Berro, Carlos (1853–1930)

views updated

Berro, Carlos (1853–1930)

Carlos Berro (b. 17 January 1853; d. 15 October 1930), Uruguayan politician. Berro was born in Montevideo, but his family, exiled for belonging to the Blanco (National) Party, resettled in Santiago, Chile, where he received with honors his doctorate in jurisprudence. He returned to his homeland in 1873 and was named counseling judge of the department of Colonia. In 1885 he was elected national representative for the department of Lavalleja. In 1890 he was appointed minister of justice, culture, and public education by President Julio Herrera y Obes. Between 1891 and 1896 he represented the department of Treinta y Tres in the Senate.

In the uprisings of 1894 and 1897, Berro joined with the revolutionary forces of Aparicio Saravia, the military leader of the Partido Nacionalista. In 1898 he was elected national representative for the department of Montevideo, and in 1907 he was elected first vice president of the Directorate. An active militant in the Blanco Party, he participated in the constituent assembly, which in 1917 enacted the first constitutional reform in the history of Uruguay.

Berro's career illustrates the evolution of the Blanco Party at the turn of the century. A student in exile, graduate of a foreign school, and noted lawyer, judge, legislator, revolutionary, and party boss, he later returned to civil activities and participated in the transformation of the Blanco Party into a force that disputed power at the ballot box rather than through revolution. In the elections for the constituent assembly of 30 June 1916 (the first elections in Uruguay to use the secret ballot and proportional representation), Berro was elected, and he helped to write the Constitution of 1917.

See alsoUruguay, Constitutions; Uruguay, Political Parties: Blanco Party.


José M. Fernández Saldaña, Diccionario Uruguayo de biografías, 1810–1940 (Montevideo, 1945).

Brother Damasceno, Ensayo de historia patria, vol. 2 (1950).

                                 JosÉ de Torres Wilson

About this article

Berro, Carlos (1853–1930)

Updated About content Print Article