Biography of Nicolás Bravo (1764-1854)

Mexican insurgent military born in Chilpancingo (Guerrero) in 1764 and died in Chilpancingo on April 22, 1854. He/She was President of the Republic on three occasions: in interim way in 1839, between 1842 and 1843 and, finally, in 1846.

He was the son of a wealthy landowner Creole, in an atmosphere of critical rejection of the actions of the Crown in New Spain. His father Leonardo and a brother of this participated in the first insurgent uprisings, so in 1810 and in full youth Nicolás decided to join rebel forces commanded by his father, passing in May of the following year to serve under the command of Hermenegildo Galeana, insurgent leader in the neighboring state of Morelos. He/She participated in several actions, both in his homeland, performing at the forefront of the attack on the town of Chichihualco, where had the ranch his family, and the State of Morelos, but also extended their raids to Veracruz, distinguishing itself in the defense of Cuatla, under the orders of the general Morelos.

In the development of these actions Bravo acquired the reputation of "generous and magnanimous" soldier (according to Alaman), as a result of humanitarian conduct, to spare the life and grant freedom to realistic 300 soldiers in August 1812 had fallen in his possession in San Agustín de el Palmar, near the port of Veracruz. The coincidence that shortly after received the news of the imprisonment of her father and the offer of pardon from the viceroy if he/she repented and presented was. Nicolás Bravo, rather than shoot the prisoners decided to release them, to differentiate the cause of independence of colonial barbarism, according to story of the don Lucas Alaman. Some authors described this gesture as "the revenge of Bravo".

It was one of the officers that most prestigious and victories gave the followers of Morelos, which accompanied the taking of Oaxaca and Acapulco sitemap. Quartered in Chilapa, followed from the lands South of the vicissitudes of the insurgency and the convening of the Congress in Chilpancingo, where he/she supported the nomination of Generalissimo in favor of Morelos, his subsequent fall following the defeat of Valladolid and the dispersion of the Congress. In early 1817, following orders of the Board of Xauxilla, was who arrested Ignacio López Rayón, who refused to obey the authority and shortly afterwards locked in Coporo, defended for a few months. Finally, he/she retired to recover and rest on the farm family, near Chilpancingo, where he/she was taken prisoner at the beginning of 1818. Transferred to the city of Mexico he/she remained in prison until, on the occasion of the change of regime and constitutional triumph, the pardon came in 1820

Joined the Plan de Iguala, gathered a military force that was presented to the city of Puebla, besieged by general Agustín de Iturbide, after which it awarded him the rank of Colonel of the Republican Army. Appointed Minister of State and member of the second Regency, from April 11 to May 18, 1822, he/she attended the arrival of the viceroy Juan O' Donojú , and participated in the first political clashes that preceded the exaltation of Iturbide as emperor. However, convinced Republican, opposed the pretensions of the new President in 1823 and teamed up with Vicente Guerrero, leader of the more liberal wing of the insurgency, escaped from the capital and joined the revolt led by Santa Anna to Veracruz. Along with Guerrero faced the brigadier Armijo and was defeated by this at the battle of Almolonga (January 25, 1823) between Tuxtla and Chilapa. After numerous actions, a Government Board formed with Antonio León Oaxaca and made his entrance in Puebla, at the head of the army called "liberator". Joined other Republican leaders got the resignation of the emperor at the beginning of 1824.

In the political division that followed the deposition of Iturbide, Bravo was considered one of the first leaders of the Freemasons conservative and centralist, front supporters groups of Ambassador Joel r. Poinsett, attached to the rite yorkino, federalist, radical and Scottish. Following the adoption of the Constitution, the Congress appointed him member of the Executive that succeeded Iturbide, charge that ended October 1, 1824, to produce the rise to power of Guadalupe Victoria, who appointed him Vice President. He/She represented the moderate, a Bourbon monarchist solution-leaning faction and to cancel the Plan of Iguala articles that advocated it, led the conservative party, which sought to establish a Republic indivisible and centralist.

As Vice President, he/she spearheaded in 1827 the conservative rebellion in support of Gómez Pedraza with Guadalupe Victoria, held by excessively radical, requesting at the same time the expulsion of the Ambassador Poinsett. Bravo faced Warrior but was defeated and taken prisoner in the city of Tulancingo, by what was submitted to a grand jury that called for the death penalty. However the Supreme Court, at the request of his numerous followers, accepted the indulgence of the Chairman victory, which commuted you that penalty by temporary exile. Exiled to Guayaquil, Ecuador, for a few months, he/she returned to the country after the amnesty of 1829.

