Events of 1858

These are some of the headline stories of the year that everyone has heard of and has an opinion.

Events of 1857

January 1858

• Kansas free-staters force a new referendum on the Lecompton Constitution after widespread voting fraud in the initial ballot comes to light. Kansas voters overwhelmingly reject the Lecompton proposal by 10,226 to 138 – which effectively kills the measure – and work begins on a third constitution. The most important outcome of the entire affair seems to be the fracture of the Democratic party, the loss of respect for President Buchanan, and the ascendancy of Stephen Douglas as leader of the Northern Democrats

• On 11 January 1858, Mexican general Zuloaga demands the president’s resignation (although Comonfort and Zuloaga had been friends). Comonfort resists for ten days. During that time he frees Juárez and the other liberals he had jailed. Zuloaga was selected by the backers of the anti-constitutional junta, conservative generals and Catholic clergy, to serve as interim president of Mexico on 21 January 1858.

• Upon Comonfort’s ouster, Juárez assumes the Mexican presidency in accordance with the constitution, but Zuloaga was in military command of the capital, and Juárez had to establish his government in Guanajuato. Comonfort leaves the country, repudiated by all parties.

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