a petition signed by Juan Álvarez (a close associate of Vicente Guerrero) and congressman José Antonio Barragán to put on trial Bustamante’s former ministers, Alamán included, for the execution of Guerrero. The congress accepted this request and opened a process against them. By doing so, as a magistrate stated it later, the congress ignored the amnesty offered in the Zavaleta pact; when called to participate in the trail, Vice President Bustamante expressed a similar opinion.

As soon as Alamán realized the kind of trial awaiting him, he went into hiding. Indeed, the methods of the government proved harsh and hasty. For one thing, Vice President Gómez Farías and a number of legislators intended to eliminate the residue of the colonial order, such as the social and economic predominance of the church and the army; both were seen as corporations that kept all citizens from equality before the law. Thus, they aimed to separate church and state by eliminating civil sanctions for not paying the tithe or for failing to comply with monastic vows. The government also pushed for a new educational system, one in which the state was to regulate the content of the school curricula. Furthermore, it claimed the exercise of the former royal patronage of the Spanish authorities to appoint church officials.

Right at the peak of such fervor, the properties of the Duke of Terranova and Monteleone, which were considered features of the ancien régime, were seized, first by the state of Mexico and later by the federal government. Since Alamán was in hiding and under prosecution, he could not do anything about it. In fact an Italian agent who was already in the country started a process of petition to get the estate back.

In order to comply with its innovative measures, the government decided to get rid of any opposition, and with that purpose it decreed the expulsion of a number of individuals by name and of “anyone else that was in the same case”—that is, anybody who opposed its policies. For Alamán and his ex-cabinet colleagues, this meant that they were no longer alone as outcasts of the regime.

As could have been expected, all these reformative dispositions created a big uproar in various sectors of society, and the role of Santa Anna in such reactions has been the subject of debate ever since they occurred. What seems to be clear, though, is that at first he let the radicals have their way, and when they provoked such strong responses, then he seconded the cries and in April 1834 asked the congress to review those laws. After the assembly refused, the general decided not to call for an extension of its sessions; then, following the procedure of repudiation of the previous legislature, he called for a new election to replace it.

This breakdown provoked a major political swing that has been properly named “the counterreformation.” Until the new congress met, the president suspended most of the measures approved in the previous sessions, and eventually, after publishing a self-defense pamphlet, Alamán was exonerated of any charges. Santa Anna, who became “the Nation’s Protector,” extended his hand to the enemies of the extremists; with that action, Alamán came out of hiding and a new, more promising time for him appeared on the horizon.

Recovery and Achievements

Even though he was elected to the new congress, Alamán never occupied this position, and though it is not clear just how, there is enough evidence to conclude that some of the political changes that took place then came out of his own initiative.

The process of counterreformation included the restitution of the duke’s properties and the exercise of Alamán’s administrative duties as well. The political swing culminated in the centralization of the country; after eleven years of federalism the local and national elites had had enough of the states’ autonomy. Therefore, such entities were replaced by departments, their legislatures were substituted with assemblies, and their governors were designated by the president. Some of the new rules severely restricted conditions for citizenship, as well as for being voted for any official post. There is also evidence that a few officials involved in that political change were beneficiaries of the partial sale of the duke’s estate.

Some of those changes, though, did not go without opposition; Zacatecas and the states of Coahuila and Texas launched rebellions that had to be confronted. In the former instance, the general government succeeded. In the latter, the foreign colonists who populated Texas proclaimed their independence in March 1836; in the following month they consolidated it by defeating and capturing President Santa Anna himself. In order to save his life, he signed a treaty with the rebel leaders, offering to influence the Mexican government toward recognizing the Republic of the Lone Star. With this promise, they sent him to Washington to meet with President Andrew Jackson, supposedly with the odd purpose of defending Texas independence.

Not everything was bad news for Mexico in 1836. As the year came to a close, the Spanish government finally recognized Mexican independence. Being in the middle of a civil war over the royal succession, the followers of Isabel II, led by mother queen María Cristina, signed a peace treaty with the Mexican authorities in order to obtain legitimacy on their own. Such a move provided the duke’s state with an aura of legality.

With that in mind, before risking another seizure by Mexican authorities, Giuseppe Pignatelli asked Alamán to begin selling as many of his properties as possible, which he did in the following months during 1837. An large number of the properties, particularly those located in downtown Mexico City, were sold for about $300,000, each transaction providing Alamán with a commission. Thus, the time of recovery, politically and financially, seemed to have arrived at last.