Occur this year the appointment of Vicente Guerrero as second President of the Republic, Nicolás Bravo got that the Vice Presidency on the shoulders of one of his supporters, the general Anastasio Bustamante. Began this way one of the most serious crises of the new State, since Bustamante led a political revolt against the President, as an expression of the deep division between both parties, which emphasized bankruptcy institutional. With support from Lucas Alaman, undisputed leader of the conservative party, general Bravo occupied the port and fortress of Acapulco, which was subsequently evicted although he/she overcame, in January 1831, in Chilpancingo, the forces of his former comrade in arms. By such action, Congress awarded him a sword of honour, whereas this decisive battle for the triumph of the Conservatives on the revolution. The subsequent murder of Guerrero came to muddy the confirmation of that era of glory.

In the two years of Government alamanista, under the chairmanship of Bustamante, Nicolás Bravo remained isolated and alert in the lands of the South, but attracted to the cause of general Santa Anna, took part in some of its military actions and obtained the command of the army of the North, a few months after the unfortunate events in Texas and the defeat of Santa Anna. Immediately after he/she returned to retire to Chilpancingo, where he/she stayed for some years.

In 1839 the general and dictator called it again so that, in the absence of President Bustamante, to assume the Presidency of the Council, vowing on Monday to Congress as interim President of the Republic, in the midst of a great scandal. During the ten days which lasted his mandate, it is said that diligently attended to the Affairs of Government and that he/she acted with energy in the repression of crime. After its cessation, some months he/she returned to his family farm.

Elected Deputy for the State of Mexico, he/she returned to Congress in January 1841 and was elected President of the Council, replacing and absence of general Santa Anna, taking possession of this mandate on October 26, 1842. Despite his showdown with a Congress of liberal majority, who wanted the drafting of a new Constitution, ruled with determination and energy, called to Lucas Alaman so drafted a "Plan for the development of the domestic industry" and ordered the installation throughout the Republic of boards of trade and industrial development.

At the end of the year, unable to maintain the situation facing you with the camera, the Conservative Party decided the dissolution of Congress, described as revolutionary and the appointment of a Board of Notables called "national legislation", composed by 80 people of "proven scientific distinction and patriotism", which opened its session on January 6, 1843. To carry out this authentic "Palace revolution", Bravo had pages in the "official journal", which was filled with Adhesions, while he/she dissolved dissident joints and restricted the freedom of the press. Despite everything, he/she had time to start some important works, such as the attempt to communicate both oceans through the Strait of Tehuantepec, the beginning of the works of the port of Goatzacoalcos, a new military corps recruit; the granting of some titles of cities, the use of role of Mexican manufacturing in public offices and the establishment of a mint in Culiacan. Disgusted with the general Mariano Paredes , who, despite his enmity with general Santa Anna, had accepted the appointment of military commander of Mexico, clashed with him and started processing for insubordination. Finally, tired of acting as a front of the power in the shadow, general Bravo resigned in may 1843, handing over the Presidency to the dictator and withdrawing from politics for more than one year.

Called in to suppress the indigenous revolution that had just burst in Chilapa, returned to the army at the end of 1844 and remained in the South until the fall of Santa Anna in December of this year, being named general in Chief of the army defending the Supreme powers. Shortly after he/she joined the Plan de San Luis, since this time by general Paredes and contributed, say chroniclers, at the dissolution, the confrontation and disunity in the Republic, when most serious appeared to the dangers that are hanging from the outside. Paredes rewarded him with the appointment of major general and Governor of the Department of Mexico, being responsible for the administrative and military reorganization of this State.

In 1846 the presidency elections competed with general Paredes, was elected Vice President and replaced him on July 28, ordered Paredes of the command of the army which had to face the invasion of US troops. Bravo tried to govern desasistido any support, while the political and military forces polarizaban around Paredes and Santa Anna, until the lifting of the general Salas, on 4 August in the Citadel, acted as immediate trigger for his dismissal. Section of any activity, the American invasion forced him to return to the service of the nation, and was named general commander of Puebla. After retiring to the defensive lines of the South of the capital, he/she was directing the defense of Chapultepec, soon converted into a crushing defeat. Prisoner was taken by the Americans on September 13, described as traitor by general Santa Anna, and faced with this bitter and harsh disputed.

Finally, he/she retired to Chilpancingo, living in distance and darkness for about seven years. In 1854 the liberal general Juan Álvarez issued the Plan de Ayutla, a manifesto against Santa Anna, requesting support and the accession of Bravo, but refused to accept it saying its bad state of health and because it did not agree with the views of the conspirators. On April 22, 1854, both Bravo and his wife died at the same time and suddenly, what made spreading the rumor of a poisoning. According to some historians, the execution of the Avilés, Bravo medical doctor, could be considered as a proof of complicity.

He was declared "Benemérito de la Patria", in events that were held in Mexico in 1823 and the Government of the State of Guerrero raised him a monument in the city of Chilpancingo.


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Manuel Ortuño