Artigas, José Gervasio

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Artigas, José Gervasio

(hōsā` hārvä`syō ärtē`gäs), 1764–1850, national hero of Uruguay, first leader in the movement toward independence. He came from the cattle-raising region Banda OrientalBanda Oriental
[Span.,=eastern shore, i.e., of the Río de la Plata], region, S Uruguay. An alluvial plain, it is Uruguay's principal cattle-raising and wheat-growing region. In the colonial era, Banda Oriental was the term applied to Uruguay and part of Brazil.
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. He joined the revolution against Spain in 1811 and became the leader of the Orientales. In 1813 he instructed the delegates from the Banda Oriental to the Buenos Aires constituent assembly to work for a federation of autonomous La Plata provinces, but they were denied admission to the assembly by the centralist military junta. Artigas then championed Uruguayan independence. After an initial setback in 1813 by Buenos Aires and subsequently the restoration of Spanish power (1816), he still managed to rule much of the territory as protector against Spain, Brazil, and Buenos Aires. Finally in 1820, when Artigas had once again renounced the United Provinces of La Plata (Argentina), the Portuguese captured the territory and annexed it to Brazil. Artigas spent his remaining years in exile in Paraguay.

Artigas, José Gervasio

 

Born June 19, 1764, in Montevideo; died Sept. 23, 1850, near Asunción, Paraguay. Uruguayan military and political leader.

Artigas began his military service in the Spanish colonial armies. He took an active part in the struggle of the population of Montevideo against a British invasion in 1806–07. In 1811 he headed a popular uprising of Banda Oriental (“eastern shore,” modern Uruguay) against the Spanish colonizers, and in May of the same year he won a victory over them at Las Piedras. In May 1813, Artigas sent to the General Constitutional Assembly of the La Plata provinces, meeting in Buenos Aires, a delegation from Banda Oriental with a project for the federative structure of the La Plata provinces. Refusal to accept this fully accredited delegation led to Artigas’ break with the eovernment at Buenos Aires. At the beginning of 1815, Artigas expelled troops of the Buenos Aires government who had impinged on the territory of Banda Oriental. From 1816 to 1820 he directed the struggle against an invading army from Brazil. At the beginning of 1820, Artigas’ army suffered a defeat by a Portuguese-Brazilian army. Military clashes with the governor of the Argentine province of Entre Rios also ended in defeat for Artigas, and in 1820 he was forced to cross the border into Paraguay. Here he was interned and remained until his death. The Uruguayan people revere Artigas as a national hero.

REFERENCE

Pintos, F. R. Khose Artigas. Moscow, 1964. (Translated from Spanish.)