Rough Times for Others

For the rest of the country, though, things did not look nearly as bright. The establishment of the centralist republic in 1836 saw a number of pro-federalist8 rebellions in various regions in the following years. There was also a war with France in 1838–1839 over claims of France’s citizens, which were in fact used by the Tuileries to open markets to French products. In July 1840 another federalist uprising took place right in the capital; at some point President Anastasio Bustamante—once again in office—was captured, and it looked like his overthrow would be imminent. He held on, however, and after two weeks of fighting, during which many civilians were shot and buildings—including a section of the national palace—were destroyed, the government was able to remain in power.

In such turmoil, a former public official from Yucatán who had served in the congress and later as minister of foreign relations, José María Gutiérrez de Estrada, published an outstanding political pamphlet. Even though it pretended to be a private letter addressed to President Bustamante, it was in fact a political manifesto made for public consumption. Gutiérrez de Estrada’s text presented a sharp and bitter diagnosis of what he considered “the divorce” between the Mexican political systems and the mainstream of society.

After having tried a “national emperor,” a federal system, and a central system in the previous years, it was clear that Mexico had not found a government that matched the country’s particular needs. Gutiérrez was convinced that it was not a failure of the individuals involved, but of the political systems that had been attempted. By using France as a model, he stated that if a “noble and mature” nation such as France had shown the world that it was not ready for a republican government, what was an immature society such as the Mexican one trying to do by adopting such a system? Especially when New Spain had been ruled by a monarchy for three centuries.

Indeed, Gutiérrez emphatically asked: “After all the trails and failures suffered by the country is it not time to recognize her monarchist and Catholic roots and act in consequence?” Specifically, he called for the “full compliance” of the Plan of Iguala; that is, the bringing in of a monarch from a European dynasty. In order to decide such a political shift, he proposed a general convention to discuss the matter openly. In case anybody doubted his intentions of trying to solve the country’s problems, he warned:

If we do not change . . . if we continue the way we are . . . with anarchy and chaos . . . we are an open invitation to foreign intervention and it might not be more than twenty years before the Star-Spangled Banner might be waving on top of the National Palace.9

Such an admonition by Gutiérrez did not take twenty years, but only seven, to come true!

This disturbing analysis created a big controversy in the press. Several people asked for the imprisonment or worse for Gutiérrez for proposing such an “antinational” solution. In fact, what became clear with the disproportionate reactions was the shaky basis of the national institutions. It was obvious that when freedom of the press was invoked, that did not include the monarchists. Indeed, Gutiérrez de Estrada went into hiding and eventually left the country. He returned only once, surreptitiously, to exhume the body of his wife, Loreto Cortina, and then he left, never to come back again.

What was Alamán’s attitude about all this monarchist upheaval? There is enough evidence, through conversations reported at the time by the Spanish minister Ángel Calderón de la Barca, that the man from Guanajuato had similar views to those of Gutiérrez, but he was more cautious then. As a matter of fact, a few months earlier, Alamán had suggested in the council of state to recognize Texas independence in order to avoid a larger conflict; for that, he was criticized and was even called a traitor. In the previous months he also had to face the bankruptcy of his Cocolapam factory. Thus, when the time came for a political definition provoked by Gutiérrez’s letter, Alamán played a low-key role. That was not going to be the case a few years later.

Alamán’s Other Duties

After 1840, Alamán combined his duties with the national board of industry with various academic endeavors. First he was cofounder of the Ateneo Mexicano, along with Minister Calderón and other studious men such as José Justo Gómez (the Count of Cortina) and Manuel Eduardo Gorostiza. He also began the publication of his Disertaciones sobre la historia de la república mexicana. Alamán had recognized the relevance of the pre-Columbian cultures, as the founding of the national museum and his support for the publishing of Mañanas de la Alameda en México—a complimentary manifesto of the Mesoamerican cultures by Carlos María de Bustamante—demonstrate. But, if forced to choose, he never had any doubt about priorities: religion and language were a Spanish heritage, so this part of the world was fortunate to have been conquered by the Crown of Castile. By pointing that out, Alamán provided an ideological basis for what would become the ABCs of conservative thought: the Catholic and Spanish traditions were the predominant base of Mexican society.

