The New Student's Reference Work/Juarez, Benito


Juarez (ho͝o-ä′ rā̇s), Benito, a president of the Mexican republic, was born in Oaxaca of Indian parents in 1806.  He became governor of his native state and an active member of the Liberal party.  When Santa Anna was dictator, he was exiled, but returned to Mexico when the republic was restored.  In 1858, when the Liberal president was overthrown, Juarez was president of the supreme court, which is equivalent to vice-president.  He at once took the government into his own hands, but was forced to fall back to Vera Cruz, where his government was recognized by the United States in 1859.  In 1861 he was able to enter the capital, and was chosen president for four years.  In the same year the allied forces of England, France and Spain occupied Vera Cruz.  But the French alone remained and declared war against Juarez.  Maximilian’s brief reign came to an end in 1867, when he was shot by order of court-martial, and Juarez once more entered Mexico and was chosen president for a second term.  In 1871 he was re-elected.  Risings and rebellions were almost endless, but he faced all his foes with the dogged courage of his race, and was still triumphant when he died on July 18, 1872.  The present prosperity of Mexico is in large measure due to Benito Juarez.