Domingo Faustino Sarmiento

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Sarmiento, Domingo Faustino

 

Born Feb. 14, 1811, in San Juan; died Sept. 11, 1888, in Asunción. Argentine state and public figure. Writer and radical-bourgeois historian.

Sarmiento is the author of Travels Through Europe, Africa, and America (1849) and Memories of a Province (1850). His major work, Facundo (1850; original title Civilization and Barbarism: The Life of Juan Facundo Quiroga), is a literary, philosophical, and sociological essay that re-creates the life of the Argentine pampas. It depicts the life of the peoples of Latin America as a struggle between the forces of barbarism and civilization.

Sarmiento was an advocate of secular education. Influenced by utopian socialism, he believed that education would lead to the equality of classes and social harmony. In his works he vigorously condemned the violence of the ruling aristocracy and the dictatorship of Rosas; he is still criticized for these stands by members of the reactionary-clericalist school.

As president (1868–74), Sarmiento enacted a series of reforms aimed at developing Argentina’s economy and culture. Among other things, he promoted agriculture and the raising of sheep. During his administration, railroads and highways were constructed, an astronomical observatory was opened, an academy of sciences was organized, and schools, libraries, and hospitals were built.

WORKS

Obras completas, vols. 1–52. Buenos Aires, 1948.

REFERENCES

Ocherki istorii Argentiny. Moscow, 1961.
Rojas, R. El pensamiento vivo de Sarmiento [2nd ed.]. Buenos Aires [1944].
Rojas, R. El profeta de la pampa: Vida de Sarmiento. Buenos Aires [1945].
Martínes Estrada, E. Meditaciones sarmientinas. Santiago, Chile, 1968.
Bibliografía de Sarmiento. Buenos Aires, 1911.