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Miguel Miramón

Miguel Miramón y Tarelo
Substitute President of Mexico
by the Plan of Tacubaya
In office
2 February 1859 – 13 August 1860
Preceded by José Mariano Salas
Succeeded by José Ignacio Pavón
Provisional President of Mexico
by the Plan of Tacubaya
In office
15 August 1860 – 24 December 1860
Preceded by José Ignacio Pavón
Personal details
Born (1832-09-29)29 September 1832
Mexico DF
Died 19 June 1867(1867-06-19) (aged 34)
Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro Arteaga
Nationality Mexican
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Concepción Lombardo

Miguel Gregorio de la Luz Atenógenes Miramón y Tarelo (29 September 1832[1] – 19 June 1867) was a Mexican conservative general. He served as anti-constitutional interim conservative President of Mexico in opposition to the constitutional president, Benito Juárez of the Liberal Party.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Second Empire 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early life

Miramón was born in Mexico City into a family of partial French heritage. At the age of 15 he was made prisoner during the United States assault on Chapultepec Castle in the Mexican-American War. In his late teens and early twenties he rose through the army ranks rather quickly, becoming famous for his personal charisma, his competence as a soldier and his guerrilla tactics.


He was a staunch conservative, a supporter of monarchy, aristocracy and religious privileges for the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church supported his military efforts against the constitutional forces with loans.[2]

Miguel Miramón wearing a general's court dress during Maximilian's reign

During the War of Reform he fought in the central lowlands on the side of a reactionary military junta which had staged a coup d'état in defiance of the Constitution of 1857. A series of presidents were appointed by this junta as factions within the junta vied for power. Miramón's faction eventually prevailed, and on 2 February 1860, when not yet 30 years old, he assumed the presidency. However, neither he nor any of the other "presidents" of the junta were recognized by the constitutional forces led by President Benito Juárez, nor were they recognized by the United States which appointed an ambassador to Juárez's government instead.

On 11 April 1859, Miramón earned the enmity of much of the populace for ordering not only the execution of captured officers of the constitutional forces, but also of the doctors who treated their wounds, and also numerous civilians who were deemed to have been too sympathetic with the constitutional armies which had just suffered a defeat in attempting to re-take the capital from the junta now headed by Miramón.[3] As a further result of this massacre, General Degollado of the constitutional army issued an order that officers of the anti-constitutional armies were to be shot upon capture.

Between 12 August and 15 August 1860, he left the presidency to an interim, José Ignacio Pavón. According to some sources, he also used the Mexico City police to raid the residence of the British consul (who was actively supporting the liberals) and steal 600,000 pesos to finance a conservative levy. He maintained the hostilities against the liberals until being savagely defeated by the troops of Gen. Jesús González Ortega in San Juan del Río, Querétaro, on 22 December. Two days later he resigned and fled to Europe.

Second Empire

While in France, he never took part in the negotiations between the Mexican monarchists, Napoleon III and the Archduke Maximilian of Austria. When he returned to Mexico, the archduke, now crowned as Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, appointed him as Great Marshal of the Imperial Army and sent him to Berlin to study military tactics. He returned in 1866 and organized the imperial defenses against the republicans.

On 19 February 1867 he arrived at Santiago de Querétaro to repel the siege against the emperor. He took charge of the infantry and sent General Tomás Mejía to take charge of the cavalry. Almost three months later, the emperor decided to capitulate against the advice of Miramón, who had been seriously wounded in action. On 19 June all three were shot for treason on the order of President Benito Juárez, the republican leader. The execution took place at the Cerro de las Campanas, in the outskirts of Querétaro.


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External links

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