In the same vein, when William Prescott’s History of the Conquest of Mexico was released in the country in 1844, an immediate interest to publish a Spanish translation arose; there were two editions made in the capital, one annotated by Alamán and the other by José Fernando Ramírez, a pioneer of pre-Columbian studies. Indeed, Alamán enjoyed Prescott’s favorable view about the Spanish Conquest. Eventually, these contacts with the historian from Boston—along with his own work—would result in Alamán becoming a member of the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia and other academic institutions. In the next two years, though, he was to play not only an ideological role in changing the political institutions of the country.

The Monarchist Plot

During the fall of 1845, as the annexation of Texas to the United States was completed and Mexican sovereignty was threatened, Lucas Alamán participated in a monarchist conspiracy conceived by the Spanish government and executed through its minister Salvador Bermúdez de Castro; if such a scheme brought stability and peace to national institutions, thought Alamán, even better. A major obstacle to such a project, however, came from the fact that the military leader the Spanish Minister and Alamán included in the plot, General Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga, considered displaying a warrior-like attitude indispensable for seizing power. By doing so, Paredes linked the overthrow of the Mexican government and the eventual success of the monarchist project to the war with the United States. That soon proved to be a risky gamble.

When Paredes took office in January 1846, he consented to the pro-republican expectations of fellow army officers and subordinates, and therefore a difficult period started for the monarchist plotters. One day the general would call for the maintenance of the republican institutions and the next day he would propose to leave such a decision to a new congress. For the time being, though, the monarchists displayed a whole array of arguments dear to their cause.

With that purpose, the newspaper El Tiempo was financed with resources from Madrid. Due to the cries provoked by José María Gutiérrez de Estrada’s carta years earlier, the editorialists started cautiously with their intentions, but finally on February 12, 1846, they called openly for the establishment of a monarchy in Mexico. In defending their views—most probably led by Alamán10—they expressed a most interesting historical analysis. For instance, they argued that all republics throughout history were doomed to fail. It had happened in Greece, Rome, and the Italian Renaissance and was happening even at that time—the U.S. Republic, which was threatening Mexican sovereignty, was in fact not one nation but was becoming two, composed of North and South, and sooner or later the two regional factions would confront each other and that would mark the end of the United States. The resemblance of such opinions to those of Lord Palmerston and other officials during the U.S. Civil War is indeed striking!

In other issues, showing its traditional vein, El Tiempo called for the establishment of a monarch who would avoid the “Bourbon mistakes” regarding the occupation of church properties as well as a reduction of its social predominance. In fact, the paper claimed for itself the “honor” of being considered as conservative, because that was precisely what Mexican society needed.

Another peculiar trait of that monarchist effort involved the social integration of the congress, which would result in bringing a prince to rule over the country. This unicameral legislature was composed of representatives of various social sectors, such as the army, the church, proprietors, public officials, “literary” people, and others. The control of such a congress would be in the hands of only three groups, however: landowners, the church, and the army; with that triad yielding the most power and influence, it was clear who were “the most responsible and credible” sectors of society.

In the end, as was stated, the outcome of this scheme was tied to the development of the war with the United States. As hostilities started, the Mexican defeats began as well; the first one to pay the price was President Paredes. In fact, the Spanish minister considered the situation so bad that he recommended postponing their project for “a more favorable circumstance.” Alamán’s house and those of other writers of the monarchist paper were pelted with stones, but that was all the opposition they had to bear at that time.

Once they overthrew Paredes, the divisions among radicals and moderates became so acute that the new president, who belonged to the latter group, called for Alamán to assist him. Other than a failed attempt to seize a property of the duke in the state of Mexico, the estate in charge of Alamán did not register a single complaint during the conflict with the United States. Ironically, when American soldiers learned that he was in charge of Hernán Cortés’s descendants’ estate, they offered him their protection. Such was the fervor over Cortés’s achievements that was created by Prescott’s History of the Conquest among U.S. soldiers.

The rest of the country, though, was not so fortunate. The profound divisions that Gutiérrez de Estrada had foreseen years earlier came true, and most of the political groups, instead of fighting the invaders, fought each other. This resulted in the capital’s capture by the American army and the signing of the Guadalupe Hidalgo treaty. This agreement stipulated an enormous territorial loss for Mexico—Texas, New Mexico, and California—but, in fact, besides these three territories, the present-day states of Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado were included in the new border.

