Baldorioty de Castro, Ramón (1822–1889)

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Baldorioty de Castro, Ramón (1822–1889)

Ramón Baldorioty de Castro (b. 28 February 1822; d. 30 September 1889), a leading member of Puerto Rico's autonomy movement. Of humble roots, Baldorioty received his early education from Padre Rufo Fernández, who recognized the youth's superior intellect. In 1846, Fernández arranged for Baldorioty to study at the University of Madrid. After returning to Puerto Rico, Baldorioty taught at the School of Commerce, Agriculture, and Navigation (1854–1870).

A member of Puerto Rico's Liberal Reformist Party, Baldorioty served in the Constitutional Cortes of 1869 and as a deputy in the Cortes of 1870–1871. After the Spanish monarchy was restored in 1875, Baldorioty went into exile to Santo Domingo for four years.

As a Liberal Reformist, Baldorioty advocated basic civil rights, abolition of slavery, and administrative decentralization. However, the party split into two factions, one favoring assimilation into Spain's political system and the other seeking autonomy. Upon his return from exile in 1878, Baldorioty steered liberals toward the Republican Autonomist wing of the Liberal Reformist Party. He led efforts to reorganize the party along autonomist lines, and at the Assembly of Ponce, in 1887, he presided over the newly created Puerto Rican Autonomist Party. The Autonomists eventually secured Puerto Rican autonomy from Spain in late 1897, eight years after Baldorioty's death.

See alsoPuerto Rico, Political Parties: Overview .


Edward J. Berbusse, The United States in Puerto Rico, 1898–1900 (1966).

Lidio Cruz Monclova, Baldorioty de Castro (Su Vida—Sus Ideas) (1966).

Pilar Barbosa De Rosario, De Baldorioty a Barbosa: Historia del autonomismo puertorriqueño, 1887–1896 (1974).

Luis González Vales, "The Challenge to Colonialism (1866–1897)," in Puerto Rico: A Political and Cultural History, edited by Arturo Morales Carrión (1983).

Additional Bibliography

Vega Ramos, Luis, ed. Baldorioty ahora. San Juan, PR: PROELA, 2002.

                                      John J. Crocitti

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Baldorioty de Castro, Ramón (1822–1889)

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