Benito Juarez

Some people wonder if Benito’s Mexican Restaurant is named after Benito Juárez, a longstanding Mexican icon. While that’s not actually the case, it is a happy coincidence.

Though, that’s not to say that this man is not worth getting an authentic Mexican restaurant named after him!

Who Exactly is Benito Juárez?

Benito Juárez, also known as Benito Pablo Juárez Garcia, was the president of Mexico for 4 terms. He was born March 21, 1806 and died July 18, 1872. He married Margarita Maza, who was 17 years younger than him.

His parents were Mesoamerican Indian, and sadly they passed away when he was only 3-years-old.

He was actually going to be a priest, but changed his mind and went to Oaxaca Institute of Arts and Sciences, where itt’s now known as Benito Juárez Autonomous University of Oaxaca.

How He Started in Politics

Benito Juarez got his law degree in 1831. He also won his first public office position that same year, which was a seat on the municipal council.

He was known as incredibly honest. He never used his position of power for his personal gain. He became a member of the state and national legislatures, and even became a judge in 1841.

He then became a governor of Oaxaca. He reduced corruption and built roads, public buildings, and schools.

His Political Career

From early in his political career, Juárez established that he had more liberal views. He wanted to find liberal answers to the problems his country was facing. He believed that economic health would only happen by changing to capitalism instead of the strict economic monopoly held by the Roman Catholic Church.

He wanted to have a constitutional form of government on a federal system instead of what the country currently had.

However, his liberal views had him exiled in 1853, which is when conservatives came back to power and removed all liberal politicians.

He returned to Mexico in 1855 with the fall of the conservatives and became Minister of Justice and Public Instruction. He was responsible for the law that was named after him that got rid of special courts for the clergy and military. He believed everyone should be judged equally to have a social equality.

In 1857, Ignacio Comonfort was elected president, and the new Congress picked Juárez to be in charge of the Supreme Court. This also made him Vice President of Mexico.

This was really important because the conservatives revolted and pushed the president out in 1858. Despite that, conservatives still lost because Juárez had a legal claim to the presidency. Though he didn’t have enough troops to take control of Mexico City and had to flee until he could round up enough people.

Juárez Finally Becomes Mexico’s President

January 1861 is when Juárez was finally able to go back to Mexico City and become president. Though, that didn’t mean that everything was easy for him.

Even though he defeated the conservatives, they were still around and plotting. The new Congress didn’t trust Juárez and the country’s treasury was empty.

Juárez tried to tackle the money problem first. In 1861, he stopped paying debts to foreign countries for 2 years.

French Invasion

In 1862, France decided they wanted to take over Mexico and control it through Archduke Maximilian of Austria. They were able to do this after many battles, and Maximilian took over the government in June 1863.

That didn’t stop Juárez from fighting. It was through a series of retreats, continued resistance, increased U.S. pressure, and French criticism, that France removed troops from Mexico.

Mexican forces captured Maximilian and executed him.

End of Life

Juárez encountered some criticisms towards the end of his reign, as some thought he was acting more like a dictator than a President. However, his determination to fight for Mexico has kept him a bright icon through Mexican culture throughout the ages. So, while Benito’s isn’t named after Benito Juárez, this authentic Mexican restaurant in Fort Worth is proud to share the name!