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La Reforma (English: The Reform) was a period halfway through the 19th century in the history of Mexico that was characterized by liberal reforms and the transformation of Mexico into a nation state. Notable liberal politicians in the reform period include Benito Juárez, Juan Álvarez, Ignacio Comonfort, Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada, Melchor Ocampo, José María Iglesias and Santos Degollado.

The Reforma is usually considered to have begun with the overthrowing and removal of Antonio López de Santa Anna in the Revolution of Ayutla in 1855. There is less consensus about the ending point of the Reforma. Common dates are 1861, after the liberal victory in the Reform War, 1867, after the republican victory of the French intervention in Mexico and 1876 after the Rebellion of Tuxtepec in which Porfirio Díaz overthrew president Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada.

The most noteworthy reforms of the Reforma were the Ley Lerdo, abolishing clerical and communal properties, the Ley Juárez, abolishing separate military and religious courts, Mexican Constitution of 1857, guaranteeing many civil and political liberties including freedom of religion and the Reform Laws in which the liberal government of Veracruz during the civil war against the conservatives proclaimed complete separation of church and state.

The Paseo de la Reforma (formerly known as Paseo de la Emperatriz because Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico created it for his consort, Empress Carlota, born a Belgian princess.), it is Mexico City's main avenue, and it is now named after the Reforma.



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