The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #68626   Message #1159024
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
11-Apr-04 - 12:54 AM
Thread Name: The Alamo--Needless Martyrs
Subject: RE: The Alamo--Needless Martyrs
Santa Anna had the nine lives of a cat, in and out of power and favor many times.
He first gained fame by turning back an ill-advised Spanish invasion at Tampico in 1829. He became president in 1833, but left legislation and governance to an anti-clerical, Farias, who lost army support when he reduced the army. Santa Anna had 'retired,' but carried out another coup in 1834, this time supporting the clerics. He soon 'retired' again, leaving governance to his vice-president.
In 1835, fighting at San Antonio defeated the Mexican force there.
When Texas declared independence, Santa Anna took over command of the campaign, which he lost at San Jacinto.
Santa Anna conceded Texas in return for his personal freedom. The Mexican government refused to admit the loss of Texas, and Santa Anna lost his popularity. A new president led for four years.
A brief war with France over compensation for nationals left Santa Anna minus a leg, but with renewed popularity. Joining a revolt against the current president, Santa Anna became dictator in 1843. Mexico was broke and he couldn't pay officers or officials; he ended up being exiled to Cuba.
When the Mexican War started, Santa Anna returned to Mexico. In 1847, he defeated an inexperienced column led by Zachary Taylor. This he represented as a great victory, and overthrew the government again. Against a real army, Santa Anna was, of course defeated. The United States gained the entire northern Mexican area, from Texas to California (the present Garden City, Kansas was about at the northern boundary).

Again Santa Anna emerged from defeat and exile to become "El Supremo" in 1853. He messed up as usual and was again exiled in 1855.
He was allowed to return in 1872, and died in 1876.

This story of success followed by failure due to incompetence, repeated over and over, has no parallels that I know of.