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Caudillos in Spanish America 1800–1850$
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John Lynch

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198211358

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198211358.001.0001

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Juan Manuel de Rosas: Argentina 1829–1852

Juan Manuel de Rosas: Argentina 1829–1852

(p.241) 6 Juan Manuel de Rosas: Argentina 1829–1852
Caudillos in Spanish America 1800–1850

John Lynch

Oxford University Press

Juan Manuel de Rosas was too young to be a hero of independence and his career was built not on his war record, but on his role in post-war Argentina. Nevertheless, his curriculum vitae opened appropriately for a caudillo. In 1820, Rosas had to turn his cowboys into cavalry and divert the power of the estancia to the rescue of Buenos Aires. The defence of capital and province against the petty caudillos and predators of the interior was not an alien cause, but one close to his most important interests and values. This was his first direct action against the dreaded anarchy, the first display of that peculiar mixture of protection and menace that became a hallmark of his rule. Rosas became a natural leader of the estancieros by his example and his authority. Populism gave way to persuasion: police took the place of politicians. Caudillism became a classical despotism, but it was despotism with a singular organization and a style of its own.

Keywords:   Juan Manuel de Rosas, Argentina, caudillos, caudillism, estancieros, populism, anarchy, despotism, Buenos Aires

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