The Plan of Ayutla was the written plan aimed at removing conservative, centralist president Antonio López de Santa Anna as dictator of Mexico. Initially drafted on February 24, 1854, by Colonel Florencio Villarreal, it was proclaimed on March 1, 1854, in Ayutla, Guerrero. The Plan not only aimed at removing the dictator but also convening a constituent assembly in order to draft a federal constitution.
Forces under Juan Álvarez, strong man of Guerrero state, rebelled against Santa Anna's government, initiating 19 months of guerrilla warfare and civil unrest against Santa Anna. This uprising is termed the Revolution of Ayutla, since it entailed not just a narrow goal, but a more thoroughgoing change in political direction via armed warfare. With Alvarez's success in mobilizing forces in Guerrero, many of which had formed paramilitary units during the U.S. - Mexican War (1846-1848), there were uprisings in the states of Michoacán, Morelos, Oaxaca, Mexico state and then spread to the northern states of Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, and Nuevo León. When Mexico City denounced Santa Anna, he fled into exile and Alvarez's forces marched into the capital with a "brigade of rustics called Pintos (ferocious warriors so called because in earlier times, they wore face paint).
The Plan paved the way for the La Reforma, the Liberal Reform that conservatives opposed in open, civil war, known as the Reform War or the Three Years War. The Revolution of Ayutla brought liberals to power. Their leaders initially passed a series of reform laws that were then incorporated into the 1857 Constitution. Supporters of the Plan of Ayutla included Juan Álvarez, Benito Juárez, the Lerdo de Tejada brothers, José María Jesús Carbajal and Ignacio Comonfort.
- Plans in Mexican history
- La Reforma
- Constitution of 1857
- Reform War
- Liberalism in Mexico
- List of wars involving Mexico
- Paul Vanderwood, "Betterment for Whom? The Reform Period: 1855-1875" in The Oxford History of Mexico, Michael C. Meyer and William H. Beezley, eds. New York: Oxford University Press 2000, p.372.
- O'Gorman, Edmundo. "Antecententes y sentido de la revolución de Ayutla" in Plan de Ayutla. Conmemoración de su primer centenario. Mexico City: UNAM 1954.
- Pani, Erika. "Revolution of Ayutla" in Encyclopedia of Mexico. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997, pp. 119-21.
- Vanderwood, Paul. "Betterment for Whom? The Reform Period: 1855-1875" in The Oxford History of Mexico, Michael C. Meyer and William H. Beezley, eds. New York: Oxford University Press 2000, pp. 371-396.
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