He studied law in Mexico City, quitting school to become a military leader in the fight tor independence from Spain.
He changed his name to Guadalupe Victoria. Refusing to surrender when the Spaniards defeated his troops, he hid in the mountains of Veracruz until 1821.
Disenchanted with the govenment of Emperor Agustín de Iturbide during 1822-1823. Victoria helped overthrow him. He was elected president under the federal constitution of 1824. Under Victoria, the federalists organized in the York Rite Masons and the centralists in the Scottish Rite, making freemasonry central to the poltical system.
Victoria backed war Minister Manuel Gómez Pedraza as his successor in 1829, and Gómez won the election. But a rebellion placed Vicente Guerrero in office instead. Victoria retired to his hacienda where he died.