As bad as the territorial loss was, however, the worst part was a complete loss of confidence as to whether the country could survive, and questions were raised about its very existence. This profound pessimism prevails in Alamán’s main historical work, Historia de Méjico, which he started publishing soon after the war. It consists mostly of a detailed account of the War of Independence up to its outcome, with Agustín de Iturbide’s success, and then it provides a general—and rather negative—overview of the Independent period. In fact, it concludes that if someone—perhaps a European nation—does not come to save the country, the chances of its survival are rather slim.

Though this pessimism predominates in Alamán’s writings, in his political activities and private correspondence a different face is shown. In fact, Alamán got involved in politics and was elected president of the municipal council of Mexico City in 1849; that experience lasted only a few months, but he persisted and became a member of the national congress the following year. At that time, through a different paper, El Universal, he questioned not only the moderate regime that was in power then in Mexico, but all republican systems and their explosive expressions in the 1848 revolutions in Europe as well.

In 1852 Alamán was one of the promoters of the return of Antonio López de Santa Anna, and he delineated a conservative political program that considered the Catholic religion as the only common bond of Mexican society and that therefore the church was to be protected—along with its properties—by the Mexican state; with that in mind he became the cabinet leader, as minister of foreign relations, once again. Now it is known that during this administration there was a new attempt to contact a European prince through Gutiérrez de Estrada. It is difficult to know exactly what role Alamán was supposed to play, since he died only three months after taking office, in June 1853.

Seen in retrospect, the main trait of Alamán’s monarchist opinions is their persistence and, in his later years, their endurance. Even though he collaborated with various republican administrations, he was clearly caught between the two political systems. In the early 1820s—when he was a member of the Spanish parliament—the proposal that he and other American delegates presented for the division of the empire might just have been part of a general aspiration, as the Plan of Iguala would seem to suggest. Later, in 1830 and 1845–1846, his leaning toward a monarchist option could be seen as the means for getting aid to save the country from internal or external foes, particularly the latter—namely, the Texas annexation and the war with the United States. In the following years, however, such political preferences prevailed.

Even though the editorials in El Universal never proclaimed the paper’s monarchist convictions as openly as El Tiempo had done in 1846, Alamán’s correspondence with the Duke of Terranova and Monteleone clearly shows how his views had not changed. First, during the military campaign against the American army, when the Neapolitan nobleman hoped that the convening of the congress might help solve the crisis with the United States, Alamán responded by drastically questioning the virtues of the representative system:

In the new nations of this part of the world, the opening of congressional sessions means the gathering of wicked or stupid people, in which the former do all the harm they can out of evil and the latter out of incompetence, and therefore every new Congress is considered by the people of judgment like a break out of a plague or cholera morbus, with the same fear for your life.11

In the following months, when Mexico City fell to the American army and the victorious General Winfield Scott was put on trial by his own subordinates, incited by the U.S. government in Washington, DC, Alamán sharply remarked:

. . . this only comes to show how all republics large or small result in the same [chaos and lack of respect of authority].12

Since Alamán died so soon into his role as minister of foreign relations in the last administration of Santa Anna, it is hard to tell how much he might have been involved in new monarchist plots, but there is some evidence that suggests that precisely.13 Regarding his views on social relations, Alamán clearly expected that the Indian communities would maintain their obedient and submissive condition, just as they had done during the colonial period; at least that is what is indicated in his reports to the duke regarding the dealings between the Pueblos and his haciendas.

Indeed, in the views of Alamán and other Mexican monarchists there was a degree of idealization in such a type of government; that becomes clear in the praising of the “bourgeois” throne of Louis Philip of Orleans in Gutiérrez de Estrada’s Letter. While he sharply warned about American expansionism—as the terms of the Guadalupe Hidalgo treaty demonstrated—he could not have conceived how within a few days from the signing of that agreement his admired monarch crumpled in the streets of Paris. Soon enough, the followers of those principles in Mexico would have their own emperor, along with all the difficulties involved in solidifying such an authority.

