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His elitist and oligarchical policies favoured foreign investors and wealthy landowners, culminating in an economic crisis for the country. He was ousted in during the Mexican Revolution. Once in power, he maintained control by catering to separate groups and playing off one interest against another. Among the beneficiaries of his regime were mestizos , the privileged Creole classes, and the Roman Catholic Church. He won and remained in power until he was forced out during the Mexican Revolution.
He began training for the priesthood at age 15, but upon the outbreak of war with the United States —48 he joined the army. An illustrious military career followed, including service in the War of the Reform —60 and the struggle against the French in —67, when Maximilian became emperor. Six months later, however, he returned and defeated the government forces at the Battle of Tecoac November , and in May he was formally elected president. His administration achieved a few public improvements but was more noted for its suppression of revolts.
He succeeded in destroying local and regional leadership until the majority of public employees answered directly to him. Even the legislature was composed of his friends, and the press was muffled. He also maintained tight control over the courts. The Roman Catholic Church maintained a policy of noninvolvement in return for a certain degree of freedom.
The Indians, who formed a full third of the population, were ignored. Therefore, he enthusiastically encouraged investment by foreigners. Conditions were made so advantageous to the suppliers of capital that Mexican industries and workers alike suffered. Limantour after , were responsible for the influx of foreigners to build railroads and bridges, to dig mines, and to irrigate fields. By the economy had declined and national revenues were shrinking, which necessitated borrowing. With wages decreasing, strikes were frequent.
Agricultural workers were faced with extreme poverty and debt peonage. On Feb. Immediately opposition and progovernment groups began to scramble to find suitable presidential candidates.