The Freemasons had been largely instrumental in overthrowing Iturbide; they now divided into the Escoceses (lodges of the Scottish ritual), who were Monarchist and Centralist, and the Yorkinos, who took their ritual from New York, and their cue, it was alleged, from the American minister, Joel Poinsett.
A new Congress, having resolved itself into a constituent assembly, followed up this Centralist policy (Dec. 30, 1836) by framing a new constitution, the Siete Leyes or Seven Laws, which converted the states into departments, ruled by governors appointed by the central authority, and considerably reduced popular representation.
The Centralist government, after a vain attempt to defeat him by professing a more thorough Federalism, gave way to force, and Bustamante was allowed to leave the country.
But the new Congress was too Federalist for Santa Anna, and he retired, leaving the reins to Nicolas Bravo, under whom a new Centralist constitution was established (1843).
Land grant given by the Spanish viceroy to Stephen Q Austin in 1820, and had been estranged from Mexico partly by the abolition of slavery under a decree of President Guerrero, and partly by the prospect of the Centralist constitution of 1836.
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