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Juan Bautista Alvarado

Alvarado, Juan Bautista (hwän boutēsˈtä älväräˈħō) [key], 1809–82, governor of Alta California (1836–42), b. Monterey, Calif. Out of the chaotic times in the neglected Mexican province of Alta California, Alvarado emerged as a brilliant politician. After a small but successful revolt in 1836, he declared California an independent state with himself as governor. He pacified his opponents in San Diego and Los Angeles, but the southern faction continued to view the northern upstart with suspicion until he secured (1838) regular appointment as Mexican governor. He and his uncle, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, who acted as military commander, could not accomplish much, and after they disagreed both men were removed in 1842. Alvarado was one of the leaders of a new and successful revolt in 1844–45, but the new government was unable to withstand the Bear Flag Revolt and the Mexican War.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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