Antonio López de Santa Anna was born in the town of Xalapa, Veracruz, on February 21, 1795. He was the son of Creoles from Veracruz with a solid economic position. He began his career as a soldier in the Royalist Army at a very young age and fought against the insurgents until 1821 when he joined the Plan of Iguala.
Antonio López de Santa Anna was a charismatic man of great influence since his figure dominated almost half a century of national life and his name was associated with the great number of uprisings and revolts that took place during the independent period while Mexico was searching for a form of organization.
He strongly supported the creation of Iturbide's Empire and declared himself in favor of the Republic in December 1822 through the Plan de Veracruz; he was directly involved in the struggles between Yorkists and Scots, federalists and centralists. He fought in foreign wars, especially in the Texas War and the War of 1847.
Antonio López de Santa Anna occupied the Presidency of the Republic on six occasions: in 1833, from 1834 to 1835, in 1839, from 1841 to 1842, in 1844, and 1847. His influence in the State of Veracruz was notorious. He occupied the position of vice-governor from December 1827 to September 1828, and later he was elected Constitutional governor in functions from March 23, 1829, to January 2, 1830, with two short intervals.
Throughout 23 years, Antonio López de Santa Anna occupied the presidency 11 times, alternating with voluntary and forced retirements. As president, he signed treaties with the United States in which he lost more than half of the national territory.
After the defeat against the Americans in 1848, Antonio López de Santa Anna went into exile in Jamaica from where he returned in 1853 to install the last dictatorship, which was overthrown by the Ayutla Revolution in 1854. Once again in exile, he settled in Santo Tomás without losing sight of Mexico's political development.
Antonio López de Santa Anna returned in 1864 for a short time, without achieving either republican adhesion or French understanding. For a few months, he lived in New York, and in 1866 he has declared a traitor to his country. In 1867, he arrived at the city and port of Veracruz without being allowed to disembark and was finally taken prisoner by the military chief of Yucatan who ordered the assault of the ship Virginia in which Lopez de Santa Anna was traveling.
He was taken to the city of Campeche and placed at the disposal of the Juarez government, he was imprisoned in San Juan de Ulua and tried in a court-martial; he was sentenced to banishment for 8 years in Nassau, Bahamas. Upon the death of Benito Juárez in 1872, President Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada, a fellow countryman, and friend of the caudillo allowed him to return to the country in 1874.
By that time his military rank was not recognized and he was denied the return of his confiscated goods and salaries. Antonio López de Santa Anna died poor and forgotten in Mexico City between June 20 and 21, 1876.
Periods of Antonio López de Santa Anna's Government
From March 23 to August 3, 1829 (First period)
From November 5 to December 3, 1829 (Second period)
From December 17, 1829, to January 2, 1830 (Third period)