Sarmiento, Domingo Faustino

Sarmiento, Domingo Faustino

(dōmēng`gō foustē`nō särmyān`tō), 1811–88, Argentine statesman, educator, and author, president of the republic (1868–74). An opponent of Juan Manuel de RosasRosas, Juan Manuel de
, 1793–1877, Argentine dictator, governor of Buenos Aires prov. (1829–32, 1835–52). As a boy he served under Jacques de Liniers against the British invaders of the Rio de la Plata (1806–7).
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, he spent years of exile in Chile, becoming known as a journalist and an educational reformer. He toured Europe and North America and was impressed by the school system and the political organization of the United States. He helped UrquizaUrquiza, Justo José de
, 1801–70, Argentine general and politician, president of the confederation (1854–60). As the caudillo of Entre Ríos prov., he helped sustain the power of Juan Manuel de Rosas.
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 to overthrow Rosas in 1852 and became active in politics. In Oct., 1868, he succeeded Bartolomé MitreMitre, Bartolomé
, 1821–1906, Argentine statesman, general, and author, president of the republic (1862–68). An opponent of Juan Manuel de Rosas, he was forced into exile and had a colorful career as a soldier and journalist in Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, and
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 as president. His administration was marked by the conclusion of the War of the Triple Alliance against Paraguay, by material progress, and, especially, by the organization of schools and the reform of educational methods. Sarmiento was succeeded by Nicolás AvellanedaAvellaneda, Nicolás
, 1837–85, Argentine statesman, president of the republic (1874–80). As minister of justice, religion, and public instruction under Domingo F. Sarmiento (1868–74), he introduced many banking and educational reforms.
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. His essays on education and politics, historical studies, and critical works are distinguished by crisp style. Best known is Facundo, o Civilización i barbarie (1845; tr. Life in the Argentine Republic in the Days of the Tyrants, new ed. 1961), nominally a biography of Juan Facundo QuirogaQuiroga, Juan Facundo
, 1790–1835, Argentine caudillo. One of the most brutal of the early gaucho chieftains, he was called el tigre de los llanos (the tiger of the plains).
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, but actually an in-depth study of caudillismo, personalism in politics.


See Sarmiento's Travels in the United States in 1847, tr. by M. A. Rockland (1970); A Sarmiento Anthology (tr. and ed. by S. E. Grummon and A. W. Bunkley, 1948); biographies by A. W. Bunkley (1952) and F. G. Crowley (1972).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


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


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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.