Álzaga, Martín de (1757–1812)

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Álzaga, Martín de (1757–1812)

Martín de Álzaga (b. 1757; d. 11 July 1812), Argentine merchant and political figure. A Basque of humble origins, Álzaga probably arrived in Buenos Aires in 1769. After serving a ten-year clerkship with the prominent merchant Gaspar de Santa Coloma, Álzaga launched his own mercantile career in 1780, becoming a successful merchant, a leading figure in the local cabildo (town council), and a spokesman for those merchants who worked to preserve the Spanish monopoly trade. Dismayed by the liberal trade policies enacted by Viceroy Santiago de Liniers y Bremond, and convinced that Liniers was an agent of the hated French, Álzaga and his followers attempted a royalist coup d'état on 1 January 1809, which was defeated by an increasingly radicalized militia led by Cornelio de Saavedra.

After independence in 1810, Álzaga continued to represent the concerns of Spanish loyalists. In July 1812 he again led a coup against a creole government that he viewed as inimical to the interests of Spain. No more successful than three years earlier, Álzaga and his followers were arrested by the government, now under the leadership of Bernardino Rivadavia, and were executed.

See alsoRivadavia, Bernardinoxml .


Enrique Udaondo, Diccionario biográfico colonial argentino (1945), pp. 65-67.

Enrique Williams Álzaga, Dos revoluciones (1963) and Martín de Álzaga en la reconquista y en la defensa de Buenos Aires, 1806–1807 (1971).

Additional Bibliography

Lozier Almazán, Bernardo P. Martín de Alzaga: Historia de una trágica ambición. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Ciudad Argentina, 1998.

                                    Susan M. Socolow