Mexican Monarchism after Alamán

After Alamán passed away, his idea of getting a Catholic prince from Europe remained alive for some years; thus, the Santa Anna government continued trying to get José María Gutiérrez de Estrada to keep lobbying in Europe to procure a monarch for Mexico. The administration could not solidify its position, though, and after the general proclaimed himself a ruler for life, according to the results of a plebiscite, he was overthrown. By then, a new generation of politicians had arisen, and soon they issued a series of laws that would seek a further separation of church and state than that attempted in 1833, by establishing public records of population and by declaring marriage as a civil contract.

The reaction to such efforts was as strong as ever, and since the new owners of church properties were willing to fight to keep them, a civil war—known as the War of Reform—followed from 1858 to 1860. In January 1861 the liberal president Benito Juárez arrived in the capital to carry out those new laws.

The defeated conservatives, however, went to Europe in search for help, and in fact there was a great opportunity for that since the United States was involved in its own civil war, which was being fought over slavery and other issues; therefore, there was nothing to avoid a European intervention. Thus, Gutiérrez de Estrada, along with other Mexican exiles such as José Manuel Hidalgo and Juan N. Almonte, petitioned Napoleon III to “save” Mexico. The French emperor agreed and chose the Habsburg archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, a brother of Austria’s emperor, for such a design. After arduous negotiations an agreement was reached, and that was how “the Mexican adventure” came to be. The new emperor, though, turned out to be a very independent monarch.

He was too independent from the Catholic Church—which aspired to keep its ancestral privileges, and he tried, unsuccessfully, to be independent from the French officers who were actually ruling the country. But Maximilian was too distant even from the conservatives—included in the hierarchy—who had brought him to Mexico. When he celebrated the anniversary of independence on September 16, in a speech in Guanajuato, he condemned the three hundred years of Spanish “oppression” over Mexico—brought by his own ancestors!

As a conservative politician disappointedly wrote, when Maximilian pronounced such a discourse, “he lied and intentionally misinterpreted that period of Mexican history, since he had thoroughly read the works of don Lucas Alamán.” Indeed, his death prior to such words being pronounced spared the statesman from Guanajuato from such a traumatic experience for Mexican conservatives.

In the end, the Mexican Empire did not endure, and when the international panorama—the Union victory in the United States and the rise of Otto von Bismarck in Prussia, for instance—got difficult, the French emperor decided to end Maximilian’s presence in Mexico. That decision completely ended the chances of Maximilian’s success. After failing to convince the liberals to hold a convention to decide the future of the country, he was captured and executed in Querétaro, in June 1867.

The identification of the republican and reform programs with the defense of national sovereignty against a foreign invasion ended with the Northern victory in the U.S. Civil War, which allowed the Liberal Party to succeed in Mexico. A long and complex period of negotiation between the church and a laical state started, but, to be sure, Mexican monarchism had ended as a political option forever.

Discussion of the Literature

A very biased general overview, written shortly after Maximilian’s execution by one of the promoters of his crowning, is José Manuel Hidalgo’s Apuntes para escribir la historia de los proyectos de monarquía en México, desde el reinado de Carlos III hasta la instalación del Emperador Maximiliano, which was published in Paris (Librería Española de Garnier Hermanos) in 1868.

Early works that refer to Alamán’s monarchist ideas, particularly in 1846, include Francisco de Paula Arrangoiz’sMéxico de 1808 a 1867 (Mexico City: Porrúa, 1974; originally published in 1871–1872) Niceto de Zamacois’s eighteen-volume Historia de México desde sus tiempos más remotos hasta nuestros días (Barcelona: Juan de la Fuente Parres y Compañía Editores, 1876–1882).

José C. Valadés’sAlamán: Estadista e historiador (Mexico City: Antigua Librería Robredo, José Porrúa e Hijos, 1938)Charles A. Hale’sMexican Liberalism in the Age or Mora, 1821–1853 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1968)

The first scholarly biography of Alamán was , which ultimately was an apology of his political career; a comprehensive approach to the ideological background of Alamán and his generation is . Jorge Gurría Lacroix’s “Las ideas monarquistas de D. Lucas Alamán,” in Tareas históricas mexicanas (Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 1964), is a specialized study.

