Tuesday 14 April 2020

Guillermo Prieto (Mexico, 1975)

Mexico in the 1850s was turbulent. Liberal campaigners and politicians overthrew the dictatorial government of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, and set about reforming the consitution of the nation. Moderates called for a return to the 1824 constituion but more radical liberals – including Guillermo Prieto – wanted bolder reform.

Guillermo was one of those 19th century “everyman” types. He was a poet, journalist, theatre critic, co-founder of the Mexican Academy of Letters which acted to boost Mexican literature, minister of finance, congressionaly deputy and a man who was popular enough to stand between President Juarez and a battery of guns pointed at him – and to persuade the riflemen not to shoot.

Politically, the radicals won, in the form of the 1857 Constitution, also commemorated on this stamp. The radical element related to significant restrictions on the ability of the Catholic Church to own property, hoard wealth and influence politics. Given the strength of the Church and existing conservative factions, those turbulent times continued…



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