Tomás Frías Ametller (21 December 1804 – 10 May 1884) was a Bolivian lawyer and politician who served as the 17th president of Bolivia twice nonconsecutively from 1872 to 1873 and from 1874 to 1876.
|17th President of Bolivia|
14 February 1874 – 4 May 1876
Acting: 31 January 1874 – 14 February 1874
|Preceded by||Adolfo Ballivián|
|Succeeded by||Hilarión Daza (provisional)|
28 November 1872 – 9 May 1873
|Preceded by||Agustín Morales[a]|
|Succeeded by||Adolfo Ballivián|
Tomás Frías Ametller
21 December 1804
Potosí, Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata (now Bolivia)
|Died||10 May 1884 (aged 79)|
Florence, Kingdom of Italy
|Spouse(s)||Raimunda Ballivián Guerra|
|Parent(s)||José María Frías|
|Education||University of Saint Francis Xavier|
Tomás Frías was born to a wealthy land-owning family in Potosí. Born 21 December 1804 Potosí, Bolivia
Frías was Minister of Foreign Relations of President José Ballivián (1841-1847) and a steadfast supporter of civilian rule and the primacy of laws. He was named President by Congress upon the death of dictator Agustín Morales in November 1872. His task was to call free elections as soon as possible. He did so, and in May 1873 transferred power to the winning candidate, Adolfo Ballivián, the son of the former President and war hero, José Ballivián. Unfortunately, Adolfo Ballivián soon fell ill with cancer and died in February 1874, after only nine months in office. At that point, Tomás Frías became President again by virtue of his being head of the Council of State, in accordance to the Constitution then in effect. As Ballivián's legal successor, his term in office was projected to run until 1877.
In 1874, the elderly president signed with Chile a treaty that freed all Chilean citizens and companies from any taxes for the exploitation of Bolivian resources in the Pacific coast. A reciprocal agreement liberated Bolivian concerns of similar taxes in Chile, but in reality the Chilean investment in the Bolivian Litoral was extensive while Bolivia's economic presence in Chile was negligible. For this reason, it is considered to be an agreement contrary to Bolivian interests. Its annulment by the successor government proved to be the touchstone of the disastrous War of the Pacific.
Despite the almost universal respect for the Frías government, this was still the era of the caudillos, and of military adventurism in politics. The president was overthrown in an 1876 coup led by General Hilarión Daza, and soon left the country.
Death and legacyEdit
- It is agreed by legal records and scholarly sources that Agustín Morales died on 27 November and Tomás Frías assumed office on 28 November. However, some texts in the list of presidents of Bolivia include Juan de Dios Bosque as acting president from the night of the 27th to the 28th. Why some sources include Bosque and others omit him is unclear, though it is possibly due to the fact that executive power was transferred to him automatically and not through any formal processes.
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