Caseros, Battle of

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Caseros, Battle of

The Battle of Caseros took place on February 3, 1852, to the west of the city of Buenos Aires. The troops of the governor of that province, Juan Manuel de Rosas (1793–1877), were pitted against an alliance led by the governor of Entre Ríos, Justo José de Urquiza (1801–1870). The alliance included the province of Corrientes, the Empire of Brazil, and Rosas's enemies in Uruguay. The Buenos Aires forces were defeated, and Rosas fled to England.

Between 1831 and 1852, the provinces of the River Plate formed the loose Argentine Confederation based on the Federal Pact of 1831. This treaty preempted the eventual organization of a Constitutional Congress. Rosas, who had been given authority over foreign relations and had considerable influence over the other provinces, managed to delay the nationalization of the country. In an attempt to allow Buenos Aires to monopolize customs revenue, he also opposed direct commerce between the riverine provinces—the only ones with access to navigation—and foreign ships. In 1851 Entre Ríos relieved Rosas of his involvement in the province's foreign relations and sought allies against him, and at the same time pressed for the organization of a nation-state. Brazil, already at loggerheads with Rosas, supported Urquiza because of Brazilian interests in river navigation and opposition to the concentration of power in Buenos Aires. The Uruguayan political faction that controlled Montevideo also joined the alliance, together with its allies who had emigrated from Buenos Aires.

With Rosas defeated, Urquiza led a process of nationwide organization that culminated in the Constitution of 1853. However, Buenos Aires abstained from this process until 1860.

See alsoArgentina, Constitutions; Argentina, Federalist Pacts (1831, 1852); Rosas, Juan Manuel de; Urquiza, Justo José de.


Sarobe, José María. "Campaña de Caseros: Antecedentes con referencia a la política interna y externa." In Academia Nacional de la Historia: Historia de la Nación Argentina, 3rd edition, Ricardo Levene. Buenos Aires: El Ateneo, 1962.

Scobie, James. La lucha por la consolidación de la nacionalidad argentina, 1852–1862. Buenos Aires, Librería Hachette, 1964.

                                      Eduardo Miguez