Arista, Mariano [key], 1802–55, Mexican general and president (1851–53). A royalist in the revolt against Spain, he later joined Agustín de Iturbide. He fought in the Mexican army that tried to put down the Texas revolt (1836). In command of the army in N Mexico in the Mexican War, he was defeated by Zachary Taylor at Palo Alto and at Resaca de la Palma (1846). Arista succeeded J. J. Herrera as president. His administration sought to bring fiscal stability to the nation. Difficulties in maintaining a loyal cabinet and a conservative revolt in 1852 led to his resignation the following year.
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