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Batllismo, the political philosophy and social program of José Batlle y Ordóñez (1856–1929), president of Uruguay (1903–1907, 1911–1915). It was a philosophy that emphasized nationalism and social, political, and economic development. While recognizing economic inequalities, Batlle did not subscribe to Marxist interpretations of class struggle. For him, the best way to solve the differences in society was by creating an interventionist state to regulate the imbalances of society and work for a more equitable distribution of wealth. Batllismo held that a modern state could operate only with a politically active population aware of its rights and obligations. Therefore, elections and mechanisms for political participation were considered to be very important. While in office, Batlle enacted an extensive social program and nationalized industries.

See alsoBatlle y Ordóñez, José .


Roberto B. Giudici, Batlle y el batllismo (1928), and Los fundamentos del batllismo, 2d ed. (1947).

Martin Weinstein, Uruguay: The Politics of Failure (1975).

Additional Bibliography

Claps, Manuel Arturo, and Mario Daniel Lamas. El batllismo como ideología. Montevideo: Cal y Canto, 1999.

Panizza, Francisco E. Uruguay: Batllismo y después. Pacheco, militares, y tupamaros en las crisis del Uruguay batllista. Montevideo: Ediciones de la Banda Oriental, 1990.

Pelúas, Daniel. José Battle y Ordóñez: El hombre. Montevideo: Editorial Fin de Siglo, 2001.

                                              Juan Manuel PÉrez