Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna: Political Savage
Born to a minor colonial official, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was born in the city of Jalapa, on the day of February 21, 1794. He decided that the military life was the life that he wanted to lead, so he joined.Santa Anna embarked on his long career in the army at the young age of sixteen as a cadet.Fighting Indians, desperados, and insurgents who seemingly aimed to liberate Mexico from Spain. With his experience and military victories, Santa Anna justified the name that he was given, The Hero of Tampico.
"If ever a man embodied chutzpah (Yiddish term that is defined as: gall, brazen
nerve, incredible guts), it was Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.He styled
himself the "Napoleon of the West."
Santa Anna began fighting with the Spanish against the Mexican Independence. Along with other officers, he switched sides in 1821 to aid in the political struggle for Augustine de Iturbide as the head of state of an independent Mexico.Also in this year, Santa Anna began steadily self promoting himself.He was commissioned tofirst lieutenant in 1812; he was posted to a grenadier battalion whose responsibility was to protect the Veracruz Mexico City road from rebel attacks.In 1816 he was again promoted, this time to captain.In March of 1821, Santa Anna commanded a royalists
detachment protecting Orizaba from the rebel forces that were led my Jose Miranda.Santa Anna was urged my Miranda to join the insurgent side, but Santa Anna refused.In late March a large force loyal to Iturbide had switched sides.Being cautious to avoid treason, this was thefirst of many betrayals that seemed to characterize Santa Anna's career.His change of allegiance coincided with a royalist promotion to lieutenant colonel for the victory that he achieved over Miranda.As soon as he was accepted at that rank, Santa Ana went for the promotion again.

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