Asociación de Mayo

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Asociación de Mayo

Asociación de Mayo, an Argentine literary group of the early nineteenth century. Following the 1810 separation from Napoleonic Spain and the May 1819 declaration of the Argentine Republic and in the context of the civil strife that led to the tyranny of Juan Manuel de Rosas in 1835, Buenos Aires was fertile ground for an array of social, cultural, and literary activities inspired by French romanticism. The principal reference point for these activities was the Generation of 1837, its principal spokesperson was Esteban Echeverría (1809–1851), and one of its major groups was the Asociación de Mayo. The French influence on figures like Echeverría, Juan María Gutiérrez (1809–1878), and Juan Bautista Alberdi (1810–1884)—all prominent names in Argentine literary history—as well as on a first generation of students at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, which the country's first president, Bernardino de Rivadavia (elected 1826), had recently established, was evident in the fact that the Asociación's members had originally met between 1835 and 1837 in the salon of the wife of the French consul. In 1837, the group began to meet in the Librería Argentina de Marcos Sastre, where, as the Salón Literario, they pursued their reading and discussion of French cultural texts. It was at Echeverría's suggestion that in 1838 they began to identify themselves under the banner of Joven Argentina or the Asociación de Mayo, both denominations underscoring their commitment to considerations of foundational national identity in conformance with romantic ideological currents that extended beyond a strictly French base. (France was already an organized nation state; thus, the efforts at national sociocultural unity of a country such as Italy offered perhaps more precise reference points for these Argentine literati.) The Generation of 1837, focusing on local realities, developed original ideas and policies regarding national development. While these thinkers have traditionally been described using Conservative and Liberal labels, their complex ideology defies such broad descriptions. After considerable, if frustrated, efforts to influence the course of public and political events—Echeverría's 1846 Dogma socialista is the key synthetic document here—the exile imposed in 1839 by the defeat of Juan Lavalle (1797–1841) and the confirmation of Rosas's dictatorial power disbanded the group definitively. After Rosas's fall, however, the constitution of 1853 endorsed many of the political and economic ideas of the Generation of 1837.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish Americaxml .


Juan Antonio Solari, Asociación de Mayo y dogma socialista (1937).

Antonio Juan Bucich, Esteban Echeverría y su tiempo (1938); Antecedentes de la Asociación de Mayo, 1837–1937 (1939).

Rodolfo A. Borello, "Mayo: Literatura y realidad," in Universidad [Santa Fe], no. 64 (1965): 175-206.

Additional Bibliography

Adelman, Jeremy. Republic of Capital: Buenos Aires and the Legal Transformation of the Atlantic World. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999.

Ghirardi, Olsen Antonio. La Generación del '37 en el Río de la Plata. Córdoba, Argentina: Academia Nacional de Derecho y Ciencias Sociales de Córdoba, 2004.

Katra, William H. The Argentine Generation of 1837: Echeverría, Alberdi, Sarmiento, Mitre. Madison, NJ: Fair-leigh Dickinson University Press, 1996.

Laera, Alejandra, and Martín Kohan. Las brújulas del extra-viado: Para una lectura integral de Esteban Echeverría. Rosario, Argentina: Beatriz Viterbo, 2006.

                                     David William Foster