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Matías Peña y Barragan


Topic- Mexico City, Mexican Support for the War, Mexican Opposition to the War, Contreras and Churubusco, Molino del Rey and Chapultepec

Bio ID - 9

Gender - Male

Nationality - Mexico

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Matías de la Peña y Barragán was a conservative Mexican military figure who orchestrated the Polkos Revolt against Gómez Farías' in 1847. Born to an upper class criollo family and educated in Europe, he rose to the rank of brigadier general in 1840, and later participated in an unsuccessful campaign to suppress a separatist movement in the Yucatán.

In February 1847, acting president Valentín Gómez Farías ordered Peña y Barragán to march his troops to Vera Cruz to help fend off the U.S. invasion. Believing the order was designed to undercut conservative opposition to Gómez Farías' attempted expropriation of Church property, Peña y Barragán refused, leading the National Guard units in the capital against the government. The so-called polkos rebels fought intermittent skirmishes with government troops for three weeks - a standoff that ended when Santa Anna returned to Mexico City, deposed Gómez Farías, and eliminated the office of vice president.

Following the Polkos Revolt, Peña y Barragán led Mexican troops against U.S. forces at the Battle of El Molino del Rey and helped organize the final defense of Mexico City in September 1847. 


Carmona, Doralicia. "Rebelión de los 'Polkos': les parece injusto que personas acomodadas sean expuestas a contratiempos en las campañas para defender el país."; Memoria Política de México, n.d.

Conway, Christopher, and Gustavo Pellon. The U.S. - Mexican War: A Binational Reader. Hackett Publishing, 2010.

Costeloe, Michael P. "The Mexican Church and the Rebellion of the Polkos." The Hispanic American Historical Review 46, no. 2 (May 1, 1966): 170-178.

Dumond, Don E. The Machete and the Cross: Campesino Rebellion in Yucatan. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997, 75-76.

Marley, David. Wars of the Americas: A Chronology of Armed Conflict in the Western Hemisphere, 1492 to the Present. ABC-CLIO, 2008, 745-746.

Santoni, Pedro. Mexicans at Arms: Puro Federalists and the Politics of War, 1845-1848. Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1996.

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