University of Notre Dame
Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections
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Precursors to Independence
Early Independence
Federalism vs. Unitarianism
Rise of the Caudillos
Juan Facundo Quiroga
Rule of Rosas
Critics of Rosas
The Gauchos
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Manuel Dorrego

Manuel Dorrego (1787-1828) served under Manuel Belgrano in the Army of the North during the wars of independence. His opposition to Juan Martin de Pueyrredón forced him into exile in the United States in 1817. Dorrego returned in the 1820s and joined the federalist efforts to fight Bernardino Rivadavia’s liberal platform. Upon Rivadavia’s resignation in 1827, Dorrego was elected governor of Buenos Aires and became the de facto leader of the other Argentine provinces. He displayed an unusual talent for balancing the demands of both the Unitario and Federalist movements. Faced with leading the war against Brazil over the future of the Banda Oriental (what is now Uruguay), he signed a peace agreement with Brazil making the province independent. Portions of the military that supported the Unitarios joined the independence hero, General Juan Galo Lavalle, in challenging Dorrego’s authority. The two met in battle where Lavalle defeated Dorrego, captured him, and executed him. Dorrego thus became a martyr for the federalist cause, which then rallied around Juan Manuel de Rosas.

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