García Moreno, Gabriel

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García Moreno, Gabriel

(gäbrēĕl` gärsē`ä mōrā`nō), 1821–75, president of Ecuador (1861–65, 1869–75), b. Guayaquil. A conservative with deep religious convictions, he gradually came to believe that Ecuadorans could only be united as a nation through their common Roman Catholic faith. As president he promulgated new constitutions (1861, 1869), signed (1862) a concordat with the church by which the civil power became the guarantor and executor of the church's independence and granted to it control over education, and ultimately established an authoritarian government in which Roman Catholic influence was paramount. A storm of liberal opposition was vigorously suppressed. Between terms as president he retained his hold by installing puppets. He was reelected in 1869 and granted additional privileges to the clerics; he also took extraordinary powers for himself. He is remembered more for his strong views and personality than his ability as an administrator who put his country on a sound financial basis and introduced a number of important material reforms. He was assassinated.

García Moreno, Gabriel

 

Born Oct. 24, 1821, in Guayaquil; died Aug. 6, 1875, in Quito. Ecuadorian political figure.

García Moreno headed Equador’s provisional government in 1860; he was president from 1861 to 1865. In 1869 he staged a coup d’etat and proclaimed himself dictator and turned the country into a theocratic state of sorts. By a concordat with the Pope on Sept. 26, 1862, Catholicism was acknowledged the sole religion and 10 percent of the revenue was allotted annually to the Vatican treasury. Education was put in the hands of the Jesuits. García Moreno’s dictatorship of clerics and landowners dealt savagely with its opponents, cruelly suppressing the protests of the working people and in particular of the Indians. García Moreno was assassinated by a group of students who had organized a conspiracy against him.

B. I. KOVAL