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Justo Jose de Urquiza

URQUIZA, Justo Jose de (oor-kee'-thah), Argentine soldier, born in Arroyo de la China, near the capital of Entre Rios, 19 March, 1800; died in San Jose, 11 April, 1870. He was sent by his father to Buenos Ayres, where he received a good education in the Jesuit college. In 1820 he established himself in business in his native village, but his education and dexterity in the use of arms gave him power over his neighbors, and in one of the internal revolts he was elected commander of the National guard, he soon gained influence in polities, and, as a defender of the federal principle, was favored by the dictator Rosas. When the latter gave Manuel Oribe the means to invade Uruguay, he ordered Urquiza with 4,000 men to assist, in the war, and in 1844 the latter passed the river Uruguay, obtained partial success in the encounters of Arequita and Malbajar, and finally defeated Rivera at India Muerta on 28 March, 1845, celebrating his victory by the execution of 500 prisoners. On his return he was elected in 1846 governor of Entre Rios, and by arbitrary measures soon amassed an enormous fortune. No shop of any kind could be opened without his permit, which was only given to persons that shared the profits with him, and, prohibiting the importation of wheat into the state, he reserved for himself the exclusive right of milling flour from the crop of his large farms. He waged a war against the Unitarians of Corrientes, emulating the dictator Rosas in cruelties, and soon acquired such an influence that he was in reality the dictator of Entre Rios. When in 1850 Rosas, by treaty with England and France, declared the navigation of the Parana and Uruguay closed to foreign flags, Urquiza united with the governor of Corrientes in a protest, and began to intrigue against the Argentine dictator, and when Rosas, in the beginning of 1851, went through the customary farce of resigning the executive, in the expectation of being re-elected with increased powers, Urquiza and Governor Visaroso, of Corrientes, accepted the resignation, and declared the sovereignty of the two states restored. Urquiza, on 1 May, issued a manifesto, calling upon the nation to throw off the yoke of the dictator, and on the 29th of that month he concluded, as governor of Entre Rios, an offensive and defensive alliance with Brazil and Uruguay against Rosas. He passed Uruguay river in June with 4,000 men, captured Paysandu, and, without awaiting Brazilian re-enforcements, marched against Oribe, who was still besieging Montevideo. The whole country rose to join Urquiza, and Oribe, seeing his cause lost, capitulated on 8 October Re-enforced by the Uruguayan and Brazilian armies, and protected by the Brazilian fleet, Urquiza repassed the Uruguay and Parana, and, on 12 January, 1852, began his march with an army of 30,000 men against Rosas. The latter had fortified his camps of Palermo and Santos Lugares, but in the final battle of Monte Caseros, on 3 February, he was defeated after a short resist-ante, and fled on board a British ship, Urquiza marring his victory by the execution of the valiant Colonel Chilabert, the only one of Rosas's chiefs that had fought well. On 4 February he appointed Dr. Lopez provisional governor of Buenos Avres, and remained encamped in Palermo, whence he sent all the art treasures that had been accumulated by Rosas to his country-seat of San Jose. On 6 April the governors of Entre Rios, Corrientes, and Buenos Ayres, and a representative of the government of Santa Fe, declared the national executive restored, and appointed Urquiza provisional director until the meeting of a congress. But, instead of convoking congress, he summoned a meeting of all the governors at San Nicolas de los Arroyos, which on 31 May proclaimed him provisional president. On the return of Governor Lopez from San Nicolas, stormy debates followed in the chamber of deputies, 21 and 22 June, in which Bartolome Mitre, who had prepared public opinion by editorial articles in his paper, "Los Debates," took a prominent part. Governor Lopez resigned, flying to Palermo, and Urquiza on the 23d closed the office of "Los Debates," arbitrarily dissolved the legislature, and his opponents fled to escape imprisonment; but when the dictator left for Santa F6, to open the constituent congress, a revolution began in Buenos Avres on 11 September, which declared the province independent, electing Valentin Alsina governor. Urquiza tried to subdue the city, but after an unsuccessful campaign raised they siege on 13 July, 1853, and in November of that year was elected constitutional president for the other thirteen states, with residence in Parana. The new president signed a treaty with France, England, and the United States, declaring the navigation of the Parana and Uruguay free to all nations. In 1859 Buenos Ayres was invited to enter the union again, but refused, and Urquiza marched with the national troops against the state, defeating the forces under Mitre at Cepeda on 23 October, 1859. Governor Alsina resigned, and the new governor agreed to send deputies to the congress of Parana, on condition that certain reforms should be made in the Federal constitution, to be proposed by Buenos Avres. The latter were accepted by congress on 25 September, 1860, and Buenos Avres sent deputies; but they were refused admittance on pretext that the state electoral law was unconstitutional. Buenos Ayres armed again, and under General Mitre sent her forces to defend her territory, when the new Federal president, Dr. Santiago Derqui, declared war against the province, appointing Urquiza commander-in-chief. The opposing armies met on 17 September, 1861, at Parch, and Urquiza was defeated, retiring with his troops to Entre Rios. After General Mitre's election to the Federal executive, Urquiza was again elected governor of his province, and fitted up his country-seat at San Jose in great splendor, constructing a large artificial lake by means of the labor of political prisoners. In this place he was surprised by an armed party, who assassinated him and afterward proclaimed General Lopez Jordan governor.

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