Juan Antonio Lavalleja

Juan Antonio Lavalleja

Juan Antonio Lavalleja (June 24, 1784 – October 22, 1853) was a Uruguayan revolutionary and political figure. He was born in Minas, nowadays being located in the Lavalleja Department, which was named after him.

Pre-Independence roleEdit

He led the group called "Thirty-Three Orientals" during Uruguay's Declaration of Independence from Brazil in 1825. His leadership of this group has taken on somewhat mythic proportions in popular Uruguayan historiography.

Post-Independence careerEdit

After Uruguay's independence in 1825, Lavalleja sought the presidency as a rival to Fructuoso Rivera in 1830, who won. In protest to his loss, Lavalleja staged revolts. He was part of a triumvirate chosen in 1852 to govern Uruguay, but died shortly after his accession to power.

Historical legacyEdit

Lavalleja is remembered as a rebel who led the fight against Brazil. But as one of the major figures in early, post-independence Uruguayan history he is identified as a skilled but reactionary warrior who contributed to the culture of intermittent civil war which dogged Uruguay for much of the 19th century.


Lavalleja married Ana Monterroso in 1817; she was sister of José Benito Monterroso, cleric and secretary of José Gervasio Artigas.


  • Setembrino Pereda, La leyenda del arroyo Monzón, Lavalleja y Rivera. Montevideo: 1935.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Venancio Flores
President of Uruguay
Succeeded by
Fructuoso Rivera