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Summary Article: Mitre, Bartolomé
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(bär´´tōlōmā' mē'trā), 1821–1906, Argentine statesman, general, and author, president of the republic (1862–68). An opponent of Juan Manuel de Rosas, he was forced into exile and had a colorful career as a soldier and journalist in Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, and Chile. He returned to aid Urquiza in defeating Rosas (1852). A leader of the revolt of Buenos Aires against Urquiza's federal system, Mitre held important posts in the provincial government after Buenos Aires seceded from the confederation. He was defeated by Urquiza in the civil war of 1859, and Buenos Aires reentered the confederation. As governor after 1860, he again assumed leadership when fresh difficulties led to open war in 1861. At Pavón he won a victory for Buenos Aires; he then assumed national authority. In Oct., 1862, Mitre was elected president, and national political unity was finally achieved; a period of internal progress and reform began. He served for a time as commander of the allied forces of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay in the war against Paraguay. His political views led to attacks by Alberdi. In 1868, Mitre was succeeded as president by Sarmiento, and although still a force in politics, he devoted himself chiefly to literary work. He founded La Nación (Buenos Aires), which became one of South America's leading newspapers. Mitre was known in his youth as a poet and in later years as a historian. His important historical works are Historia de Belgrano (1858–59, 4th ed. 1887) and Historia de San Martín y de la emancipación sudamericana (1877–88, tr. The Emancipation of South America, 1893).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2017

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