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José Ballivián

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José Ballivián
11th Preses o Bolivie
In office
27 September 1841 – 23 December 1847
Precedit biMariano Enrique Calvo
Succeedit biEusebio Guilarte
Personal details
Born30 November 1805
La Paz, Bolivie
Dee'd6 October 1852(1852-10-06) (aged 47)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Spoose(s)Mercedes Coll

José Ballivián (5 Mey 1805 – 6 October 1852) wis a Bolivie general durin the Peruvian-Bolivie War an the 11t preses o Bolivie frae 27 September 1841 tae 23 December 1847.


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Born in La Paz tae walthy parents, Ballivián haed a rather undistinguished militar career till his elevation tae the post o Commander o the Airmy in Juin 1841. He haed been a ryalist till 1822, but switched sides an joined Lanza's insurrectionist airmy at the age o 18. His advance in the Bolivie airmy wis unremarkable, although his role was apparently fundamental tae the Confederate triumph ower Chile at the Battle o Socabaya (early 1836). Importantly, he haed been a supporter o Santa Cruz in the 1830s. His gowden hour came, an he rose dramatically tae the occasion, when at aged 37 an as Bolivie Airmy chief he unitit the pro-Velasco an pro-Santa Cruz factions unner his command tae face-aff a massive Peruvian invasion led bi Preses Agustín Gamarra. At the Battle o Ingavi (November 1841), Ballivián emergit wi a surprisin an crushin victory against Gamarra, whom he teuk preesoner an ordered executit. It wis a stunnin turn o events, an ane that marks the heichest point in Bolivie militar history. Ingavi preservit Bolivie unthirldom an transformit Ballivián intae an owernicht hero in a fractured naition badly in need o ane. Congress amaist immediately proclaimit him Proeeisional Preses in Calvo's replacement. Mairshall Santa Cruz, frae Fraunce, acquiesced tae his rule an declined tae return in the face o the enormous popularity o the new Caudillo.

Electit at the ballot box in 1842, Ballivián wis a capable leader who enactit important reforms, includin a reveesion o the Constitution. Generally, he follaeed the organizational an admeenistrative style o Santa Cruz an teuk great care tae keep his supporters happy, thus positionin hissel as the Grand Mairshall's heir. It wis Ballivián who ordered the firsts serious attempt at splorin an mappin the vastly unkent interior o the kintra an its frontiers. He creatit the Depairtment o Beni an aw, an endeavored tae establish Bolivie control ower the sea-frontin Depairtment o Litoral. Unner his admeenistration, the guano riches o that frontier region wur sploitit for the first time in earnest. Housomeivver, he failed tae create a credible deterrent militar presence in the aurie, syne he tendit tae concentrate lyal troops in the important centers o population in order tae quell rebellions, especially efter 1845.

Ballivián haed the misfortune o speriencin the defection, an subsequent dogged personal opposition, o the charismatic General Manuel Isidoro Belzu, ance heid o the Airmy but nou woondit bi the allegit or perceivit pursuit o his—Belzu's -- wife bi the Preses. Smairtin, Belzu athdrew tae the kintraside wi his follaeers in 1845 an, swearin revenge, aw but declared war on Ballivián, ignitin a massive confrontation that polarizit Bolivie society. Little bi little, the populist Belzu's legend grew, while Ballivián's became mair tarnished, especially when the latter wis forcit tae resort tae increasinly authoritarian measurs tae keep control. Eventually, ceevil war-like conditions erupted, forcin the embattled Hero o Ingavi tae flee shortly afore Christmas o 1847. He left in his place General Eusebio Guilarte, heid o the Cooncil o State an seicont in line tae the presidency in accordance tae the new Constitution Ballivián hissel haed promulgatit. Follaein exile in Chile, he muivit tae Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, whare he remained the rest o his days. He dee'd surprisingly young (aroond age 47) in 1852 in Rio de Janeiro, but is revered tae this day as ane o Bolivie's greatest Preses an foremaist militar leaders. His remains wur repatriatit an he wis gien a lavish state funeral. José Ballivián's son, Adolfo Ballivián, follaeed in his faither's fuitsteps an became Constitutional Preses o Bolivie in 1873.


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  • Martin, Michael R. and Gabriel H. Lovett, Encyclopedia of Latin-American History. Indianapolis, Ind., 1968.