Edmundo O’Gorman in La supervivencia política novohispana: Reflexiones sobre el monarquismo mexicano (Mexico City: Fundación Cultural Condumex, 1967)David M. Pletcher’sThe Diplomacy of Annexation: Texas, Oregon, and the Mexican War (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1973)Jaime Delgado’sLa monarquía en México, 1845–1847 (Mexico City: Porrúa, 1990)Raúl Figueroa Esquer’sEntre la intervención oculta y la neutralidad estricta: España ante la guerra entre México y Estados Unidos, 1845–1848 (Mexico City: Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, 2000)

A decisive reevaluation of Mexican monarchism came from . A revelation of the monarchist plot of 1845–1846, in which Alamán was a protagonist, is in . Sequels to this work include Miguel Soto’s “The Monarchist Conspiracy and the Mexican War,” in Essays on the Mexican War, edited by Douglas Richmond (College Station and Arlington: Texas A&M University Press, 1986); ; and .

Robert A. Potash’sEl Banco de Avío de México: El fomento de la industria, 1821–1846 (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1959; revised in 1986);Robert W. Randall’sReal del Monte: Una empresa minera británica en México (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1977)

Studies that deal with Alamán’s entrepreneurial interests include ; Jan Bazant’s “La familia Alamán y los descendientes del conquistador—1850–1907,” in Historia Mexicana 26.1 (1976): 48–69; and Bazant’s “Los bienes de la familia de Hernán Cortés y su venta por Lucas Alamán,” in Historia Mexicana 19.2 (1969): 228–247.

Encuentro de liberalismos, edited by Patricia Galeana (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2004)Konrad Ratz’sCorrespondencia inédita entre Maximiliano y Carlota (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2003)Ratz, Tras las huellas de un desconocido: Nuevos datos y aspectos de Maximiliano de Habsburgo (Mexico City: Siglo XXI Editores, 2008)

Early-21st-century approaches to Mexican monarchism include ; ; and, also by .

Primary Sources

A collection of rare, unpublished documents on the history of Mexico are contained in the two-volume Correspondencia secreta de los principales intervencionistas mexicanos, edited by Genaro García (Mexico City: Librería de la Viuda de Charles Bouret, 1905–1906).

The Ramo Hospital de Jesús at the Archivo General de la Nación, in Mexico City, contains large holdings of the marquisate of the Valley of Oaxaca (462 volumes), and it includes the largest concentration of letters of Lucas Alamán. The Archivio Pignatelli Aragona Cortes, at the Archivio di Stato, in Naples, Italy, has many originals of Alamán’s letters as well as unique answers to those letters, along with abundant materials of the Neapolitan and Sicilian side of the dukedoms of Terranova and Monteleone.

The transactions registered at the Archivo General de Notarías de la Ciudad de México have a guide for the years 1828–1860. The guide can be accessed through the “Resources” of the Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas of El Colegio de México. These materials cover most of the transactions completed by Alamán during his administration of the duke’s estate.

Another archival source is Archivo de Manuscritos, Impresos y Copiadores de Lucas Alamán Escalada (1792–1853), held at the Centro de Estudios de Historia de México CARSO. It includes an important collection of the correspondence of Alamán with Giuseppe Pignatelli Aragona Cortes, Duke of Terranova and Monteleone, from c. 1827 to 1852. A considerable number of the letters from Alamán to the duke were published by Rafael Aguayo Spencer in Volume 4 (pp. 267–668) of Documentos diversos (inéditos y muy raros), a four-volume collection of Alamán’s rare works (Mexico City: Editorial Jus, 1945–1947).

Another archival collection is in Archivo de Lucas Alamán: The Lucas Alamán Papers, 1598–1853 (Austin: University of Texas, 2002) Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, México, CD, the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection.

Further Reading

Alcántara Machuca, Edwin. “Paradojas políticas y combates del conservadurismo: Polémicas periodísticas de Lucas Alamán y los conservadores en torno a las elecciones de 1849.” M.A. thesis, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2010.Find this resource:

Cruzado Campos, Carlos. “Diputados novohispanos en las Cortes de Madrid, 1820–1824: La experiencia política y su influencia en la construcción del nuevo estado.” PhD diss., Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2013.Find this resource:

Figueroa Esquer, Raúl. Correspondencia diplomática de Salvador Bermúdez de Castro, Ministro de España en México (1845–1847). 5 vols. Mexico City: Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Instituto Nacional de Estudios Históricos de las Revoluciones de México, Secretaría de Educación Pública, 2013.Find this resource:

An abundant source for the 1846 monarchist plot.

