Mariano Arista

José Mariano Martín Buenaventura Ignacio Nepomuceno García de Arista Nuez (26 July 1802 – 7 August 1855) was a noted veteran of many of Mexico's nineteenth-century wars. He served as president of Mexico from 15 January 1851 to 6 January 1853. He was the first president of Mexico to be born in the 19th century.

Mariano Arista
19th President of Mexico
In office
15 January 1851 – 6 January 1853
Preceded byJosé Joaquín de Herrera
Succeeded byJuan Bautista Ceballos
Minister of War and Marine
In office
12 June 1848 – 14 January 1851
PresidentJosé Joaquín de Herrera
Preceded byManuel María de Sandoval
Succeeded byManuel Robles Pezuela
Personal details
Born(1802-07-26)26 July 1802
San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí, New Spain
Died7 August 1855(1855-08-07) (aged 53)
Lisbon, Portugal
Resting placePanteón de Dolores
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Guadalupe Martell


He was born in the state of San Luis Potosí in colonial New Spain. Originally an officer in the Spanish Army, Arista later joined the revolutionary army of Agustín de Iturbide. Later, he served under Antonio López de Santa Anna, Mexico's on-again/off-again dictator during the attempt to put down the 1836 Texas Revolution.

In 1846, Arista was given command of the Army of the North and sent to expel American troops from territory claimed by Mexico in Texas. The resulting engagement ignited the bloody Mexican–American War of 1846–1848. Arista was in command of Mexican forces during the Battle of Palo Alto and the Battle of Resaca de la Palma, where he was defeated, due largely to superior U.S. artillery.

Personally quite brave, Arista was a dedicated republican – a member of Mexico's liberal faction, and therefore the natural enemy of his largely conservative general staff. At both the Battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, Arista was ill-served by the political division among his staff.

After Resaca de la Palma, Mexico's government recalled Arista, and he was removed from command. He requested a court-martial and was absolved of guilt for the defeats at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma.[1] Arista spent the rest of the war as a functionary, seeing little combat.


In 1851, Arista succeeded José Joaquín de Herrera as president of Mexico. He sought to bring fiscal stability to the nation. Conservative resistance to Arista's rule and an eventual revolt by the conservatives led to his 1853 resignation and exile.

He died on board the English steamer Tagus while traveling from Lisbon, Portugal, to France on 7 August 1855. In 1880, his remains were returned to Mexico, where the Liberal faction named him a national hero.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ David D. Vigness. "Arista, Mariano". Texas State Historical Association.
  • Bauer, K. Jack. The Mexican-American War, 1846–1848.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
José Joaquín de Herrera
President of Mexico
15 January 1851 – 6 January 1853
Succeeded by
Juan Bautista Ceballos