All the President's Women: The Wives of General Antonio López de Santa Anna in 19th Century Mexico

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Abstract

The objective of this article is to contribute towards a fuller critical understanding of gender relations/ politics in mid-19th-century Spanish America. Its aim is to provide an account of the relationship Mexican President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna established with his two wives. This study is particularly concerned with the representative value of Santa Anna's case in terms of 19th-century gender relations and the macho stereotype of the caudillo. Do Santa Anna's marital and extra-marital relationships confirm or question traditional views on the position of women in Spanish America following the achievement of Independence? Do they conform with the 'rock-star' lifestyle generally attributed to the early 19th-century caudillo? A key aim of this study is to test the extent to which the relatively recent claim that women were more independent and influential than had been previously noted is borne out by case-studies of the women who shared their lives with the promiscuous six-times president Santa Anna.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-68
Number of pages17
JournalFeminist Review
Volume79
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005

Keywords

  • Santa Anna
  • independent Mexico
  • gender relations
  • machismo
  • Caudillos
  • 19th-century Spanish America

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