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Carpintería, Battle of

Carpintería, Battle of

On September 19, 1836, near the Carpintería Arroyo in the center of the Eastern State of Uruguay, the government's army, commanded by Ignacio Oribe (1795–1866) triumphed over the troops of former president of Uruguay José Fructuoso Rivera (1789?–1854). The opposition troops had risen up in July with the support of Argentine emigrés from the unitary (unitario) camp led by Juan Lavalle (1797–1841), who were opposed to the federal troops (federales) led by Juan Manuel de Rosas (1793–1877), the governor of Buenos Aires. Following their defeat, they were forced to seek asylum in Brazil.

The two sides were distinguished by colored sashes (divisas) that lent their names to two Uruguayan political parties that still exist in the early twenty-first century. The government loyalists wore white sashes with the words "Defender of the Law," whereas the troops that Rivera commanded bore red (colorado) sashes.

The territorial borders along the River Plate had not been fully established, and power struggles led to the formation of alliances among factions loyal to different states. Rivera took up arms again, and in 1838 the colorados and the unitarios, supported by France, forced the president of the Republic, Manuel Oribe (1792–1857), to resign and head for Buenos Aires.

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


Acevedo, Eduardo. Anales Históricos del Uruguay. Vol. I. Montevideo, Uruguay: Barreiro y Ramos, 1933.

Pivel Devoto, Juan E. Historia de los partidos y de las ideas políticas en el Uruguay, Vol. II: La definición de los bandos, 1829–1838. Montevideo, Uruguay: Medina, 1956.

                                        Ana Frega

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