Justo José de Urquiza

Justo José de Urquiza y García (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈxusto xoˈse ðe uɾˈkiθa]; October 18, 1801 – April 11, 1870) was an Argentine general and politician. He was president of the Argentine Confederation from 1854 to 1860.[1]

Justo José de Urquiza
Justo José de Urquiza MHN.JPG
President of the Argentine Confederation
In office
March 5, 1854 – March 4, 1860
Vice PresidentSalvador María del Carril
Preceded byHimself
(as Provisional Director of the Argentine Confederation)
Succeeded bySantiago Derqui
Provisional Director of the Argentine Confederation
In office
May 31, 1852 – March 4, 1854
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Governor of Entre Ríos
In office
May 1, 1868 – April 11, 1870
Preceded byJosé María Domínguez
Succeeded byRicardo López Jordán
In office
May 1, 1860 – April 30, 1864
Succeeded byJosé María Domínguez
In office
April 7, 1842 – September 10, 1852
Preceded byFrancisco Dionisio Álvarez
In office
January 1, 1842 – January 28, 1842
Preceded byVicente Zapata
Succeeded byPedro Pablo Seguí
Governor of Buenos Aires
In office
July 26, 1852 – September 3, 1852
Preceded byVicente López
Succeeded byJosé Miguel Galán
Personal details
Born(1801-10-18)October 18, 1801
Talar de Arroyo Largo, Entre Ríos
DiedApril 11, 1870(1870-04-11) (aged 68)
San José Palace, Entre Ríos
Political partyFederalist Party
Spouse(s)Segunda Calvento
Dolores Costa
Cruz López Jordán


Palacio San José

Justo José de Urquiza y García was born in Entre Ríos, the son of José Narciso de Urquiza Álzaga, born in Castro Urdiales, Spain, and María Cándida García González, a Creole of Buenos Aires.[2] He was governor of Entre Ríos during the government of Juan Manuel de Rosas, governor of Buenos Aires with powers delegated from the other provinces. Rosas presented a resignation to his charge frequently, but only as a political gesture, counting that the other governments would reject it. However, in 1851, resentful of the economic and political dominance of Buenos Aires, Urquiza accepted Rosas' resignation and resumed for Entre Rios the powers delegated in Buenos Aires. Along with the resuming of international commerce without passing through the port of Buenos Aires, Urquiza replaced the "Death to the savage unitarians!" slogan with "Death to the enemies of national organization!", requesting the making of a national constitution that Rosas had long rejected. Corrientes supported Urquiza's action, but Rosas and the other provinces[citation needed] condemned the "crazy, traitor, savage, unitarian" Urquiza. Supported by Brazil and the Uruguayan liberals, he created the "Big Army" and forced Manuel Oribe to capitulate, ending the long siege of Montevideo in October 1851, and finally defeating Rosas on 3 February 1852 at the Battle of Caseros. The other provinces that supported Rosas against Urquiza's pronunciation changed sides and supported his project of creating a National Constitution.[3]

Urquiza immediately began the task of national organization. He became provisional director of the Argentine Confederation in May 1852. In 1853, a constituent assembly adopted a constitution based primarily on the ideas of Juan Bautista Alberdi, and Urquiza was inaugurated president in March 1854.[4]

During his administration, foreign relations were improved, public education was encouraged, colonization was promoted, and plans for railroad construction was initiated. His work of national organization was, however, hindered by the opposition of Buenos Aires, which seceded from the Confederation. Open war broke out in 1859. Urquiza defeated the provincial army led by Bartolomé Mitre in October 1859, at the Battle of Cepeda, and Buenos Aires agreed to re-enter the Confederation.[5]

Constitutional amendments proposed by Buenos Aires were adopted in 1860 but the settlement was short-lived, and further difficulties culminated in civil war. Urquiza met the army of Buenos Aires, again led by Mitre, in September 1861. The battle was indecisive, but Urquiza withdrew from the field, leaving the victory with Mitre. He retired to San José Palace, his residence in Entre Ríos, where he ruled until he was assassinated at age 69 (along with his sons Justo and Waldino) by followers of dissident and political rival Ricardo López Jordán.[6]

Like many other nineteenth century Argentine patriots,[7] Urquiza was a freemason.[8] His imposing Palacio San José has been interpreted as containing many masonic symbols, created "to symbolize and reflect the construction of his other work: the Argentine State".[9]


There are many streets, parks and squares all over Argentina that are named after Justo José de Urquiza, such as the Urquiza park in Rosario or the Urquiza park in Parana city. There is a central street in Rosario called Urquiza, and there is a commuter railway line in Buenos Aires named after him, the Urquiza Line.


  1. ^ Urquiza, el juicio de la posteridad, Volumen1, Imprenta y casa editora "Coni,"
  2. ^ Ensayo genealogico de la familia Urquiza:, Eduardo de Urquiza
  3. ^ Historia de España y de las Repúblicas latino-americanas, Alfredo Opisso
  4. ^ Rosas y Urquiza:, Mario César Gras
  5. ^ Presencia de Urquiza, Justo José de Urquiza
  6. ^ Urquiza, su vida, su personalidad y su obra, J. A. Alsina, 1911
  7. ^ Including Juan Bautista Alberdi, Manuel Alberti, Carlos María de Alvear, Miguel de Azcuénaga, Antonio González de Balcarce, Manuel Belgrano, Antonio Luis Beruti, Juan José Castelli, Domingo French, Gregorio Aráoz de Lamadrid, Francisco Narciso de Laprida , Juan Larrea, Juan Lavalle, Vicente López y Planes, Bartolomé Mitre, Mariano Moreno, Juan José Paso, Carlos Pellegrini, Gervasio Antonio de Posadas, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento; José de San Martín is known to have been a member of the Lautaro Lodge, but whether that lodge was truly masonic has been debated: Denslow, William R. (1957). 10,000 Famous Freemasons. 1–4. Richmond, VA: Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co Inc.
  8. ^ "Justo José de Urquiza". Gran Logia de la Argentina. Gran Logia de la Argentina de Libres y Aceptados Masones. Retrieved 2019-04-05.; Denslow, William R. (1957). 10,000 Famous Freemasons. Richmond, VA: Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co Inc.; Alvarez y Alvarez, Augusto Francisco (1920). Justo José de Urquiza ERA MASÓN (in Spanish). Paraná: "El Entre Ríos".
  9. ^ Bauzá, Hugo Francisco (2012-12-20). "Los mensajes ocultos del Palacio San José" [The occult messages of San José Palace]. La Nación (in Spanish). Buenos Aires. Retrieved 2010-04-05.

Political offices
Preceded by
Vicente López y Planes
President of Argentina
Succeeded by
Santiago Derqui