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OSPINA, Manuel (os-pe'-nah), Colombian statesman, born in Guasca in 1803; died in Medellin in 1885. He studied jurisprudence and political science in the College of San Bartolome in Bogota, and was graduated in 1825 in the College of Tunja. He began early to take part in politics, and was an active member of the party that opposed the government of General Simon Bolivar. When Bolivar was proclaimed dictator, Ospina was among the most strenuous opponents of that measure, and he took part in the rebellion of Gem Jose M. Cordova in 1830. After the dissolution of Colombia, Ospima sustained the party of the new president of New Granada., Francisco de P. Santander, and his successor, Jose J. de Marquez. He was in congress in 1838-'40, in 1841 became secretary of the interior and foreign relations, and later was made governor of the province of Bogota. When the Conservative party went out of power in 1849, Ospina, with Jose E. Care, edited "La Civilazacion," which was in violent opposition to the government. When the reform in the constitution in 1853 gave the election of provincial governors to popular vote, Ospina was unanimously elected to the executive of his native state of Medellin, and he contributed to the re-establishment of order in 1854, when General Melo attempted to assume the military dictatorship. In 1855-'6 he was a senator, and in the latter year he was elected president of the republic. The first two years of his administration were peaceable, and he made many reforms, but when, toward the end of 1858, the central system of government was changed into a federation, Ospina, who did not sympathize with the latter form of government, refused to execute the law. The newly created states violently attacked the executive, and General Mosquera, governor of the state of Cauca, rose in arms against the central government in the beginning of 1860. When Ospina's term of office closed, in April, 1861, Mosquera's army threatened the capital, and the former left for Medellin, but when the city fell on 16 July he was arrested and taken to the fortress of Carthagena. After a few months he escaped and went to Guatemala, where he resided till 1872. On his return to Colombia he went to live in Medellin, devoting himself to the education of youth and to journalism, defending with unabated energy his conservative principles in opposition to the Liberal government, he was one of the greatest statesmen of Colombia., an eminent scholar and scientist, and of unswerving rectitude. He had a haughty and reserved manner, but, if he was not beloved, he was generally esteemed by his countrymen.
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