Lira González, Andrés. Lucas Alamán. Los Imprescindibles. Mexico City: Cal y Arena, 1997.;Find this resource:

Soto, Miguel, ed. Diario de Ángel Calderón de la Barca, primer ministro de España en México (incluye sus escalas en Cuba). Mexico City: Dirección General del Acervo Histórico Diplomático, Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, 2012.Find this resource:

Villavicencio Navarro, Víctor. “El camino del monarquismo mexicano decimonónico: Momentos, proyectos y personajes,” PhD diss., Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2015.Find this resource:

Theses and dissertations from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México can be downloaded online here.

Notes:

(1.) Carlos Cruzado Campos, “Diputados novohispanos en las Cortes de Madrid, 1820–1824: La experiencia política y su influencia en la construcción del nuevo estado,” PhD diss., Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2013, 304–305.

(2.) The American minister Joel R. Poinsett did promote the establishment of Free Mason lodges in Mexico, but some existed before his arrival in the country; furthermore, his associate Lorenzo de Zavala had been a member of the Scottish rite in New Orleans for several years. To be sure, the establishment of the national federal system was done without Poinsett’s intervention, and many of the controversies that arose subsequently simply escaped the control of the U.S. diplomat. See Carlos Francisco Martínez Moreno, “El establecimiento de las masonerías en México en el siglo XIX,” M.A. thesis, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2011.

(3.) At that time, this ministry included both exterior and interior relations.

(4.) It consisted of a failed attempt of a land grantee, Hayden Edwards, to repel Mexican authority in the area of Nacogdoches, Texas, next to Louisiana.

(5.) The national government abolished slavery in Mexico in September 1829 but soon exempted Texas from such restriction; thus, the new regulation recognized slaves already there but forbade the introduction of new ones.

(6.) The investigation that the congress opened reveals that there was a payment of 3,000 gold ounces to the Genovese sailor by the Bustamante administration; being the leader of this regime, it is obvious that Alamán was informed, if not, of such a scheme; see Alamán’sProceso instructivo formado por la sección del Gran jurado de la Cámara de diputados del Congreso general, en averiguación de los delitos de que fueron acusados los ex-ministros d. Lucas Alamán, d. Rafael Mangino, d. José Antonio Facio y d. José Ignacio Espinosa (Mexico City, Ignacio Cumplido, 1833).

(7.) Richard Pakenham to Lord Aberdeen, March 25, 1830, No. 30 “Confidential,” British Foreign Office 50, Vol. 60, frames 290–291.

(8.) It should be borne in mind that unlike in the United States, in Mexico federalist actually meant the defense of state’s rights.

(9.) José María Gutiérrez de Estrada, “Carta dirigida al Excelentísimo Señor Presidente de la República, sobre la necesidad de buscar en una convención el posible remedio de los males que aquejan a la república; y opiniones del autor acerca del mismo asunto” [commonly referred to as Carta monárquica], in Edwin Alcántara, ed., La república herida de muerte (Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 2010), 82.

(10.) The newspaper’s editorials are unsigned, and though Bermúdez de Castro himself claimed credit for its main articles, it is hard to conceive that the young Spanish poet had such a profound knowledge of Mexican history, as well as a geopolitical perspective as displayed in those texts.

(11.) Alamán to the Duke of Terranova and Monteleone, Mexico, August 28, 1847, Archivo de Manuscritos, Impresos y Copiadores de Lucas Alamán Escalada (1792–1853), Centro de Estudios de Historia de México CARSO, Fondo CCLXXXVII, [Correspondence of Lucas Alamán with the Duke of Terranova y Monteleone]; there are two different catalogue numbers for these documents, and thus both (1434 and 1401) are included. This is an incomplete letter, and its first page is poorly legible.

(12.) Alamán to the Duke of Terranova and Monteleone, Mexico, December 13, 1847, No. 161, Rafael Aguayo Spencer in Lucas Alamán, Documentos diversos (inéditos y muy raros), Vol. IV (Mexico City: Editorial Jus, 1947), 267–668, 458.

(13.) Víctor Villavicencio Navarro, “El camino del monarquismo mexicano decimonónico: Momentos, proyectos y personajes,” PhD diss., Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2015. This work mentions reports of the French minister about a series of interviews held with Alamán regarding the possible establishment of a monarchy in Mexico.